The best video editing software will help you create great looking video, whether you're a YouTuber or a professional video editor working in movies and TV. Plus, if you just want to edit together your holiday clips or family footage for fun, there's some great software for that, too.
There are tools for Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone and Android and some that work across all platforms. (Note: if you're only interested in mobile apps, see our guide to the best video editing apps.) There are tools that require subscription, some you can buy for a one-off fee, and some that are even free. There are tools for specific editing tasks, and others that cover all bases. But with so many options, it can be tricky to find the best video editing software for your specific needs.
To help you out, we've rounded up the very best video editing software available today in the article below. And we explain, in a way that's as free from technical jargon as possible, what each has to offer and what the main differences are between them.
Then once you've found the best video editing software for your needs, it's time to check out hardware. See our guides to the best monitors for video editing, the best laptops for video editing and the best tablets for video editing for that.
Quick links: Top 3 best video editing software
1. Premiere Pro: the best video editing software for professional video editors
Adobe's Premiere Pro is the best video editing software for working video editors, YouTubers and creative pros. The industry-standard tool works on both PC and Mac, and a seven-day free trial is available.
2. CyberLink PowerDirector 365: the best video editing software for non-professionals
CyberLink PowerDirector 365 is an affordable, subscription-free option for non-pros with some experience of video editing. It offers an array of video editing tools, plus access to the Shutterstock library.
3. Adobe Premiere Elements: the best video editing software for beginners
For beginners, Adobe Premiere Pro is overkill. Instead, start with Adobe Premiere Elements, a simplified version of the software that's also cheaper, subscription-free, and comes with a generous 30-day free trial.
The best video editing software in 2022
Adobe Premiere Pro is one of two industry-standard tools for video editing today. The other is Final Cut Pro (number 5 on our list), which is Mac only. As Premiere Pro works on both Windows and Mac, that makes it our number one pick for video editing professionals in 2022.
Premiere Pro is routinely used by professional video editors to create everything from YouTube videos to Hollywood movies, such as 2021 Oscar nominee Mank. It's also commonly used in the workflow of designers, animators and VFX artists. The interface enhances your productivity by dividing everything into different workspaces, such editing, effects, and audio. Each workspace helps you to manage a specific task and minimises distraction.
The software supports 4K, 8K and VR formats. Its trimming and editing tools give you a high degree of precision and control. You can work on an unlimited number of video tracks, which can be imported from pretty much any source. The automatic sync is a gem when you have multi-angle shots, and it's hard to fault the fine-tuning tools that really make your video stand out from the crowd. Plus you get customisable keyboard shortcuts and great collaboration features.
So what's the best way to download Premiere Pro? Well, if you subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud, you get it Premiere Pro as part of the package, and you'll be able to use it seamlessly with other software, from the motion graphics tool After Effects to Adobe Stock. Alternatively, you can subscribe to just Premiere Pro as a standalone app. There's a seven-day free trial so you can try it out first.
Like all Creative Cloud software, Premiere Pro is constantly being updated, and subscribers get all updates for free. The latest update in February 2022 (version 22.2) introduces Remix, for retiming music to match video content, as well as an offline Speech to Text function.
For more details, check out our Adobe Premiere Pro review, our guides to the best Premiere Pro tutorials, and our comparisons of Premiere Pro vs Premiere Elements and Adobe Premiere Pro vs Premiere Rush.
If you're not working as a full-time video editor, Premiere Pro may be overkill. You'd be better off with a middleweight tool. And in our view CyberLink PowerDirector 365, which is available for Windows and Mac, is the best video editing software for non-pros who have some experience of editing video.
While PowerDirector 365 isn't as powerful and feature rich as Premiere Pro, it's not far off. And its cost, either as a one-off purchase or a monthly or annual subscription, is much more affordable.
Get cracking on the 100-track timeline and you'll soon find yourself making the most of lots of stabilisation and video correction tools, professional effects, multi-cam editing, motion tracking and surprisingly easy trimming. There's 360-degree video editing as well, together with support for all the file standards and formats you can imagine. Then there's slideshows, screen recording, DVD menus, object design tools and more.
You get free and unlimited access to an extensive, royalty-free library of content from Shutterstock. The latest version, released in December 2021, lets you add text or graphics that automatically follow the motion of any object, and introduces three AI-driven features: AI Audio Denoise, AI Video Denoise and AI DeReverb.
With all these sophisticated features, PowerDirector 365 can be quite a learning curve for beginners, for whom we recommend Premiere Elements (next on our list). However, for anyone who's done a bit of video editing, but doesn't need the top-flight pro features of Premiere Pro, it's an excellent option. To learn more, read our Cyberlink PowerDirector review and our comparison article CyberLink PowerDirector vs Corel VideoStudio Ultimate.
If you don't need to edit video for work, but just want to play around with some family or holiday footage for fun, then the two tools listed above are far more complex than you need. Similarly, if you'd like to get into video editing, but have never done any before, their learning curve will be a bit intimidating. Instead, we recommend Adobe's Premiere Elements, which is the best video editing software for beginners and casual users.
As the name suggests, Premiere Elements is a simplified version of Premiere Pro (number one on our list). That makes it cheaper and easier to learn. But it still has a lot of useful, high-end features including face detection, audio effects and bundled soundtracks.
Its interface is very simple and visual, and you get all the video effects you need, including transitions, chroma-keying and opacity. You can develop a fast workflow by harnessing smart search functionality, video stabilisation options, and automated functions, such as motion tracking and smart toning.
The latest version, Premiere Elements 2022, was released last October, and includes a number of cool new features. You can now edit and export video in social-friendly formats. There's also a new auto-reframing tool that lets you select a subject and then focuses on it throughout your video; a new easy-to-use video compression feature based on sliders; and the ability to view animated GIFs within the interface.
Although it's made by Adobe, Premiere Elements is not part of a Creative Cloud subscription, but for a one-off fee. There's also a 30-day free trial. For more details, see our Premiere Elements review and our comparison article, Adobe Premiere Pro vs Adobe Premiere Elements.
Never edited video before, and using a Windows computer? Pinnacle Studio is another good choice for getting started with video editing. Like Premiere Elements, it sits somewhere between the more basic free tools and professional-level video editing tools, both in terms of price and capability.
For a one-off payment, you get more than 1,500 effects, titles, and templates, six-track HD video editing, colour correction tools, a dedicated stop motion feature, time remapping and more. It's very easy to use too.
The latest edition, version 25, was launched in August 2021, and brought everything nicely up to date. Highlights included the introduction of smart object tracking, 8K import, keyframe groups, new blend modes and new audio features.
Pinnacle Studio is pretty cheap, and if you like it, you can always upgrade to one of the more fully-featured packages, Pinnacle Studio Plus and Pinnacle Studio Ultimate. To learn more, read our Pinnacle Studio review.
Along with Premiere Pro, Apple's Final Cut Pro is used today throughout the TV and movie professions. One of the main reasons to choose it is that unlike Premiere Pro, it's subscription-free: you pay once, and once only. Note, though, that it's only available for Mac, not Windows.
Professional video editors love the Magnetic Timeline, grouping tools, a wide range of effects, good organisational features and simple ways to add and edit audio. Other features includes 360° video, HDR and advanced tools for colour correction. However, despite being so powerful and feature-rich, Final Cut Pro (which was known as Final Cut Pro X until that last letter was dropped in 2020), is surprisingly easy to use. And there are lots of resources to help newbies get up to speed: see our guide to the best Final Cut Pro tutorials for more on that.
As Apple software, Final Cut Pro is optimised to get the most out of your Mac. And as you'd expect, integrates nicely with other parts of Apple's ecosystem, such as your Photos or iTunes collections. Every update to Final Cut Pro since its release has been made free. For instance, the latest release in November (10.6.1) improved performance when opening large libraries and introduced fixes for multiple file handling issues.
Final Cut Pro is pretty expensive, but there is a generous 90-day free trial, which compares strikingly with the one-week trial offered by Premiere Pro. For more information, read our article Premiere Pro vs Final Cut Pro and check out our Final Cut Pro review.
Only a decade ago, the idea of doing video editing on a mobile device would have seemed laughable. Nowadays, though, the latest tablets and smartphones are much more powerful, and it's perfectly possible for even pro video editing to be done while on the move.
In our view, the best video editing software for mobile is currently Premiere Rush, which makes all the most important bits of Premiere Pro available on your tablet or phone. Available for iOS and Android, it's available for quite a cheap subscription, and even the free version is pretty powerful.
Premiere Rush offers a simpler version of the Premiere Pro interface, with large icons and panels that are easier to click on a small touchscreen. And while there this means fewer features, you still get all the basics, such as adding videos to the timeline through drag-and-drop and mixing in music. (For more details, see our article Premiere Pro vs Premiere Rush.)
If you're a YouTuber who wants to make quick edits to your clips, Premiere Rush is good for that too. There are export options optimised for Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and more. That alone makes it among the best software for editing videos for YouTube.
Meanwhile, if you're a professional, you'll be pleased to hear that Premiere Rush is nicely integrated with Premiere Pro. So for instance, when you're on a train, you could make some extra edits to footage you previously worked on at the studio on your desktop PC.
Premiere Rush is not only the one of the best video editing apps around today, it's constantly being improved. The most recent release in December, version 2.0, introduced unlimited exports on desktop and availability in additional languages, as well as adding new audio tracks.
In terms of how to get Premiere Rush, you're certainly not short of options. You can get it as part of the Creative Cloud (which means you get Premiere Pro too), or via a single-app subscription. There's also a free starter plan that includes access to the app, 2GB of cloud storage and unlimited free exports on mobile. For full details, see our Premiere Rush review.
If you're reading Creative Bloq, it's very likely you're familiar with Corel's illustration and graphic design software, such as Corel Painter. And if you like Corel's way of doing things, then you'll enjoy using Corel VideoStudio Ultimate, which has a similar interface and general approach that you'll find in all its software.
More generally, this video editing software for Windows is a good choice for beginners and casual users. It has a clear, intuitive interface that makes it easy to get started with video editing. Then, once you've mastered the basics, you can explore more powerful features, such as motion tracking, 4K support, 360-degrees VR video support, a music library, multi-cam support, 3D text editing and thousands of effects.
Corel VideoStudio Ultimate is not for everyone. The way it works with layers is a bit different to rivals, and if you're used to using other video editing software that can be a bit jarring. And on the whole, it's not advanced enough to be suitable for video editing professionals. However, for newcomers, it offers very good value. To learn more, read our Corel VideoStudio Ultimate review, and our comparison of Corel VideoStudio Ultimate vs Adobe Premiere Pro.
If you're new to video editing, or only do it occassionally, Wondershare's Filmora is another good choice at a very reasonable price. It benefits from an intuitive interface that's easy to use, whatever your level of experience. There are a large number of handy built-in titles, effects and filters designed for YouTubers and social media users. There's a library of royalty-free sound effects and music to give your videos impact. And you can also record your own media directly within the tool.
The most recent version (10.5.5) in July introduced Template Mode, which uses AI algorithms to pick highlights from your footage and automatically creates the video for you. Another highlight is the new Cloud Files feature, which allows you to synchronize multiple files and use them across applications.
There's a free version of Filmora, but all your videos will have a watermark on them, so it's really only useful for learning video editing, or trying out the tool. To remove the watermarks, you'll need to take out either an Annual plan, a Lifetime plan for a one-off fee, or an Unlimited plan, which includes unlimited downloads from a stock library, and new effects each month. To learn more, read our Filmora review.
Need to make a social media video, but don't have any experience of doing so? YouTube rival Vimeo offers a paid-for service which helps you do just that, quickly and easily, without needing any particular skills.
Vimeo Create provides a range of pre-prepared templates, so you just drag and drop in your own clips and you're most of the way there. If you don't have your own content, you can also access millions of stock video clips, photos and commercially licensed music tracks for free. It all works in the browser, and the easy interface allows you to produce videos for a variety of aspect ratios for different social platforms, such as square, horizontal and vertical.
Using Vimeo Create is free, but to save and share your video you'll have to pay for a Vimeo Pro, Business or Premium memberships. For more information, read our Vimeo Create review.
Which software is best for video editing?
Right now, Premiere Pro from Adobe tops our list of the best video editing software. This industry-standard, subscription-based tool is aimed at professionals and comes packed with sophisticated and powerful tools. And the latest features, released in October 2021, show just how committed Adobe is to continually updating and improving it.
If you're more of a hobbyist, though, you're probably better off with our second choice, CyberLink PowerDirector 365. It's cheaper and easier to get started with, and it's available to buy via a one-off fee.
What is the easiest software to edit videos?
If you're just starting out in the world of video editing, and using a desktop PC or Mac, our top recommendation is Premiere Elements. It's a simplified version of the more powerful Premiere Pro, so there's not such a steep learning curve, and it's cheaper too. Plus unlike most Adobe tools, it's available for a one-fee rather than a subscription.
What's the best video editing software for mobile?
If you want to edit videos on your phone or tablet, we'd suggest checking out Premiere Rush, which makes all the most important bits of Premiere Pro available for iOS and Android devices. Its interface is nice and simple, with large icons and panels that are easier to click on a small touchscreen. But you still get a range of useful features, such as adding videos to the timeline through drag-and-drop and mixing in music. It's nicely integrated with Premiere Pro, too, so you can work on the same footage on your desktop computer and on the move.
What is the best video editor for free?
If you have zero cash to spend, then our guide to the best free video editing software will give you lots of options. But bear in mind that many of these tools have serious limitations, such as ads, watermarks or limited features.
An alternative to these free-but-flawed tools is to opt for a free trial of one of the paid options that we list above. This will enable you to explore your options before making a decision. Just don't forget to cancel your trial if you don't want to be charged!
How difficult is video editing?
Learning to edit video isn't something that should intimidate you. If you've ever used any kind of app on web or mobile, you'll be able to use video editing software. You just have to start with the basics and build up your skills from there. Whatever video editing software you use, there are plenty of tutorials online to get you started, and often the best ones are provided free by the makers themselves. Check out our guide to Premiere Pro tutorials to get an idea of what's out there, and read our Premiere Pro tips for further pointers.
What do most YouTubers use to edit their videos?
Anecdotally, the most popular video editing software amongst YouTubers are iMovie, Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro. iMovie is a common choice among beginners and casual YouTubers, because it's free, already installed on Apple devices, and does everything you need for basic editing. If you're on Android, though, we'd recommend Adobe's Premiere Rush.
Pro and semi-pro YouTubers, meanwhile, need something more sophisticated, and so most opt for either Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro. For more details, read The best software for editing videos for YouTube.
How do you edit a video for TikTok?
You don't need to be a video professional to edit videos for TikTok; nor do you need video editing software. The TikTok app itself offers everything you need to create your video, including editing your footage, adding effects and transitions, adding music or other audio clips, and posting it to TikTok. Find out more in our article How to edit a video on TikTok.