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15 Best Free YouTube Video Editors for Beginners

Last Updated on Nov. 25, 2022 – by David Morgan
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Free YouTube Video Editors for Beginners

There are so many things you need to know to become a success on YouTube. Like understanding the complex YouTube algorithm, knowing how to create eye-catching thumbnails, how to get the best audio and visuals, and understanding music licensing rules. All of this doesn’t even include coming up with amazing content your viewers will actually want to watch. 

By the time it comes to choosing a YouTube video editor, you might just skip the research and go for the most expensive, assuming it will be the best. 

We’ve done all the research and found the best beginner-friendly and free YouTube video editors because choosing the right editing software should not be an afterthought. The tools you choose can mean the difference between becoming a YouTube success or having a major headache. 

If you’re just getting started, don’t pay too much for an overly-complicated program that will add hours to your editing time. We’ve found plenty of free options so beginners can test out what works best without emptying their wallets. 

So let’s dive right in!


Snapshot of Our Top 3 Free YouTube Video Editors

PhotoDirector Logo

1. PowerDirector 365 - Best Overall

PowerDirector is the best all-in-one free YouTube video editor. It comes filled with advanced tools and features for every skill level, it is easy to learn, and it will have your YouTube videos ready to go in minutes. Detailed Review >

Free Download
Secure Download
Download from the App Store for iOS and Android.
Premiere Elements Logo

2. Kapwing - Best for Subtitles

Kapwing is a web-based YouTube video editor with an easy-to-use layout and professional-level tools.

OpenShot Logo

3. OpenShot - Best Lightweight YouTube Video Editor

Openshot is a lightweight and open-source free YouTube video editor with an uncluttered user interface and unlimited editing tracks.

How to Pick the Best Free YouTube Video Editor

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a YouTube video editor. Fortunately, they come in all shapes and sizes, price ranges, and skill levels. For every software you consider, make sure these three things line up:

Budget

There’s a YouTube video editor in every price range from free to expensive. Decide how much you are willing to spend and don’t even consider software outside of your budget.

Skill Level

Video editing software can cover a vast range of skill levels from Hollywood pro to first-time editor. Make sure you check user reviews to make sure any editor you get will be appropriate for your skill set.

Compatibility

This might seem obvious, but make sure your YouTube video editor will work on your device. Some are Mac-only, Windows-only, or only work on newer models. If you have any other devices such as a webcam, screen recorder, gaming console, camera, or microphone - make sure your editing software will be compatible.

Here are some features you may need in a YouTube video editor:

Screen Recorder

If you are a gamer or provide online tutorials for your YouTube channel, you will need a screen recorder. These vary from simply recording what’s on your computer screen, to webcam capture, live streaming, and background replacement functions. 

To learn more about the best screen recorders for YouTube, click here

Overlay

No matter what kind of YouTube video creator you are, you will need a video overlay tool. Overlay includes adding your logo, “like” and “subscribe” buttons, and any stickers or emojis you want to add just for fun. 

Music Stock Library

YouTube is strict about music licensing laws. If you create a video for YouTube with copyrighted music, it will be taken down. Find a YouTube video editor with a royalty-free stock music library so you can post videos worry-free. Even better if there is a sound effects library as well. 

YouTube Templates

Having pre-determined YouTube aspect ratios and templates specifically for YouTube intros and outros will save tons of editing time. 

15 Best Free YouTube Video Editors for Beginners

1. PowerDirector 365- Best Overall

PowerDirector Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

PCMag Rating: 5/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 5/5

Price: Free
*Premium subscription available for $4.08/month

Key Features:

  • YouTube intro templates/overlays
  • Green screen/chroma key
  • Animated titles
  • Transitions

Who It’s For

PowerDirector 365 is a free YouTube video editor that is easy to use and a favorite amongst YouTubers from beginners to pros. It includes advanced features like multi-cam editing, keyframing, animated titles, motion tracking, and 360-degree editing. 

PowerDirector streamlines the process of editing videos for YouTube and makes even the most complicated editing seem effortless. With pre-made templates and AI-powered tools to automate time-consuming edits, you can have your video posted quickly. There’s even a Magic Movie Wizard that uses intelligent recognition technology to combine your photos and clips into premade templates. 

Why We Picked It 

Use this YouTube video editor to change the backdrop of your video with green screen tools and a library of backgrounds. Add overlays or apply a retro filter. Then add music and sound effects from the large royalty-free stock library. Use Smart Fit to match the length of your video for YouTube with your music and clean up audio recorded outdoors with wind removal and noise reduction. The possibilities with this YouTube video editor are endless.   

Bottom Line

Quickly edit a video for YouTube and upload it to any platform or device using the pre-selected aspect ratios for YouTube and other social media sites. PowerDirector has the fastest rendering times of all the YouTube video editors on this list, so no matter how many cool effects you put on your video, you’ll be getting likes in no time at all. 

Pros
  • No learning curve
  • User-friendly interface
  • Fastest rendering speeds
  • Lots of advanced features
Cons
  • Screen recording currently only available on Windows version

PowerDirector offers a lot of professional tools at a great value and a low learning curve. Download for free by clicking the link below.

Free Download
Secure Download
Download from the App Store for iOS and Android.

PowerDirector App

The best full-featured video editor

2. Kapwing - Best for Subtitles

Kapwing Interface

Compatibility: Web Browser

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4.5/5

Price: Free
*Premium subscription available for $16/month

Key Features:

  • Speed adjustment
  • Remove background
  • Meme generator
  • Color adjustment

Who It’s For

Kapwing is a browser-based and free way to edit a video for YouTube.We think it’s a great choice for adding subtitles to videos because Kapwing has accurate, auto-generated subtitles which save tons of time. It can also be used by those in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community to understand any videos that did not already include subtitles. You can simply copy and paste the URL into Kapwing and AI-powered subtitles will appear. 

Why We Picked It 

If you are editing videos for YouTube with Kapwing, you can add text, images, filters, and audio. There’s a Smart Cut tool that will automatically cut silences from your video for YouTube, and tons of YouTube templates. This YouTube video editor also has an auto-translation tool and text-to-speech. 

Bottom Line

Kapwing has a simplistic, easy-to-use layout and lots of tools a beginner can use while editing videos for YouTube. The free version of this YouTube video editor allows access to all tools, but has export and file size limits. The problem with Kapwing is that if beginners get comfortable using the free version, it is extremely expensive to move up to the Pro version. If you want to try free software that will grow with you and stay affordable, try PowerDirector.  

Pros
  • Auto-generated subtitles and translator
  • Themed YouTube templates
Cons
  • Expensive monthly fee for Pro version
  • Frequent glitches and lags

3. OpenShot - Best Lightweight Video Editor for YouTube

Openshot Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

G2 Rating: 4.4/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4.5/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Bezier curves
  • Scaling and snapping
  • 40+ vector title templates
  • Audio waveforms

Who It’s For

OpenShot is an open-source, free YouTube video editor. It is a slimmed-down program, especially compared with the other software on our list, but that also means it takes up very little space on your computer and is a simple option for beginners. We found it to be an excellent choice for learning the ropes of video editing in a non-intimidating package. 

Why We Picked It 

OpenShot has more advanced features than you’d expect from a free YouTube video editor. The program has a range of color adjustment tools, a background remover, keyframe animations, and over 400 preset effects. It also offers unlimited editing tracks.    

Bottom Line

The layout is uncluttered and user-friendly. However, we found that by maintaining a clean interface, they have hidden a lot of features. Most people editing videos for YouTube won’t even know the depths of OpenShot’s feature set since they won’t be able to find the tools. This free YouTube video editor also has a history of bugs, something we witnessed in our test.   

Pros
  • Entirely free with no watermark
  • Lightweight on computer resources
Cons
  • Freezing, lagging, and sudden crashes
  • Slow importing, exporting, and rendering

4. Magix Movie Studio - Best for Simple Edits

Magix Movie Studio Interface

Image from Techradar.

Compatibility: Windows

TechRadar Rating: 4/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4.5/5

Price: 30-day free trial, then $69.99 for Movie Studio, $99.99 for Platinum, and $129 for Suite. Annual subscriptions are also available for $2.99/month, $3.99/month, or $4.99/month

Key Features:

  • Split-screen
  • Speed adjustment tools
  • Image stabilization
  • Layer masks

Who It’s For

Magix Movie Studio is a free YouTube video editor that is best for beginners to make quick and simple edits. Storyboard Mode helps to organize the editing process before you even start, simplifying workflow (frame-by-frame editing is available for more advanced editors). Movie Studio has a one-of-a-kind multi-format timeline where you can easily arrange video, audio, and media files on each track. 

Why We Picked It 

Magix offers plenty of one-click solutions such as Remove Beginning and Split Movie so that even brand-new editors can edit a video for YouTube. Other tools include over 900 effects, transitions, and titles. Direct upload to YouTube and fast rendering speeds mean you can edit a video for YouTube and post it in minutes. 

Bottom Line

Like our top choice, PowerDirector, this free YouTube video editor offers tools you can apply automatically or manually, for any level of expertise. However, Magix Movie Studio doesn’t have a dedicated free version, just a 30-day free trial. 

Pros
  • Tools for beginners and pros
  • Fast rendering
Cons
  • Stock library, templates, and editing wizard only in Premium & Suite versions
  • Only a free trial

5. WeVideo - Best for Templates

WeVideo Interface

Compatibility: Web Browser

G2 Rating: 4.4/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4/5

Price: Free
*Premium subscriptions available for $4.99/month for Power, $7.99/month for Unlimited, $19.99/month for Professional, and $36.99/month for Business

Key Features:

  • Add music
  • Trim, split, merge and flip video
  • Green screen
  • Meme maker

Who It’s For

WeVideo is a web-based free YouTube video editor for beginners and YouTubers who prefer automatic video creation. It comes with tons of YouTube templates, such as How-To Makeup, How-To Recipe, Livestream Coming Soon, Influencer, Vlogger, and Unboxing. There are also templates for YouTube intros and Outros. 

Why We Picked It 

You can add animated titles to your video for YouTube with WeVideo’s easy-to-use text templates. Beginners can edit a video for YouTube easily with 30 effects that are applied with one click. There are also 50 transitions, a voice-over recorder, and a screen recorder included with this free YouTube video editor.  

Bottom Line

WeVideo has a free version, but it is unrealistic for anyone hoping to become a successful YouTuber, as it only allows 5 minutes of exported content a month and the max resolution is 480p. This YouTube video editor offers several different tiers at varying price points, however, they’ve saved features that you need when editing videos for YouTube (such as recording your screen and webcam simultaneously, branding, or direct upload to YouTube) for their expensive Professional plan. 

Pros
  • Good format support
  • Top-notch customer service
Cons
  • Free version doesn’t work for YouTube video creators
  • Long import wait times

6. VideoPad - Best for Metadata

VideoPad Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

G2 Rating: 4.1/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4/5

Price: Free
*Premium versions available for $70 for Home Edition and $129 for Master’s Edition

Key Features:

  • Video Maker Wizard
  • Drag and drop editing
  • Sound effects library
  • 3D and 360-degree editing

Who It’s For

VideoPad is an easy-to-use, free YouTube video editor for beginners that helps you optimize your videos for search engines. With VideoPad, you can metadata to your video for YouTube, such as the title, tags, and description— without using YouTube’s publishing tools. It also offers direct uploads to YouTube. 

Why We Picked It 

You can edit a video for YouTube with voiceover, transitions, and visual effects. This free YouTube video editor has professional templates including intros and outros, and custom logos. There’s also video stabilization for editing videos for YouTube that were shot on a smartphone or action camera. 

Bottom Line

VideoPad is really intended for home videos or social media posts. Beginners who are serious about being YouTubers would need to buy one of the premium versions or try a different free YouTube video editor pretty quickly. Also, the Windows version has a lot more features than the Mac counterpart, so Mac users should give iMovie or PowerDirector a try first. 

Pros
  • Good social media output options
  • Easy drag-and-drop templates
Cons
  • Free version is for non-commercial use only
  • Have to pay for advanced features

7. VideoProc Vlogger - Best for Action Cam Footage

VideoProc Vlogger Interface

Image from Capterra.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

KommandoTech Rating: 4/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Time-Lapse tool
  • Audio extractor
  • Split-Screen
  • Automatic keyframes

Who It’s For

VideoProc Vlogger is the best software if you shot a video for YouTube with an action camera or drone. It will remove lens aberrations such as fish-eye that can happen when using these types of cameras, and offers noise/grain removal for videos shot outside in poor lighting. It also has video stabilization, a necessity for any action footage. 

Why We Picked It 

This free YouTube video editor is easy-to-use, with advanced motion and speed adjustment tools. It includes 20 speed presets and cinematic camera movements like dolly, tilt, and roll. Pan and zoom over still images to create a Ken Burns effect, and use color LUTs to change the look of your video for YouTube. 

Bottom Line

This YouTube video editor is perfect for vloggers who record on the go. It also has great customer service and user supports. However, VideoProc Vlogger lacks many basic editing tools, so if you aren’t editing videos for YouTube with lots of action or travel, try a different YouTube video editor from our list. 

Pros
  • Low system requirements
  • Completely free with no ads or watermark
Cons
  • Slow rendering
  • Lacks some general editing tools

8. Movavi Video Suite - Best Screen Recorder

Movavi Video Suite Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

TechRadar Rating: 3.5/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4.5/5

Price: 7-day free trial, then $152.85/year

Key Features:

  • Overlays
  • Unlimited video tracks
  • Motion tracking
  • Picture-in-Picture

Who It’s For

Movavi Video Suite is a great free YouTube video editor for how-to and instructional videos because of its screen recording capabilities. The screen recorder includes manual control over the capture area and allows you to capture webinars, record instructions/tutorials, or capture streaming videos and online events. 

Why We Picked It 

It has a quick-movie creation tool similar to iMovie and PowerDirector that will turn your photos and videos into a slideshow set to music. Create a quality video for YouTube with features such as chroma key, color adjustment, pan/zoom, crop/rotate, and video stabilization. Plus video effects like blur, vignette, and slow-mo. 

Bottom Line

Movavi has a user-friendly interface and low learning curve, plus it comes packed with features, yet doesn’t require a lot of storage. However, seasoned editors won’t like that they don’t have much control over effects, nor will they like the glacially slow rendering times. If speed and control are features you need for editing videos for YouTube, we recommend PowerDirector, Lightworks, and Magix Movie Studio. Also, it lacks a free version and instead offers a quick free trial. This is why we placed it below the entirely-free VideoProc Vlogger on our list.

Pros
  • User-Friendly interface
  • Low learning curve
Cons
  • Slow rendering speeds
  • Doesn’t offer precision control over effects

9. Animoto - Best for Daily Vloggers

Animoto Interface

Compatibility: Web Browser

Capterra Rating: 4.3/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 3.5/5

Price: Free
*Premium subscriptions available for $8/month for Basic, $15/month for Professional, and $39/month for Professional Plus

Key Features:

  • Screen recording
  • Text effects
  • Trim/Crop
  • Voice-Over

Who It’s For

Animoto is a cloud-based free YouTube video editor for busy creators trying to churn out content quickly, such as daily vloggers. It has hundreds of YouTube-Friendly video templates you can easily customize with your own video clips, or use one from the stock library. 

Why We Picked It 

Influencers with little design experience or creative know-how can create a professional-looking video for YouTube in minutes. Use an interesting text effect or choose from over 40 professional fonts to put the finishing touches on your video projects with this YouTube video editor. 

Bottom Line

Animoto is best for YouTubers who need a quick fix and don’t mind forgoing creative control. Most of the online reviews complained about the lack of creativity involved in using this program, something we found in our test as well. But if you are under pressure to post vlogs and other social media posts every day, this could be the choice for you. 

Pros
  • Fast/easy video creation
  • Stock music available in free version
Cons
  • Does not allow creative freedom
  • Very difficult to cancel subscription
  • Poor customer service

10. Shotcut - Best Format Support

Shotcut Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

G2 Rating: 4.2/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 3.5/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Blending modes
  • Color correction and grading
  • Audio filters
  • Keyframing

Who It’s For

Shotcut is an open-source, cross-platform, free YouTube video editor. It is a good choice for YouTubers who need a range of format options because Shotcut supports hundreds of audio and video formats with no import required. This video editor for YouTube also has a wide selection of device and transport options, including webcam capture.

Why We Picked It 

Create a video for YouTube with video and audio filters, transitions, over 40,000 instant templates, and unlimited undo and redo options. There’s also batch encoding for creators editing multiple videos in one go. The interface is not as clean and user-friendly as other free YouTube video editors, but it is very customizable. 

Bottom Line

Shotcut is similar to Lightworks in that it is a good way for beginners to learn complex video editing without any monetary commitment, but does have a bit of a learning curve. If you are looking for an open-source video editor for YouTube that is more beginner-friendly, try OpenShot. 

Pros
  • Updated regularly by Shotcut community
  • Advanced features for no charge
Cons
  • No social media-friendly output options
  • Slight learning curve

11. Premiere Elements - Best for Organizing Media

Premiere Elements Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

PCMag Rating: 3.5/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4/5

Price: 30-day free trial, then $99.99

Key Features:

  • AI technology
  • Time-Lapse
  • Double exposure
  • Freeze frame

Who It’s For

Premiere Elements is a consumer-targeted, pared-down version of Adobe Premiere Pro, making it a great free YouTube video editor for YouTubers just starting out. Premiere Elements comes with organizational tools like Auto Curate and Smart Tags, which automatically tag video files by date, subject, people, places, and events. 

Why We Picked It 

Although it lacks some more advanced features, this program has all the tools you need to create a video for YouTube, including keyframing, multi-track editing, transitions, and titles. There are also YouTube aspect ratios to choose from right on the starting page and an output option that allows you to compress large files before uploading.

Bottom Line

Premiere Elements is missing some pro-level tools like 360-degree editing, multi-cam editing, and screen recording, but the slimmed-down offerings make it an easier choice for novices. However, we found this free YouTube video editor had very slow rendering times and output speed. PowerDirector, by contrast, has the fastest rendering times in the business. 

Pros
  • Simple interface
  • Lots of guided edits and tutorials
Cons
  • Lacks advanced features
  • Slow rendering speeds

12. iMovie - Best for Instant Movies

iMovie Interface

Image from gsmarena.

Compatibility: Mac

G2 Rating: 4.3/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 3/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Speed adjustment
  • Cinematic mode
  • Split-screen
  • Picture-in-Picture

Who It’s For

iMovie is Apple’s free YouTube video editor for beginners. It is free to Mac users and comes included with every macOS, making it an accessible and quick choice for anyone starting out. It also makes editing videos for YouTube a fast and easy process with Storyboards - premade video templates that guide you through the movie-making process. There’s also Magic Movie, which instantly creates an edited video complete with transitions, titles, and music in just a few clicks.  You can even make movie trailers and credits sequences in no time at all with ready-made templates. 

Why We Picked It 

Because this free YouTube video editor comes with your Mac, it’s easy to share videos across devices like your iPad or iPhone. Easily upload your video to YouTube in a few simple steps. iMovie has a good amount of movie-making tools and effects like green screen, filters, and Smart Soundtrack that automatically adjusts the length of your music to your video for YouTube. 

Bottom Line

Even though iMovie is built for beginners, the interface is not as easy-to-learn as you might expect. It is also updated very infrequently, so the software lags behind others of its kind. If trending tools and new features are something you crave, try PowerDirector, which is updated frequently.

Pros
  • Lots of automatic movie-making functions
  • Share videos across Apple devices
Cons
  • Complex interface
  • Limited video tracks

13. Lightworks - Best for Transitions

Lightworks Free Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Capterra Rating: 4.3

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 3/5

Price: Free
*Premium subscriptions available for $9.99/month for Create and $23.99/month for Pro

Key Features:

  • Simple and advanced trimming
  • Filters and LUTs
  • Motion graphics
  • Auto-save function

Who It’s For

We like this free YouTube video editor best for beginners who are serious about learning video editing. For 30 years Lightworks has been used to edit Oscar-winning films such as Braveheart and Pulp Fiction. The free version of the Hollywood classic is pared-down, and a better fit for editing YouTube videos. We think it is one of the top YouTube video editors because of its 100s of creative transitions, including all the advanced transitions found in the Pro version.

Why We Picked It 

YouTube video editors will find the free version of Lightworks includes some excellent tools for editing videos for YouTube, such as YouTube presets, access to the stock music library, voice-over, and professional editing features such as trim-slip, ripple, roll, slide, insert, replace, and backfill. Best of all, this free YouTube video editor has background processing, so you can save time by importing, exporting, and rendering complex effects while you work. 

Bottom Line

Although Lightworks intended this to be a beginner-friendly version of their complicated software, in our test we found it still had a learning curve. That’s why we think this is a great free YouTube video editor for beginners with dreams of becoming professional video editors. It’s also why we placed it behind iMovie on our list of YouTube video editors for beginners. If you are willing to put in the time to learn, you could become proficient at industry-leading editing software without paying a dime. However, if you want a free YouTube video editor with advanced features that you can use on your first try, we recommend PowerDirector. 

Pros
  • Most features offer a simple and advanced setting
  • Good performance
Cons
  • Bit of a learning curve for beginner software
  • Only exports up to 720p

14. Avid Media Composer First - Best for Budding Professionals

Avid Media Composer First Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

G2 Rating: 4.1/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 3/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Frame flex
  • Time code tool
  • Bulk edit
  • Audio ducking

Who It’s For

Lightworks and Avid Media Composer First could duke it out for the title of Best for Budding Professionals because both are free versions of professional editing software used in Hollywood. But because Avid is more well-known and the industry standard for video editing, we thought it fit this free YouTube video editor best. Budding professionals now have a chance to learn Avid in a much cheaper and easier-to-use package. 

Why We Picked It 

Although it is a scaled-down version, this free YouTube video editor contains many pro-level tools you would come to expect from the Avid brand. Edit a video for YouTube on up to 4 video and 8 audio tracks. Use video stabilization, advanced color tools, 4-way multi-cam editing, audio punch-in, and more to give a professional quality to your first YouTube videos. 

Bottom Line

While Avid Media Composer First is easier to use than Avid Media Composer, it’s not exactly “beginner-friendly.” So if you aren’t looking to learn Avid and need a free YouTube video editor that a novice can use, try VideoPad or our top choice PowerDirector.  

Pros
  • Offers a lot of pro features
  • Publish directly to YouTube
Cons
  • Limited to 1080p export
  • Extremely steep learning curve

15. Windows Video Editor - Best for Windows Photos Users

Windows Video Editor Interface

Compatibility: Windows

TechRadar Rating: 2/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 2.5/5

Price: Free

Key Features:

  • Customizable titles and credits
  • Draw feature
  • Split/Trim clips
  • 3D effects

Who It’s For

Windows Video Editor (which replaced Windows Movie Maker) is an easy-to-use free YouTube video editor included with Windows 10 and up. It is found inside the Windows Photo App and is a good choice for users who are already using this software to edit and organize their photos. 

Why We Picked It 

Beginners looking for a YouTube video editor will like the Auto Movie option, allowing you to quickly edit a video for YouTube in no time at all. It comes with all the basic editing tools you need to edit a video for YouTube, such as filters, themes, transitions, music, and text. 

Bottom Line

If you use Windows Photos to store photos and videos, Windows Video Editor is a quick and easy choice for putting together fun video projects from your personal videos. However, the software is too basic to grow with you as your YouTube career progresses. 

Pros
  • Comes free on Windows 10 and later devices
  • Offers a user-friendly interface
Cons
  • Limited features
  • Crashes often

Best Free YouTube Video Editors Comparison Chart

Software OS YouTube Templates Upload Directly to YouTube Motion Tracking MultiCam Editing
PowerDirector 365 Windows, Mac Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kapwing Web Browser Yes Yes - on Pro and Business Versions only No No
OpenShot Windows, Mac, Linux No No No No
Magix Movie Studio Windows Yes Yes Yes Yes
WeVideo Web Browser Yes Yes No No
VideoPad Windows, Mac Yes Yes No No
VideoProc Vlogger Windows, Mac No No No No
Movavi Video Suite Windows, Mac Yes Yes Yes No
Animoto Web Browser Yes Yes No No
Shotcut Windows, Mac, Linux No No No No
Premiere Elements Windows, Mac No Yes Yes No
iMovie Mac No No No No
Lightworks Windows, Mac, Linux No Yes Yes Yes
Avid Media Composer Windows, Mac No Yes Yes Yes
Windows Video Editor Windows No No No No

PowerDirector 365 vs

OS

Windows, Mac

-

YouTube Templates

Yes

-

Upload Directly to YouTube

Yes

-

Motion Tracking

Yes

-

MultiCam Editing

Yes

-

How to Edit a Video for YouTube

Now we are going to show you how to start editing videos for YouTube with PC Mag Editor’s Choice for best video editing software, PowerDirector. To get the most out of this section download it for free by clicking the link below, then follow along.

Free Download
Secure Download
Download from the App Store for iOS and Android.

PowerDirector App

The best full-featured video editor

How to Split and Trim Clips

  1. Select Import Media Folder and choose the folder on your desktop that contains your media files. Click Select Folder.
  2. PowerDirector Interface - Import
  3. Once you have your media files in the media library, you can begin putting your video together by adding your photos and videos to the video timeline. Add the media clips in the order you want to tell your story. To add a video file to the video timeline, select it in the Media Library and then drag it to the video timeline.
  4. Split and trim clips using the Video Timeline Slider. Move the slider where you want to split the clip and click the Double Arrow button.
  5. PowerDirector Interface - Trim Video

For a more in-depth look at splitting and trimming clips, click here.

How to Add Transitions

  1. Add your video to the timeline.
  2. Go to the Transition Room then click and drag a transition between 2 clips.
  3. PowerDirector Interface -Transitions

For more information on adding transitions, click here.

How to Add Titles

  1. Add your video to the timeline.
  2. Click on the Title Room, then click and drag a title text template to the Title Track on the video timeline.
  3. PowerDirector Interface - Text
  4. Click the Designer button then enter the text you want to use.

Click here for a more in-depth look at adding text and titles to your video.

How to Add Music

  1. Add your video to the timeline.
  2. Go to the Media Library Window and select Media Content, then Background Music. Choose the music you want and drag it to the audio track on the editing timeline.
  3. PowerDirector Interface - Subtitles

Check out a tutorial on adding and editing music here.

How to Upload Your Video to YouTube

  1. Click Produce to export your video, then click the Online tab.
  2. PowerDirector Interface - Produce, Online
  3. Select the YouTube option and enter the video title, description, and other information. Click Start to upload.

Download the Best YouTube Video Editor for Free

Finding a studio-quality YouTube video editor at a reasonable price involves a lot of trial and error. That’s why we brought you the best free software for editing videos for YouTube. 

PowerDirector 365 has all the features you need to edit a video for YouTube, like title templates, transitions, animated overlays, video speed adjustment, a video stabilizer, special effects, and so much more. 

Edit a video for YouTube with a large royalty-free library of background music, sound effects, photos, and videos, as well as fun audio effects like a voice-changer. You can change the background or remove unwanted objects from your shot and upload your video directly to YouTube. 

PowerDirector also has tools and features for any kind of video, from feature films to TikTok. Splice scenes, rotate, flip, trim, and crop videos, and control brightness, color, and saturation with precision. PowerDirector has tons of effects like glitch, mirror, and emboss. It is a great choice for beginners with a user-friendly interface and low learning curve. 

Click the link below to download PowerDirector 365 for free and get your YouTube channel up and running today.

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Free YouTube Video Editor FAQ

1. What Features Should I Look for in a Free YouTube Video Editor?

The top ten features you need when editing videos for YouTube are

  1. Titles
  2. Royalty-Free music stock library 
  3. Transitions
  4. Split/Trim/Crop features
  5. Animated stickers/overlays/text
  6. YouTube templates
  7. Beginner-Friendly
  8. Background replacement
  9. Object removal
  10. Filters

If you’re looking for a free YouTube video editor that checks all of these boxes, we recommend PowerDirector 365.

2. What Software Do YouTubers Use to Edit Videos?

Content creators trust PowerDirector 365 when editing videos for YouTube because they can create high-quality, professional-level, unique videos quickly, easily, and affordably. PowerDirector is a Google Play Editor’s Choice, PCMag Editor’s Choice, Tom’s Guide’s Best Video Editing Software, and TechRadar Best Free Video Editing Software.

3. How Do YouTubers Get Paid?

YouTubers get paid through ads and sponsorships. 

There are 2 kinds of YouTube ads - pre-roll and bumper. Pre-rolls are the ads that play before a video and give the viewer the option to skip. Bumper ads are quick ads that play in the middle of longer videos and can’t be skipped. The higher your video’s view count, the more the ad plays, and the more money you make. When an ad is watched in its entirety, the channel makes even more. 

When a company pays to have its product mentioned or used in the video for YouTube directly, it’s a sponsorship. You see this a lot in toy unboxing videos and movie promotions. As a YouTube video creator, it’s a good idea to connect with companies in your niche. 

4. How Do YouTubers Record Their Videos?

This depends on the individual YouTuber and the type of content they are making. A gamer will record using a webcam and screen recorder, while a vlogger might use a webcam or mobile phone to record. DSLR cameras are often used as well, although these days mobile phones record just as well! Travel or Action vloggers use an action camera such as GoPro to record in bumpy or wet conditions. 

Whatever you use to record, make sure the resolution is somewhere between 1080 and 4K. A video for YouTube in that resolution will look high-quality, yet won’t exceed YouTube’s size limit.  

5. Can I Edit Videos on YouTube?

Yes. YouTube has a free online editor that is easy for beginners.

Follow these steps to start editing videos for YouTube using YouTube Studio:

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio. You need to have an account to use the video editor.
  2. Click Upload and choose the video for YouTube you want to edit.
  3. After your video has been uploaded, you can click on Content, then click on the thumbnail of your uploaded video.
  4. Click Editor to open the video editing suite.

6. Is the YouTube Editor Free?

Yes. YouTube Studio is free for anyone with a YouTube account.

7. Can I Pay Someone to Edit My YouTube Videos?

Yes, you can pay someone to edit your video for YouTube. There are plenty of video editors and fellow YouTubers out there who would love the extra cash. 

If you will be posting several videos a month, consider signing up with a subscription-based editing service, which will save you money overall. 

If the idea of editing videos for YouTube scares you, but you don’t have the money to hire someone, try a beginner-friendly YouTube video editor such as PowerDirector. Who knows, someday soon it could be you getting hired to edit someone else’s video for YouTube!  

8. How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Video Editor for YouTube?

Subscription-based YouTube editing company VidCHOPS charges $325/month for 4 videos, $595/month for 8-12 videos, and $995/month for 16-20. 

The company Upwork hires out YouTube video editors by the hour, and most cost between $15-30/hour. 

If you hire an independent editor, it can cost anywhere from $300 to $1000, depending on the complexity of your video. 

9. How Do I Learn to Edit Videos for YouTube?

The best way to learn how to edit a video for YouTube is to jump in and start practicing with beginner-friendly and free software like the ones on our list. If you need help along the way, PowerDirector has a Learning Center that gives simple, step-by-step instructions for every tool. 

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