The best free video editing software for Windows

by Kelvin
                        The best free video editing software for Windows

We hear his name on everyone’s lips. Adobe Premiere dominates the video editing market, forcing amateurs and professionals to make monthly financial commitments. The free offer is however not absent from the scope of video editing, generally offering features similar to those of paid solutions, taking into account the level of each. has therefore selected for you the best free video editing software on Windows meeting the needs of both beginners and more experienced.


1. Shotcut

Shotcut offers a convincing mounting solution aimed primarily at beginners. Spartan in appearance, the tool actually draws its strength from its modular structure. Only the functionality panels that interest you can be integrated into the main window, which adjusts to your needs and requirements.

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Interesting originality: Shotcut offers two ways to do video editing. Thanks to the playlist, users don’t have to worry about the intricacies of the timeline. The sequences dragged and dropped into the block provided for this purpose are linked, with the possibility of modifying their order or editing them independently of each other. More experienced editors take advantage of the traditional multitrack timeline. Although more technical to master, it offers the possibility of adding sound, effects, transitions or even titles, bringing a definite added value to the final video.

The encoding conditions depend on the FFmpeg libraries on which Shotcut is based. There is therefore little concern about the compatibility of codecs which, with rare exceptions, are all supported by the software. On the export side, you can count on 4K UHD.

2. VSDC Video Editor

VSDC Video Editor instantly puts users in confidence. Its home page can guide the less experienced who, at a glance, are aware of all the editing solutions available to them. The main features of the program are also listed, leading to intelligible online tutorials.

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When creating a new project, VSDC Video Editor invites you to enter all the technical characteristics of your future montage: name, copyright, resolution, number of images per second, frequency, background color. There are enough import and export formats for you to find your happiness.

In terms of ergonomics, VSDC Video Editor presents an austere but rather practical modular interface. The Project Explorer scrolls through the detailed content of your current montages when the Object Explorer offers control over the organization of the scenes, transitions, effects and titles that make up a particular project. The main block traditionally revolves around the timeline and the preview window. The general, somewhat cluttered appearance of the over-representation of toolbars dissipates as quickly as you learn to coax each feature.

With its global display reminiscent of the Office suite, VSDC Video Editor reassures even more beginners who can navigate serenely between the tabs. This is also where we access the few video and sound effects that enhance the most creative montages.

3. Windows Movie Maker

Yes Windows Movie Maker was somewhat successful in the mid-2000s, the video editing utility that Microsoft once natively integrated into Windows ended up disappearing from the operating system. For a time, Microsoft continued to offer its tool in its software suite Windows Live, before making it completely disappear in early 2017.

However, despite this disappearance, it is still possible to download and install Windows Movie Maker. The program works perfectly on Windows 10.

To read : How to install Windows Movie Maker on Windows 10?

Again if advanced users skip their turn, novice amateurs will find in Windows Movie Maker everything you need to easily edit videos on your computer. The program’s interface, structured around the famous banners dear to Microsoft, clearly makes them a tool for laymen. All the editing tools are grouped together, as well as the visual effects, animations, etc.

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The operation of the simplistic program is again far from what is done in the competition. Here you will not find a timeline per se. All the clips you import are an integral part of your film. They can be cut, shortened, and moved at will, depending on how you want your video to be organized. Windows Movie Maker It also allows, of course, to insert text, a opening or ending credits, to set up fades, but also to record a vocal narration or even to integrate a sound design.

As for the export options, they are made to be understood by all. You will not find settings here to customize the video bit rate, resolution or compression codec. Windows Movie Maker Keep it simple and suggest predefined settings depending on the device (s) on which the videos will be played, with resolutions up to 1080p. The user can however choose personalized export parameters

4. MiniTool MovieMaker

Best known for its tools for managing PC hard drives, MiniTool has made a rather successful foray into the world of video editing software with MiniTool MovieMaker.

If the publisher has not gone far to find the name of its program, we welcome the initiative to offer a free program, but above all ultra simple to learn. If the program seems limited for experienced users, laymen will find in it everything necessary to edit a film effectively.

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MiniTool MovieMaker offers 9 predefined templates that can be used to create a video, but allow users to start from scratch. Importing rushes into the software is done with a simple drag and drop, just like adding a clip to the timeline.

Each of them can then be edited manually: it is possible to cut a video, to shorten it, but also to adjust its contrast, colors and saturation. The user can then dress his film by adding text, effects, or transitions between each clip, again by simply dragging and dropping these elements onto the work table.

As for the export options, they are again very simple, but will be more than enough for anyone looking for a simple solution to quickly edit a video. They allow you to choose the export format from a dozen possibilities (MP4, AVI, MOV, WMV, MKV, TS, MPEG2, etc.), select the video bitrate to define the desired quality, choose the codec, or opt to choose the resolution of the final video.

5. OpenShot

Primarily aimed at beginners, Openshot Video Editor relies on the FFmpeg library. The software thus supports a large number of video formats. At the first start, OpenShot guides the user through a quick tutorial to introduce the basic elements of the program.

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The software’s interface is very classic: the videos that will constitute the final montage are grouped in a dedicated window on the left, while a preview pane is displayed in the center. At the bottom of the window, you will find the timeline on which you just drag and drop the clips to integrate into the film. The organization of the window and the tools is intuitive enough to make neophytes familiar with the software.

By default, Openshot opens a project in HD 720p at 30 fps, but it is quite possible to use another work profile. To do this, click on the dedicated button to select one of the predefined profiles, based on the original files, if you want to maintain optimal image quality. The software can thus export videos in 4K UHD, 2.5K QHD, HD, etc. all with the ability to choose the frame rate per second for rendering.

6. VideoPad

Architectured around a classic interface for this kind of application, VideoPad presents the advantages of advanced software without being difficult to master. Thanks to an intuitive arrangement of its tools, the naming of which remains simple, the utility should be within the reach of the least seasoned users.

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Importing videos can be done using drag-and-drop, just like adding a clip to the timeline. The latter can take the form of a timeline, or a more visual storyboard, which facilitates the ordering of the different clips in a montage. The rushes can be edited precisely from the main window while it will be possible to enhance the video using audio and video effects, transitions, texts, etc.

VideoPad offers many export options that require the installation of additional modules. Among the options offered, it is possible, for example, to directly publish a creation on a streaming platform such as YouTube, export a video in Blu-Ray disc format, or export your creation in video file format.

VideoPad is capable of generating videos in many definitions: 720p, 1080p, 2K, and even in 4K. The software is free for private non-commercial use. Therefore, on export, a message indicating that this is a trial version is displayed. Just close it to validate the export of your personal video.

7. Kdenlive

Simple and powerful: Kdenlive respects the credo of the KDE community. Originally intended for GNU / Linux systems, the software benefits from a port Windows thanks to GSOC projects. Although it is still a beta version, there are features and user comfort similar to those of the original version.

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Kdenlive builds on the MLT framework. By default, its interface is structured around essential areas: rush manager, effect list, preview window and editing table. Advanced users deepen the customization of their work environment, adding or removing modules as they wish, configuring keyboard shortcuts. Support for infinite audio and video multitrack allows the creation of very complex projects.

Because it is based in particular on the FFmpeg libraries, Kdenlive supports almost all audio and video formats, without prior conversion or re-encoding. You keep your hand on the in-depth editing of rushes thanks to several multimedia analyzers including a spectrometer, a histogram and a vectorscope.

Interesting originality proposed by Kdenlive : management of intermediate clips. By automatically generating low resolution copies of your sequences, the software allows you to manipulate light clips and work on your editing without exhausting your PC too much. The magic continues to work on the export of the project since the low quality rushes give way to the original rushes. Intermediate cuts and effects are applied to HD, Full HD or Ultra HD sequences at the same time.

8. Lightworks

Preceded by its reputation, Lightworks has long worked with film professionals. We owe him in particular the editing of cult films like or. Open to the general public in a simplified version since 2012, the software nonetheless remains a complex tool intended for experienced users.

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Lightworks displays a fully customizable modular structure. You create your workspace according to your needs and habits with the possibility of moving, locking, hiding, enlarging the functionality windows. Always in a strictly professional perspective, the software stands out with its “rooms”. These isolated spaces allow the components of a single project to be treated in complete independence. We can thus create a room for audio arrangements, another for calibration, or yet another for data management. All changes to a room have no effect on the entire timeline, allowing you to delete and recreate them at will without fear of damaging the overall project.

The formats accepted by Lightworks cover such diversity that it is possible to import both ProRes and Avid DNxHD without prior transcoding. When exporting, count on MPEG4 / H.264 in 720p for the free version with the possibility of directly uploading your work to YouTube.

9. HitFilm Express

HitFilm Express wears the double-cap. In addition to offering a very complete video editing software, it has many compositing tools that avoid you having to go through a third-party program for special effects.

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The interfaceHitFilm Express is comfortable although minimalist. The preview window is juxtaposed with that for editing maps and overcomes the famous timeline. Multitrack management facilitates the integration of sounds, transitions and titles that you can modify from the dialog box provided for the occasion. The integration of special effects is done directly via software that supports 3D for an even more careful rendering. HitFilm Express has just over 400 free presets and special effects, including a green background that appeals to youtubers.

YouTubers take full advantage of the compatibility ofHitFilm Express with social networks since it is possible to associate your account YouTube to directly upload his montages. Aside from this, users of the software can export their projects locally to 4K Ultra HD at a color depth capped at 8 bits.

HitFilm Express is very resource intensive. It is therefore necessary to have a computer powerful enough to launch and use the program.

10. DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve offers a comprehensive solution that allows for editing, calibration and compositing. The diversity of its functionalities means that the program is primarily intended for professionals. Otherwise, extremely knowledgeable amateurs can try to get started with the software.

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In terms of mounting, DaVinci Resolve offers an interface full of options that you need to learn to master because it is not modular. Multitrack management is obviously included and we take advantage of high-performance multicam support which promotes the realization of complex projects. The synchronization of video and audio tracks benefits from the automatic analysis of sound waves, guaranteeing a successful result. The compatibility of the software with the OpenFX plugins allows you to engage in compositing tasks without going through a third-party solution, guaranteeing speed and quality preserved images.

It is worth remembering that DaVinci Resolve is above all a calibration software, field in which it excels. Colors and brightness are easily adjustable thanks to the powerful tools it embeds. The color wheels – lift, gamma, gain, offset – operate primary arrangements, while an additional module takes care of the corrections attributed to specific areas of the image.

In its free version, DaVinci Resolve limits the export of projects to Ultra HD format and does not support HDR or 3D calibration.

11. AVID Media Composer First

AVID aligns with the competition with Media Composer First. This light version of Media Composer allows you to familiarize yourself with the interface of the pro version as well as with most of its emblematic tools. Unsurprisingly, the software is aimed at semi-pros who assess the complexity of its handling before investing in a more complete version.

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To compete with Resolve, Media Composer First integrates advanced options such as multicam support and powerful stabilization tools. The multitrack is included but restricted to four video tracks and eight audio tracks. The AVX and AAX plugins are managed from the AVID Marketplace. Most common codecs are compatible with this light version which allows the export of projects in 1080p and promises upload facilities on YouTube and Vimeo.

It’s audio processing that Media Composer First Really does well. Although it does not have 5.1 and 7.1 surround, the proposed sound management has its own recording and editing module. Everyone is free to compose their own soundtrack and mix different sources to accompany their video project as precisely as possible.

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