We scoured the market and tested dozens of software to determine the best video editing software for beginners is Movavi's Video Editor 15 Plus. This is our Editor's Choice due to their mix of excellent features, a simple user interface, and support for add-on video editing packs through the Movavi Effects Store.
As a runner-up, we think the Vegas Movie Studio 16 Platinum is the second best video editing software for a beginner. Originally derived from the professional Sony's Vegas platform, MAGIX purchased the intellectual rights to this software and simplified it to offer an entry-level video editing suite which has become Vegas Movie Studio.
Lastly, for Mac users looking to get good video editing potential without spending any cash, we recommend Apple's iMovie software, which comes free with every modern Mac. This video editing software is one of the easiest to learn for beginners, offering a toned down feel to their more advanced, Final Cut Pro X.
Movavi Video Editor 15 Plus
A top video editing software for beginners that is easy to learn and has powerful functionality.
Movavi has been producing applications since 2004, but their video editing software has taken off in recent years thanks to more beginners getting into video editing for YouTube. This video editor is feature packed, optimized to perform well on most machines and offers great value.
$59.99 from Movavi* (Free Trial)
*Pricing as of 7/3/19
Vegas Movie Studio 16 Platinum
MAGIX's Vegas video editing suite has a great user interface, built-in tutorials and plenty of features.
MAGIX has been a developer of affordable video editing software for years. Their recent acquisition of Sony's Vegas software has resulted in a beginner video editing suite now known as Vegas Movie Studio 16.
$59.99 from MAGIX* (Free Trial)
*Pricing as of 7/3/19
Best Free Mac Video Editing Software For Beginners
A free video editing app from Apple that offers one of the easiest ways to learn as a beginner.
iMovie has been around for decades and Apple has done a great job updating it over the years. After being made free to Mac owners in recent years, iMovie is one of the easiest video editing apps for beginners.
*With the purchase of any recent Mac
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Guide Shortcuts (Jump To A Section)
Why Invest In A Good Software To Edit Videos?
What To Look For With An Entry-Level Video Editing Program
Comparing The Top Beginner Video Editing Applications
Best Video Editing Software For Beginners
Final Thoughts & Guide Summary
We understand that all of this information on entry-level video editing software might be a lot for some of you to take in, especially if you know nothing about the topic. However, we recommend reading the entirety of this guide as we will cover most of the essential aspects to consider before investing in a beginner video editing software.
For those with more experience with video editing and are looking to step up from a beginner software, skip this article and move to our best professional video editing software guide. This will be more suitable to those with the proper skills and budget to take on the more complicated but feature-packed NLEs.
If you get through this entire guide and still find yourself with a lingering question or concern about the best video editing for beginners, use the comments section below this article. We will do our best to answer each comment quickly and be as helpful as we can in answering your question or giving advice.
Why Invest In A Good Software To Edit Videos?
As the digital age of multimedia and social networks become more of a norm, we are being immersed in video content more each day. However, many consumers have never had any experience editing video and find the idea of it to be a daunting task.
Fortunately, there are many beginner video editing apps out that practically everyone can afford. They offer easy to use interfaces and step-by-step tutorials to gain valuable knowledge related to editing video.
Some of you may be thinking: why would I ever need to edit a video? We compiled a list of three of the most common reasons why you should purchase a beginner-friendly video editing software:
Edit Home Videos & Preserve Them In Digital
Home videos have been around since the creation of traditional film cameras, but with the massive advancements in digital technology and HD or sometimes even 4K cameras being right in our pockets at all times, more video is being taken by everyday people than ever before.
With a beginner video editing software, you can create simple highlights of important memories like family vacations, birthday parties, sporting events, school plays, or your child's first steps. Cutting out all the unnecessary parts of the video and preserving only the best moments for future reference.
Since all of these entry-level editing solutions offer a way to export an edited video to social media, you can automatically upload a video to Facebook, YouTube or Vimeo for safe keeping and it is one of the easiest ways to share it with friends or family.
Impress Your Friends Or Advertise Your Business Through Videos On Social Media
Social media has quickly become the most used way to consume information, whether it is staying in touch with friends or family or for advertising your business to get the attention of new potential customers.
With an entry-level video editing software, you'll be able to edit and share the best moments that are happening in your life whether it is video from a coveted sporting event, travel experience or life event.
If you own any business, then you should be aware that video marketing is one of the hottest trends in advertising right now with 55% of people watching videos online every day and over 8 billion video views on Facebook daily.
Creating a short introduction or promotional video for your business gives you a chance to get yourself in front of a new audience of potential customers and add a more personal touch to your branding.
Learn The Basics Of Video Editing Through Experience
For some of you, a creative side is part of your DNA and may have had an interest in multimedia editing for quite a while yet are intimidated by the thought of beginning to learn how to edit video.
Professional video editing software can be overly confusing for an inexperienced editor, and it can scare away someone who wants to start with the basics. With entry-level editing software, you won't get too overburdened with confusing interfaces or overly-complex tools. Instead, you will get a smooth, easy to understand learning experience to hone in your video editing skills.
Better yet, some of the applications that we recommend in this article will offer dedicated step-by-step and “how to” guides for video editing fundamentals. These range from starting from how to cut your first clip to adding a title sequence. As many of you know, the best way to learn something new than through hands-on experience and frequent repetition.
What Features To Look For In A Beginner Video Editor
Since you are new to the concept of video editing, there are a few features and attributes about the various beginner software out there. These elements will help you best determine how the software will work for your needs and help justify whether the pricing is worth it compared to competitors.
Here are some areas to keep in mind when choosing an video editing software for beginners:
- Brand – selecting a software developed by a well-known company will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. This is due to the reliability of the application, customer support if you run into issues and the frequency of updates that push our new features or increase compatibility for new cameras.
- Price – an critical aspect to consider for anyone starting out as we know most of your budgets will be significantly lower than an experienced video editor, but most companies in this industry price their entry-level software accordingly for beginners.
- PC/Mac support – a crucial aspect to consider is whether you plan to utilize the editing software on a Windows or Mac computer. Most of the video editing apps recommended in this article is for Windows or PC use, but there are two options for anyone using an Apple or Mac.
- 4K editing – many modern video cameras or smartphone will shoot 4K video (offering the best video quality), so choosing an editing software that can import and edit these high-resolution files is a good idea as well as future-proofing your software investment.
- Video stabilizer – if you are new to video editing, you probably don't have the art of filmmaking or capturing video mastered just yet. While this is normal, a big issue amateurs make when shooting video is they tend to shake the camera causing unpleasant footage accidentally. A good video editing program will offer a built-in stabilizer functionality to help smooth out any shakiness from your captured video footage.
- Face detection – a relatively new feature to video editing software is face detection which allows the program the ability to scan your imported video content and automatically highlight clips of which it has detected faces within. This helps to locate the best video clips as well as setup smart editing actions like zooming or stabilization onto your subject.
- Social media exporting – most beginners will be editing video for the web (instead of printing on a DVD or Blu-Ray), so it is convenient to verify there are built-in social media export options within the application you use. With this feature, you can log into your social media accounts and have the program automatically upload the best quality of your edited video file to your profile without having to jump through any hoops.
- Chroma key – if you want to film yourself or someone else in front of a green screen and insert a different background in the video footage then you'll need this feature. This is a more advanced feature, but still one that some beginners seek.
- Audio editing – while all video editors will be able to work with audio files in some way, this references the ability to adjust audio levels and set more in-depth filters or customizations to make the resulting audio sound the best.
Comparing The Top Video Editors For Beginners
Best Video Editing Software For Beginners
Movavi Video Editor 15 Plus
- Compatible with both Mac & Windows
- One of the easiest user interfaces for video editing
- Comes packed with a bunch of filters, transitions, titles, effects, intros, outros and built-in music
- Still offers advanced editing tools like chroma key, video stabilization and audio editing
- Engineered to operate on lower-end machines while editing HD and 4K video
- The tutorials and guides (free and plentiful on their website) are not integrated into the software such as they are with some of the competing video editors
$59.99 from Movavi (Free 7-day Trial)
Movavi is one of the lesser-known developers of video editing software, but their Video Editor Plus is designed specifically with beginners in mind. Developed for both Windows & Mac users, this is a great starting point for a beginner looking to learn a video editor without the hassle or confusion of a more professional option and it runs decently on cheap computers.
The newest version 15 of Movavi's Video Editor Plus offers a new and improved timeline based on user feedback. There is also a new object animation that allows you to add movement to your overlaid clips, titles, stickers, and callouts. With a library of built-in media, you can add their pre-selected video clips, themed stickers, or music tracks (for more variety be sure to check out our guide on the best royalty free music sites).
For those who want to make a simple video montage without the hassle of actually manually editing the video yourself, you can have Movavi's Video Editor 15 Plus do all the heavy lifting for you. Their new smart montage wizard which will automatically create a video based on the photos, video, and images you select in just a few minutes.
One of the best things about Movavi that sets it apart of the rest of the top video editing software for beginners is their ‘Effects Store.' By browsing this ever-growing library of add-on content packs, you can easily purchase titles, stickers, background, or transitions to help aid in the creation of themed video content.
Vegas Movie Studio 16 Platinum
- A simplified version of the popular Sony Vegas video editor
- Offers a great mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced editing features
- Good user interface and organization
- Lots of support for native formatting with DSLRs, smartphones and GoPros
- Extensive audio editing capabilities
- Only available for Windows/PC users (no Mac version)
- More complex than some of the other beginner video editing apps listed within this guide
$59.99 from MAGIX (Free 30-Day Trial)
Sony was the originator of the Vegas video editing software, and the company produced many iterations of this application for high-end use. However, the rights to the software were acquired by MAGIX back in 2016 as Sony stepped away from this segment of the industry.
Vegas Movie Studio 16 is the company's entry-level software for consumers looking to get involved in video editing with no prior knowledge or experience. There are three iterations of this video editor, which all differ by various feature limitations and more built-in templates as the pricing increases.
This upgraded Platinum version (2nd best package) can handle most of the editing techniques that you'll need to get started. It is worth noting that version of Vegas Movie Studio 16 does include the stabilization feature as well as motion tracking features, yet the base Vegas Movie Studio 16 Platinum does not.
Adobe Premiere Elements 19
- Compatible with both Mac & Windows machines
- Integrated video editing tutorials & tips
- Built-in face, location and activity recognition to quickly find certain videos based on attributes
- Improved performance for working with high resolution video files & faster editing performance
- Frequent up-sell attempts for Adobe's CC subscription
- Significantly more expensive than our other video editing software for beginners recommendations
$99.99 from Adobe (Free 30-Day Trial)
The Elements line from Adobe is comprised of two pieces of software, Photoshop Elements (for photo editing) and Premiere Elements (for video editing). Both are sold separately for $99 each or $149 for the bundle.
A leader in the digital media industry, Adobe Premiere Pro CC (the big brother to this software) has been chosen as our Editor's Choice for professional video editing software and is our best alternative to Final Cut Pro for Windows.
With a focus on ease of use, convenience, and learning through hands-on experience, Premiere Elements 19 will help make you a better video editor even if you've had no prior experience. Their stellar interface that can be customized to your skill level (it can hide the more advanced features) mixed with their guided edits make this software one of the best video editors for beginners.
Premiere Elements 19 is available for both the Mac or PC. However, the licensing is separate, so you'll have to buy the right version the first time around or re-purchase the correct license if you switch from Mac to PC or vice-versa.
Wondershare Filmora 9
- Available for both Windows and Mac users
- Free 24/7 tech support (email only)
- Supports native 4K video importing
- Can layer up to 100 different types of media for complex edits
- Built-in tools for fisheye distortion (GoPro), camera shakiness, chroma key, slow-motion or reverse playback
- Not as many advanced features available within the software as your skills grow
- Some additional content packs require you to purchase a subscription to utilize
$69.99 from Wondershare (Free 30-day Trial)
Wondershare has been in the software development game for many years, and their main focus has been on providing consumer-centered video editing solutions. Filmora 9 is their best beginner video editor, and it comes packed with most of the features you seek with a sleek user interface.
Their marketing efforts showcase Filmora 9 being used for editing YouTube or social media videos such as vlogs, make-up tutorials, and even mukbang videos. With the ease of use that Filmora 9 offers coupled with its support for both Mac and PC users, there is a lot to like about this software yet it just doesn't offer as good of an overall experience as our best editing software for beginners Editor's Choice.
CyberLink PowerDirector 17 Ultimate
- Plenty of editing tools and functionality that is ideal for beginners as well as intermediate editors
- Includes 25GB of cloud storage for 1 year
- Offered in a free trial period for the first 30 days
- Priced significantly higher than most beginner video editing software
- There are a lot of third-party plugins and content-packs that are only available for PowerDirector 365 subscribers (starts at $69.99/year)
- Not offered for Apple computers (no Mac support)
$129.99 from CyberLink (Free 30-day Trial)
The PowerDirector 17 Ultimate software by CyberLink is similar to the WonderShare and MAGIX competition with a lot of functionality wrapped up into an affordable, standalone software. You get a clean user interface and plenty of features, both basic and advanced. This leaves plenty of room to hone your skills with this software while it grows with your video editing abilities.
A neat feature for beginners is their ‘express projects' functionality, which allows you to create an edited video in just a few short steps while skipping much of the traditional editing confusion. This utilizes a ‘storyboard mode' which merely requires you to import footage, drag and drop the order and then export the edited video sequence for posting on social media or sharing with family/friends.
Similar to Corel, the PowerDirector 17 Ultimate software is intelligent and can automate some tasks that are difficult on other programs. One of these functionalities is the application's ‘intelligent color correction' which will scan your footages for situations where the lighting affected the look of your footage. From there, it can automatically correct the colors and make the video footage look best across your entire timeline.
Adobe Premiere Rush
- Works cross platform with iOS, Mac, Android & Windows
- Can import Rush project into Premiere Pro at a later date
- Up to 100GB of cloud storage is included with Premiere Rush
- Includes access to Adobe Fonts and Adobe Portfolio
- Very basic design and featureset
- Monthly subscription model only (free trial available)
$9.99/month from Adobe (Free Trial Available)
One of the newest video editing products from Adobe is their Premiere Rush product which is a very toned down and basic version of their Premiere Pro editor. Unlike Premiere Pro, Rush is designed for the beginner user, giving a much more basic user interface with fewer buttons, options, and elements that may confuse a lesser-skilled user.
Due to the core audience being someone who is just beginning to learn video editing, Adobe made the device compatibility broad offering support for all major mobile and computer operating systems. Depending on your desired video edits, Rush may be all you'll need with the convenience of cloud storage and cross-platform editing potential.
However, as your skills and expertise in the video editing realm improve, you'll find yourself limited with Adobe's Premiere Rush capabilities. As long as you have the budget, you can upgrade to one of the best editing solutions, Adobe Premiere Pro later on which can natively import and sync video edits from your Adobe Rush files.
- Free to download and use for all modern Mac owners
- Simple user interface is easy to learn
- Supports native 4K video from mobile devices, action cams, DSLRs or mirrorless cameras
- Some advanced features for videos like chroma key
- Built-in Touch Bar features for editing video on a newer MacBook Pro model
- Available exclusively for Mac users (no Windows support)
- Will only work (for free at least) on a Mac computer that was purchased in recent years
- Low amount of advanced features as your video editing skills increase
Download iMovie For Free Via Mac App Store
iMovie has been a staple in the Mac world since its release back in 1999. Apple has continued to update the software, thus keeping the beginners happy. In recent years, the Cupertino-based company would charge an affordable $14.99 through its Mac App Store for access to iMovie. In April 2017, they decided to make it free for all users of modern Macs thus making it a best video editor for beginners.
This is excellent news for anyone looking to learn video editing who owns an iMac or MacBook, but unfortunately, you cannot use this software on a PC. Compared to its older sibling, Final Cut Pro X, iMovie is a very toned-down version of the video editing software only offering the bare essentials with convenient features like facial recognition.
If you have one of the newer MacBook Pros, iMovie gives you full access to use the TouchBar natively software which is convenient for scrubbing your video timeline or switching editing tools. Apple updates iMovie regularly so you'll be able to stay up on top of the latest trends though it already can handle 4K video editing and comes packed with fun templates and presets.
When you take into consideration aspects like pricing, features and user interface, the best video editor for beginners is Movavi's Video Editor 15 Plus.
We decided this was our Editor's Choice based on the reasonable flat pricing, one of the easiest interfaces and set of features that can cater to video editors who are just beginning all the way to an intermediate or advanced user.
If you don't want to go with Movavi for whatever reason, our runner up is MAGIX's Vegas Movie Studio 16 Platinum which offers a lot of the same features and performance, but lacks Mac support and is a bit more complex to learn.
Regardless of which beginner video editing software you choose from this list, they should all be suitable enough to learn some great video editing skills.
Best Overall Choice
Movavi Video Editor 15 Plus