Best Video Editing Software for YouTube

Updated January 2017

It’s impossible to be a YouTuber without editing videos. Video editing can be a daunting task for beginners because there are so many different video editing applications available.

Which video editor is best for you? This post will help you find one.

These are my best video editing software recommendations for creating YouTube videos.

Best Video Editor for Beginners

Filmora may be the best option if you’re a complete beginner to video editing. It works with Windows and Mac, and there are several options for purchasing which makes it convenient for any budget.


Check out my complete guide on how to edit videos with Filmora so you can see how it works!

Best Free Video Editing Software

  • HitFilm Express (PC/Mac) – This is a powerful video editor for being free. The free version can do just about anything you need to do when first starting out. It also offers premium add-ons.
  • DaVinci Resolve Lite (PC/Mac) – A very capable video editing software with many powerful features. It may take some time to learn, but once mastered it’s hard to find anything better.
  • YouTube Video Editor (PC/Mac) – YouTube’s video editor. It’s very basic and okay to use as a beginner, but I don’t recommend using it for too long because of the lack of features and the fact it’s online.
  • iMovie (Mac)Free with new Macs; $14.99 otherwise. An easy-to-use video editor for Mac users. iMovie has a good amount of features and can definitely be used as your main video editor. Many YouTubers use this, and it’s great for beginners.
  • LightWorks (PC/Mac) – I haven’t used LightWorks, but it is talked about a lot as being one of the best free video editing programs for Mac and Windows users. It’s worth trying out to see what all the fuss is about.

Best Intermediate Video Editing Software

Pinnacle Studio (PC) is an entry-level program for Windows users who want more features than a free video editor but don’t want to spend a lot of money. First editor I ever used for YouTube.


Corel VideoStudio Pro (PC) is a solid video editing software program for beginners who want something that is easy to use and affordable.


CyberLink PowerDirector (PC) – Easy-to-use yet very capable video editor for PC users who are wanting more than what the free basic editors offer. This packs a punch and will satisfy your video needs.


Adobe Premiere Elements (PC/Mac) – Premiere Elements is Adobe’s entry-level video editing program, and it’s a nice choice for people who want to upgrade from Windows Move Maker but still want an easy-to-use editor.

Best Screen-Capture Video Editors

Camtasia (PC/Mac) – Camtasia is a bit pricey but convenient to have because not only does it perform as an easy-to-use video editing program, it also has the ability to record your computer screen.


ScreenFlow (Mac) – ScreenFlow is a fantastic video editor which also has the ability record your computer screen like Camtasia. For Mac users I highly recommend ScreenFlow. It’s easy to use and pretty affordable. I still use it for some of my videos.


Best Professional Video Editing Software

Adobe Premiere Pro (PC/Mac) – Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the most powerful and popular video editing programs available. It’s more difficult to learn, but if you want the most features then think about going with this.


Final Cut Pro X (Mac) – I use FCPX to edit almost all of my YouTube videos. If you’re on a Mac and have been using iMovie but you want the next best thing, I recommend going to this. Its layout is similar to iMovie and is still intuitive yet very powerful.


Sony Vegas (PC) – This is a very popular video editing program among YouTubers. Some people swear by it. I’ve personally never used it, but from what I’ve heard it’s a great choice for PC users who want a feature-packed editor.


Remember: The most important thing is not what video editor you choose but how you use itPick one and learn it as much as possible. The better you know your video editing software, the faster you’ll edit, and the more videos you can produce in less time!


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  • angus

    whats a free one and a good one other than the ones above

    • I don’t know of any other good free options other than the ones I listed in the post above. Sorry!

  • Natalie Collins

    This was a REALLY helpful post, at the moment I use window’s movie maker and although it’s easy its so basic I can’t do things like layer videos properly because it has to be done in a really obscure way- need to invest in one now!


    • Thanks Natalie! Yes, WMM is very basic and should only be used by complete beginners. Once you’re serious about YouTube, that’s when you need to get a more advanced editor with more features. Good luck!

  • Drone

    Sony Vegas Pro costs $600 … How can this be popular among Youtubers?

    • Despite its high price tag, Sony Vegas is indeed very popular among YouTubers. It’s obviously too expensive for beginners, but for some YouTubers a $600 investment makes sense when the investment plays a very pivotal role and when it’s used daily.

  • Yassouna

    Hi! Today I just downloaded on my PC from your site AVS Video Editor 7.1, and after launching correctly the install process and trying to open the software, an error prompt message appears showing the following text :
    “Classe non enregistrée, Class ID:'{2CDC3E23-BC2C-4FD6B864-60EA2F61DFA1}”

    and then it does not open!
    Any solution ? Thx

    • Check out this forum post. Follow the instructions to try to fix that error:

      • Yassouna

        Thank you for your kind reply,
        but unfortunately, alghouth I followed all the instructions but nothing work, still getting the same f… error message!

        2015-05-07 19:27 GMT+02:00 Disqus :

  • Which one has the abilty to layer videos. I’ve tried cyberlink powerdirector and it crashes way to much.

    • Most intermediate to professional video editors have that capability.

  • Mandisa

    Thanks for the article. Any suggestions for creating videos comprised of just text, images, and transitions? Proper video editing programs seem too cumbersome for this. Powerpoint save-as-video works, but the quality even in high res is subpar. Any recommendations?

    • I usually use Keynote or ScreenFlow but those are Mac only. For Windows (other than PowerPoint) I’d try something like Camtasia.

  • Aleksandar Obradovic

    what about Cyberlink PowerDirector 13 deluxe ? 😀

  • SuperUndaunted 1

    I’ve used Camtasia it cant handle big editing files so im stick to my Cyberlink Powerdirector which is best for me i produce videos for my youtube channel 30-60fps with zero problem.

  • matt

    I have used cyberlink excellent one month trial try it.
    check out this youtube link very funny

    funny cat

  • Thanks for sharing<3

  • Kyle

    A warning for those thinking about using Lightworks. It requires quite a bit of processing power, both when you’re in the middle of editing, as well as when you are rendering. It’s great for fairly short videos that just need a bit of cutting here and there, and gives you the ability to add audio tracks for your voiceover. But, with larger projects, expect snags with lower-end PCs and laptops. Feel free to give it a shot, but be sure to keep your options open.

  • Silent Political Yeoman

    Huh…CyberLink PowerDirector, as far as I know, came with my laptop, so it looks like I’m good to go for video editing.

  • Stazor

    AVS video editor is full of viruses, I got it directly from the company and it slows computer down and malware

  • I used Sony Movie Studio (Entry level version of Sony Vegas) for years. Loved it! Now using a Mac and started using Premiere Pro. Still learning it though and keep finding myself wanting to go back to the Sony Software just to get things done.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Kieran. Yeah sometimes the video editor you’re most familiar with is the best one.

  • Dylan Lawson

    What software would you use to add some animations on the video? Like quotes popping up etc.

  • Christian Maigaard Jensen

    I am looking at the logitech camera and the Rode videomic pro. Can they work together even though logitech is more of a webcam?

    (I don’t know much about this stuff as you can see)

    • Sorry for such a late reply. Just now seeing your comment for some reason. If you get a webcam like the Logitech C920, it’s best to use a USB mic like the Audio Technica ATR2100 with it because they both require a computer.

  • bradley

    I love sony vegas pro

  • Aiman Ghazi Mohammad

    Been using lightworks recently, but I simply can’t change my aspect ratio, most vids that I import are squashed even though it’s originally 16:9 ratio (1360×768).
    Anybody can recommend me to some other video editing software that I can render using native rez and aspect ratio?

  • Blitz Robot

    what about movieplusx6 is that good

    • Blitz Robot

      is that any good

    • Never used it.

      • Blitz Robot

        Oh. Well thanks anyways

  • Alicia

    I need to make a presentation video for my entertainment business, Something eye-catching because it will be presented to Many musical artist from different genres. A friend in the AV industry told me about light works along time ago but had issues when I try to download it on my last lap top. I’ve only worked with windows movie maker for family video projects for fun. I have to step up my game for this presentation! I’m trying to see if someone can make the video for me that will fit my budget. If not I need to find a Plan B to make it myself. It’s starting to become crunch time for me. Help!

  • Randy

    How about Gimp? It’s free and is very similar to Adobe premiere, so I’m told. Total nubie here, but I bought Adobe Premier Elements, which is a little too advanced to start with in my opinion! Also I would be very interested in seeing tutorials on iMovie (even the mobile ver. too) !!

    • Hi Randy. As far as I know, GIMP is only a photo editor. I think Adobe Premiere Elements is a good program to start out with if you’re on a PC. If you’re on a Mac, go with iMovie. I’m going to try to release some video editing tutorials soon.

  • robocop

    For advanced users I recommend Sony Vegas Pro 13, for consumers – AVS video suite

  • Anything for youtube? :3

    • IridescentBlue

      *May be irrelevant to you now that 5 months have passed*
      I originally tried Camtasia for my channel and after a while, had the misfortune to find out that it has a tendency to crash a lot, among other problems so if i were you, I’d probably learn how to use Premier Pro like a lot of YouTuber’s do. Its kinda advanced but i’m, sure if you watch a couple of Tutorials, you’d be sure to get the hang of it 🙂

  • Game Music

    is there anything like a”semi expert” video editor for free?

  • DiamondRainbow Van16

    Wow thnx and cool it can really help me!

  • callmebob

    The hardest thing about walking into something new, is know what to call features.
    I want to make some video tutorials of using a software package.

    Need to screen capture my window while I’m making menu picks and doing things inside the software. Need it to record my voice or a way to narrate it later with a different tool and line it up with the mentioned screen capture video and text. It would be nice if I could post in some zoom-in and back for a few seconds. Want to put some in some nice transitioning several words of text popups for a few seconds that float somewhere consistent so the user sees them…Will want to mix in some still photo files, a title and closing summary of steps slide… And, close caption it in a way that won’t overlap the rest of the text that’s there. Using Windows10, I have mic and headphones, decent PC hardware. Free is good as long as it’s not cripplingly restrictive, as the tutorials aren’t intended to generate revenue. Doign them just to be helpful but don’t want to look bad in the process.

    Got an FAQ that hits all of those needs ?

    ( Also – if you’re the guy who did the editing of the video of the guy singing country music to his wife at their reception, that was really super. )

  • Joseph M Cutcher III

    i want a more modern / updated / 60 fps version of camtasia. is there such a thing? i really liked the callouts.

    didn’t like 30 fps limitation and lack of hardware acceleration.

  • Asher Smith Films (SmithStudio

    Pemeire has been amazing for my YouTube work.