What’s the best video editing software for Windows in 2023? Keep reading to find out in our complete review of the leading video editors for PC!
We’ll share our top recommendations for all types of video creators, from beginner friendly to more advanced and professional editing alternatives.
Important: When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!
If you’ve been following us for a while, you probably know that these ‘Best Video Editing Software’ roundups have become an annual thing. But this year, we’ve done things a little bit differently…
Instead of sharing a wide range of 7+ contenders, we’ve narrowed it down to just TWO awesome Windows video editors that we recommend.
We’ll cover exactly why these two video editing software are so powerful AND why we’re not recommending the other options over these ones anymore.
This roundup might be shorter, but it still packs a punch! Whether you’re looking for the best free video editing software for Windows PC or something more advanced, our roundup will provide you with some great options.
Make sure you stick around to find out our top 3 video editing tips for ANY software.
Video Editing Software For Windows Shortlist
Our recommendations for best video editing software in 2023 are:
The best part? They both have a completely free version available. This is great news if you’re looking for the best free video editing software.
But even if you’re not looking for a free video editor, we think these options have overtaken the paid video editing software.
Let’s dive in to find out why we recommend these two video editing software and who they’re for.
Windows Video Editor #1: CapCut
CapCut is an amazing, super intuitive and really easy to use video editing software. It works on Windows, Mac, Android and iPhone.
The fact that you can use it on multiple devices and have access to all the same features is really powerful.
CapCut actually started out as an app first. They’ve taken the same interface, workflow and usability from mobile and brought it over to the desktop version.
This makes it so much more intuitive than more traditional video editing software. We think this is part of the reason it’s so powerful on desktop.
So even if you’ve never edited a video before, you’d be able to figure it out really quickly.
It’s incredibly easy to use. You could jump in, play around and figure out how to create something pretty amazing without much time and effort – even as a complete beginner.
Some of our favorite CapCut features include:
- Awesome transitions and effects: There’s more than just your average transitions and effects in here, there are some really cool ones that can help you really level up your story telling (& they’re definitely a level up from iMovie’s wipe transitions!)
- Supports multiple layers of video and audio: This means you can create reasonably complicated projects
- Switch between different video formats: You can switch your project from a wide screen video for YouTube to a vertical video for TikTok with the click of a button
- Background remover tool: This allows you to remove the background of your video clips without needing to use a green screen
- Great basic presets & filters for color correction: Just keep in mind that these aren’t pro-grade tools (if you’re after something more advanced, the next option will be much better suited for you)
- Adjustment layers for quickly applying effects to clips: These are like blank layers you can add to the top of your video clips – once you apply any adjustments to that layer, they will flow through to any clips that are underneath it
- Voice to text tool: You can type out text, select a voice and the text will be spoken aloud (or even SUNG aloud!)
- Even more amazing features: Built-in video stabilization, motion tracking, noise reduction and more
There are a couple of things you should be aware of with CapCut.
There’s a ton of music inside CapCut. But a lot of this music is copyright music, meaning if you use it in your YouTube videos you’re likely going to get a copyright claim on that content.
As a general rule, it’s always safer to use music that you actually own the license to rather than the built-in music provided by video editing programs.
That’s why we use services like Epidemic Sound and Artlist for our music, because it means we know all the licensing is completely handled and we won’t have any copyright issues in the future.
The reason CapCut has a lot of copyright music available, is for use in TikTok videos.
CapCut and TikTok are created by the same company, ByteDance. CapCut has tons of awesome tools for creating great TikToks.
So you can use that copyright music in TikTok videos and you won’t have any trouble with licensing. Just make sure you’re not using that music in your YouTube videos.
You might have heard about some concerns around TikTok’s Terms of Service.
Given that TikTok and CapCut are owned by the same company, people have also been concerned about there being some questionable stuff in CapCut’s Terms of Service.
Apparently, because of these concerns both TikTok and CapCut have been banned in India.
But we’re not overly concerned and still have CapCut installed on all our devices. Again, this is just something you should be aware of.
Overall, CapCut is an amazing video editor.
With all the incredible tools in there, it outperforms so many of the paid video editing tools. Previously we recommended options like Kdenlive, Shotcut and Filmora in this category.
That’s not to say you can’t still use those options and get great results. But CapCut has really nailed a great balance of having an amazing feature set with a really easy to use interface.
So it’s a great option for someone who’s an absolute beginner right through to an intermediate level video editor.
Windows Video Editor #2: DaVinci Resolve
DaVinci Resolve is another mind blowing video editing software. It works on Windows, Mac, Linux and recently an iPad version was released as well.
It’s professional-level video editing software that’s completely free.
When we say ‘professional-level’, we mean that literal Hollywood movies are being edited and produced on this by professional editors!
While there is a paid version, the free version will definitely get the job done for the majority of people – it’s a fully featured video editor with very few limitations.
DaVinci Resolve Features
This video editing software is intuitive and easy enough to learn. It’s definitely not as easy to use as CapCut but it’s also not as complicated as some of the other pro-level tools out there.
Some of the top DaVinci Resolve features include:
- Individual tabs for each stage of the editing process: There are different tabs for each of the stages in the editing process, allowing you to access tools relevant to that stage e.g. there’s a Cut area where you compile and cut down your video files, there’s the Edit tab where do further edits to your video clips
- Awesome motion graphics and animations: There’s a ton of pro-level tools in the Fusion tab (think DR’s version of Adobe After Effects)
- Incredible color grading tools and audio tools: The tools are even used by professionals in these fields – we’ve heard of audio professionals jumping into DR just to use the tools for audio editing!
- Easily work with a team: You can really easily work collaboratively with teams using DR’s cloud service or even just by transferring projects
- Voice isolation tools: This is incredibly powerful for removing background noise and cleaning up audio
- Really powerful tracking and masking features: These will blow your mind, especially if you’ve been doing this stuff manually before
DaVinci Resolve Downsides
The only potential downside here is that you will need to have a fairly new computer.
If you’re using an older, low powered computer, DaVinci Resolve likely won’t work very well and you probably won’t have a great experience.
You can always take a look at the DaVinci Resolve System Requirements to see if your device is compatible.
DaVinci Resolve Pricing
You can upgrade to the Studio Version for a one-time fee of $295.
This unlocks some more advanced features and more integration with your computer hardware which helps you process/render/edit in a more fluid way.
It’s awesome that you don’t need to commit to a monthly subscription like with other options such as Adobe Premiere Pro.
But as we mentioned earlier, the free version is incredibly powerful and will likely suit most people’s needs.
Overall, if you want pro-grade tools that are literally industry standard software then DaVinci Resolve is right up your alley.
With an entire suite of video editing tools, you can take your pick of which ones you want to use.
Justin mostly works in the Edit tab but you might find yourself spending more time in the Color tab for example. There’s just so much in this video editing app – it’s crazy that you get access to this for free!
What’s The Best Video Editing Software For Mac
For years, the winner of our ‘best video editing software for Windows’ roundup has been Adobe Premiere Pro.
While we’re still big fans of Premiere, it’s getting a lot harder to recommend it now. Especially because of the level of tools you get access to in DaVinci Resolve for completely free.
We just love the innovation, growth and direction we’re seeing from DaVinci Resolve.
And that’s not to say that Adobe Premiere Pro is a bad option. It’s still super powerful video editing software.
Especially if you use tools like Photoshop or After Effects and already have an Adobe subscription – it definitely makes sense to continue using Adobe Premiere Pro as your video editing software.
But right now, DaVinci Resolve has such a compelling offer. You get access to an entire suite of editing software that works together super smoothly – and it’s a completely free video editor.
Even if you do want to jump on the Studio Version, it’s a one-time fee rather than an ongoing subscription.
It might seem crazy that our top picks are both free editing software but we think it’s awesome that the FREE video editing software has overtaken the PAID video editing software in this roundup.
As you can tell, CapCut and DaVinci Resolve will cater to the needs of most people that are making videos.
So, which of these free Windows video editors is right for you?
If you want to create amazing videos really quickly without needing to learn how to use professional grade software, CapCut is an amazing option. You still have access to a ton of awesome effects and controls to help you create incredible videos.
If you’re looking for more advanced features or you want to learn pro-grade software and have access to an entire suite of tools, it’s gonna be really hard to go past Da Vinci Resolve.
The best video editing software for you will come down to your skillset, the types of videos you’re creating, and what features work best for you.
Video editing software are just tools to edit videos. So your goal should be to find the one that’s easiest for YOU to get the job done. Choose the one that allows you to be as creative as you can, without being limited by the software.
As promised, it’s time to share our top three video editing tips that will help you edit faster in any video editing application.
Our Top 3 Video Editing Tips
1. Cut Down Your Content First
It can be tempting to jump straight into the editing software and begin adding a ton of effects and color grades to your footage to make it look good. But this really slows down your workflow. If you add these effects before editing down your footage, your computer has a lot more to process!
Focus on building out your story and cutting down your footage first. Then go through and make it look awesome by adding effects and color grades afterwards.
2. Use Stock Footage
You don’t need to go out and film everything from scratch! There are amazing resources and libraries full of stock footage that you can easily download and add to your projects.
Plus, stock footage makes your videos more engaging meaning that viewers are more likely to watch them for longer. Storyblocks and Artgrid are great resources for finding quality stock footage.
3. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
This is probably the fastest way you can speed up your editing. Knowing the shortcuts mean you can press one key on the keyboard rather than moving your mouse around to find a tiny little icon on the screen.
In some cases, pressing the one keyboard shortcut button will save you from performing three or four actions using a mouse.
To find the keyboard shortcuts for your particular program, go to the help section inside your software or do a quick Google search. You’ll be able to find a full list of all the editing shortcuts that will cut down your editing time!
There you have it, our complete guide to the best video editing software for Windows PC in 2023. If you found this guide useful, feel free to share it on social media or with someone you know who might like to learn more about the best video editor for Windows.
No matter which video editing software you go with, the fastest and most effective method for editing videos is by following a clear process. Check our complete video editing process in this guide – The ULTIMATE Process for Editing Videos Faster.
Which video editing software is best for beginners?
CapCut is the best video editing software for beginners and up to intermediate users. Check out this CapCut Tutorial for the full rundown.
Is DaVinci Resolve better than Premiere Pro?
DaVinci Resolve offers an entire suite of professional video editing tools and it’s completely free! Premiere Pro is still a solid option, especially if you already have access to the Adobe Suite. But if we had to pick one, it’d be DaVinci Resolve.
What do most YouTubers use to edit their videos?
This ranges hugely! A lot of it comes down to personal preference and what workflows, processes and specific tools each person requires. You can find out what video editing software we use in this complete guide.
Recommended Gear & Resources
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!