Creating videos in a Windows environment is not complex at all, as long as you have complete and versatile tools. Free video editors often don’t offer the most advanced features that a user would expect to find or, in many cases, are full of advertising references or restrictions placed specifically to encourage the purchase of Premium versions, for a fee.
In our article we want to recommend the best free video editors of the moment, useful to create from scratch new content or to edit a video already made by extracting parts, assembling it to others and adding filters and effects.
We start by presenting what Windows 10 offers and then move on to the best free video editing software.
In the past, Microsoft offered a video editor that wasn’t a professional one, but that could meet many of the needs of normal users: Windows Movie Maker.
This program is no longer integrated in Windows and is no longer even supported by Microsoft.
Windows 10 still includes a hidden editor for video editing: to start it just right click on the video file to edit and then choose Open with, Photo.
With a click on Edit and create in the toolbar at the top, you will access what remains in Windows 10 of the application Story remix, presented by Microsoft in 2017 with the launch of the Fall Creators Update.
You can quickly trim the video so as to remove unwanted parts, add a slow motion effect, save only some images that make up the video (single frames), add drawings or artistic effects.
With a click on the item Create a video with text you can access additional functions: the Photo app will allow you to create a new video by combining multiple movie sequences or static images. Thanks to Photo, you can create a slideshow or a real video by joining and applying effects on multiple elements.
Free Video Editors: Which Ones are the Best
You can trim parts of the video, add effects with a simple click and especially insert titles and texts very easily. The application, in this regard, offers a number of predesigned layouts along with tools to place texts in various areas of the screen.
Using the 16:9 or 4:3 setting, you can define the video format while clicking on Audio you can specify the audio tracks to be used. It is a shame that there is currently no transition of any kind.
OpenShot: Complete, Easy to use and Opensource
Available in versions for Windows, macOS and Linux, OpenShot is an extraordinary video editor that leaves you speechless when you realize what it allows you to do and what its potential is.
Just think that in addition to the basic features that OpenShot shares with other programs in its category, it offers support for animations based on setting a curve of movement, 3D effects, video transitions with real-time previews, audio and video multitrack, titles and subtitles.
OpenShot also allows you to superimpose images and video streams, alter video playback speed, adjust brightness, color and chroma key.
Characterized by a very clear user interface, OpenShot is easy to use but, at the same time, extremely powerful and versatile. It is also an open source program based on a particularly vibrant development community.
The latest version of OpenShot can be downloaded by referring to this page.
VideoPad Video Editor: Simple Even if it Lacks Advanced Features
Among the free programs for video editing you can’t help but mention VideoPad Video Editor, a software that supports a wide range of video formats, drag and drop, the use of transitions and effects, 3D video editing, text and layer overlapping, video stabilization, direct control over colors.
The program offers a library of sound effects that you can use to create your own videos and consists of tools to change the speed of playback of movie sequences, to play the video in the opposite direction, to import music, to export videos directly to YouTube.
The program, which can be downloaded by clicking here, is completely free but only for personal use (therefore not for commercial purposes). Available in Windows and macOS versions.
Hitfilm Express: for Professional Use
Hitfilm Express is a free video editor developed mainly for professional use. Although its main field of application is the application of visual effects (VFX), the program boasts multiple tools for basic video editing.
Hitfilm Express offers a user interface that is certainly simpler than Davinci Resolve (a program that we have not deliberately included in our overview and that is designed especially for more advanced users) but the learning curve is not at all high.
Among the advantages of Hitfilm Express, the really versatile timeline, the ability to continue video editing during export activities (which are also quite slow compared to other software), the ability to create 4K and 360 degrees video.
The software is distributed in the versions for Windows and macOS (downloadable by clicking here). Compared to other programs, however, it requires the use of a sufficiently powerful system: the minimum requirements are available at this address. It must be said that some features require the purchase of a license.
Shotcut: a free and open source simple software, suitable for those who are now approaching the world of video editing
A good alternative to the software presented above is Shotcut, distributed under the GNU GPLv3 license.
Already presented in our article Program to cut videos, remove parts and merge them, Shotcut is a cross-platform software that can be installed on Windows, Linux and macOS systems.
It has a wide range of features for editing and applying video effects: it supports virtually all video formats, 4K content creation, streaming content playback over the network, color grading (to apply interventions on the color of scenes for aesthetic and communicative purposes).
The latest version of Shotcut can be downloaded free of charge from this page also in the form of portable software that therefore does not require installation on the system in use.