If you’re not using video as part of your overall content marketing strategy, you should be. According to a recent study, over 82% of all global internet traffic is projected to come from video streaming and downloads by the year 2022.
But, creating high-quality video content isn’t just about shooting the footage and uploading it to YouTube. There’s a lot of post-production work that goes into creating high-quality, professional videos, and you need the right equipment to edit your videos. That’s where YouTube editing software comes in.
YouTube editing software allows you to edit video content and create sleek, professional videos – regardless of experience. With this software, you will be able to keep your content strategy way ahead of the curve.
I’ve researched many of the top options based on features, price, technical support, and more to bring you the best free and paid software for beginners, pro, Windows, and Mac users.
So, if you’re ready to discover the best editing software to create stunning YouTube videos, let’s get started!
What are the Best YouTube Editing Software tools?
Simple and useful software for all your video editing needs ($0/month).
iMovie is the classic YouTube editor for Mac users. It lets you create stunning, Hollywood-style trailers and 4K-resolution clips easily. This is a great tool for beginners and it makes the entire video editing process simple and easy.
If you are new to things like intros, transitions, filter selections, and more, this is the ideal video editing tool for you.
In addition to having a simple drag and drop feature for titles, audio tracks, and more, iMovie also saves you time when creating ads, presentation materials, and other event video needs. The software also has high-end features, including sound editing and high-quality video templates.
- Studio-Quality Titles: Dozens of beautifully animated credits and titles to choose from.
- High-fidelity Filters: Add a cinematic touch with over 10 creative video filters.
- Extra-Special Effects: It gives you the ability to slow down action shots.
- Simplified Soundtracks: Choose from 80 smart soundtracks to rock your video.
- Green Screen Effects: Make yourself appear anywhere without leaving the room.
Pros of iMovie:
- A highly accessible tool that is easy to use
- Edit from your Android or iPhone
- Massive collection of animated credits and titles
- Clean, welcoming user interface
- Sharing options are simple and straightforward
iMovie is free to use. Simply download and install it on your iOS or Mac device.
What Are People Saying?
- “iMovie is great for people that are not tech-savvy. It's simple to figure out and navigate around. It uses icons to help you know what to click on—for instance, when uploading to YouTube, there is an icon to click for ease of use. It is great for your basic movie editing needs.” – Tamara S.
- “In iMovie, I love that I can add music, captions, and transitions between parts of my video. Editing is quite easy with trimming. You can adjust the volume of each segment to fit your needs. And in the sharing, you have options with the quality of video that you share.” Tara B.
- “If you are just getting started with video editing, this is an easy application to use. It is not as confusing to use as other tools out there. Great if you just need to cut and paste together several clips or include simple transitions.” G2 Verified User.
Get Started With iMovie
An intuitive, feature-packed video editing software for Windows ($79.99)
Corel VideoStudio offers easy video editing using a wide range of fantastic tools. It has a clear interface that makes it easy for beginners to navigate. The software also offers fast rendering, and it supports 360-degree VR, 3D media, and 4K Ultra-HD.
The 2020 update added automatic Highlight Reel feature, extra timeline modes, and color wheels. This tool now boasts a robust range of features to help you produce magnificent videos that look professional and sleek.
- Upgraded Color Grading: New color panel packed with color wheels.
- Blending Modes: Photoshop-like overlays, like screen overlay and multiply.
- Painting Creator: Feature to animate hand-drawn text like you’re writing.
- 4K Monitor Support: Upgraded software now looks much better in high-DPI display.
- Improved Masking Tools: More basic mask shapes in UI.
Pros of Corel VideoStudio:
- A wider selection of video-creation tools
- Simple user-friendly interface
- Superfast rendering
- Multipoint Motion tracking
- HTML5 video page creation
Pricing for this video editing software starts at $79.99 for the Pro and $99.99 for the Ultimate package. You can try out Corel VideoStudio for free by downloading it from their website.
What Are People Saying?
- “What I like the most is it really has the latest technological wave tools to make the best edition, I like that it is easy to use, you can also record almost in any format and with a significant amount of templates for the video menu interface.” – Wilson T.
- “It is an amazing software that helps you to change your photos, images and clips into professional-quality displays, slideshows with amazing background music and great edits.” – Katy P.
- “Is Corel VideoStudio Pro for the Pros? The software is easy to use and supports a large number of file types. The exporting process is really quick.” – Stephen P.
Get Started With Corel Video Studio
The perfect film-editing solution for moviemakers and social media marketers ($299)
Lightworks is a unique tool that offers high levels of customization in areas where other video editing options are static. This software uses free-floating windows to create a workflow to align with your specific editing style.
You can close or open these windows as you wish. Whether for social media or 4K film projects, this tool will give you the freedom you need to customize your video content exactly the way you want it.
- All Operating Systems: Lightworks works with Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
- Great Format Support: Offers the widest native format support of any NLE.
- Dedicated Web Export: Quickly and easily share your movies with family and friends.
- Speed Optimization: Import, render, and export quickly and without delay.
- Multicam Editing: Create a group of synced clips directly from a bin.
Pros of Lightworks:
- Simple, intuitive user interface
- Suitable for all major operating systems
- Timeline editing and trimming is a breeze
- Real-time ready-to-use audio and video FX
- One-click publishing to your YouTube account
Lightworks costs $299. You can test drive the software with a free trial by signing up on their website.
What Are People Saying?
- “I primarily used Lightworks for editing tutorials and gaming videos. One aspect of Lightworks I like a lot, and the reason I recommend it frequently is the free version. ” – KC M.
- “Lightworks was an excellent option to get started in the world of video editing; easy to use, excellent editing tools, cuts of videos, union of videos, sounds, images, compatibility with several video formats.” – Feldriana T.
- “I am a big fan of beginner-friendly creative tools. Lightworks allows me to make short advertisement videos for my freelance business, even though I have no formal education in video edition.” – Lucas M.
Get Started With LightWorks 14
An elegant YouTube editing software for users of all skill levels ($39.99/year)
Filmora 9 from Wondershare is an elegant software that allows you to edit video clips and make them unique even with no technical skills. It has a simple user interface that lets you add audio and special effects easily.
You’ll also be able to create moving titles, add movie filters, and create without limits. With this amazing tool, you have infinite ways to express yourself. If you want a YouTube editing tool that offers endless effects, then Filmora 9 is for you.
- 100 Media Layers: Allows you to craft complex stories quickly and easily.
- Noise Removal: Perfect your sound with background noise removal.
- 4K Support: Create videos with frames as crisp as reality with 4K Support.
- Easy Sharing: Tailor your videos to any online course platform and upload easily.
- User-Friendly Interface: This software is perfect for beginners.
Pros of Filmora 9:
- Filmstock effects store compatibility
- Available for both Mac and Windows
- Supports over 50 formats
- 4K editing support
- Option to burn your project to DVD
Filmora costs $39.99/year. You can download the software to try it out by signing up for a free trial on the website.
What Are People Saying?
- “From the first moment I used Filmora9, I enjoyed it! Simple, practical, easy to use! I highly recommend it!“ Pedro Henrique – Youtuber.
- “We typically do not need to do much actual editing of videos, but we sometimes need to splice videos, overlay audio, and add annotations to the video. Nobody at my organization is an expert at video editing, and we were looking for the easiest software to use.” – Bill Greganti.
- “Overall, Filmora is excellent. It's fairly fast, easy to learn, and offers enough advanced features to keep you content for years.” – Adam A.
Get Started With Filmora 9
The best post-production tool for perfectly edited YouTube videos ($299.99).
Final Cut Pro from Apple is designed to fit all your YouTube video editing needs. It has an intuitive and user-friendly interface which allows users to get professional-looking results even with no prior technical expertise.
This software is also sophisticated enough for advanced video editors, thanks to its massive range of features. It’s a great option for anyone who wants to graduate from iMovie to a more robust video editor.
- Accelerated Performance: Features dramatically accelerated rendering and exporting.
- Optimized for Mac Pro: You can run this software on the world’s fastest Mac.
- Comprehensive Tools: Contains everything you need for editing, from start to finish.
- Multicam: Automatically sync up to 64 video angles with various formats and sizes.
- Noise Reduction: Powerful feature to eliminate or reduce grain and video noise.
Pros of Final Cut Pro X:
- 360-degree video editing
- Advanced features for pro editing
- 4K HDR support
- Motion Graphics templates
- Built-in resources and templates
You can get Final Cut Pro X for $299.99. If you want to try it out before committing, you can sign up for a free trial on the website.
What Are People Saying?
- “Take the time to REALLY understand it and you will love it! I have been an editor/graphic designer for nearly 20 years and work in FCPX eight or more hours a day 5 days a week and it is by far my favorite (and fastest to use) editing app.” – Shaun FCP.
- “I am honestly speechless at the vast amount of improvements made to this software. The developers really have done a fantastic job with this latest version of FCPX.” – Remscape.
- “I am in the media and outreach department of my organization and we use Final Cut Pro X to edit all of the videos we put out on YouTube. I also use Final Cut Pro X to edit a weekly vlog video on my own YouTube channel.” – Seth Paine.
Get Started With Final Cut Pro X
Great video editing software for every skill level across all devices ($51.99/year)
Cyberlink PowerDirector is a flexible software solution with an intuitive interface that is ideal for beginners and advanced video editors alike. With this editing tool, you have the power to create high-quality YouTube videos with a sleek, professional look.
The software comes with a full 360 editing toolkit and offers access to unlimited effects. This is a multi-award-winning editing software packed with over 200 editing tools. If you’re looking for a powerful feature-rich Youtube video editor, this is a great option for you to consider.
- Customizable Vector Shapes: Allows you to add customized shape objects.
- Animated Titles: Ready to use titles with motion graphics elements.
- Title Reveal Mask: You can get as creative as you want with animations on your videos.
- 1-1 Square Video: Lets you to create 1-1 videos great for Facebook and Instagram.
- Advanced Motion Tracking: The software offers 100% accuracy in object tracking.
Pros of Cyberlink PowerDirector:
- Robust stabilization and object tracking
- Lightning-fast rendering
- 360 video stabilization
- Complete format support
- MultiCam Designer feature
Cyberlink Powerhouse has a yearly plan for $51.99. This works out to about $4.33/month. Alternatively, you can get it on a month to month basis for $19.99.
What Are People Saying?
- “I use PowerDirector for all of my editing needs. I have two different YouTube channels and I've found that this program is just as good as their competition (that charges much more).” – Chad Von Dette.
- “First of all this video editing software comes with so many good features that I find very commendable. It suits almost all your editing needs.” – Erica N.
- “I love how you can have it on all devices! I love all the features put in free trial mode, its the best software out there! It’s got all my favorite effects when a picture or a video transitions to the next, such cool effects!” – Jayla A.
Get Started With Cyberlink PowerDirector
The drag and drop video editor that makes editing a breeze ($33/month)
Animoto is a simple to use YouTube video editor that allows you to create and edit videos that will get noticed. From tutorials, slideshows, and promos to marketing videos and more, Animoto can handle all types of editing tasks easily.
No experience is needed to create, edit, and share videos with this software, making it the ideal option for beginners and hobbyists who want a powerful video editor that is simple to use.
- Drag and Drop Interface: Everything on Animoto is extremely easy to use.
- Video Templates: Get tons of beautiful, versatile video templates to choose from.
- Stock Library: You have access to over one million stock photos, music, and videos.
- Great Support: There’s a helpful team on hand to help you get started.
- Free Version: You can get started with Animoto for free.
Pros of Animoto:
- Customize text, aspect ratio, and styles
- One-click voice-over feature
- Pre-built storyboard templates
- 1080p HD downloads
- Instant sharing on social media
You can use Animoto for free, and you get access to all of their standard features. When you upgrade to the Pro plan which costs $33/month, Animoto branding is removed from your videos and you can add your own logo watermark and customize your brand colors.
What Are People Saying?
- “Easy to pick up, edit and create videos and add auto links to social media. YouTube uploading is very good. All in all, this is an excellent product for creating content for social media and networking sites or your own website.” – Matthew Hayward.
- “Fast and easy way to generate dynamic content from assets submitted by non-professionals. Also a great way to quickly generate Social Media specific video content by professionals as well.” – James M.
- “Stunning slideshows in minutes. I use Animoto on a daily basis to produce slideshows for wedding photography clients.” – Paola P.
Get Started With Animoto
The faster way for capturing, editing, and sharing your videos ($49.95).
Pinnacle Studio 23 is a great solution for beginners and pro users who are looking for fast video editing software. This is the latest program from Corel, and a solid option for creating high-quality YouTube videos to make your brand stand out.
The software comes with a range of cool features, including motion tracking, audio ducking, and 360-degree videos. There are three tiers for you to choose from, depending on your level of editing expertise. This means that you won’t have to pay for advanced features if you don’t need them.
- Enhanced Timeline Editing: Edit 4K or HD videos across unlimited tracks.
- Customizable Workspace: Streamline your workspace and set up quick access points.
- Precise Editing: Use the drag and drop feature for full flexibility and precision.
- Enhanced Keyframe Control: Use keyframes to customize all transitions and effects.
- Pro-Caliber Tools: This software comes fully loaded with pro-caliber tools.
Pros of Pinnacle Studio 23:
- Advanced color grading
- Over 1500 effects
- Supports 4K editing
- Amazing audio tools
- Three and four-point editing
Pinnacle Studio 23 has plans starting from $49.95. If you need to unlock more advanced features, you can upgrade to the Studio Plus plan which costs $79.95 or the Studio Ultimate for $99.95.
What Are People Saying?
- “Rendering with pinnacle studio 23 is very fast, which is one of the features that make the software stand out.” – Sarah C.
- “The best thing is that it is very easy to learn to use it since it works with a simple interface and therefore it is excellent to create videos for web, it is also fun to create in this software since you manage to represent highly creative and high-quality video scenarios.” – Yaquelin N.
- The usability of this product is incredible! The expectations of learning and adaptation are small and the results are very strong. Unbelievable web recording… Also, if you need communication quality, some extra items will get this.” – Kayla G.
Get Started With Pinnacle Studio 23
A timeline-based video editing software that is a cut above the rest ($20.99/month).
Adobe Premiere Pro CC has an outstanding reputation as one of the best video editing software solutions on the market right now. It’s one of the standard editing tools used in Hollywood, and it helps video creators transform clips into stunning works of creative art.
Whether you plan to work with 4K video or VR, this is a great tool to use as it can easily handle all formats. It can even deal with 8K and boasts end-to-end VR 180 support, allowing you to publish to YouTube directly. This is undoubtedly one of the best options for anyone who wants to take their video editing to the next level.
- Stock Audio Library: Save tons of time with the vast stock audio library.
- End-to-End VR 180: Create and share stories in VR 180 with immersive features.
- Auto Reframe: Automatic reformatting of videos helps accelerate your workflow.
- Easy Curve Adjustments: Selective color grading is easy and accurate.
- Premiere Rush: The software includes an app to help you work from anywhere.
Pros of Adobe Premiere Pro CC:
- Streamlined interface
- Massive range of formats
- Stellar technical support
- Top-notch tools
- Built for professionals
Adobe Premiere Pro CC offers a free trial so you can test out the software. If you like it, you can get it for $20.99/month.
What Are People Saying?
- “Premiere is an excellent editing tool. What I like is the ease of editing, since it gives you a number of tools, some are a simple drag and use, also the effects that by default cover the needs of editing.” – Jose M.
- “Premiere Pro includes a ton of video transitions, features, and editing options to help keep you from needing to install a multitude of other programs. Features such as blurring/censoring, ultra key/green screen, audio editing, and more!” – Theo A.
- “For me, Premiere Pro incorporates most of the essential features needed by the majority of editors. Premiere Pro supports projects of all sizes. I've cut a number of shorter commercial pieces as well as three feature films with the software.” – Philip R.G.
Get Started With Adobe Premiere Pro CC
The all-in-one video maker, editor, and converter for work and study ($79.95/year).
Movavi Video Suite is geared toward novice editors who want a quick and easy way to edit videos. It’s an affordable program that has some great features all packed in one convenient package. Editors can merge, cut, add transitions, and share their videos easily with the suite of tools available.
There’s also a great screen recording feature that is great for making tutorials. The software has 160 filters, as well as caption support, slow motion, and chroma key. If you are a beginner looking for an all-in-one solution to help you edit professional video content, then this is the tool for you.
- Learning Videos: Keep learning to improve your craft with free educational videos.
- Extra Applications: Choose add-ons depending on your needs and skill level.
- Stock Content: Get tons of copyright-free stock media files and video effects.
- Cloud Storage: Exclusive cloud space to ensure your work is always available.
- DVD Burner: New and enhanced CD, DVD, and Blu Ray burner.
Pros of Movavi Video Suite:
- Extremely easy to use
- Very affordable pricing
- Offers 4K support
- Record TV programs easily
- Wide variety of formats
Movavi plans start from $79.95 for the Video Suite. If you need the photo editor, you can upgrade to the $99.95 plan. The software offers a free trial.
What Are People Saying?
- “Excellent video editing tool. It has helped me with the editing of videos for social networks and much more and it is a tool that from the first day I used it I liked it.” – Hannah S.
- “Overall, my experience has been great. Video Editor for Business is capable of fulfilling all of my video editing needs. I've been using it for a bit over a year and have no complaints or limitations.” – Charlotte N.
- “Best Professional Editing Software For Newbies. I used Movavi when it was new in the market. It was the first video editing software I saw which was much much easier to use and also with a lot of professional tools to edit like a Pro.” – Haram T.
Get Started With Movavi Video Suite
Free video editing software with professional-grade features ($0)
HitFilm Express is a free video editing software for creating high-quality YouTube videos. It comes with a full set of features that make it easy to get the job done regardless of editing experience. There are tools for composite shot enhancements and animations, as well as an adaptive trimmer.
You also have unlimited tracks at your disposal and the mixer is super easy to use. All in all, this is a great package of features considering that you can use the tool for free. When you sign up for HitFilm Express, you also get access to a massive community and tons of great tutorials to get you started.
- Training Mode: Level up your skills with free video lessons.
- Professional-Grade Editor: You get access to professional-grade editing tools.
- Tracks and Transitions: Unlimited tracks and transitions to choose from.
- Vast Online Community: Become part of an international filmmaking community.
- Mac and Windows: The software is available for both Windows and Mac.
Pros of HitFilm Express:
- Expert team of coders
- Tons of free features
- Interface is user-friendly
- Viewer quality options
- Animation tools
You can start using HitFilm Express for free. If you like it and want to unlock more features, you can upgrade to HitFilm Pro for $349. All paid plans offer a considerable number of professional-level tools and come with 12 months of free support and updates.
What Are People Saying?
- “In our opinion, the single best software package for aspiring visual effects artists and filmmakers.” – Freddie Wong.
- This is pretty rad. I always tell people who want to pursue VFX professionally to look into using HitFilm since it can do it all.” – Wren Weichman.
- “They went all out. You could do all your editing, VFX and deliver your final product all in just this one piece of software.” – Ryan Connolly.
Get Started With HitFilm Express
The low-cost video editing software powerhouse for YouTube marketers ($16.67/month).
Vegas Pro 365 will help you start your video journey on the right foot. The low-cost subscription plan is ideal for those who are just getting started and want to get access to a full suite of video editing tools without a high price tag.
Vegas Pro is known for having exclusive features, and you get all of that and more with Vegas Pro 365. In addition to all the standard features, you also get exclusive online training courses to get you up and running in the quickest time possible.
You also get all the latest updates, features, patches, and plugins automatically with your purchase of this video production powerhouse.
- Sound Forge: The tool offers extensive functionalities for video sound optimization.
- Online Training: Take advantage of free lessons to accelerate your learning curve.
- Offline Use: Vegas 365 software can be used offline.
- Nestled Timelines: New feature allows you to nestle your timelines.
- Auto White Balance: With this feature, you can make your videos even more creative.
Pros of Vegas Pro 365:
- Support multi-cam editing
- Latest updates and upgrades
- Complete HDR color support
- Optical-flow slow motion
- Planar motion tracking
You can get Vegas Pro 365 for just $16.67/month. It comes with all the functionalities and features of Vegas Pro, as well as Sound Forge software and exclusive online training.
What Are People Saying?
- “Vegas' timeline has always been very simple-It allows for speedy editing while not detracting from functionality. Other NLEs' timelines feel clunky” – Eliezer C.
- “We use this program for the editing and design of videos for the sites, advertisements or apps that we are commissioned and it has been very good so far.” – Angel G.
- “Sony Vegas is one of those products that only gets better with each function you discover. From magic spells to invisibility cloak to the Infinity Snap, Vegas Pro does it all.” – Freddie M.
Get Started With Vegas Pro 365
What Should You Look For in YouTube Editing Software?
Downloadable vs Online Video Editor
Video editors fall into two major categories: Downloadable and Online video editors.
Downloadable editors are tools that you can download to your computer and all the projects that you’re working on are stored on your hard drive.
With online video editors, you run the program from your browser, and projects are stored on the cloud and easily shareable. They don’t take up much of your hard drive space, but you always need an internet connection to work.
Ability to Change the Aspect Ratio
Video dimensions differ across various social channels. That’s why this is an important feature to have in your video editing software.
Youtube is dominated by horizontal video, vertical video rules Instagram, and square video is still popular across all platforms. You need to have the ability to change formats if you want to optimize your video for all platforms.
Ability to Add Text to Video
Adding text to video is important since a lot of video views on social media happen without the sound being turned on. By adding text, you will be able to increase the time spent viewing your videos.
You need video editing software that allows you to add subtitles to conversations, voice-overs, or talking head videos.
Filters and Overlays
As a general rule, the best visuals have a color theme as well as a recognizable ‘feel’. You need a video editor that will maintain this across many edited scenes. That’s why filters and overlays are a vital feature to have in the tool that you choose.
Stock Videos and Audios
A library of high-quality stock sounds and videos is essential to help you tell better stories without having to spend tons of time searching for the right videos and audios to add.
A selection of royalty-free stock assets will also allow you to save tons of money every year on copyrighted content for your videos.
The final feature to look for in the best video editing software is scene transitions. The transitions between your video scenes should be precise.
You need a tool that will allow you to be as accurate as possible as well as create various effects between scenes, such as fading, swiping, and other effects.
Best YouTube Editing Software for Beginners
Wondershare Filmora takes years off of the learning curve to become a skilled video editor. Even a total beginner can produce professional-looking YouTube videos with this amazing software. It includes features such as efficient color grading and a variety of stunning effects for you to choose from.
If you are new to the world of video editing, this is the software for you. It has big icons, an intuitive user interface, and a drag-and-drop editor that lets you create well-rounded videos quickly and easily.
Best YouTube Editing Software for Windows
Corel VideoStudio is a great editing solution for Windows users. It offers many amazing features, including a multi-track editing option, Lens Correction, and a 3D editing feature. You also get Stop Motion Animation tools that make VideoStudio the best editing software for PC owners.
The tool also allows you to crop and resize your videos, and there’s a split-screen feature that lets you have more than one source in your video. With all these features, it’s no wonder that this software has won awards for being the best in its class.
Best YouTube Editing Software for Mac
If you own a Mac, then Final Cut Pro is the perfect video editing software for you. It has high-end editing capabilities, and it’s frequently used on demanding projects by some of the industry’s leading video editing professionals.
Final Cut Pro offers tools that make light work of editing large amounts of video, audio, and image files. It also supports 4K and 5K video, and there is also a 360-degree editing feature available to you. With this tool, you’ll be able to handle projects of any size or complexity on your Mac.
Best Free YouTube Editing Software
HitFilm Express is a great YouTube editing tool that is free to use. It has a lot of powerful features that enable even beginners to quickly and easily produce professional-grade videos. This user-friendly software is compatible with both Windows and Mac.
Among its many other advanced capabilities, the tool has a litany of high-quality audio tools, precise speed controls, and 3D effects. With HitFilm Express, you’re getting the best tools – some of which are used by top Hollywood editors – for free.
And that brings us to the end of this guide. Now you know the 12 best YouTube editing software options available right now, and how to choose the one that’s right for you.
Here’s a quick recap:
Budget Options: If you’re a beginner or a social media marketer looking for budget options, software like Premiere Elements and VideoStudio will make a fine choice.
Mid-range Options: If you’re a business or a professional looking to start a YouTube channel, then Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro are great options for you to choose – particularly if you already have some editing experience.
High-end Options: Options like LightWorks 14 are great for those looking for the best solution used by pros to edit vast amounts of video footage.