Without a solid editor for YouTube videos, you'll have trouble making deep adjustments to your videos. You might do fine with the basic editing YouTube Studio provides, but some projects need a heavier treatment.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options. Among all the video editing software out there are many free video editors, and within those are programs that are great for editing YouTube videos, specifically.
There are editors for all platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and others. These programs let you do all sorts of things to your videos: add text, join clips, overlay filters, create fade effects, import music, delete unwanted video sections, display a watermark, run macros, and lots more.
Uncluttered user interface.
Lots of customizable options.
Updates often with improvements/features.
Large setup file might take a while to download.
High system requirements.
Many features must be purchased through add-ons.
HitFilm has lots of features any YouTuber will love. Some of the more advanced capabilities like chroma key and picture-in-picture will cost you, but they're decently priced. Plus, there's still a lot to like with this free YouTube video editor, even if you never buy an add-on.
Some of HitFilms' best features include the ability to auto-save as frequently as every minute, its dozens of keyboard shortcuts, colored labels (for 3D effects, text, models, composite shots, images, and more), and the option to crop a clip and animate it to control which part is visible. You can also set a custom maximum undo level, access several default template options including 1080p Full HD, mix and balance audio, use a helpful select tool to grab everything before or after the playhead, and add unlimited video and audio tracks.
This free video editor for YouTube was designed for Windows 10 64-bit and macOS 11, 10.15, and 10.14.
You have to make a user account with FXhome before you can download the software, and then log in with that same account to find the download link and ultimately activate the program.
No software download.
Quick signup process.
Free video and audio files to use.
Exports up to 1080p.
Some options you see aren't free.
Microsoft's Clipchamp has you covered if you're only interested in a quick editor for your YouTube video. It lives entirely online, so no software download is required. Plus, it couldn't be easier to use.
This free video editing website won't produce HD videos, but it does export to MP4 and accepts audio, video, and pictures. It also lets you create voiceovers just by entering text, change the speed of any video clip, resize or crop videos to fit the screen, rotate and flip videos, pick from around a dozen filters, fade in and out any video/audio file, and use transitions between files.
You can add content to your video by uploading the files to the Clipchamp website from your phone or computer, by importing them from cloud storage services (e.g., Google Photos, Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, or OneDrive), or by recording your screen or webcam. Drag them onto the timeline to arrange the files and clip out what you don't need.
Because this editor is online only, it works with all operating systems. You can sign in with your email address or your Google, Microsoft, Facebook, or Dropbox account.
Upload directly to YouTube.
Keep editing while rendering or exporting.
Free video tutorials.
Auto-save and background processing.
Can't export to UHD 4K.
Lacks collaboration features found in Pro version.
Lightworks is an award-winning video editor that's completely free. One major limitation is that you don't get support for all the export formats that you'd find in Lightworks Pro.
This free video editor is perfect for YouTubers for many reasons: add your voice directly to the timeline, import videos in batches, build macros for quicker editing, preview fonts in real time, export videos up to 720p, and publish directly to your YouTube account.
Some of this program's other features include drag-and-drop support, "fit to fill," full-screen mode, customizable layouts, precise trimming via the keyboard, multicam clip switching, auto-sync on import, transitions and filters, batch export, and playback comparison of two sources.
If you need helping using it, they have video tutorials and an active community forum.
The official list of operating systems it runs on includes Windows 10, Windows 8, macOS 10.11 or higher, and Ubuntu and other Linux versions.
Several useful features.
Includes free music and other add-ons.
Forces a watermark at the bottom.
Few built-in themes and media files.
Another free editing app for YouTube videos is FilmoraGo. It manages to be fairly easy to use while also packing some great features like a built-in library of music, video transitions, and basic video editing tools.
YouTube editors will also like these features: export to 720p, add your own voice directly from your phone, overlay another video for a picture-in-picture effect, send the video directly to YouTube when finished, instantly apply a theme to the whole video, use your own music, the presets, or the free downloadables, include clip transitions (bounce, distort, roll, push, etc.), import files from Facebook/Instagram or Google, crop clips 16:9 or blur/cut the edges, overlay objects like leaves and hearts, add titles with fun styles, adjust the speed of a clip, rotate videos, and adjust brightness, temperature, vignette, contrast, and more.
FilmoraGo runs on Android and iOS. There's a desktop version of Filmora, too, for Windows and macOS, but it leaves a large watermark across the middle of the video unless you pay to have it removed.
KineMaster and Videoshop are some other awesome free YouTube video editors for mobile devices, but we've omitted them from this list because both will stamp a watermark on top of the video unless you pay to have it removed. With FilmoraGo, the watermark is only on the bottom and you can pay a few bucks to have it removed.