10 free Desktop Video Editing Software programs

With today’s SEO strategies, more companies are turning to video. People are expecting a combination of video and text when interacting with any form of content. And marketers have also been pushing this, telling business owners to embrace video.

The biggest issue with this for businesses though is with every new strategy involved, you’ll need to invest money and be able to show that it’s making returns for you. And in order to do that, you’ll need the proper tools – a camera and editing software.

Now some of you may realize you already them. Smartphones today come with built-in cameras. And every computer has video editing software installed right from the factory. But depending on your situation and what you want to do with the footage, those tools may not be able to deliver what you want.

The upside to all this is that there are several free or inexpensive video editing tools. There are some solid phone apps as well, but I’ll cover those in another article; this one will focus exclusively on desktop.

Wondershare FilmoraGo

Formerly known as Wondershare Video Editor, Wondershare Filmora is a good gateway to simple and straightforward video editing, then moving to advanced features as you progress. The best thing about this particular software is that it’s available for Mac and PC. On top of that, there is a FilmoraGo mobile app for both Android and iOS devices.

This software is intuitive and simple, allowing you to drag and drop video clips, add music, transitions, and produce videos in a matter of minutes. The only catch is that while it’s free, you do have to contest with Wondershare Filmora’s logo in your video which will be a watermark in your videos. To remove it, you’ll need to upgrade to their paid service.

WeVideo

Cloud-based video editing software is growing in popularity. The fact that videos are being downloaded to a cloud-based storage system rather than your hard drive does have its perks. And one of the programs that’s leading this popularity is WeVideo.

In terms of features, WeVideo offers some advanced features such as audio editing, a library of commercially-licensed music, and 4K resolution video sharing. But as always, free includes limitations.

WeVideo’s limitation is that you are offered only 10GB of cloud storage. While it sounds like a lot, it’s really not much. Depending on the resolution and length of your video, you could use as little as 0.9GB to upwards of 3GB. So it’s good if you’re making only a handful of videos, but not a great option for the long term unless you pick up one of their priced plans.

Blender

Not to be confused with the kitchen appliance, Blender is an open source program for Windows, Mac, and Linux. But it’s more than your run of the mill free video editor, it’s also a 3D animation suite. Blender allows for modelling, rendering, motion tracking and more.

Blender offers a number of features for video editing including transitions, speed control, adjustment layers, and filters. Furthermore, you have 32 slots available for adding video and audio clips, images, and other effects allowing you to make some advanced videos.

This is a great software platform to consider if you want professional-quality video without dealing with watermarks.

Lightworks

If Blender strikes your fancy, but you’re looking for more advanced options, Lightworks may fit the bill for you. One look at Lightworks and you can tell that this software is a beast. In fact, Lightworks is so good, it’s been used to edit some incredibly popular and award-winning films. Films like Pulp Fiction, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The King’s Speech are examples.

Lightworks has two plans available with one free option. While the paid version gives you more features, the free version is no slouch either. You’ll get access to 100+ effects, multicam editing, and more.

Shotcut

Available for all three operating systems, this is another open source software meaning it’s absolutely free to use. Best of all, you can create some professional-looking videos with Shotcut.

The only catch to this software though is the learning curve.

This editing software was originally built for Linux so for Mac and PC users, the navigation will take some getting used to. Fortunately there is a FAQ and how-to guide to help things along.

VSDC Free Video Editor

Only available for Windows, the VSDC Free Video Editor is a tool for professional-looking videos. It supports virtually every major video format, has advanced video effects like object transformation and colour correction. It even has advanced features like audio effects, sound normalization, and volume correction. On top of that, this software is truly free in that you get these features but don’t have to deal with watermarks in your videos.

Two catches to this option: the steep learning curve, and the fact you have to pay for support. If you’re a video editing expert great, but prices for support aren’t that bad either. For one month it’ll cost you $9.99 USD and a full year is $14.99 USD.

Machete Video Editor Lite

Another Windows exclusive is a software that is incredibly simple in function: Machete Video Editor Lite. It allows you to cut, copy, and paste different sections of videos together.

While it’s simple in function and would be good if you’re looking to just cut clips together, there are some flaws. It only supports AVI and WMV video formats, nor are you able to edit the audio.

Avidemux

Avidemux is basically Machete Video Editor Lite’s older sibling. Avidemux can do everything that Machete Video Editor can do. For one, you can use this platform on any kind of operating system, and the program supports multiple video formats like MPEG, DVD, AVI, MP4 and QuickTime. You also get access to various filters, adding subtitles, rotating clips, and adjusting colours and brightness levels.

There is a slightly steeper learning curve, but you have access to a wiki. The only big downside is you cannot edit audio.

HitFilm

While HitFilm has a cost, there is a free version of this called HitFilm Express. Available on Windows and Mac, this software has over 180 special effects and 3D editing. On top of that, there are plethora of tutorial videos which can help you in applying an assortment of visual effects.

Naturally the paid version will have access to more features. You can compare the versions here.

PowerDirector

While this product is exclusive to Android phones, there is a desktop version that could prove useful for you. Developed by CyberLink, PowerDirector allows you to create some remarkable 4K-quality videos. Features include motion tracking, video collages, and video stabilization. You also have access to adding voice overs, and sound effects. It’s free to download, but you are restricted in the number of features available.

Video editing is expected

With videos growing in popularity, businesses need to be creating more videos. And since videos have been around for a while now, viewers are expecting professional quality content. You can still record videos with your smartphone, but it’s also a good idea to sharpen your editing skills as they can improve your overall product.