VSDC Free Video Editing Software – Beginner Editing Tutorial 1/3

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If there is one question I hear all the time, it’s “what free video editing software can I use to edit my videos?” There are a handful of free video editor options out there for Mac and PC users, but one of them was recently retired by GoPro, and in its place, GoPro recommends PC users use VSDC. VSDC is a free video editing software and it’s full-featured… meaning there is no trial period, no watermarks, and no usage limits on the free version.

In fact, VSDC came to me and asked if there was any way we could partner together to get the word out about their free video editor, knowing that video editing is a hot topic (especially among my audience of video and GoPro enthusiasts). So in this first installment in this three-part series, let’s dive into getting started with editing your GoPro videos, mobile phone videos, or any kind of video, with VSDC.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by VSDC and this page may contain affiliate links. I am provided with compensation for advertisements on this blog and commissions for purchases made through links in this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not influenced by VSDC or its affiliates. My experience is my own, and your experience may differ. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible! Read my disclosure policy here.

VSDC Free Video Editor

If you’re a PC user and you’re looking for free video editing software, I encourage you to check out VSDC and get started along with me in this tutorial (as well as the second and third tutorials, when they go live!). Even thought VSDC is a free video editor, it’s also a full-featured editor–you can do A LOT with it, including edit footage up to 4k. It is only available for PC so in the video tutorial that goes along with this post, I show you around the platform on my PC.

There is a Pro version of VSDC, which runs about $20 (looking to save a few dollars? Use this link when you purchase the pro version of VSDC and you’ll save 50%, or use code VidProMom_VSDC_50 at checkout).  Although you can do pretty much anything with the free version, there are a couple of features of the pro version that I think you’ll really like but they’re not necessary. I’ll get to those features in a moment.

VSDC Cheat Sheet

I also created a one-page printable cheat sheet for getting started with VSDC. I find that diving into new video editing software can sometimes be overwhelming, so it helps to know the exact steps to get started with a brand new video editing project.

Click here to grab my vsdc cheat sheet

As far as the pro version of VSDC, there are a few features you get when you upgrade to Pro but the two that I think are kind of a big deal are video stabilization and waveforms. I find it MUCH easier (and faster) to edit when I can see the audio waveforms as I’m editing, it helps to get really precise with jump cuts and things like that so for the upgrade to waveforms alone, personally, it’s well worth $20.

VSDC Waveforms with the Pro Version

In the next video in this VSDC series, I’ll show you how the basic video editing functions work, as well as some more advanced stuff like fast forward and slow motion, and we’ll see what other fun stuff VSDC can do. Be sure to watch the full video tutorial, as getting started with VSDC can be tricky at first. This video walks you through every single step, so you can do it right along with me. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel as well, so you don’t miss future videos on free video editors and other video editing and GoPro tips!

Hit me up in the comments if you have any specific questions about VSDC and I’ll try and answer them or include the answer in a future video! And don’t forget to grab the Cheat Sheet for getting started with VSDC as well.


  1. Thank you so much for your 3 tutorials on VSDC Editor. I’m learning and in this regard, can you tell me how to narrate over a video? With your tutorial, I learned how to lay down an audio track, but I have some videos from my dash cam and sports cam that has no audio and I’d like to know how to voice over or narrate an already done video.

    Thank you again,

  2. Hi Merideth and all who are learning to operate VSDC.

    I really get a lot from your cheat sheet. I am however getting old and have a slight problem comprehending video tutorials. For me, the cheat sheet seems to cover the first third of the operation. Is there another cheat sheet for the other two thirds?

  3. Thank you for your tutorials. They are very ready to follow. I just completed my first video of video clips and jpg slideshow. I exported to dvd and burned it. However it won’t play on neither the computer or TV. Any ideas?

  4. Awesome editing software. I like it very much. but I have one request. when I edit a video and click preview, the preview video is not running smoothly. How can I solve it? please reply

  5. Hi Meredith many thanks for getting me started on video editing. I’m learning quickly but have a small problem, I’ve lost my Preview bar on VSDC, can you tell me how to recover it please?

  6. Could please list the Pro features that are in VSDC free version. I was am trying to Video and Screen captures.

    Thank you

  7. Hello, Meredith,

    Thanks a lot for this great tutorial. Best one I found!

    I am quite familiar with the software now. However, three times already I faced a very strange problem. Rendering a 10 minute clip did not work correctly. The output is perfectly fine except for one clip: sound continues but picture stands still. This lasts for about 20 seconds and then the movie continues correctly.

    Each time those “corrupted” clips were quite long (20 – 30 seconds). No audio used for these clips. Second rendering does not solve the problem. Clipping the long clips into two parts does not help, either.

    Original clip plays good with VLC player and also gives no problem during the preview! Problem occurs only AFTER export.

    Thanks for any hints how to solve this. The only way I found was to delete the “corrupted” clip…. Not a very satisfactory solution.

    Warm regards and thanks again for your work.

    1. Hi Helmut, that’s so strange! I’m not really sure what the problem could be.

  8. Meredith,

    Appreciated the videos. I noticed that the download size difference of the MP4 videos that you created were very minor, with the 720p videos being only slightly larger than the 360p versions.

    Is there a “secret” encoder setting that you used that would explain this? I promise that I won’t tell anyone else!

  9. Meredith,

    Appreciated the videos. I noticed that the download size difference of the MP4 videos that you created were very minor, with the 720p videos being only slightly larger than the 360p versions.

    Is there a “secret” encoder setting that you used that would explain this? I promise that I won’t tell anyone else!

  10. Meredith, I’ve gone thru and now in the review cycle before I start my projects. I saw a comment on another tutorial post the indicated that we have to buy into the Pro version if you want to burn a CD or to export your project(?) If this is correct perhaps VSDC should mention it upfront. This may influence decision to get into using VSDC since burning a DVD and/or upload would be a presumed final step of a project. Thank You.

    1. If VSDC has changed that in their software, they haven’t let me know about it and they have done so after I published these tutorials.

      1. Thank you for your prompt response. Let me follow up with VSDC and I will confirm and post. I hope this is not an attempt for anyone to disparage VSDC.

      2. Meredith, I did receive a response from VSDC it is as follows:

        “You can use the free version of the program for burning DVDs and uploading to YouTube.
        At export stage, when you receive the window offering a pro version, just click CONTINUE to continue export with no limits:”

        I did reply to the individual (Gayle Foster) who posted issue under Comments of your VSDC Part 1 of 3. That should about take care of it. I am going to post same on another site where Ms. Foster had raised same concern. That site is under TAHumlmtd under Part 1 of 11.

  11. I want to confirm that the Pro version is a one time $20.00. When enrolling it refers to auto recurring charge?

    In addition, does the discount code still apply.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Wayne, yes the discount code should still work for you. I believe the Pro version is renewed yearly.

  12. Thank you so much for these 3 videos on how to use VSDC. They were a tremendous help in getting me started.

  13. The cheatsheet and discount code was not working (anymore).

    I tried to get the cheatsheet two times but without luck. The discount code VidProMom_VSDC_50 did not worked for me, does it work for you?

  14. Your video was very helpful and I was able to create a very nice video of my son’s wedding. I want to make a DVD copy for the bride’s mother (that plays on loading) but am not having much luck. Do you have a video tutorial for that? I can’t find anything.

  15. Can this program VSDC be used with a Mac or Apple Computer? Thanks!! Love your lessons!! Val F

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