Best FREE Video Editing Software (Mac & Windows PC!)

While there are a lot of great video editing software options to choose from for both Mac and PC users, many of them come with a hefty price tag. Powerful editing tools like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut aren’t always ideal for editing on a budget – especially if that budget is $0.

The good news is that you don’t have to splurge on your video editing needs. In addition to paid editing software, there are plenty of options that come completely free of charge. In fact, there are so many choices that choosing a free video editor can often feel like an impossible task.

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To make things even more challenging, many free editors come with a catch and leave your finalized videos stamped with the brand’s watermark. No matter how great the editor is, having another brand’s watermark in the corner of your video isn’t a professional look.

To help you narrow down the endless list of free editing software with no watermark, we’ve provided you with 3 of the best free video editing software for Mac and PC.

Plus, we’ll also cover our favorite source for creating quick and easy video intros, so let’s get started!

Best Free Video Editing Software for Mac & PC

Out of all the free-of-charge editors available, there are 3 that stand out the most which are:

  1. iMovie
  2. Shotcut
  3. DaVinci Resolve

Below we’ll cover all the need-to-know details on each of these editing software, like pros and cons, system requirements, and features. By the end of this post, you should have no trouble picking the free video editing software that’s right for you and your device.

iMovie (Free Video Editing Software for Mac ONLY)

iMovie is first up on our list of best video editing software that won’t cost a penny. Anyone on the hunt for the best free video editing software for Mac should definitely consider using iMovie.

That “i” tells you that this software is geared specifically towards the Mac operating system. So if you’re looking for a free video editing software for PC, move on to the next one; iMovie is only available for Mac users and isn’t compatible with Windows devices.

iMovie is a great choice for Mac users, but if you’re editing on a PC, you’ll have to look elsewhere

The best thing about iMovie has got to be its intuitive interface. Navigating the software is extremely easy, but it also manages to cover all the bases and provide users with all the necessary tools to edit down a video.

iMovie is Great for Beginners

This is a solid choice for beginners who need basic editing features and want software that’s simple to use.

Even though iMovie lacks some of the more advanced features and controls that you’ll find with other software, many users (especially beginners) don’t see that as a flaw since it’s so easy to use. Plus, it’s really easy to transition to using Final Cut, iMovie’s big brother.

So if you do start using iMovie and find that it’s too basic for you, you can always upgrade to Final Cut for more advanced features if you need to.

The Downside of Using iMovie

The biggest drawback of choosing iMovie as your go-to free video editing software is the limited formats that it supports. By that, we mean that iMovie doesn’t support editing videos in portrait mode. So if you’re editing down content like Instagram stories or YouTube stories, then iMovie may not be the best choice for you. But if you’re creating widescreen videos for YouTube, then you’re good to go.

iMovie’s biggest flaw is that it doesn’t support portrait videos

Interested in using iMovie? Check out our iMovie Tutorial on Mac video editing for beginners!

Shotcut (Free Video Editing Software for Mac and PC)

Next up on our list of best free video editing software is Shotcut. If iMovie didn’t cut it for you because you’re looking for the best video editing software for PC, this is one to consider.

Shotcut is compatible with both Mac and PC users and caters to all editing levels

Shotcut isn’t as easy to use as iMovie, and that’s mainly because it includes more advanced features. While it has all the beginner-level stuff as well, Shotcut definitely takes things to a higher level with more customization and control.

That’s why this is a go-to choice for all editing levels, especially beginner and intermediate. Even though there’s a bit of a learning curve for those new to editing, you can start as a beginner, learn the ropes of the software, and move on to more advanced edits.

It’s also worth mentioning that Shotcut is compatible with different video formats for editing in multiple aspect ratios, including portrait mode. If you’re creating YouTube stories or Instagram stories, this is a really nice feature to have.

The Downside of Using Shotcut

We’ve already mentioned the only real flaw to using Shotcut; it’s not as beginner-friendly as some other software (such as iMovie).

Try not to see this as a bad thing, though. Sure, it may take a little bit longer to learn the software, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be grateful for Shotcut’s more advanced editing capabilities.

Because of its advanced features, Shotcut is a bit more complicated to use than iMovie

Interested in using Shotcut? Check out our Shotcut Tutorial on Windows PC video editing for beginners!

DaVinci Resolve (Free Video Editing Software for Mac and PC)

The third and final software on our list of best free video editors is DaVinci Resolve. Just like Shotcut, DaVinci Resolve works well on both Mac and PC devices.

DaVinci Resolve is hands-down the best option for pro-level editing on Mac and PC

Unlike Shotcut and iMovie, DaVinci Resolve is geared towards professional-level editing. It’s been used for editing top-level movies, TV shows, documentaries, and everything in between.

When you see all the features and tools on the DaVinci Resolve interface, you’ll probably be wondering how on Earth this software is free. Well, it is, so if you’re looking for a professional editor for Mac or PC, this is the one to go with.

The Downside of Using DaVinci Resolve

Just as you’d expect from a professional-level editor, Resolve isn’t the easiest to use. It’s by far the most complicated software on our list, so if you’re brand new to editing or you just don’t have time to learn the features, you might want to go with another option.

Another minor downside is that this software requires a fairly powerful computer to run smoothly. If your computer is outdated or built with a lower-grade video card, you won’t be able to reach this software’s full potential.

You’ll be blown away by all of Resolve’s features, especially considering they’re 100% free

There’s also a paid version of DaVinci Resolve, which unlocks even more advanced features, like filters, effects, higher resolutions, and higher frame rates. However, the free version works well for most people who are using more powerful Macs and PCs.

Interested in using DaVinci Resolve? Check out our DaVinci Resolve Tutorial for complete beginners!

Quick Recap of Our Top Picks

Now that we’ve covered the 3 best software options for editing videos on Mac and Windows PC, let’s do a quick recap of who can benefit from each one:

  • iMovie: Ideal for beginner to intermediate editing on Mac
  • Shotcut: Ideal for beginner to advanced editing on Mac and PC
  • DaVinci Resolve: Ideal for intermediate to advanced editing on Mac and PC

Even though this list is short, each software brings something to the table. Whether you’re a beginner working on a Mac or an expert editor working on a PC, one of these options will suit your editing needs. 

Our Top Pick for Video Animations

Earlier in this post, we promised that we’d cover our top pick for creating video intros and inputting animations into your edited videos.

Adding in an animated intro to your videos is an amazing way to give your content a more professional look. The best (and easiest) way to create animations is through a service called Placeit.

Placeit is our top recommendation for creating custom intros for your videos

Placeit is super simple to use, and it’s an amazing tool for creating customized intros, titles, and graphics quickly and easily. You can either pay for an unlimited subscription to Placeit and all of its features ($19.95/month) or pay for individual animations as you go.

For more information on using Placeit, check out our guide on How to Make an Animated Video Intro.

Now You’re Ready to Start Editing for FREE!

There you have it – our favorite free video software for editing on a Mac or PC. You can’t go wrong with any of these 3 options if you’re looking for a free editing tool.

There’s iMovie, which is great for beginners who are editing on a Mac. Then there’s Shotcut, a software that’s compatible with both PC and Mac and includes features for all levels. And finally, DaVinci Resolve is the go-to free choice for anyone looking for more professional editing on a Mac or PC.

For more information on how to effectively edit videos, check out our guide on the ULTIMATE Process for Editing Videos Faster. In this guide, you’ll learn how to cut your video editing time in half, no matter which software you end up using.

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Check out an up-to-date list of all the gear, software & tools we use and recommend right now at Primal Video on our resources page here!

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