Over the last several years, streaming has become incredibly popular with services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max taking on the formerly dominant cable and satellite providers and the emergence of social networks like TikTok.
However, when it comes to video streaming, YouTube remains the oldest and most used service in the United States. According to Business of Apps, the YouTube app has at least 150 million users in the US alone. Comparatively, TikTok comes in second with only 80 million and Netflix trailing in third.
That said, it goes without saying that YouTube can be a great addition to your digital marketing strategy. However, there are millions of videos on YouTube and getting people to watch yours can be more difficult than it seems.
When creating and editing YouTube videos, you need to make sure that you are using the best tools available. There are many video editors out there, but not all of them are designed specifically for YouTube and this was a BIG problem I personally faced when I started my own YouTube channel.
Because I understand how difficult it can be to find the right tools for the job, I’ve made things simple by putting together this guide of the best video editing software for YouTube. Take a look at my analysis to save yourself hours of wasted time.
What is the Best Video Editing Software for YouTube?
By far the best YouTube editing software for Beginners ($20.99/month).
Adobe Premiere Pro CC has an outstanding reputation as one of the best video editing software solutions for YouTube on the market right now. It’s one of the standard editing tools used in Hollywood, and it helps video creators transform clips into stunning works of creative art.
Whether you plan to work with 4K video or VR, this is a great tool to use as it can easily handle all formats. It can even deal with 8K and boasts end-to-end VR 180 support, allowing you to publish to YouTube directly. Plus, it has cross-platform capabilities and allows you to bring in motion graphics from other Adobe products like After Effects. This is undoubtedly one of the best options for anyone who wants to take their video editing to the next level.
- Stock Audio Library: Save tons of time with the vast stock audio library.
- End-to-End VR 180: Create and share stories in VR 180 with immersive features.
- Auto Reframe: Automatic reformatting of videos helps accelerate your workflow.
- Easy Curve Adjustments: Selective color grading is easy and accurate, plus the software includes color correction as well.
- Premiere Rush: The software includes an app to help you work from anywhere.
- Video and Audio Syncing: This is a nice feature that can make syncing your audio with video files easier.
Pros of Adobe Premiere Pro CC:
- Streamlined interface
- Massive range of formats
- Stellar technical support
- Top-notch tools
- Built for professionals
Adobe Premiere Pro CC offers a free trial so you can test out the software. If you like it, you can get it for $20.99/month.
What Are People Saying?
- “Premiere is an excellent editing tool. What I like is the ease of editing, since it gives you a number of tools, some are a simple drag and use, also the effects that by default cover the needs of editing.” – Jose M.
- “Premiere Pro includes a ton of video transitions, features, and editing options to help keep you from needing to install a multitude of other programs. Features such as blurring/censoring, ultra key/green screen, audio editing, and more!” – Theo A.
The all-in-one video maker, editor, and converter for work and study (FREE Trial then $79.95/year).
Movavi Video Suite is geared toward novice editors who want a quick and easy way to edit videos. It’s an affordable program that has some great features all packed in one convenient package. Editors can merge, cut, add transitions, and share their videos easily with the suite of tools available.
There’s also a great screen recording feature that is great for making tutorials. The software has 160 filters, as well as caption support, slow motion, and chroma key. If you are a beginner looking for an all-in-one solution to help you edit professional video content, then this is the tool for you.
- Learning Videos: Keep learning to improve your craft with free educational videos.
- Extra Applications: Choose add-ons depending on your needs and skill level.
- Stock Content: Get tons of copyright-free stock media files and video effects.
- Cloud Storage: Exclusive cloud space to ensure your work is always available.
- DVD Burner: New and enhanced CD, DVD, and Blu Ray burner.
Pros of Movavi Video Suite:
- Extremely easy to use
- Very affordable pricing
- Offers 4K support
- Record TV programs easily
- Wide variety of formats
Movavi plans start from $79.95 for the Video Suite. If you need the photo editor, you can upgrade to the $99.95 plan. The software offers a free trial.
What Are People Saying?
- “Excellent video editing tool. It has helped me with the editing of videos for social networks and much more and it is a tool that from the first day I used it I liked it.” – Hannah S.
- “Best Professional Editing Software For Newbies. I used Movavi when it was new in the market. It was the first video editing software I saw which was much much easier to use and also with a lot of professional tools to edit like a Pro.” – Haram T.
3. Filmora X
An elegant YouTube editing software for users of all skill levels ($39.99/year or $69.99 One-Time)
Filmora X from Wondershare is an elegant software that allows you to edit video clips and make them unique even with no technical skills. It has a simple user interface that lets you add audio and special effects easily, especially considering they have so many presets with elements, transitions, filters, and more.
You’ll also be able to create moving titles, add movie filters, and create without limits. With this amazing tool, you have infinite ways to express yourself. If you want a YouTube editing tool that offers endless effects, then Filmora X is for you.
- 100 Media Layers: Allows you to craft complex stories quickly and easily.
- Noise Removal: Perfect your sound with background noise removal.
- 4K Support: Create videos with frames as crisp as reality with 4K Support.
- Easy Sharing: Tailor your videos to any online course platform and upload easily.
- User-Friendly Interface: This software is perfect for beginners.
Pros of Filmora 9:
- Filmstock effects store compatibility
- Available for both Mac and Windows
- Supports over 50 formats
- 4K editing support
- Option to burn your project to DVD
Filmora costs $39.99/year, or they have a one-time fee of $69.99. They also have a $99.87/year bundle plan that includes effects and filmstock.
What Are People Saying?
- “We typically do not need to do much actual editing of videos, but we sometimes need to splice videos, overlay audio, and add annotations to the video. Nobody at my organization is an expert at video editing, and we were looking for the easiest software to use.” – Bill Greganti.
- “Overall, Filmora is excellent. It’s fairly fast, easy to learn, and offers enough advanced features to keep you content for years.” – Adam A.
Free yet versatile video editing software for YouTubers of all skill levels ($0).
VideoProc Vlogger is a free video editing software that can satisfy various editing demands of vloggers, influencers, and everyone else who needs to edit videos. The software itself is very user intuitive and provides quite a bit of excellent editing functionality.
VideoProc Vlogger supports almost any video format and codec. Whether you work with 4K, HDR, Apple ProRes, or 360 Videos, VideoProc Vlogger can handle it effortlessly. In addition to adjusting exposure, white balance, and HSL values, users can color correct and color grade the footage like a pro with stock filters with importing features.
If you’re interested in learning more, I’ve written a full VideoProc review that goes into further detail as well.
- GPU Acceleration: Peak Hardware Acceleration fully powered by Intel, AMD, NVIDIA GPUs, and Apple M1/M1 Pro/M1 Max.
- Speed Ramping: Make it easy to create both constant and variable speed changes with built-in Bezier Curve presets and visualized speed curves.
- Motion Effects: Add varieties of motion effects flexibly to imitate camera movements, including pan and zoom, spinning, and Ken Burns effects.
- Color Grading and Correcting: Adjust exposure, contrast, white balance, etc. Apply stock filters or import and use your own LUTs.
- Audio Editing: Save lots of time with Audio Analyzer when editing to the beat. Optimize the sound with Equalizer and sound effects.
- Convert video footage into a format that can be recognized and read by the media players. For instance, 4K to 1080P, MKV to iPhone, video to GIF, AVI to YouTube, 3D to 2D, etc.
Pros of Videoproc Vlogger:
- Totally free with no watermark
- Compatible with both Mac and Windows
- Self-explaining novice-friendly interface
- Wide supports for a variety of formats
- High-speed encoding/decoding and rendering process
- Comprehensive text guides and video tutorials
Totally free, yet still delivers a versatile editor for people who want to start vlogging on YouTube or edit videos for their other needs. There are no watermarks or export restrictions even though the platform is free.
What Are People Saying?
- “This is a giant contender that both free and paid video editing software will have to scramble and try and compete with, but the battle has already been won in my book! I thoroughly enjoyed using this software. Great UI with easy-to-use tools.” – Forrest G.
- “This software is fantastic! I just introduced somebody to VideoProc Vlogger on the weekend and was able to teach them how to use it (overlays, text, audio, and video tracks) in a 1-hour zoom video session. The Digiarty/VideoProc team is doing amazing work! “ – Kobie M.
The faster way for capturing, editing, and sharing your videos ($49.95).
Pinnacle Studio 23 is a great solution for beginners and pro users who are looking for fast video editing software to use with YouTube. This is the latest program from Corel, and a solid option for creating high-quality YouTube videos to make your brand stand out.
The software comes with a range of cool features, including motion tracking, audio ducking, and 360-degree videos. There are three tiers for you to choose from, depending on your level of editing expertise. This means that you won’t have to pay for advanced features if you don’t need them.
- Enhanced Timeline Editing: Edit 4K or HD videos across unlimited tracks.
- Customizable Workspace: Streamline your workspace and set up quick access points.
- Precise Editing: Use the drag and drop feature for full flexibility and precision.
- Enhanced Keyframe Control: Use keyframes to customize all transitions and effects.
- Pro-Caliber Tools: This software comes fully loaded with pro-caliber tools.
Pros of Pinnacle Studio 23:
- Advanced color grading
- Over 1500 effects
- Supports 4K editing
- Amazing audio tools
- Three and four-point editing
Pinnacle Studio 23 has plans starting from $49.95. If you need to unlock more advanced features, you can upgrade to the Studio Plus plan which costs $79.95 or the Studio Ultimate for $99.95.
What Are People Saying?
- “Rendering with pinnacle studio 23 is very fast, which is one of the features that make the software stand out.” – Sarah C.
- “The best thing is that it is very easy to learn to use it since it works with a simple interface and therefore it is excellent to create videos for web, it is also fun to create in this software since you manage to represent highly creative and high-quality video scenarios.” – Yaquelin N.
Great video editing software for every skill level across all devices ($51.99/year)
Cyberlink PowerDirector is a flexible software solution with an intuitive interface that is ideal for beginners and advanced video editors alike. With this editing tool, you have the power to create high-quality YouTube videos with a sleek, professional look.
The software comes with a full 360 editing toolkit and offers access to unlimited effects. This is a multi-award-winning editing software packed with over 200 editing tools. If you’re looking for a powerful feature-rich Youtube video editor, this is a great option for you to consider.
- Customizable Vector Shapes: Allows you to add customized shape objects.
- Animated Titles: Ready to use titles with motion graphics elements.
- Title Reveal Mask: You can get as creative as you want with animations on your videos.
- 1-1 Square Video: Lets you to create 1-1 videos great for Facebook and Instagram.
- Advanced Motion Tracking: The software offers 100% accuracy in object tracking.
Pros of Cyberlink PowerDirector:
- Robust stabilization and object tracking
- Lightning-fast rendering
- 360 video stabilization
- Complete format support
- MultiCam Designer feature
Cyberlink Powerhouse has a yearly plan for $51.99. This works out to about $4.33/month. Alternatively, you can get it on a month to month basis for $19.99 and they have higher-priced plans with additional features.
What Are People Saying?
- “I use PowerDirector for all of my editing needs. I have two different YouTube channels and I’ve found that this program is just as good as their competition (that charges much more).” – Chad Von Dette.
- “First of all this video editing software comes with so many good features that I find very commendable. It suits almost all your editing needs.” – Erica N.
The Best YouTube editing software for gamers and novice editors ($79.99)
Corel VideoStudio offers easy video editing using a wide range of fantastic tools. It has a clear interface that makes it easy for beginners to navigate. The software also offers fast rendering, and it supports 360-degree VR, 3D media, and 4K Ultra-HD.
The 2020 update added an automatic Highlight Reel feature, extra timeline modes, and color wheels. This tool now boasts a robust range of features to help you produce magnificent videos that look professional and sleek.
- Upgraded Color Grading: New color panel packed with color wheels.
- Blending Modes: Photoshop-like overlays, like screen overlay and multiply.
- Painting Creator: Feature to animate hand-drawn text like you’re writing.
- 4K Monitor Support: Upgraded software now looks much better in high-DPI display.
- Improved Masking Tools: More basic mask shapes in UI.
Pros of Corel VideoStudio:
- A wider selection of video-creation tools
- Simple user-friendly interface
- Superfast rendering
- Multipoint Motion tracking
- HTML5 video page creation
Pricing for this video editing software for YouTube starts at $79.99 for the Pro and $99.99 for the Ultimate package. You can try out Corel VideoStudio for free by downloading it from their website.
What Are People Saying?
- “What I like the most is it really has the latest technological wave tools to make the best edition, I like that it is easy to use, you can also record almost in any format and with a significant amount of templates for the video menu interface.” – Wilson T.
- “It is an amazing software that helps you to change your photos, images and clips into professional-quality displays, slideshows with amazing background music and great edits.” – Katy P.
An amazing tool with templated video content that looks professional (Free or $15/Month).
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced user, InVideo is a great choice because of how varied the options available are. Beginners can get a headstart by using any of the 3500+ templates on the platform, and advanced users can start from scratch. The 8+ Million iStock catalog of images and video also helps to spice up your creations.
What sets InVideo apart is that it’s completely hosted in the cloud. Meaning, you never have to download software, or worry about losing your progress. It’s completely browser-based and the editor still moves quickly even after being stocked with transitions, stickers, frames, and other tricks and features.
- Easily Convert Text to Images: Have a blog and want to grow your presence on YouTube? They have a function where you can quickly and easily change Text to Video, allowing you to make YouTube videos quickly and easily.
- Transitions & Animations: Smoothen the flow of your video and all the elements within it. With our intuitive software, you can easily apply transitions between scenes and give animations to your elements.
- Stickers & Overlays: Give your videos some cool characters and make them look fun. Confetti, snow, emojis, stickers, InVideo has them all.
- Easy Export: Share customized videos to various social media platforms with a click.
- Trim & Resize: Easily trim your video clips to use only the parts you want. Resize an image or videos to fit the frame you are working in.
Professional Looking Videos: Allows you to make professional-looking videos in a matter of minutes.
Pros of InVideo:
- 4000+ fully customizable templates
- Customize text, aspect ratio, and styles
- 4k Support
- No watermark
- 24×7 World Class Support
- Make Multilingual Videos
Compared to other full-stack editors, InVideo is priced modestly, starting from just $15/Month while the highest plan will cost you $30/Month. InVideo has no watermark on its videos, even if you’re on the Free plan, which makes it one of the best free video editing software services available. They have annual and monthly plans available.
What Are People Saying?
- “I am impressed with Invideo’s templates library. There are tons of categories and items, with lots of choices and tones for various occasions, events, and circumstances.”
- “The InVideo app is the most intuitive and easy-to-use app for video editing and creation. I use InVideo for all my video content for my business. I get rave reviews for all the videos I create with this app. The music, the images, the video choices are all incredible!”
9. VSDC Pro
Windows-based video editor for creators on a budget ($19.99/year).
VSDC has been around for a decade and gained popularity among beginner YouTubers, GoPro vloggers, and gamers. What makes this video editor stand out is an extensive feature-set combined with low system requirements. While offering all the advantages of a non-linear video editor, VSDC runs even on low-end PCs with as little as 2 GB of RAM.
VSDC allows you to work with 4K and 120 fps footage; it also opens any video format and codec effortlessly. As a matter of fact, you can even export videos in H.265/HEVC – the most recent video codec used for maintaining the highest quality after maximum file compression. Like most YouTube editing software, VSDC also lets you upload videos to YouTube directly from the program.
- Motion tracking: Track any object’s trajectory in a video and assign it to a piece of text, image, or mask.
- Hardware acceleration: Process and export high-quality videos faster, even on outdated PCs.
- Video masking: Easily apply clipping, inverted, or text mask in videos.
- Bezier curve animation: Tailor video transitions with laser precision using Bezier curves.
- “Edit the beat”: Automatically synchronize any effect with the sound beat.
- AI Art generator: Use the power of AI to achieve the same look in your videos as in the pictures of Van Goth and Picasso.
- Advanced transitions: Select Pro-level transition effects, customize their settings, and save them as templates.
Pros of VSDC Pro:
- Very lightweight video editor
- Full format compatibility
- Weekly tutorials on the company YouTube channel
- Quick and responsive support team
VSDC offers a free version of its video editor that lacks the features mentioned above, yet still delivers a powerful tool for anyone who wants to dive into the world of NLE. If you, however, want to make the most of the program, consider jumping to VSDC Pro. For $19.99 per year, it’s a very affordable solution, compared to most competitors.
What Are People Saying?
“As a novice user I really love the amount of control this editor gives. Every object can be tweaked and have endless effects applied to it” – Peter K.
“I use this editing software all the time, and I love it; it’s fun, easy, and VSDC’s YouTube Channel is loaded with Tutorials and Lessons” – Carter J.
10. Vegas Pro 365
The low-cost video editing software powerhouse for YouTube marketers ($16.67/month).
Vegas Pro 365 will help you start your video journey on the right foot. The low-cost subscription plan is ideal for those who are just getting started and want to get access to a full suite of video editing tools without a high price tag.
Vegas Pro is known for having exclusive features, and you get all of that and more with Vegas Pro 365. In addition to all the standard features, you also get exclusive online training courses to get you up and running in the quickest time possible.
You also get all the latest updates, features, patches, and plugins automatically with your purchase of this video production powerhouse.
- Sound Forge: The tool offers extensive functionalities for video sound optimization.
- Online Training: Take advantage of free lessons to accelerate your learning curve.
- Offline Use: Vegas 365 software can be used offline.
- Nestled Timelines: New feature allows you to nestle your timelines.
- Auto White Balance: With this feature, you can make your videos even more creative.
Pros of Vegas Pro 365:
- Support multi-cam editing
- Latest updates and upgrades
- Complete HDR color support
- Optical-flow slow motion
- Planar motion tracking
You can get Vegas Pro 365 for just $19.99/month. It comes with all the functionalities and features of Vegas Pro, as well as Sound Forge software and exclusive online training.
What Are People Saying?
- “Vegas’ timeline has always been very simple-It allows for speedy editing while not detracting from functionality. Other NLEs’ timelines feel clunky” – Eliezer C.
- “We use this program for the editing and design of videos for the sites, advertisements or apps that we are commissioned and it has been very good so far.” – Angel G.
Automatic video editor for YouTube compatible with both new and low-end PCs (FREE or $29.40)
Clipify was developed to assist people of all skill levels to make their videos faster and easier. The program has an intuitive interface and employs consecutive editing thanks to its built-in Video Wizard feature. The interesting thing about this software is that it automates a lot of the video creation process, which is a neat feature.
This video editing software for YouTube features all of the essential tools. For instance, you can tweak your clips in any way possible: cut, reframe, enhance, embellish, improve in quality, speed up, slow down, and complete with dynamic effects. YouTube bloggers and creative geniuses will appreciate Clipify’s other features such as chroma key, the fact that it comes with a whole library of stock footage, curves color correction, pre-designed title cards, and webcam capture.
Clipify is compatible with all video formats, so you can edit any video file you have recorded and easily convert it to an MP4 with the needed resolution for sharing on your channel. Apart from that, there are 50+ other export features for rewatching your video on any device.
- Large toolbox of features: includes both basic and advanced features which are easy to use.
- Built-in content: a diverse collection of artistic elements and stock footages.
- Powerful sound tool: edit your sound, add audio points; accompany videos with your own songs, or use Clipify’s collection of 250+ royalty-free soundtracks.
- Smart export options: burn your clip to a DVD, share it online, or convert it to the needed format for rewatching on any of your devices – tablet, computer, TV, or smartphone.
Well-considered interface: no cluttered menus or anything else to get you lost in the process.
Pros of Clipify:
- Completely free platform
- Regularly updated with new features
- Works well on slow and old computers
- Helpful to people of any skill level
Clipify comes totally for free. But if you are the program’s true fan who wants some more creative freedom, consider purchasing one of its extended versions: Standard, Deluxe, or PRO. All of these are lifetime subscriptions with free tech support and a year of free updates.
What Are People Saying?
- “It turns out such an uncomplicated editor can actually be of great help for an amateur blogger like me. Thanks to Clipify’s flexibility and ready-made content, I can easily make fun and engaging videos for my family YouTube channel and personal archive. I found the Video Wizard tool especially helpful when approaching the deadlines for posting my videos.” – Simon S.
- “With Clipify, I learned there is no need to use expensive industry giants to make a cool video. This automatic video editing software has everything you need for a simple video tutorial, travel slideshow, or video card for a special occasion. Simply put, Clipify is exactly what I was looking for! I even ended up buying Clipify’s PRO license and enjoyed it ever since.” – Marie O.
An all-in-one video editor for YouTube creators of any skill level ($29.95/Month)
HitPaw Video Editor might be the most suitable tool for those newcomers and professionals in the video editing world. Its clean interface enables users to add unlimited audio, stickers, transitions, etc, with ease.
In addition, you’ll be able to make adjustments to the keyframes and the color attributes of videos within a few clicks, which is very quite convenient. To some extent, everyone is an art creator, and Hitpaw is a great option if you’re looking for a fully integrated video editor with all the features you need.
- Timeline Editing: Allows you to add and edit files in unlimited tracks.
- Stock Resource: You can get access to all suitable stock audios, stickers, transitions, etc.
- Format Support: Supports the local format of any kind.
- Hardware Acceleration: Enables the speeding of exporting.
- Technical Support: A professional team is ready to solve your puzzle.
Pros of HitPaw Video Editor:
- Clean User-friendly Interface
- Available useful features
- 4K video editing support
- Detailed tutorials on official YouTube channel
- Latest updates and quick technical support
HitPaw Video Editor starts from $29.95 a month, or they have a plan for $39.95 a year. In addition, if you’re looking to save some money, they also have a lifetime license for $59.95.
What Are People Saying?
- “One of the easiest video editors I have met with a lot of features I need. And HitPaw is priced within my budget. Thank you, HitPaw.”-Nancy
- “In a word, it’s a great video editing tool for me as a newbie. My video making experience with HitPaw is great and I’ve recommended it to my friends.”-Ben S
13. Final Cut Pro X
The best post-production tool for perfectly edited YouTube videos ($299.99).
Final Cut Pro from Apple is designed to fit all your YouTube video editing needs. It has an intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows users to get professional-looking results even with no prior technical expertise.
This software is also sophisticated enough for advanced video editors, thanks to its massive range of features. It’s a great option for anyone who wants to graduate from iMovie to a more robust video editor. This is the type of editor that’ll give you a bigger thrill than using a vpn with Netflix, though I wouldn’t necessarily advocate that as a best practice.
- Accelerated Performance: Features dramatically accelerated rendering and exporting.
- Optimized for Mac Pro: You can run this software on the world’s fastest Mac.
- Comprehensive Tools: Contains everything you need for editing, from start to finish.
- Multicam: Automatically sync up to 64 video angles with various formats and sizes.
- Noise Reduction: Powerful feature to eliminate or reduce grain and video noise.
Pros of Final Cut Pro X:
- 360-degree video editing
- Advanced features for pro editing
- 4K HDR support
- Motion Graphics templates
- Built-in resources and templates
You can get Final Cut Pro X for $299.99. If you want to try it out before committing, you can sign up for a free trial on the website.
What Are People Saying?
- “I am honestly speechless at the vast amount of improvements made to this software. The developers really have done a fantastic job with this latest version of FCPX.” – Remscape.
- “I am in the media and outreach department of my organization and we use Final Cut Pro X to edit all of the videos we put out on YouTube. I also use Final Cut Pro X to edit a weekly vlog video on my own YouTube channel.” – Seth Paine.
The drag and drop video editor that makes editing a breeze (Free or $15/month)
Animoto is a simple to use YouTube video editor that allows you to create and edit videos that will get noticed. From tutorials, slideshows, and promos to marketing videos and more, Animoto can handle all types of editing tasks easily.
No experience is needed to create, edit, and share videos with this software, making it the ideal option for beginners and hobbyists who want a powerful video editor that is simple to use.
- Drag and Drop Interface: Everything on Animoto is extremely easy to use.
- Video Templates: Get tons of beautiful, versatile video templates to choose from.
- Stock Library: You have access to over one million stock photos, music, and videos.
- Great Support: There’s a helpful team on hand to help you get started.
- Free Version: You can get started with Animoto for free.
Pros of Animoto:
- Customize text, aspect ratio, and styles
- One-click voice-over feature
- Pre-built storyboard templates
- 1080p HD downloads
- Instant sharing on social media
You can use Animoto for free, and you get access to all of their standard features. When you upgrade to the Pro plan which costs $33/month, Animoto branding is removed from your videos and you can add your own logo watermark and customize your brand colors.
What Are People Saying?
- “Easy to pick up, edit and create videos and add auto links to social media. YouTube uploading is very good. All in all, this is an excellent product for creating content for social media and networking sites or your own website.” – Matthew Hayward.
- “Fast and easy way to generate dynamic content from assets submitted by non-professionals. Also a great way to quickly generate Social Media specific video content by professionals as well.” – James M.
15. HitFilm Express
Free video editing software for YouTubers with professional-grade features ($0)
HitFilm Express is probably the best free video editor for creating high-quality YouTube videos. It comes with a full set of features that make it easy to get the job done regardless of editing experience. There are tools for composite shot enhancements and animations, as well as an adaptive trimmer.
You also have unlimited tracks at your disposal and the mixer is super easy to use. All in all, this is a great package of features considering that you can use the tool for free. When you sign up for HitFilm Express, you also get access to a massive community and tons of great tutorials to get you started.
- Training Mode: Level up your skills with free video lessons.
- Professional-Grade Editor: You get access to professional-grade editing tools.
- Tracks and Transitions: Unlimited tracks and transitions to choose from.
- Vast Online Community: Become part of an international filmmaking community.
- Mac and Windows: The software is available for both Windows and Mac.
Pros of HitFilm Express:
- Expert team of coders
- Tons of free features
- Interface is user-friendly
- Viewer quality options
- Animation tools
You can start using HitFilm Express for free. If you like it and want to unlock more features, you can upgrade to HitFilm Pro for $349. All paid plans offer a considerable number of professional-level tools and come with 12 months of free support and updates.
What Are People Saying?
- “In our opinion, the single best software package for aspiring visual effects artists and filmmakers.” – Freddie Wong.
- This is pretty rad. I always tell people who want to pursue VFX professionally to look into using HitFilm since it can do it all.” – Wren Weichman.
16. LightWorks 14
The perfect film-editing solution for moviemakers and social media marketers ($299)
Lightworks is a unique tool that offers high levels of customization in areas where other video editing options are static. This software uses free-floating windows to create a workflow to align with your specific editing style.
You can close or open these windows as you wish. Whether for social media or 4K film projects, this tool will give you the freedom you need to customize your video content exactly the way you want it.
- All Operating Systems: Lightworks works with Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
- Great Format Support: Offers the widest native format support of any NLE.
- Dedicated Web Export: Quickly and easily share your movies with family and friends.
- Speed Optimization: Import, render, and export quickly and without delay.
- Multicam Editing: Create a group of synced clips directly from a bin.
Pros of Lightworks:
- Simple, intuitive user interface
- Suitable for all major operating systems
- Timeline editing and trimming is a breeze
- Real-time ready-to-use audio and video FX
- One-click publishing to your YouTube account
Lightworks costs $299. You can test drive the software with a free trial by signing up on their website.
What Are People Saying?
- “I primarily used Lightworks for editing tutorials and gaming videos. One aspect of Lightworks I like a lot, and the reason I recommend it frequently is the free version. ” – KC M.
- “Lightworks was an excellent option to get started in the world of video editing; easy to use, excellent editing tools, cuts of videos, union of videos, sounds, images, compatibility with several video formats.” – Feldriana T.
Simple and useful software for all your video editing needs but only available for the iOS operating system ($0/month).
iMovie is the classic YouTube editor for Mac users. It lets you create stunning, Hollywood-style trailers and 4K-resolution clips easily. This is a great tool for beginners and it makes the entire video editing process simple and easy.
If you are new to things like intros, transitions, filter selections, and more, this is the ideal video editing tool for you.
In addition to having a simple drag and drop feature for titles, audio tracks, and more, iMovie also saves you time when creating ads, presentation materials, and other event video needs. The software also has high-end features, including sound editing and high-quality video templates.
- Studio-Quality Titles: Dozens of beautifully animated credits and titles to choose from.
- High-fidelity Filters: Add a cinematic touch with over 10 creative video filters.
- Extra-Special Effects: It gives you the ability to slow down action shots.
- Simplified Soundtracks: Choose from 80 smart soundtracks to rock your video.
- Green Screen Effects: Make yourself appear anywhere without leaving the room.
- Quickly Share 4k Videos: With iMovie you can share to YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo with a couple clicks of your mouse.
Pros of iMovie:
- A highly accessible tool that is easy to use
- Edit from your Android or iPhone
- Massive collection of animated credits and titles
- Clean, welcoming user interface
- Sharing options are simple and straightforward
- Can use iPad, iPhone, or a Mac to edit video easily
iMovie is free to use. Simply download and install it on your iOS or Mac device.
What Are People Saying?
- “In iMovie, I love that I can add music, captions, and transitions between parts of my video. Editing is quite easy with trimming. You can adjust the volume of each segment to fit your needs. And in the sharing, you have options with the quality of video that you share.” Tara B.
- “If you are just getting started with video editing, this is an easy application to use. It is not as confusing to use as other tools out there. Great if you just need to cut and paste together several clips or include simple transitions.” G2 Verified User.
What Features Do You Want in YouTube Editing Software?
When looking at different video editing software for YouTube, you’re going to find a lot of different editing features. Some of these are extremely helpful, while others are beneficial for some but aren’t really going to take your videos to the next level. When looking for a video editor, make sure you look for these features:
Downloadable vs Online Video Editor
Video editors fall into two major categories: Downloadable and Online video editors. While both of them will suffice for YouTubers, there are some distinct differences.
Downloadable editors are tools that you can download to your computer and all the projects that you’re working on are stored on your hard drive.
With online video editors, you run the program from your browser, and projects are stored on the cloud and easily shareable. They don’t take up much of your hard drive space, but you always need an internet connection to work.
Ability to Change the Aspect Ratio
Video dimensions differ across various social channels. That’s why this is an important feature to have in your YouTube video editing software.
YouTube is dominated by horizontal video, vertical video rules Instagram, and square video is still popular across all platforms. You need to have the ability to change formats if you want to optimize your video for all platforms.
Ability to Add Text to Video
Adding text to video is important since a lot of video views on social media happen without the sound being turned on. By adding text, you will be able to increase the time spent viewing your videos.
You need video editing apps that allow you to add subtitles to conversations, voice-overs, or talking head videos.
Filters and Overlays
As a general rule, the best visuals have a color theme as well as a recognizable ‘feel’. You need a video editor that will maintain this across many edited scenes. That’s why filters and overlays are a vital feature to have in the tool that you choose.
Stock Videos and Audios
A library of high-quality stock sounds and videos is essential to help you tell better stories without having to spend tons of time searching for the right videos and audios to add.
A selection of royalty-free stock assets will also allow you to save tons of money every year on copyrighted content for your videos.
The final feature to look for with best video editing software for YouTube is scene transitions. The transitions between your video scenes should be precise and you’ll find that you’ll use them often.
You need a tool that will allow you to be as accurate as possible as well as create various effects between scenes, such as fading, swiping, and other effects.
How to Improve Your YouTube Video Quality
Pay Attention to Lighting
Even with a good camera, bad lighting can kill the quality of a YouTube video. If you want to make a popular video, make sure that you buy a decent lighting kit from Amazon or a local camera store. You don’t need to spend a ton on this either. There are plenty online for $100 and under that’ll do just fine. Make sure your lights are in front of you and try to avoid backlight as it creates a shadow effect.
1080p is a Minimum
If you don’t have money for an expensive camera, that’s okay! Most smartphones have 1080p capability and this is crucial to make it so that your video quality doesn’t stick out as lacking. While your content is more important than the quality itself, you want to be on par with most of YouTube and in order to do that, try to have 1080p be your minimum resolution.
Use B-Roll Footage
If you really want to wow your viewers, consider adding b-roll footage into your videos with Storyblocks. Don’t know what b-roll footage is? You’ve seen it and probably don’t even realize it. This is the footage that top notch editors to use to make their videos engaging for the viewer. Below is an example of a video using b-roll footage to keep a viewers attention and as you’ll see, it’s very effective.
Your Background is Important
This piece of advice is for both filming and editing. When you’re editing a video, you want to make sure that the background doesn’t take away from whatever is the most important area of the camera. This means that when filming you should remove clutter from the background. This also means that if you’re editing a video and want to call attention to certain things on the screen, make sure your background isn’t distracting the viewer.
While many people overlook this, having creative transitions at the right times can keep your video interesting and engaging. Lear about the transitions available for your video editor software and use different types to find your preference. It’s advisable to have 3-5 common transitions you use that become a part of your “YouTube Brand”.
Easy to Read Fonts
While it’s not a great idea to fill the screen up with words in a YouTube video, sometimes it makes sense to use words on the screen to call out certain things. When you do this, make sure your font is clear and large enough to read. Remember, not everyone has good eyesight and you need to make sure you accommodate everyone.
Keep it Engaging
Making your video engaging is one of the most important things to do as a video editor. Depending on the topic, it’s a good idea to have video effects every 5, 10, even 30 seconds. Again, it depends on the subject matter, but this would be a transition, a zoom-in or zoom-out, a meme, b-roll footage, whatever it takes to keep your audience engaged while they watch the video.
Don’t Ignore Audio
Some people ignore audio when they record YouTube videos and this is a HUGE mistake. If a video has bad audio, it’s unlikely that the viewer will keep watching. Heck, for some people even an echo will irritate them. To fix this, consider recording your videos in an area with a lot of furniture and carpet, or just buy some acoustic sound panels.
YouTube Editing Software Q&A
What Editing Software do Most Youtubers Use?
While this list gives a ton of different options for video editing, the most dominant editing software used by YouTubers on PC is Adobe Premiere Pro. For Mac users, Final Cut Pro is often used. That said, it’s always based on your personal preference, so get a software that fits your budget.
How Long Will it Take to Edit YouTube Videos?
This is a great question and while I’d love to give a concrete number, the real answer is that it depends. If you’re a novice editor, it may take 10+ hours to edit a 5-minute video. But once you understand the functions of your video editor, it’s usually a good rule of thumb to assume 30-60 minutes of editing time for every minute of final video. That said, this aways depends on how engaging you want your videos to be and when you’re done, what file format you output.
How Can I Become a Better YouTube Video Editor?
Find your favorite software from the list above and dive in! One of the best ways to become better as an editor is to practice, practice, practice. If you’re already familiar with the software but find yourself struggling, consider taking a course on Skillshare or Udemy.
Can’t I Just Use Microsoft Move Maker if I’m Using Windows 10?
When I first started creating videos, I just download Movie Maker from the Microsoft App store. For people who are using Windows 10, this may seem like the easy solution. After all, it’s free, easy to use, and does have some decent features. However, this is a general video editor that allows you to upload videos to YouTube, but what you really want is a more sophisticated video editor developed specifically for YouTube, like those I reviewed above.
Now you know the best YouTube editing programs available right now, and how to choose the one that’s right for you to make your editing capabilities even better.
Also, I want to give a special shout-out to platforms out there that are open-source like Shotcut and other platforms that didn’t make our list like Davinci Resolve. While there are many quality platforms out there, these are my favorites.
Here’s a quick recap:
Budget Options: If you’re a beginner or a social media marketer looking for budget options, software like Premiere Elements and VideoStudio will make a fine choice.
Mid-range Options: If you’re a business or a professional looking to start a YouTube channel, then Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro are great options for you to choose from – particularly if you already have some editing experience.
High-end Options: Options like LightWorks 14 are great for those looking for the best solution used by pros to edit vast amounts of video footage.