Free YouTube Video Editor – Create Stunning Videos Without Spending a Dime

Video content creation is more popular today than ever before. With over 2 billion monthly users, YouTube has become the go-to platform for uploading and sharing videos. As a result, there is a high demand for free video editor software to help content creators edit their videos before publishing them on YouTube or other platforms.

A free video editor is a software that allows users to perform basic to advanced editing tasks without having to pay any money. Free options offer a more limited feature set compared to paid professional software like Adobe Premiere Pro, but they provide enough functionality for most casual users’ needs.

With free video editor apps, you can trim video clips, stitch together different shots, add transitions, overlay text and graphics, adjust color and lighting, add voiceovers and background music, and export the final video. Many free editors are surprisingly fully-featured despite the lack of a price tag.

The goal of this article is to highlight some of the top free video editing software choices in 2022 for YouTube and general video production needs. We will cover the key capabilities of each option, pros and cons, and tips for exporting and uploading edited videos to YouTube. Whether you’re a hobbyist getting started with video editing or looking for a basic editing solution for YouTube videos, a free video editor can be a great fit.

Why Use a Free Video Editor

Video editing can seem daunting, but with the right free online editor, anyone can start creating great videos. Free options provide key advantages that make them appealing to first-time creators and hobbyists.

The biggest reason to use a free online video editor is cost. Paid desktop applications like Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro can run hundreds of dollars. Free online tools provide all the core editing features without any upfront investment. This makes video editing accessible to more people.

Ease of use is another major benefit. Free online editors are designed to be intuitive and simple to use, even for total beginners. There’s no complex software to install or learn. You can access them anywhere through a web browser and start editing right away. Basic editing tools are streamlined into easy drag-and-drop workflows.

While advanced options allow for more complex edits, free tools provide enough functionality for basic trimming, arranging clips, adding effects and text, and more. For simple videos like those shared on YouTube, free editors have all the tools needed to get started. The simple interfaces facilitate learning by letting new users quickly grasp how to manipulate their videos.

Accessibility, simplicity, and basic feature sets make free online video editors a great starting point for anyone new to video creation. They remove common barriers like high cost and difficult learning curves while still empowering users to make compelling videos.

Top Free Video Editor Options

There are many great free video editing apps available for both desktop and mobile. Here are some top choices:

OpenShot (Desktop)

OpenShot is an open source, free video editing application for Windows, Mac and Linux. It provides a simple and powerful interface to create videos with transitions, effects, animations, titles and more. Great for basic editing and combining clips.

VSDC Video Editor (Desktop)

VSDC is a full-featured non-linear video editing suite for Windows with a free version available. Provides color correction, visual effects, Chroma key (green screen), and a multi-track timeline for audio, video, image and text overlays.

Lightworks (Desktop)

Lightworks is free, open source video editing software for Windows, Mac and Linux. The free version supports real-time editing and exports up to 720p resolution. Widely used professionally in the film industry.

InShot (Mobile)

InShot is a popular free video editing app for iOS and Android. It provides editing tools like trimming, filters, music, stickers, text, and more. Great for quick social media videos edited on your phone.

Adobe Premiere Rush (Mobile)

Adobe Premiere Rush is a free mobile video editor from the makers of Premiere Pro. Available for iOS and Android. Lets you combine clips, add titles, music, customize colors and more. Syncs with Premiere Pro.

KineMaster (Mobile)

KineMaster is full-featured professional video editor for Android and iOS devices. The free version lets you edit multi-track timelines, use chroma key, add overlays, record voiceovers and more. Exports up to 1080p.

Key Features

Most free video editors offer a core set of tools for basic video editing tasks:

  • Trimming – Trim the beginning or end of a clip to remove unwanted footage. This allows you to isolate the best parts of your video.

  • Filters – Apply filters like black and white, vintage, blur, etc. to alter the look and feel of clips. Get creative with filters!

  • Text/Graphics – Add text overlays and graphics to title clips or add captions. Text and graphics help convey information and enhance branding.

  • Transitions – Use transitions like fades, wipes, and dissolves to smoothly move between clips. Transitions improve flow and production quality.

  • Chroma Key (Green Screen) – Replace backgrounds behind subjects with custom images or video. Great for vlogging or special effects.

  • Speed Controls – Speed up or slow down clips for dramatic effect. Useful for time lapses or slowing key moments.

  • Audio Editing – Trim audio clips, adjust levels, or apply background music/voiceovers. Refine and balance audio for clarity.

  • Picture-in-Picture – Overlay a smaller video box over your main footage. Add commentary without blocking the action.

  • Basic Color Correction – Adjust brightness, contrast, saturation to improve video quality and visual appeal.

  • Zooming/Panning – Pan and scan over still images or zoom in/out on clips to focus viewer attention.

  • Titles/Credits – Design opening titles and closing credits to introduce your video professionally.

The best free editors provide these core tools and more for basic editing without watermarks or other limitations. Look for a tool with the features you need for your specific video projects.

Pros and Cons of Free Video Editor

Free video editing software provides a low barrier to entry for content creators. However, free options have some limitations compared to paid professional tools.


  • Free to download and use. You don’t have to pay anything to get started editing videos.

  • Easy learning curve. Many free editors have intuitive interfaces and simple tools, allowing beginners to start editing quickly.

  • Active user communities. Popular free editors like Shotcut and OpenShot have helpful user forums and blogs to assist new users.

  • Cross-platform support. Most free editors work on Windows, Mac, and Linux so you’re not limited by your operating system.

  • Basic editing features. Options like trimming, splitting, transitions, subtitles, filters, and more are available in free software.

  • No watermarks or trial limitations. Free editors are fully functional with no artificial restrictions.


  • Limited advanced features. Complex video effects, multi-cam editing, 360 editing, and motion graphics are hard to find or non-existent in free software.

  • No customer support. With free editors you’re on your own for troubleshooting issues, unlike paid software with technical support teams.

  • Infrequent updates. New features and improvements may roll out slowly for free projects with small development teams.

  • Limited output options. You may not have access to professional export presets for platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter in a free editor.

  • No collaboration tools. Paid editors offer cloud collaboration, review and approval features that free versions lack.

  • Can’t grow with you. If you need more advanced capabilities as your skills progress, free editors may hold you back vs paid options with robust features.

The ideal free editor balances usability for beginners with enough core features for basic projects. But upgrading to paid software is recommended for professional YouTubers and serious video creators.

Video Exporting

When exporting your video from a free editor, you’ll want to pay attention to the video settings like resolution, aspect ratio, and frame rate. These settings determine the quality and playback of your final video.

Resolution – This refers to the pixel dimensions of your video – usually displayed as width x height (e.g. 1920×1080). Higher resolutions like 1080p will have clearer image quality. However, higher resolutions also result in larger file sizes. For YouTube, 1080p or 720p are recommended.

Aspect Ratio – This is the ratio of the video’s width to its height. Common aspect ratios are 16:9 for widescreen and 4:3 for standard. 16:9 is the preferred ratio for YouTube.

Frame Rate – Expressed in frames per second (fps), this determines how smooth the video playback is. 24fps, 25fps, and 30fps are common. YouTube recommends uploading at least 24fps, with 30fps or 60fps for smooth motion.

The optimal export settings will depend on your video content. For YouTube, aim for 1080p or 720p resolution at 16:9 aspect ratio and 30fps frame rate. This will ensure high quality playback while keeping file sizes manageable. Your video editor’s export settings should allow you to adjust these parameters. Pay attention to the video quality and playback after exporting to get the best results. Using the right settings will give you great looking videos for YouTube.

Sharing Videos on Youtube

Sharing your videos on Youtube is a great way to reach a wide audience. With over 2 billion monthly logged-in users, Youtube has become the go-to platform for video sharing. Here are some tips on how to upload and optimize your videos for Youtube:

Uploading Videos

  • Go to and sign into your Google account. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create one first.

  • Click on the video camera icon in the top right corner and select “Upload video”.

  • Choose the video you want to upload from your computer. Youtube supports various video file formats including MP4, AVI, MOV, and MKV.

  • Add a title, description, tags, and any other details to help users find your video.

  • Select the thumbnail you want to represent your video. This will be shown in Youtube search results.

  • Choose the audience and visibility settings. Make your video public to share with everyone.

  • Go through Youtube’s publishing checks. This helps Youtube understand your video content.

  • Click publish! Your video will now be live on Youtube.

Optimizing Videos

Here are some tips on optimizing your videos to improve their performance:

  • Use a catchy title and description: Include keywords that viewers would search for. But make sure they’re conversational.

  • Write good metadata: Include relevant tags and details in description to help with SEO and discovery.

  • Engage viewers early: Start your video strong by teasing or highlighting what’s coming up.

  • Check retention analytics: See if viewers drop off at any point. Consider trimming content or reworking confusing sections.

  • Promote your videos: Share on social channels and with your email list. Use YouTube cards to link to your other videos.

  • Analyze metrics: Monitor views, likes, comments, and other metrics. See what content resonates with your audience.

With a good editing workflow and optimizing your uploads, you can build an audience and boost visibility on Youtube.

Additional Resources

Looking to take your video editing skills to the next level? Here are some great resources:

  • Skillshare – Online video courses on video editing for beginners to advanced users. Covers tools like Premiere Pro, After Effects, DaVinci Resolve, and more.

  • Udemy – A huge selection of affordable video editing courses for all skill levels. Tutorials available for popular tools.

  • Masterclass – Video lessons on filmmaking and video editing taught by industry experts like Ron Howard and Martin Scorsese.

  • CreativeLive – Various creative video editing courses led by professional videographers and editors.

  • Adobe TV – Free tutorials, tips and tricks from Adobe experts on using Premiere Pro and other Adobe editing tools.

  • Video School Online – Video editing courses focused on Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects. Beginner to advanced training.

  • Premium Beat Blog – Tips, tutorials and resources on video editing, motion graphics, visual effects, and more.

  • Envato Tuts+ – Thousands of high quality video editing tutorials for all experience levels. Covers many popular tools.

  • Youtube Channels – A list of Youtube channels with great tutorials on using video editing software and improving editing skills.


What are some of the best free video editors?

Some of the top free video editing software options include DaVinci Resolve, Shotcut, OpenShot, Lightworks, and HitFilm Express. These provide powerful editing tools without needing to pay.

What features do free video editors have?

Free video editors provide features like trimming, splicing, transitions, effects, color correction, animations, text overlay, audio editing, and more. The feature set of free options is quite robust for basic to intermediate editing needs.

Can I export videos with a free editor?

Yes, free video editors allow exporting your edited videos to common formats like MP4, AVI, MOV, and more. You can export in resolutions up to 4K to share online or with others.

Is there a catch to using free video editing software?

The main limitations are that free options may not have technical support or certain advanced features like 360 video editing or multicam editing. But they provide excellent core video editing capabilities.

What computer specs do I need for video editing?

You’ll want at least 8GB RAM, a recent quad-core processor, dedicated graphics card, and an SSD for decent performance. More RAM, a better GPU, and extra processing power will enable working with and rendering high-res footage more smoothly.

Can I edit and export videos for YouTube?

Absolutely. Free video editors provide all the tools needed to edit footage, add effects and text, improve audio, export to MP4 or other file types, and upload to YouTube at resolutions up to 4K.


In summary, free video editors provide a great way to get started editing videos without needing to invest in expensive software. The options covered in this article like Shotcut, OpenShot, and Lightworks offer impressive features like multi-track timelines, effects, and more. They can meet the needs of beginner to intermediate level editors.

Of the free options, OpenShot stands out as a great choice that’s easy to use yet powerful. Its simple drag-and-drop interface makes it very beginner-friendly. Yet it offers advanced capabilities like unlimited tracks, transitions, effects, and more. OpenShot can handle most common video editing tasks with ease.

Shotcut and Lightworks also provide solid free editing tools. Shotcut has a multi-platform open-source system. Lightworks offers pro-level features with some limitations in its free version. Consider your specific needs and skill level when choosing between these quality free options.

For those ready to invest in their editing, premium options like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro provide professional tools for advanced users. But free video editors eliminate the barrier to entry for new editors. They allow anyone to start practicing video editing and creating great content right away.

To recap, free video editors unlock powerful creative possibilities without cost. Tools like OpenShot, Shotcut, and Lightworks make high-quality video editing accessible for all. Give one of these free options a try to start editing your next YouTube video today.

Leave a Comment