Edited by Paula Beaton

October 18, 2021

When you own a Windows PC it can be tricky to find the best free movie editing software for Windows 10. In this article, we’re taking a look at some of the best free movie makers for Windows 10, 8, and 7. All of these programs are either free or have a free trial.

Software

License

Supported Windows versions

Movavi Video Editor PlusFree trial, $64.95 for the full latest versionWindows 7/8/10
Ezvid100% FreeWindows XP, 7, 8, and 10
AVS Video EditorFree trial, $59 for unlimited access, $39 for an annual subscriptionWindows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP, 2003, Vista
Pinnacle VideoSpin100% FreeWindows XP, Vista
Jahshaka100% FreeWindows
VideoPad Video EditorFree for home usersWindows 10, XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1
Avidemux100% FreeWindows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10
Shotcut100% FreeWindows 7, 8, 10
LightworksFree for home users
Pro costs from $23.99 per user/month, $239.99 per user/year, or $389.99 per user for lifetime use.
Windows 7/8/8.1/10
HitFilm Express100% FreeWindows 8 or 10 (64-bit)
VSDC100% FreeWindows 2000/XP/
2003/
Vista/7/8/10
VLC100% FreeAll versions of Windows from Windows XP SP3 through to Windows 10. Older versions are available in the archive for Windows 95/98/Me
DaVinci ResolveFree, or $295 for Studio EditionWindows 10 (older versions are available for Windows 7 and 8)
OpenShot100% FreeWindows 7, 8, and 10
Blender100% FreeWindows 8.1, 10, and 11
Kdenlive100% FreeWindows 7, 8/8.1, 10
Machete Video Editor Lite100% FreeWindows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10
EaseUS Video EditorFree trial, full version from $17.97/month, $49.93/year, or $79.95 lifetime accessWindows 7, 8, and 10

Years ago, an emerging video editor had the power of beloved free movie maker software – the Windows Movie Maker free software – to harness their editing powers and prepare their film projects for the world. And, they could do so on a budget. Now, the world of free movie maker software looks completely different. Windows Movie Maker went by the wayside as Windows pushed customers to use the movie-making effects of its Windows 10 Photo app. That’s why video editors far and wide are searching online for the best free movie maker software that’s built for, well, movie makers – not photographers.

But fear not: We have your video-editing needs covered. We analyzed a variety of free movie maker software programs for Mac and Windows to help you find the best video-editing tools, whether you’re on a beginner budget or not.

Best movie maker features to look for

What are the most important features of a free movie market program? First, make sure your movie maker is speedy. If you’re bogged down with uploads, editing time, and downloads, your hourly rate will plummet – and your patience will reach a boiling point. It’s important to have text options, visual effects, transitions, and audio so you can elevate your project from simple footage to impressive and engaging film.

Intuitive workflow is also a plus for a live movie maker program. Otherwise, you’ll waste too many hours learning the software – which leads to not enough hours spent on editing. If you can opt for a nonlinear video editing program as well. This will give you the utmost creative control.

Free movie editing software for Windows

Movavi Video Editor Plus is one of the and Mac. It boasts an intuitive interface, is easy to use, even for beginners, and delivers professional results. It supports a wide range of input and output formats and is designed to be fun to use. Movavi Video Editor Plus is also packed with features such as Chroma Key, filters, transitions, adding music, and more. There’s a free trial and the full version is available for a one-off, low-cost fee.

Best for: Anybody looking for a movie maker that’s easy to use and delivers professional results.

OS: Windows 7/8/10, macOS X 10.10 or higher

Price: Free trial, $64.95 for the full version

Pros

  • Intuitive interface
  • Easy to use, even for beginners
  • Wide range of editing tools, features, and filters
  • Support for all popular video formats
  • Professional results, similar to other high-end editing programs
  • Win and Mac versions

Cons

  • Limits apply on the free trial version
  • Occasionally presents in-app offers and ads

With a versatile and robust set of features and tools, AVS Video Editor is one of the best free movie maker programs. You can trim, split, rotate, cut, and add unique video effects and transitions with an intuitive yet powerful interface that’s perfect for beginners. The text and audio options are great for a trailer film, a video intro, a tutorial for your website, or even poster editing. HD video editing is as speedy as can be with the AVS Video Editor. It also has built-in capabilities for slideshows, Blu-ray video editing, and outputs for a DVD or Blu-ray disc, as well as iOS and Android devices to share on your favorite social media app. It supports an impressive list of formats, including MP4, DVD, MKV, AVI, VOB, 3GP, MOV, WMV, and DVD. This free software is compatible with Windows only.

Best for: beginners at video editing.

OS: Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP, 2003, Vista

Price: $59 for unlimited access, $39 for an annual subscription

Pros

  • Supports popular video formats
  • Can transfer videos from cameras and webcams

Cons

  • Available for Windows only

Follow the link below to read the detailed review by PCWorld.

Proceed to the PCWorld website

Ezvid is a strong and easy to understand option for video editors who prefer a nonlinear workflow. Available for Windows, this quick software gives you the power to use screen recording of up to 45 minutes (great for tutorials), speech synthesis (for narration), and a variety of special effects to bring your video to life. The free movie maker software program’s speed adjustments let you add interest to your film, with videos edited to a music’s beat. To that note, music is included with the software. There are also no watermark issues to worry about with Ezvid; you can set whichever watermark image you would like. You can use your own photo and video files as long as they’re in common formats like PNG, JPG, BMP, GIF, MOV, and WMV. Ezvid is optimized for YouTube output. You can download full version of Ezvid for free, although the founders encourage a donation within 30 days of download.

Best for: those who want to create videos without watermarks.

OS: Windows XP, 7, 8, and 10

Price: free

Pros

  • Has a screen-recording feature
  • Offers free built-in music

Cons

  • Video length is limited to 45 minutes

Go to the TechRadar website to read the full review of Ezvid.

Proceed to the TechRadar website

With the Pinnacle VideoSpin software, you have a free alternative to the premium Pinnacle Studio program. It comes with a simple-to-navigate user interface that allows for photo and video uploads with a multitrack timeline for editing. Special effects in VideoSpin range from text editing to music and audio. It syncs up with YouTube for easy output, although you have control over the output format if you’d rather share your video elsewhere. You can create videos for a DVD, iPad, and more. This is a free-to-download Windows software, although you will be required to pay for certain codecs after a 15-day trial.

Best for: beginner YouTubers.

OS: Windows XP, Vista

Price: free

Pros

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Can create videos suitable for different devices

Cons

  • Software was discontinued by the developer

Check the PCWorld review of Pinnacle VideoSpin.

Go to the PCWorld website

With the capability to digitally edit virtual worlds, Jahshaka is a unique video-editing alternative to Windows Movie Maker. This free program gives you the tools to create an immersive 3D world, with included support for things like objects, particles, and animated movements. It has OpenGL and OpenML environments for movie creation, and has a clean and functional interface, particularly when using the software’s desktop section. You can work in layers to build out highly involved video projects; color correction options and filters give you control over your scenes. One thing to note: Jahshaka works best with JahPlayer, although you could use other players like VLC. You can download a full version of Jahshaka for Windows; note, it’s not available for Mac.

Best for: those who have some experience with video editing.

OS: Windows, macOS, Linux

Price: free

Pros

  • It has a lot of advanced features
  • It is able to 3D create content

Cons

  • It requires reading some tutorial before starting to use it
  • Users may face troubles with installation

It’s time for a video editing software for Mac users! The VideoPad Video Editor for Mac is an simple, quick yet jam-packed platform. It has more than 50 effects and transitions to add a “pop” to your films, with a set of digital audio tools to further bring your videos to life. Editing 3D or 360 video footage? No problem. The VideoPad Video Editor has the capability to edit and export these files. You can export your film as a file, on a DVD, as a Blu-ray export, for YouTube, and more. You can download a full version of the VideoPad Video Editor and begin crafting your masterpiece (on a Mac) instantly. To note, features are limited in the free version versus paid, but it’s a great platform to get your feet wet with video editing.

Best for: Mac users who don’t want to spend much time trying to master the software.

OS: Windows 10, XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1; Mac OS X 10.5 or above

Price: free (for home use)

Pros

  • Very simple
  • Good at working with complex projects
  • Precise at cropping and trimming

Cons

  • Slow in video processing
  • There might be issues with sound

If you want to look through a detailed review, visit the Capterra website.

Proceed to the Capterra website

Another free movie maker and encoder for Mac is the Avidemux platform. This easy-to-use software was built for those who need more flexibility than Mac’s built-in iMovie. It supports AVI, DVD, MPEG, MP4, and ASF files with numerous types of codecs. This free tool, also available on Windows and Linux, doesn’t have the cleanest interface, but if you’re not in it for aesthetics – you’d rather have a powerful free movie maker that works – this could be your tool. You can access filters, templates, transition effects, and other plus-ups to improve your video-editing capabilities. If you need an app without trial, Avidemux is worth trying.

Best for: those who need basic video editing features.

OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10; macOS 2.7.8 Catalina or higher

Price: free

Pros

  • Weighs less than 20 MB
  • Supports both H.265 and H.264 codecs

Cons

  • No special effects like chroma key
  • No technical support

TechRadar made a full overview of the app.

Visit the TechRadar website

Shotcut is one of the best Windows Movie Maker alternatives on the market. It comes with various features, including cut, copy, and paste operations; three-point editing; scrubbing and transport control; the ability to detach audio from clips; presets for most filters; and much more. This open-source platform also supports hundreds of audio and film formats and codecs. You can also work in multi-format timelines, with a simple and sleek interface and Blackmagic Design SDI and HDMI inputs, as well as support for resolutions up to 4K. This free movie maker program is available for download on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Best for: users who are already familiar with video editing.

OS: Windows 7, 8, 10; macOS 10.12 or above; Linux

Price: free

Pros

  • Supports resolutions up to 4K
  • Supports all popular media formats

Cons

  • Inexperienced users may find the app a bit difficult to work with

To learn more about Shotcut, read the article from PCMag.

Proceed to the PCMag website

Lightworks is free movie editing software for Windows 10 that gives professional results. It’s been used to edit movies like Pulp Fiction and Mission Impossible, so it’s a great choice if you’re making a motion picture. The software is free to home users and works with a wide range of popular video formats. It’s packed with excellent editing tools including real-time effects, but there is a bit of a learning curve for beginners, and the interface can seem a bit daunting to start off.

Best for: those looking for professional results who still consider themselves as beginners or intermediate users when it comes to video making.

OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 and macOS X 10.11 and higher

Price: Free for home users, Pro costs from $23.99 per user/month, $239.99 per user/year, or $389.99 per user for lifetime use.

Pros

  • Windows, Mac, and Linux versions
  • Free version for home use
  • Choice of three plans for the professional version
  • Professional results
  • Excellent editing tools
  • Compatible with most video formats

Cons

  • Can take some time to find your way around and learn
  • Interface seems intimidating

TechRadar made a full overview of the app.

Visit the TechRadar website

HitFilm Express is the free version of HitFilm Pro, and it’s one of the best free movie editors for Windows 10. Compatible with Windows and macOS, you get a full editing suite packed with features like audio and video filters, green-screen effects, and support for 360-degree video. There’s a bit of a steep learning curve to use the software but a vast library of online tutorials guides you through how to make professional videos. A fair few tools and filters are greyed out and can be purchased as a Premium Add-On, meaning you’re only paying for tools you actually need.

Best for: beginners or professionals looking for free video-making software that will only charge them for what they need.

OS: Windows 8 or 10 (64-bit) and macOS 10.15 Catalina, 10.14 Mojave, and 10.13 High Sierra

Price: Free with optional Premium Add-Ons

Pros

  • Windows and macOS versions
  • Totally free to use
  • Optional Premium Add-Ons
  • Full editing suite
  • Handy online tutorials
  • Great substitute for paid software

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • High tech specifications
  • You’ll need to purchase Add-Ons to use some filters and tools

If you want to look through a detailed review, visit the Techradar website.

Proceed to the Techradar website

VSDC is another of the best free video editors for Windows 10 on our list. This top video editor is 100% free to download and use the software and it’s one of the simplest and most intuitive programs to use. You can choose from a wide range of transitions and effects with this feature-packed software, which boasts several ready-made profiles for exporting to popular devices, and also supports 120fps export. You can even burn your projects to DVD from your laptop or desktop computer. The software is updated regularly and provides professional results.

Best for: those looking for software that’s 100% free, easy to use, and provides professional results – as well as anyone who wants to burn to DVD.

OS: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7/8/10

Price: Free

Pros

  • 100% free
  • Can sign up for (paid) tech support
  • Ready-made profiles for exporting to popular devices
  • Professional results
  • Burn projects to DVD
  • Wide range of editing tools and filters
  • Updated regularly

Cons

  • No Mac version
  • Tech support is only available if you pay to sign up
  • Need to disable hardware acceleration to export videos

Go to the PCMag website to read the full review of VSDC.

Proceed to the PCMag website

Many people use VLC as their media player without realizing it’s also one of the best video editors for Windows 10, if you’re looking for a basic editor, that is. VLC offers basic editing tools like cutting/trimming, rotate and zoom, adding effects, adjusting brightness/saturation, sharpening, adding logos or text, and more. It works with a huge range of formats and you can customize the player or create your own skins. Although VLC doesn’t provide advanced editing tools, it’s great for beginners or anybody wanting to perform basic edits, and works with Windows, macOS, Linux, and Unix as well as having apps for iOS and Android.

Best for: anyone looking to carry out basic edits or add logo/text to videos.

OS: Latest version supports all versions of Windows from Windows XP SP3 through to Windows 10. Older versions are available in the archive for Windows 95/98/Me. Mac version works with macOS X 10.7.5 or later (older releases also available). iOS and Android apps.

Price: Free

Pros

  • Totally free
  • Basic video editor
  • Media player
  • Works with a huge range of formats
  • Easy to use
  • Customizable interface
  • Works with all versions of Win

Cons

  • Editing tools are very basic and won’t suit professionals

DaVinci Resolve is billed as “the world’s fastest professional editing software”. Ideal for home and professional use, there’s a free version that supports up to 60fps and 4K exports or a Studio version that supports up to 120fps and 32K resolution. Both versions include a vast range of editing tools and a huge library of transitions, effects, and 2D and 3D titles. With DaVinci Resolve you can edit professionally using the free version, but if you’re an advanced user you may wish to upgrade to the Studio edition which costs $295 for a perpetual license – and future versions are free to all license holders.

Best for: beginners and professionals alike looking for a truly powerful, feature-packed program that offers professional results.

OS: Windows 10 (older versions are available for Windows 7 and 8), macOS 10.15 Catalina (recommended, but should work with macOS 10.14.6 Mojave), Linux

Price: Free, or $295 for the Studio edition

Pros

  • Works with Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • The free version supports up to 60fps and 4K resolution
  • Huge range of advanced editing tools
  • Professional results
  • Library of transitions, effects, and titles
  • Option to upgrade to the Studio edition
  • Future versions free to Studio license holders

Cons

  • System requirements are quite high
  • You’ll need to upgrade to Studio editing for 120fps and 32K resolution
  • There’s no subscription for the Studio editing, just a one-time license fee

TechRadar made a full overview of the app.

Visit the TechRadar website

OpenShot is a powerful movie maker for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers that’s totally free to use. It's one of the best applications around, with an attractive, customizable interface that lets you access a huge suite of editing tools including animation and keyframes, 3D animations, time effects, video effects, and more. You can enjoy unlimited tracks and the software can read and write most video and photo formats. It’s pretty reliable and stable too, compared to some of its competitors. However, it isn’t updated regularly and some features don’t seem to work, so for more professional users, there may be better free alternatives.

Best for: home users or professionals looking for free software who aren’t bothered about frequent updates.

OS: Windows 7, 8, and 10 and macOS X 10.15 and newer

Price: Free

Pros

  • Totally free
  • Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Customizable interface
  • Wide selection of professional editing tools
  • Unlimited tracks
  • Easy to use
  • Stable

Cons

  • Hasn’t been updated for a while (or regularly)
  • Some features don’t seem to work

If you want to look through a detailed review, visit the Capterra website.

Proceed to the Capterra website

Blender is more than just a video editor, it’s a 3D creation suite designed for those working in 3D. The video editor itself offers a range of basic yet efficient features including Preview mode, audio mixing, up to 32 slots for adding video, photos, audio, etc., keyframes, filters, adjustment layers, transitions, and more. It’s free and open-source, and there’s great community support if you get stuck with a forum, tutorials, and guides online to help. Because it’s a full 3D creation suite, it’s a bit trickier to navigate and find what you’re looking for than some of the other free programs on our list.

Best for: those also looking for 3D creation tools or anybody with some video editing experience looking for a basic but reliable editor.

OS: Windows 8.1, 10, and 11, as well as macOS 10.13 and newer

Price: Free

Pros

  • Totally free and open-source
  • Fairly low system requirements
  • Full 3D creation suite including video editor
  • Excellent forum support
  • Tutorials and guides if you get stuck

Cons

  • Video editor is fairly basic
  • No “official” email ticket, phone, or live chat support as it’s open-source

If you want to look through user reviews, visit the G2 website.

Proceed to the G2 website

Kdenlive is freeware for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This free movie creator is one of the easiest open source applications to use and has been around since 2003. Designed for both home and professional use, features include multi-track video editing, support for almost any audio/video format, a 2D title creator, a huge library of effects and transitions, and a configurable interface and shortcuts. The automatic backup feature ensures you’ll never lose a project, and there’s an online user manual and bug reporting system if you encounter any issues using the software.

Best for: home and professional users looking for a reliable, full-featured editing program that’s easy to use and customizable.

OS: Windows 7, 8/8.1, 10, and macOS X

Price: Free

Pros

  • Free and open-source
  • Configurable interface and shortcuts
  • User manual
  • Huge library of effects and transitions
  • Has been around since 2003
  • Supports almost any audio/video format

Cons

  • No ticket/phone/email support as it’s open-source
  • You may need to take extra steps to install it on Windows 7 or 8/8.1

Machete Video Editor Lite is a free version of Machete Video Editor for Windows computers. Compared to the paid edition of Machete Video Editor, the Lite version is a lossless video editor that only supports AVI and WMV formats. You can’t edit audio files and audio streams can’t be replaced with it, but most of the main features of the paid software are available in this Lite edition, like the ability to crop, cut, and trim files, deleting and pasting video file fragments, and inserting one video file into another of the same format. This is a fairly basic editor, but it’s reliable and easy to use.

Best for: those new to editing or anybody requiring free basic video editing tools, without the bells and whistles.

OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10

Price: Free

Pros

  • Totally free
  • User-friendly intuitive design
  • Most of the same editing tools as the paid version
  • Works with most Windows versions

Cons

  • Lite edition only supports editing of AVI and WMV files
  • No support for Lite users
  • No Mac version
  • Can’t edit audio files or use software for replacement of audio streams

If you want to look through a detailed review, visit the Capterra website.

Proceed to the Capterra website

EaseUS Video Editor is a video editor for Microsoft Windows that works on Windows 7, 8, and 10. There’s a free trial that places watermarks on your videos and doesn’t support HD (1080p) exports, but after the free trial, you’ll need to pay. The paid software offers 1080p exports, 24/7 tech support, removal of watermarks, and access to a library of over 50 video effects and filters, as well as free upgrades. There’s no video length limit and the software supports all popular video and audio formats, as well as having preset options to export to popular devices. It’s easy to use thanks to drag-and-drop functionality and even lets you screen record your creations.

Best for: Anybody looking for affordable video editing that provides a free trial and various subscription options.

OS: Windows 7, 8, and 10

Price: Free trial, full version from $17.97/month, $49.93/year, or $79.95 lifetime access

Pros

  • Free trial
  • Choice of subscription options
  • Subscriptions include upgrades and 24/7 support
  • Supports all popular video and audio formats
  • Library of transitions and visual effects
  • Easy drag and drop editing
  • The monthly subscription is rather cheap

Cons

  • Videos watermarked during the free trial
  • The free trial doesn’t support 1080p exports or allow the use of filters and effects
  • No Mac version

If you want to look through a detailed review, visit the Techradar website.

Proceed to the Techradar website

So, with these top 18 best free movie maker alternatives as evidence, you have plenty of robust options to perfect your films – even without the defunct Windows Movie Maker. Even better? This video-editing software is free, so you can scout multiple options until you find the programs that work best for you.

Frequently asked questions

Is Windows Movie Maker still available?

Windows Movie Maker is no longer available for download on Windows 7, 8.1, and 10, and Windows recommends not downloading it from third-party sites because they could have dangerous malware or viruses. Instead, Windows recommends using the editing tools in its Windows 10 Photos app.

Can you still download Windows Movie Maker?

You cannot download Windows Movie Maker through Windows as of January 2020. The company recommends not downloading Windows Movie Maker from third-party sites as well, as the download may come with viruses or malware. Windows ended support for its Windows Essentials 2012 suite in January 2017.

What do most YouTubers use to edit their videos?

Many YouTubers choose versatile video-editing software across budget levels, with the most popular being:

  • Movavi Video Editor Plus
  • Lightworks
  • Vegas Pro
  • iMovie
  • Final Cut Pro

Read the guide linked below to learn more about these and other programs.

What is the best free movie maker?

There are definitely many free video editors worth checking out, for example:

  • Ezvid
  • Pinnacle VideoSpin
  • Jahshaka
  • AVS Video Editor
  • VideoPad Video Editor
  • Avidemux
  • Shotcut

* The free version of Movavi Video Editor Plus has the following restrictions: 7-day trial period, 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. Learn more