Video Editing Software for Beginners

Choosing video editing software doesn't have to be difficult – they all perform the same functions, but in different ways. It's a personal choice, and the best video editing software for you will depend on what you're trying to achieve with your editing and what you're comfortable with using.

At some point, everyone with a video camera or a smartphone will realize they have tons of video clips and footage, and they aren't sure what to do with it, or how to do anything with it. If you're a beginner looking for a way of merging or combining video clips together into one video, you will need to use some video editing software.

(The links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking our links. Read my disclosure policy here.)

Here is a list of Video Editing Software options with direct links. In this post, I'll dive into some of the editors in greater detail below:

Video Editing for Beginners

If you are totally brand new to video editing, I highly recommend you stick to the basics. For example, iMovie and Premiere Elements are perfectly suited for beginners, but still have more advanced functions so you can “spice things up” a bit once you'd learned the ropes. I have several tutorials on getting started with each of those, which you will find listed below. If you're unfamiliar with the video editing process, be sure to watch my video on How to Edit Videos because I break it down in a very simplistic way.

Adobe Premiere Elements

(Mac & PC) $99.99 – From the world-class graphics editing company, Adobe, you can expect Adobe Premiere Elements to be a top of the line, home movie editing package. I like to recommend Premiere Elements because it essentially has “training wheels,” making it an easy program to learn for a complete beginner, but is also packed with more advanced editing features you can pick up on over time. Premiere Elements offers “automated options, special effects, and in-app guidance to turn your video clips into entertaining movies that will wow family and friends.”

More about Premiere Elements

iMovie

(Mac) free or $15 – iMovie is a fun piece of video editing software. I like to recommend iMovie to beginner home movie hobbyists. It’s very beginner-friendly, and even pros use it to throw movies together quickly and easily. It's not designed specially as GoPro software, but it works extremely well. The workflow and layout is very similar to higher end editors, so it’s a good gateway, so to speak. If you can get the hang of iMovie, then you’re well on your way to top notch home movies.

More about iMovie

VSDC

(PC) free – VSDC is a free video editor for PC users, and it promises to “Cut, merge video files, apply visual and audio effects, use filtration and image correction, make slideshows and add an appropriate soundtrack.” Download VSDC here.  I created a 3-part Tutorial series on getting started with VSDC which you should check out!

Adobe Premiere Pro

(Mac & PC) starting at $19.99/month – As part of the Adobe Creative Cloud platform, Adobe Premiere Pro only comes through the monthly plan. This program is not for everybody, but it is my favorite editing platform by far. If you’re looking for a professional-grade video editing software, I recommend Premiere Pro. Click here for a free guide on editing with Premiere Pro.

Filmora

(Mac & PC) $30 – Wondershare Filmora is a fun piece of software that’s available for Mac and PC, and it’s very affordable. It’s perfect for any level of editing, especially beginners, and it has a bunch of really neat features and effects and stuff that are perfect for editing GoPro videos and family movies. Filmora recently released some updates making it a great platform for editing action videos. Though not strictly a GoPro software update, it's very slick! Click here for my video on getting started with Filmora.

Final Cut Pro

(Mac) $299 – Final Cut Pro (owned by Apple) is the cool kids video editing software, and definitely suits any hard core video editor. If that’s you, do give it a try. Buy it here.

Cyberlink PowerDirector

(PC) $70 – PowerDirector makes it quick & easy to create videos in minutes, and even comes with it's own effects, templates, and tutorials.

Vegas Movie Studio & Vegas Pro

(PC) price varies – Formerly under the Sony umbrella, the Vegas Creative Software suite is now under the Magix brand. A number of video editors are available, but I have not tested any of them at this point.

HitFilm Express

(Mac and PC) free – download here

DaVinci Resolve

(Mac and PC) free – download here