Editing videos on a Mac? Then you’re going to need some awesome video editing software to help you create your masterpiece! But with so many editing apps and software available, deciding on one isn’t an easy task.
Luckily, we’re here to help you every step of the way with this guide to the best video editing software for Mac in 2021.
Important: When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!
Even if you’ve read one of our reviews for Mac-friendly tools in the past, editing software changes so rapidly and new players frequently enter the game so staying up-to-date is important.
This 2021 review focuses on providing you with a completely up-to-date list of the best software available today so that you can select the right editor for you and the specific Mac device you’re using.
Best Video Editing Software for Mac
Before jumping into the list, it’s important to understand that no editing software is perfect. Video editing software is totally subjective, so what might work well for you may not be the best option for someone else and vice versa.
The one you end up using ultimately comes down to what works best for you based on things like budget, editing needs, and your current editing skill set. So keep that in mind as you peruse the list of software below.
Out of all the Mac video editing software available, our top picks that we’ll be covering in this review will be broken up into 3 different pricing categories: Free, Under $200 and Over $200.
- iMovie (Free)
- VN Video Editor (Free)
- DaVinci Resolve (Free)
- WeVideo (Under $200)
- VN Video Editor (Under $200)
- Filmora (Under $200)
- DaVinci Resolve (Under $200)
- WeVideo (Over $200)
- VN Video Editor (Over $200)
- DaVinci Resolve (Over $200)
- Adobe Premiere (Over $200)
- Final Cut Pro (Over $200)
As you can see, some of the software options have made the list twice – even three times in the case of DaVinci Resolve and VN Video Editor!
That’s because many software providers offer varying levels of subscriptions to cater to different budgets and all editing skill levels. Plus, there’s nothing to stop the free or low-cost editing options from performing better than the paid ones so we’ll be reviewing them side by side.
Whether you’re a beginner looking for a free editor or you’ve got money to dish out on more professional editing features, this list of the best video editing software for Mac covers all the bases.
So if you’re ready to find the right video editor for your Mac, let’s get started!
Best Free Video Editing Software for Mac
Starting with free software for editing on Mac, there are a lot of great options available right now, but after rigorous testing, these 3 have come out on top:
iMovie is one of the most popular options when it comes to Mac video editing software.
The interface is easy to use, making it a great choice for beginners. Even if you’ve never edited before, you should have no trouble getting up to speed with iMovie.
The main downside of choosing iMovie as your Mac video editor is the lack of advanced features and controls. However, it’s understandable that iMovie is fairly basic since it’s the cut-down version of the more advanced editing software from Apple called Final Cut Pro.
Starting out with iMovie is an awesome option for beginners. If you eventually outgrow the software and need access to more advanced editing features, you’ll be able to upgrade to Final Cut, which is a super smooth transition from iMovie.
VN Video Editor
The VN Video Editor for Mac is a new kid on the block when it comes to editing software. Up until recently, VN Video Editor was only available as an app-based video editor for iOS and Android devices, but now it’s available on Mac – and hopefully, Windows will be next.
Although we didn’t have high expectations for VN Video Editor, this free software is truly amazing. Even though it started out as an app, the entire interface has been designed to work well on Mac, and work well it does!
Just like iMovie, VN is great for beginners, but it takes things to the next level and offers more intermediate editing tools as well. There are a lot of advanced features built-in to the interface, like intuitive color correction, integrated filters, and fast editing capabilities.
Top Pick in the Free Category: DaVinci Resolve
DaVinci Resolve is the best video editor for anyone looking for an advanced free editing tool that’s compatible with Mac. This software is hands-down the most professional free software on the list, which is why it rightfully deserves the top spot for this category.
DaVinci Resolve is so powerful that many paid options don’t measure up to what this software can do. It has been used for editing Hollywood movies, professional documentaries, and more. Quite frankly, it’s ridiculous what you can do with this thing, and it won’t cost you a penny.
The one and only drawback to using DaVinci Resolve is that it’s not the most beginner-friendly option in terms of usability. It’s definitely geared towards intermediate and advanced editing, so you can expect there to be a learning curve as you navigate the software.
If you’re new to editing and want to take advantage of all that DaVinci Resolve can do, by all means, go for it. There might be times where you feel overwhelmed by the software interface, but our video editing tutorial on DaVinci Resolve for beginners can help you out.
One more quick thing to note about Resolve is that it’s not ideal for editing on an older Mac. This is a resource-hungry software that requires a fairly powerful computer, so you will need a high-spec computer if you plan to use DaVinci Resolve.
Best Video Editing Software for Mac Under $200
In the next category, we’ll be covering the best video editing software under $200 (that includes free software too).
When you opt for a paid software, you typically find more features, more functionality, and more control over your video editing. We say TYPICALLY because it’s not always the case; there are some free options that are just as jam-packed with advanced features as paid software, so don’t assume that “Paid” always means better!
While there are plenty of editing tools to choose from in the sub-$200 price point, these are the 4 software options that stand out for us here at Primal Video:
WeVideo is a unique cloud-based editing tool that doesn’t require a software download. It runs on your web browser, which means that it’s not necessary to have a powerful high-spec computer for using this editor.
Since you don’t need to download WeVideo, this software is an excellent choice for team editing because all you need to do is give users access to your WeVideo uploads, and they’ll be able to work on them from anywhere in the world.
WeVideo is extremely easy to use, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in power.
It can even smoothly edit high-resolution 4K footage, a task that a lot of editing tools struggle with. You’ll also be able to work on your WeVideo projects as they upload – there’s no need to wait around for the entire video to upload.
WeVideo Pricing Guide
In terms of pricing, WeVideo gives users a few different options.
There’s a $4.99/month option, but most people go with the next tier up and pay $7.99/month for unlimited access to WeVideo. For even more features like stock footage and music files, there’s a Professional WeVideo subscription for $17.99/month.
VN Video Editor
We won’t talk too much about VN Video Editor for this category since this software was already covered in the free shortlist.
Even though VN Video Editor is free, it still ranks as a top pick in the Under $200 price point. It’s intuitive, easy to use, and a standout all-rounder for beginner to intermediate editing.
Filmora has come a long way since it was originally released to the world. In the past, this software probably wouldn’t have made this list, but now, it’s one of the top paid editors on the market.
The intuitive interface of Filmora packs in a ton of features but still manages to do so in a way that’s simple to navigate. Many of the advanced features you’ll find here are typically only included in more professional software, so Filmora offers a lot of bang for your buck.
One feature that stands out with Filmora is the software’s ability to export videos quickly. You’ll be able to save and export your videos fast without having to wait around.
Filmora Pricing Guide
While there is a free version of Filmora, it will leave your videos with a watermark, so using the free Filmora software isn’t recommended.
You have the option to pay a one-time fee of $69.99, which is by far the most popular. There’s also a subscription plan for Filmora Pro that’s $39.99 per year, and this option will give you complete access to software upgrades as they’re released.
Top Pick Under $200: DaVinci Resolve
WeVideo, Filmora, and VN Video Editor are all solid picks for beginner to intermediate editing. WeVideo is especially useful for team editing or editing on a low-spec computer, and Filmora offers a great set of features that serves a lot of editors really well.
But if you’re looking for a more advanced, more professional editor, the top pick would be DaVinci Resolve yet again. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, DaVinci Resolve is an amazingly powerful editor, and best of all, it’s completely free to use.
Just remember that the interface isn’t as easy to use as some other software, so if simplicity is your main priority, WeVideo, Filmora, or VN Video Editor might be the better choice.
Best Mac Video Editing Software Over $200
If you’re willing to spend more than $200 on your video editing software, this next category is for you. Once again, we’ve also included free software under this umbrella, mainly because there are a few free editors that offer just as much (if not more) as the paid editing tools.
Although some of these options are less than $200, the 5 software options covered in this category all match up in terms of features and functionality to the more expensive editing software available.
These 5 include:
WeVideo makes the list once again, specifically as the best beginner to intermediate-level editor for anyone looking for a paid subscription.
Consider paying a recurring monthly fee for accessing WeVideo if you’re editing on a low-spec computer or working on team projects.
VN Video Editor
VN Video Editor is another great option in this category for beginner to intermediate editing. It’s also ideal for anyone who just wants a well-rounded tool for fast and effective editing without having to navigate through too many advanced features.
We promise this is the last time we’ll sing the praises of DaVinci Resolve!
Even though this is a free-to-use software, Resolve deserves a place in the “Over $200” category thanks to its professional-level editing interface.
Compared to WeVideo and VN Video Editor, this is by far the better choice for intermediate to advanced editing.
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro regularly ranks as one of the best video editors for PC and Mac editing. It’s insanely popular and used for editing everything from top-level productions to creating YouTube videos.
The features and functionality are what make Adobe Premiere Pro a top contender for this price point. The interface offers tons of professional-grade effects and tools for editing, and the best part is that it is user-friendly and fairly easy to use.
Similar to DaVinci Resolve, Premiere isn’t the most beginner-friendly. However, Premiere’s interface is a bit easier to handle compared to Resolve, so if you’re torn between the two, that’s definitely something to consider.
Adobe Premiere Pro Pricing Guide
Premiere can only be accessed by signing up for a monthly subscription – there’s no one-time payment option with this one. Pay $20.99/month for access to Premiere Pro only, or pay $52.99/month for unlimited access to the entire Adobe suite.
Top Pick Over $200: Final Cut Pro
If we had a to pick one overall winner in this category it would go to Final Cut Pro, which is the big brother to iMovie. It has a similar interface, but it includes way more advanced features and built-in controls for editing.
Because they’re both Apple products, it’s really easy to transition from basic editing with iMovie to the more advanced Final Cut software.
Final Cut Pro Pricing Guide
To edit with Final Cut, you’ll have to pay a one-time fee of $299.99. That may sound like a lot, but the good news is that there’s no ongoing subscription; just pay once and you’ll have access to Final Cut Pro and all of its updates forever.
Runner Up: VN Video Editor
Even though VN Video Editor isn’t quite as advanced as Final Cut Pro, it still deserves a shout-out as one of the best video editing software for Mac in this category.
VN is great for fast editing, so if you just have a simple editing job or just need to make a few tweaks to your video, this is the one to go with.
Pro Tip: Grab the Trial Versions
Adobe Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve are both amazing tools for professional-grade editing. Deciding between them isn’t easy, especially since DaVinci Resolve is free and Adobe requires a monthly payment. So how can you tell which one is better for you?
We recommend grabbing the trial version of Adobe Premiere Pro, playing around with it for a while, and then do some editing on DaVinci Resolve’s free platform as well. This will give you a much better idea of the software that’s right for you and ticks more of your boxes.
3 Editing Tips to Level Up Your Editing
Now that we’ve covered all the best software for every budget, you’re almost ready to start editing on your Mac. But first, there are 3 more tips that can speed up the editing process and leave you with quality videos every time:
- Learn the Keyboard Shortcuts: By learning basic keyboard shortcuts, you’ll be able to speed up your editing dramatically no matter which software you’re using. Find keyboard shortcuts through the ‘Help’ tab on the menu bar, or just do a quick Google search.
- Use Editing Templates: You can save a lot of time by using sites like VideoHive and Placeit for customized graphics, titles, intros, and more.
- Add Effects & Colors Last: Another big time-saver is to wait until the end of the editing process to add filters and effects and adjust colors. Focus on cutting down the content of the video first, then you can focus on making it look good.
If you’d like to learn more about editing on PC, check our Complete Beginner’s Guide to Video Editing on Mac.
Now You’re Ready to Edit on Mac Like a Pro!
There you have it – the complete list of best video editing software for Mac for all budgets and skill levels. To recap, here are our winners for each category:
- Best Free Video Editor: DaVinci Resolve
- Best Under $200: DaVinci Resolve
- Best Over $200: Final Cut Pro & VN Video Editor
Just remember that no software can be deemed perfect, and the one you choose ultimately comes down to your specific needs for video editing.
If you’d like to see our top recommendations for best video editing software on Windows PC, you can check them out here.
For more video editing tips and tricks, download the Primal Video guide on the ULTIMATE Process for Editing Videos Faster. With the help of this free guide and the right software, you’ll be editing videos like a pro in no time!
When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!
- DaVinci Resolve for beginners
- Complete Beginner’s Guide to Video Editing on Mac
- Best Video Editing Software for Windows PC – 2021 Review!
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!