Best Video-Editing Software for YouTube

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Ben Jacklin Edited by Ben Jacklin

If you're making videos for YouTube, you definitely need a high-quality video-editing program. To help you find the right one for your content, here is a list of some of the best video editors for YouTube.

Quick summary

  • Editor’s choice: Movavi Video Editor

    All-around video-editing software for any type of YouTube content

  • Best free video-editing software for YouTube: Shotcut

    Open-source software with a wide range of video- and audio-editing features

  • Best online video editor for short YouTube videos: Fastreel

    Easy online editing of short videos

  • Best free video-editing software for YouTube without watermarks: DaVinci Resolve

    Free version provides 90% access to its professional-caliber editing features

  • Best video-editing software for YouTube beginners: Lightworks

    Professional-grade features with a friendlier learning curve for newbie editors

  • AI-powered video-editing software: Magisto

    Automation and mobile support for on-the-go YouTube creators

  • Affordable video editor for YouTube: Wondershare Filmora

    Affordable entry point for amateur editors to try out advanced editing functionalities

  • Best paid video-editing software for YouTube: Adobe® Premiere® Pro

    Fully professional, industry-standard features for the high-quality YouTube videos

  • Best video-editing software for YouTube Gaming: Corel VideoStudio

    Gaming-centered editing features, like automatic highlight reel and webcam overlay

  • Best free software for vloggers: VSDC Free Video Editor

    GoPro-friendly editing, advanced features, and low system requirements

  • Best video-editing software for Windows for YouTube: Pinnacle Studio

    Fast performance and professional-grade editing features for advanced editors on Windows PCs

  • Best balanced video editor for YouTube: CyberLink PowerDirector 365

    Flexible and user-friendly features that are great for both novices and professionals

  • Best application for Mac computers: Final Cut Pro

    Intuitive interface and pro-level features optimized for Apple products

  • Free 3D and animation software: Blender

    Versatile features for 3D rendering, animating, and creating VFX


Best YouTube video editors

Below, we have compiled a list of the best video-editing software for YouTube on the market today. Each program has its own video-editing features worth checking out. Read on to discover them!

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

License: Free

Best for: Editing YouTube videos for free

Shotcut is a free, open-source, multiplatform video editor that comes with a wide range of video- and audio-editing features. It can handle 4K videos and has built-in support for a variety of codecs and formats.

For being absolutely free, the program has a wide range of track blend modes and wipe transitions. It also has a large selection of effects and filters that you can utilize to make your videos look even better. 

The interface has a learning curve, which can be intimidating at first – but once you get a feel of the software, you’ll realize its layout makes sense. The drag-and-drop assets make it highly customizable and versatile, too. But we recommend editing in full screen, as some windows may disappear at smaller sizes.

Because of Shotcut’s open-source nature, there is a strong community around it, making it easy to find online tutorials for any issues encountered.

OS: Windows, macOS

License: Free trial (with watermark), 1-year license at $54.95, lifetime license at $74.95

Best for: User-friendly editing of all types of YouTube videos

Movavi Video Editor is an all-around video-editing software that is highly intuitive. The simple and aesthetically pleasing interface makes it easy to edit and create beautiful YouTube videos – even if you don't have any prior experience in video editing.

You can quickly edit your video clips and choose a video template and royalty-free audio for your video. 

For those who want to customize further, Movavi Video Editor has powerful editing capabilities such as 4K support, audio tools, chroma key, and a wide range of video filters. These make the program appropriate for editing any kind of YouTube content, be it gaming, instructional, basic filmmaking, or vlogging.

There is no free version for the software, but Movavi does offer a free trial, with its watermark on the finished product. So you can test out the features before purchasing the full version of the program.


OS: Any (web-based)

License: Free (with watermark), single premium at $9.95/video, unlimited premium at $19.95/month

Best for: Editing short YouTube videos online

Fastreel is an online video-editing program developed by Movavi. It is designed for content creators who want to upload quick compilations or short videos on YouTube. 

Fastreel has two editing modes: templates and tools. You can use templates to speed up the editing process. The app has an extensive library of templates and music available for you to choose from. 

The second mode is tools, for when you want to further customize your videos. Fastreel offers basic video-editing tools like cutting, cropping, merging, flipping, and more.

The interface is simple and intuitive, which makes it a great choice for starting vloggers and social media marketers. The only limitations are that Fastreel has an upload limit of 500 MB, and the free version includes a watermark.

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

License: Free (no watermark), Resolve Studio at $295 

Best for: Professional editing of YouTube videos for free, with no watermark

DaVinci Resolve is a powerful video-editing software from Blackmagic Design. It has a solid set of features, including color correction, motion graphics, and visual effects. These are useful for professional content creators looking to upload their content to YouTube.

DaVinci Resolve’s best feature is its color grading. It has versatile options dedicated to color, including color warp, HDR grading, and viewer wipe modes. If you are a YouTube filmmaker who wants a specific mood for your content, this tool will serve you best.

Instead of layer-based editing, DaVinci Resolve offers a node-based workflow, which seasoned editors say is more flexible and more suited for compositing. The interface can be complex and overwhelming, which is why this is not recommended for beginners.

While it does have a paid version, DaVinci Resolve’s free version packs enough professional tools you need to create great-looking videos for YouTube. It also won’t slap a watermark on your creations. The system requirements are quite high, however, so be sure to check if your computer can handle it.

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

License: Free, Lightworks Create at $9.99/month, Lightworks Pro at $23.99/month

Best for: Beginner content creators who want to get a grasp of professional video editing

Lightworks is an advanced video-editing software that has multiplatform support. It boasts of robust editing tools and effects, as well as a library of royalty-free video and audio assets you can access with the desktop app. Unfortunately, most of its professional features can only be locked after the paywall.

Its free version, however, can be a great place to start for total YouTube beginners. It offers enough tools for new editors to learn how to make professional-looking videos, even if the software’s learning curve may be steep. Think of it as a crash course for those who want to study advanced video editing quickly.

Lightworks also allows straight exporting to YouTube, which conveniently cuts down time in the whole editing process.

OS: Web-based version, iOS and Android apps

License: Free (with watermark), Premium at $9.99/month, Professional at $19.99/month, Business at $69.99/month

Best for: Editing YouTube videos on-the-go

Magisto is a video-editing app from Vimeo that uses artificial intelligence (AI). It is easy to use with its three-step editing process. Simply upload a clip, choose a style or theme, and the AI will edit it for you. There are editing tools available but are rather limited compared to similar online video-editing app, like Fastreel.

Aside from the browser editor, Magisto also has mobile versions for Android and iOS. This makes it easy to create YouTube content straight from smartphone footage.

The automation feature and mobile support make Magisto a decent choice for YouTube creators who are pressed for time and simply want to edit their videos on the go. Note that the free version will have a Magisto’s watermark.

YouTube marketers may also benefit from Magisto’s analytics. The program allows direct export to YouTube, which makes it able to track visitors and other insights. However, this feature is only available for business plans.

OS: Windows, macOS

License: Free trial (with watermark), Individual/Student at $19.99/month, Team starting at $155.88/year

Best for: Advanced editing of YouTube videos at an affordable price

Wondershare Filmora is a good entry point for amateur editors who already want to transition to professional-level editing. This video-editing software has advanced functionalities, like 4K support, key framing, and audio ducking, as well as a fairly large library of stock music and effects. 

If you have difficulty learning the ropes, the program has an “Easy Mode” that simplifies the editing process. Simply import your videos, add music, then render.

The free trial leaves a watermark on videos, but the flexible paid plans Wondershare Filmora offers make it an affordable choice for YouTube creators who want to level up their editing skills.

OS: Windows, macOS

License: Free trial, $20.99/month

Best for: Professional video editing for YouTube

Adobe® Premiere® Pro is a powerful industry-standard video-editing software that can help you create the best professional-looking videos. It's available for both Windows and Mac, and is jam-packed with features that can be used to improve your videos. It has up to 8K and VR support, numerous motion graphics templates, as well as video and audio tracks, and color grading, just to name a few. 

Nearly every feature available on Adobe® Premiere® Pro is customizable, which makes the program’s learning curve very steep. But Adobe provides an extensive library of tutorials for those who want to get the hang of it.

Its cross-platform capabilities also allow it to seamlessly integrate with other widely used Adobe products like Photoshop® and After Effects®. This is why it is easy for Adobe® Premiere® Pro users and other professionals, like VFX artists, to collaborate.

Adobe® Premiere® Pro is the go-to video-editing software for YouTube creators who want to make the highest quality videos and bring their creative vision to life. But because it consists only of the most advanced features, it’s not a beginner-friendly option at all.

OS: Windows

License: Pro at $79.99, Ultimate at $99.99

Best for: Editing gaming videos for YouTube

Corel VideoStudio has a wide range of editing tools for content creators to utilize for their YouTube videos. Aside from tools like color grading, video masking, and a large pool of media presets, there are features useful for editing social media content, such as GIF creator, animated AR stickers, and text-to-speech converter.

Corel VideoStudio’s user interface is standard for any video-editing software, consisting of a timeline, viewer window, library panel, and options panel. Some functions may seem limiting to consider this software as pro-level. For instance, you cannot edit multiple layers of a video, which should be common in professional programs. 

This editing program would stand out particularly for YouTube Gaming creators, primarily because it has the automatic highlight reel creator and templates for intros and webcam overlay. You can also export your video straight to YouTube.

There is no forever free version, and the video editor is only available to Windows users. 

OS: Windows

License: Free

Best for: Editing YouTube vlogs on Windows PCs for free

VSDC Free Video Editor is a video-editing software developed by Multilab LLC. The video editor features advanced capabilities like non-linear editing, conversion tools, and DVD authoring.

Despite it being totally free, VSDC Free Video Editor has a steeper learning curve than other free programs, like Shotcut. It can be confusing, especially for novice creators, because of the complex interface and certain functions, for example, the need to specify video format details from the get-go. 

VSDC Free Video Editor truly shines in more experienced hands. It already offers a wide range of industry-standard features like video masking, color grading, plus audio mixing. And even with its extensive list of functions, the program has low system requirements compared to other video-editing software that offers professional tools. 

While we do think DaVinci Resolve is still the best free editing program for professionals, VSDC Free Video Editor is a good alternative for those with less powerful computers. 

VSDC Free Video Editor would also be particularly attractive to GoPro vloggers, because it supports editing of GoPro and DVD footage. It also allows easy export to YouTube. But keep in mind that this video editor is only available for Windows users.

OS: Windows

License: Standard at $59.95, Plus at $99.95, Ultimate at $129.95

Best for: Editing professional-grade YouTube videos on a Windows PC

Pinnacle Studio is a paid video-editing program with pro-level features. It is relatively cheaper than other advanced programs, like Adobe® Premiere® Pro and DaVinci Resolve Studio.

It has a long list of features, including motion tracking, video masking, multi-cam editing, and 360-degree video editing. All of these tools are easy to use in Pinnacle Studio’s simple interface. The software also has built-in effects and filters, as well as access to a large library of royalty-free music. 

A key highlight is the fast rendering speed. Aside from the software being generally stable, it can render videos a lot quicker than other powerful programs, like Adobe® Premiere® Pro. This makes it a breeze to create previews or test videos. 

Pinnacle Studio is our best option for advanced editors who only work on Windows PCs and are looking for an affordable pro-level video-editing software.

OS: Windows

License: Free, multiple options for a lifetime license, multiple options for subscription

Best for: Beginner and advanced editing of YouTube videos 

CyberLink PowerDirector 365 is a video editor for YouTube that offers a well-balanced set of features for both amateurs and advanced users. It has powerful capabilities, like 4K support, multicam and 360-video editing, and motion tracking, which are easy to learn thanks to its simple interface.

It also comes with an extensive library of built-in templates and effects that you can use to make your videos look even better. But in our experience, the software can be buggy and may crash at times. Fortunately, the company offers email and phone support for any concerns.

CyberLink PowerDirector 365 is currently only available for Windows.

OS: macOS

License: Free trial, $299.99 for a full version

Best for: Editing YouTube videos on a Mac

Final Cut Pro is a great video-editing software for both amateurs and professionals, provided they work on a Mac. It has an intuitive interface that is easy to use, even if you don't have much experience with video editing.

The software includes a wide range of features that make it perfect for creating YouTube videos. These include object tracking and cinematic mode, motion graphics, advanced color grading, and sound mixing tools. There is also a large selection of templates and plugins available for Final Cut Pro, which make it easy to create professional-looking videos. However, these come at an additional cost.

Final Cut Pro is specially optimized for Macs, which makes it a recommended software for YouTubers who only use Apple products.

While Final Cut Pro does offer a free trial, there is no free version of the software. It offers a one-time purchase of $299.99.

OS: Windows, macOS

License: Free

Best for: Editing 3D and animation videos for YouTube

Blender is a free, open-source software that can create and edit 3D and animation videos for YouTube. Its features are very versatile for 3D rendering, modeling and sculpting, animating, and creating VFX, which makes it a great free program for YouTube animators and 3D artists.

Since it is not primarily a video-editing program, Blender’s editing tools are limited to basic functions like video trimming, transitions, and filters, but these can be enough if you want to create a full 3D or animation video.

Blender’s workflow is node-based, which may not be friendly for beginners. But Blender is open-source, so it has built a community around it, and it will be easy for you to find tutorials.

Summary: Get the right video editor for your next YouTube video project

After reviewing the top video-editing software available for YouTube, we conclude that each of them has features catering to specific needs. They could all be the best software for video editing YouTube content if you base them on certain parameters. 

You will need to factor in things like your editing skills, what type of YouTube videos you want to make, how much money you are willing to spend, and whether you work on a Windows or Mac computer.

In our experience, Movavi Video Editor ticks all the right boxes in terms of editing functionalities and is recommended for any type of YouTube video you plan to create.

Movavi Video Editor

Make videos. Create. Inspire.

* The free version of Movavi Video Editor has the following restrictions: a 7-day trial period, a watermark on the output videos, and, if you’re saving a project as an audio file, an ability to save only half the audio length.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best beginner software for editing videos for YouTube?

If you're just starting out, we recommend using the free version of Lightworks. Although it has a steep learning curve, it can help prepare new editors for more advanced editing. For those on a budget, you can try Shotcut. It is an open-source software with an intimidating interface, but it’s easy to use once you know the ropes.

For the best all-around video-editing software, our choice is Movavi Video Editor. It already offers features that any type of YouTuber can appreciate and has a simple and clean interface that makes learning video editing easy.

What software do YouTubers use to edit videos?

There are many different software programs that YouTubers use to edit their videos. It depends on the content they upload, the editing skills they have, and their budget. 

Some of the more professional ones include Adobe® Premiere® Pro and DaVinci Resolve. Aside from basic editing capabilities, these programs allow you to do advanced things, like adding visual effects and color grading. 

If you're just starting out or are on a tight budget, you may want to use a more user-friendly and well-rounded editing program, like Movavi Video Editor. This is easier to use and has all the features YouTubers need to make their videos look good.

How do you make your videos look professional?

There are a few things you can do to make your videos look more professional. First, invest in a good video camera. This will help ensure that your videos look sharp and clear. Second, use a tripod to stabilize your camera while you're filming. This will prevent your videos from looking shaky and amateurish. 

Finally, edit your videos using a good video-editing software. This will allow you to add special effects, transitions, and titles to your videos, which will make them look more polished and professional. 

Aside from using our recommended choice, Movavi Video Editor, you can also explore more professional filters at our Movavi Effects Store. 

What is the best software for editing YouTube Gaming videos?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best software for editing YouTube gaming videos will vary depending on your specific needs and preferences. However, we recommend trying Corel VideoStudio as it has specific capabilities that gaming creators will like.

You can also use Movavi Video Editor, since it is our recommended all-around video-editing program. It’s a great choice for those just starting out their YouTube career.

What is the best video-editing software for Mac and Windows computers?

There are many excellent video editors available for both Mac and Windows, like Movavi Video Editor, Adobe® Premiere® Pro, and DaVinci Resolve. All of these programs offer great features and capabilities that will help you create amazing YouTube videos, whichever OS you have.

If you are looking for a specific program that only works on Windows PCs, we recommend trying Pinnacle Studio. It is a professional-grade video-editing software that is relatively cheap and performs fast.

For Mac users, it’s best to check out Final Cut Pro. Aside from it being easy to use and having powerful editing functions, it is specially optimized to work with Apple products.

What is the best video-editing software for mobile?

There are a number of video-editing apps available for both iOS and Android devices. However, not all of them are created equal. For quick video edits, we recommend using Magisto, since it has an automation feature that speeds up the video creation process. 

You can also try Movavi Clips, which is a compact editing app specifically designed for use on mobile. It has all the good features you can find in our editor’s choice, Movavi Video Editor.


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