Best YouTube Editing Software

YouTube is the most popular platform for sharing videos worldwide now. If you have ever wanted to become a video content creator, now is the time. But what is the best YouTube editing software? Famous YouTubers never post their videos unedited, didn't you know?

Every minute, users upload over 500 hours of video content to YouTube.

You could share tutorials and guides, vlogs, funny videos, etc. However, before sharing them, you should always use video editing software to crop out boring parts of the video and jump straight to the action. You can also add dynamic transitions and merge several video clips.

To do all of those, you will need to use a free video editor for YouTube. Even though YouTube has some video editing tools, third-party software is still needed for more advanced features. In this article, we provide you with 5 YouTube editing software options

how we test products

How we picked video editing software for YouTube

Here are the key criteria we considered when choosing YouTube video editors:

  • Ease of use. The program should have an intuitive user interface, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced editors.
  • Video editing tools. The software should provide a range of editing features, such as cutting, trimming, splitting, merging, adding transitions, text overlays, and audio adjustments.
  • Performance. The video editor should handle video files smoothly, especially if you plan to edit high-resolution footage.

Best YouTube Editing Software

Program Available Good for beginners Runs on weak computers Price Rating
Icecream Video Editor
Windows
Intuitive interface
Yes
Free
5.0
DaVinci Resolve
Windows
MacOS
Linux
iOS
Interface might be overwhelming
No
Free
4.5
Vimeo
Online
Yes
Yes
Free with a watermark
4.0
InVideo
Online
iOS
Android
Yes
Yes
$180 a year
3.5
Adobe Premiere Pro
Windows
MacOS
iOS
Android
No
No
$240 a year
4.0

1. Icecream Video Editor

Icecream Video Editor is a basic yet powerful tool. It is lightweight and probably the best free video editing software for YouTube.

Before digital video editing, films were edited using physical film strips. Editors literally cut and spliced film reels together.

This free video editing software is one of the best options when it comes to simplicity and ease of use. You can add video files to the timeline, and then carry out basic actions like video trimming, cropping, and adding various filters.

When joining two clips, a lot of different transitions are available – dissolves, fades, bounces, wipes, etc. Any video is more fun and exciting with these transitions.

Free video editor

Unfortunately, other than these this YouTube video editor does not have many other tools. That is not a problem, though, since most beginners don’t actually need a lot of complicated and advanced tools. This is an editor that anyone can learn to use in a few minutes.

Pros:

  • Supports all basic video, audio, and image editing.
  • Minimalistic and easy-to-use interface.
  • Has all the necessary basic features without overwhelming beginners.

Cons:

  • Lacks a lot of advanced editing features.

2. DaVinci Resolve

Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve is almost too good to be true.

It is an app to edit a video for YouTube that is used by not just casual users but also professionals who work in videos. Even some of the biggest Hollywood Blockbusters have used DaVinci Resolve for various post-editing work. And it’s free!

DaVinci video editor

There are simply far too many tools in even the free version of DaVinci resolve to mention them all here. You can have multiple timelines for videos, audio, and image overlays that can be edited separately as needed.

Every kind of editing tool is available – you can merge videos trim them, crop, add filters, special effects, transitions, color correction, etc.

Edit video length

If you are searching for professional tools in video editing software for YouTube, DaVinci is probably a perfect option for you.

Most of those tools are extremely customizable as well. It might be overwhelming to beginners, but there are plenty of step-by-step tutorials out there on how to edit a YouTube video using this app.

Pros:

  • Sleek and customizable user interface.
  • A huge range of extremely in-depth editing tools for videos.
  • Additional tools are available through plugins.
  • Competes with paid, professional-grade software for free.

Cons:

  • A high learning curve makes it hard for beginners to learn.
  • Requires a high-end PC with lots of space and a dedicated GPU.

3. Vimeo

For those looking for free video editing software to use from anywhere, Vimeo YouTube video maker is the best option out there.

This online video editor is fully in-browser, so there’s no need to download and install editing apps for YouTube. It has all the basic functions like trimming, cropping, and adding transitions.

Online video editor

It also has a huge library of stock photos and video clips that can be used to spice up your content.

If you plan to use this free video editor, be prepared to wait a bit, however. Video files take a long time to be processed, especially in a browser. Both uploading your files and processing the final video will take a while since they have to be sent through the Internet.

Despite that, InVideo is definitely on the good YouTube editing apps list.

Pros:

  • Fully online editor inside the browser.
  • Simple and user-friendly interface with plenty of tools.
  • Huge library of templates and stock clips to use in your videos.

Cons:

  • Slow in general, as everything is done and transferred over the internet.
  • A watermark on the videos in the free version.

4. InVideo

Artificial intelligence is getting surprisingly powerful these days. It is already used for a lot of purposes that require video analysis, such as self-driving and facial recognition.

So, why not learn how to edit a YouTube video with it as well? That is the purpose of InVideo, a browser-based, AI-powered video editor.

You can start from scratch or use one of the pre-designed templates to edit a video for YouTube. The online video editor offers a variety of editing tools for trimming, cutting, and arranging video clips. It also allows to add background music and transitions.

Free video editor

InVideo has a unique feature called "AI text to video" that can automatically convert your text description into video clips. If you use this option, an AI will generate the video by adding a variety of special effects, motion, and transitions to stock video clips.

InVideo aims to make the video editing process accessible to a wide range of users, including those who don't have previous experience. It's often used by content creators, educators, and businesses looking to create a YouTube video for their audiences.

Pros:

  • Fully online, can be used from any web browser at any time.
  • Lots of templates and background music options to select from.
  • There is no need to learn video editing at all.
  • It allows multiple users to work on the same project simultaneously.

Cons:

  • You have very little control over the final product.
  • InVideo adds a watermark if you are not a premium user.
  • Free users can't export edited videos.

5. Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is the ultimate video editing software for YouTube. It is used by professionals everywhere, ranging from marketing and presentations to filmography.

No video editing tool is excluded. You can customize and edit a video down to the last detail, using a variety of cropping, trimming, color grading, motion detection, audio enhancement, and 3D special effects rendering tools.

Adobe Premiere Pro

This is what we might call the best YouTube editing software.

Premiere Pro also integrates with other related tools in the Adobe suite such as Lightroom for color editing, Audition for sound editing, or After Effects for even more detailed special effects customization.

The only disadvantages to Premiere Pro are its high costs, $240 a year, and the fact it is quite difficult for beginners to learn. If you are proficient enough, this is your app to edit videos for YouTube.

Pros:

  • Almost every single tool is available.
  • Plenty of plugins and downloadable templates.
  • Integrates with other Adobe software easily.

Cons:

  • Extremely high learning curve.
  • Steep price tag.

FAQ

How can I add music to my YouTube videos legally?
Use royalty-free music from platforms like YouTube Audio Library, or Epidemic Sound. You can also search for royalty-free songs or obtain licenses for copyrighted music.
Can I edit videos directly on YouTube's platform?
Yes, YouTube offers a basic video editor within its Creator Studio. However, it has limited features compared to dedicated video editing software.
How can I add subtitles or captions to my YouTube videos during the editing process?
Most video editing software provides tools for adding subtitles or captions. You can manually type them or use automatic captioning features, ensuring accessibility and audience engagement.
Are there recommended video formats or resolutions for YouTube uploads?
YouTube suggests using common video formats like MP4 and resolutions such as 1080p (1920x1080) or 4K (3840x2160) for optimal playback quality.
How can I optimize my YouTube videos for search engines?
Including relevant keywords in titles, descriptions, and tags. Additionally, create engaging thumbnails and compelling metadata to improve discoverability.
Can I use copyrighted material in my YouTube videos if I'm editing for commentary?
You can use copyrighted material in YouTube videos for commentary or criticism under fair use provisions, but it's essential to add transformative elements, provide context, and ensure your use doesn't infringe on the original creator's rights.
How can I track the performance of my edited YouTube videos after they've been uploaded?
You can use YouTube Analytics, which provides insights into metrics like views, watch time, audience retention, and engagement. Use this analysis to refine your editing strategies and improve future content.

Conclusion

Depending on your goals and skills, you are most likely to choose the best video editing software for YouTube from this list. Make your content outstanding, engaging, and special with the help of the best video editing apps.

Paul Skidmore

Tech Writer and Photography Aficionado

Paul is a self-professed photography and tech nerd and has years of experience working with various editing software. He has a passion for travel and has taken his camera to destinations including Antarctica, Singapore, Indonesia, and Greenland.
6 min read
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