Using a free video editor for Windows is a great way to professionally edit your videos. Most video editors, despite being free, come with a remarkable range of features. You can cut out parts of the video, add or extract audio, merge video files together, add subtitles, and even include animations.
Windows supports a large number of video editors which allow users to choose one according to their requirements and long term needs. In this article, we’ll cover all the top free video editors for Windows.
What to look for in a free video editor for Windows?
The first and most important thing you should look for is how the software defines the term ‘free.’ There are some softwares that are genuinely free, while others are freemium with only limited features available for free and you have to pay more to get access to the more advanced features.
There are also some tools that claim to be free, but when you finally try to export them, they might put a huge watermark on your video or limit the available output formats until you pay for the software.
While selecting a video editor for Windows, you should consider the following factors:
Main features: Compare all the editors and choose the one which offers the best combination of features. The video editor that you choose should at the very least have some basic features like timeline, library, video cutting and cropping, and access to effects and transitions.
System requirements: Look for the minimum system requirements needed by the video editor to ensure your machine is powerful enough to run it efficiently without any lag. Most video editors that have to be installed on Windows require an integrated graphics card.
Export options: You don’t want to spend hours editing a video only to realize that the video editor for Windows you are using cannot export the video in your desired format. That is why before you start using a free video editor make sure to check all the export options available depending on your requirements.
Support and documentation: The biggest difference between free and paid software is the level of technical support and documentation. While almost all paid software will offer explicit and detailed documentation and diligent support, a lot of free software leaves you on your own.
While selecting a free video editor for Windows, look for the available documentation and the assistance the tool provides for its users. Even if there is no dedicated support, there might be an active online community where users discuss their issues and help each other out.
Some of the common FAQs most Windows users have, include:
Does Windows 10 have a free video editor?
Yes, Windows has a free video editor. Microsoft offers a default video editing software for Windows called the Windows Movie Maker which is supported by all the latest Windows versions including Windows 10, 8, and 7.
Is Windows Movie Maker free?
Yes, the Windows Movie Maker was a free software available to all the users with a licensed Windows.
What replaced Windows Movie Maker?
The Windows Movie Maker which has since been discontinued and replaced by the Windows Photo App. The new Photo app lets you edit both photos and videos, though there are only a limited number of features available.
Here are the top free video editors for Windows:
InVideo is a free cloud-based video editing platform that lets you create and edit videos in just a few clicks. It has an easy drag and drop interface which is easy enough for beginners, and yet it has all the advanced features required by professionals. To make the video editing process even easier, InVideo also has thousands of video templates that you can use.
What makes InVideo the most powerful video editing tool is its automated options that allow you to quickly create videos any way that you want.
InVideo also has thousands of pre-made templates that you can use to quickly create videos. None of the other video editors on the list offer templates.
You can edit templates by changing videos, audio, text, color, and even animations.
Since InVideo is a cloud-based tool, all the changes get automatically saved and you can download your video files whenever you are done editing. InVideo is considered as the best upcoming video editing software as gauged by Kritti’s story.
OpenShot is an open-source video editing software with an active user forum where people discuss their issues and make suggestions. The tool offers features like curve based keyframe animations, easy drag and drop, unlimited layers and tracks, and 3D animations. You can also scale, resize, snap, or rotate video files. While editing your video, it’s possible to add time mapping, frame stepping, credit rolling, real-time previews, and audio mixing.
Although, downloading and setting up Openshot takes a long time and it may even lag occasionally depending on your system’s configurations. OpenShot is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
VideoPad is another free editing software available for Windows and Mac both. But it’s important to note that it is only free for non-commercial use. The simple interface of Videopad makes it perfect for beginners. The tool offers video effects, animations transitions, text and caption overlay, built-in sound effects, video stabilization, and color control.
You can also change the speed of the video clip, reverse the entire video, import sound files, burn DVDs, and export videos in a number of formats including 4K and 2K.
VideoPad’s free version lacks some advanced features like motion tracking and multi-cam editing. There is also no quick slideshow maker and you might face some lag. You can only get access to these features through the paid version.
VSDC is a free video editing software for Windows which comes packed with numerous advanced features, but that also makes the tool confusing and overwhelming for beginners. The software does allow you to perform basic video editing, but if you are not familiar with the tool, then it would be too much of a hassle just to crop or merge a few videos.
The software offers numerous built-in effects, video transitions, and audio filters as well. You can record screen video and edit it through the tool. Though the free version does not offer features like motion tracking, 360-degree video, or multi-cam editing.
It is possible to add text, charts, images, subtitles, or audio to the video. More importantly, VSDC can export videos in multiple file formats.
DaVinci Resolve is a feature-rich video software more suitable for professionals because it has a comparatively longer learning curve mainly because of its unique and unusual interface. The tool offers a wide range of features for editing including video effects, motion graphics, audio production, and color correction. But the biggest issue with DaVinci Resolve is that it doesn’t separately list the free and paid features–both look exactly the same. Except when you try to use a paid feature, you will get an error and an ad to buy the software which can be rather annoying for users.
A free and open-source video editor for Windows, Shotcut supports a wide number of video formats and it also has numerous video and audio effect options. While it does have a flexible interface, the different editing options can be difficult to find, especially for new users to edit videos on Shotcut. In fact, Shotcut’s interface is very similar to Adobe’s Premiere Pro. The tool definitely has more features than most free video editors, but it isn’t suitable for beginners trying video editing for the first time.
Why cloud-based online video editors like InVideo are better?
While all the video editors we discussed above are free and compatible with Windows, their biggest drawback is that they are offline editors. All the videos that you edit through those tools will only be available on your local machine. If your laptop gets broken, or worse, stolen, then you might never be able to recover your files. More importantly, you won’t be able to edit or access your edited files through other devices.
Here are some of the many benefits of using online video editor:
Machine independent: Desktop video applications often have high system requirements which can cause a lag while editing or worse, they might not be suitable with your system at all. Cloud applications run every time on every device and they don’t have any minimum system requirements.
No initial setup: There is no installation required for cloud applications. You can just upload your video files and get started right away.
Easy collaboration: With cloud video editing tools, you don’t have to send files to your team members again and again just to get their feedback. You can directly collaborate in real-time by sending links or invites to your team members and finish your video editing projects even more quickly.
Quicker access to upgrades: With desktop applications, you don’t automatically get access to new features launched by the company. You have to manually upgrade the software every time there is a new feature of version launched which can be excessively time-consuming
We live in an increasingly digital world where we are constantly switching between devices, and we need access to important files no matter where we are or what device we are using. Using desktop-based local applications makes no sense in this case. Take InVideo on a test drive to see how it can transform your video editing.