Best home video editing software

Video editing software
Video editing software (Image credit: Windows Central)

Update 16 January 2017: We've refreshed this list to ensure we're still bringing you the best home video editing software available right now.

What if your family and friends actually wanted to see the footage from your week away? You'd be proud to show off your home movies if they had a little extra flare, and editing software can take you from amateur to award nominee with just a little more time and effort. Whether you've been editing since you bought your first camcorder or you're just starting to think that this software is a good idea, we have a list of the best home video editing software that everyone can use.


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Not only is there a powerful, free version of Lightworks, its suite of tools has been used to create Hollywood films like Pulp Fiction, The Departed, and The Wolf of Wall Street. It has an expansive range of compatible video format, you can share your movies straight to the web, trimming is incredibly easy, and you can edit multiple cameras at the same time. Work with film up to 60fps, and export at up to 720p in the free version, and up to 4K in the Pro version.

This is great software for anyone who doesn't mind taking the time to learn a wide range of tools — if you're more interested in a quick and dirty edit, you might want to look elsewhere. The free version is available for download now and subscriptions to Lightworks Pro start at about $25 a month.

See at Lightworks

DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve is another editing program that has been used on a bunch of Hollywood films, and the user interface is easy to navigate and seems familiar for beginners and pros alike. A powerful trimming tool, multi-cam support, compatibility with a wide array of film formats, and the ability to upload straight to the web make this a great choice no matter your intentions.

OpenFX plug-in compatibility gives you the ability to add a ton of third-party tools, and you can create a render queue that outputs your finished project in multiple formats, great if you want a sample copy and a master copy of your work.

The free version of DaVinci Resolve has almost all of the same features as the paid version — you won't be able to export in 4K in the free version and you won't find some of the more advanced tools, but definitely give the free version a try first, as the paid version costs about $1000. If you find you need the extra tools, you can always upgrade.

Grab this video editing software if you're not afraid of taking the time to figure out the tools of the trade. It won't take as long to master as some of the other professional-grade programs, but there's still a learning curve.

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Adobe Premiere Pro

Adobe Premiere Pro is subscription-based software that could be just the thing you're looking for. Its CreativeSync feature connects all of your work and files across your desktop and all of your mobile devices, so you can literally take your show on the road.

This software is loaded with tutorials; everything from creating a YouTube video to creating a feature-length film from your family memories. Tools within the app fix shaky footage, adjust colors and thread together media from a variety of sources on a user-friendly interface. The extended version of the app includes over 55 million royalty-free videos, graphics, and images courtesy of Adobe Stock's library.

The app can be purchased on its own or as part of the Creative Cloud with over 20 additional apps included; alone, you're looking at around the $20-per-month mark if you subscribe for a year, and about $30 if you only want one month.

See at Amazon

If you've been out shooting 3D video for VR, PowerDirector 15 Ultimate is probably the software you want to go with. It has an insane number of tools at your disposal, including 3D and 4K editing, yet it won't bog down your system — PCMag calls it the "fastest and most capable consumer-level video editing software for Windows around".

The user interface is easy to navigate and has all your most-used tools on display, and there are a bunch of templates you can use for quick creations. There are also plenty of special effects and transitions built right in, making it easy to create pro-grade projects.

Toss in image-stabilization and multi-camera support, and you have a powerful program that works with your VR video. It starts at about $60.

See at Amazon

Vegas Pro 14

There's no way around it — Vegas Pro is on the pricier side at about $450, but is great if you loathe subscription-based services. It is also adored by many video editors, both professional and amateur.

The same user-friendly interface Vegas Pro is known for is found here in the most recent version, making it easy to implement its wide array of advanced tools, plus you have access to plenty of third-party plugins thanks to OpenFX integration.

Work on up to 4K video in a wide array of formats, use one of hundreds of built-in filters and effects and take advantage or powerful image stabilization when working with footage from action cams.

Vegas Pro 14 is great for anyone already serious about or who plans on getting serious about video editing and needs software that can keep up with increasing demands.

See at Amazon


Shotcut is a free program that comes full of powerful tools for editing your video. The only problem is that the user interface can be a little confusing for new users — not everything is immediately apparent and starting a new project can seem a little jarring. If you put in the time and get used to where your tools reside, you'll be more than pleased with how your finished videos turn out.

Plenty of video formats are compatible here, you can work on 4K content, and there are templates for quick projects. If you don't mind putting in time, you'll no doubt end up with a very impressive set of skills. Grab this software if you don't mind a steep learning curve and don't feel like shelling out big bucks for an editing program.

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Blender might be immediately familiar to some of you as a 3D-modeling engine, but it also sports an impressive video editor. First, it's completely free, but that doesn't mean it's lacking a wide selection of tools. The user interface can be a bit overwhelming for beginners and might take some time getting used to, but once you get the hang of things, you'll be off to the races creating impressive video projects.

There is a large community of Blender-users ready to offer support for anyone who needs it. If you already use Blender or if you want a video editor with all the standard tools, this is a great choice considering it is completely free.

See at Blender

Adobe Premiere Elements

Adobe Premiere Elements

Editors who are familiar with Adobe Photoshop will find the transition to video editing easy with Premiere Elements. First-time users of either program might find it a bit frustrating at first, but a little time and patience go a long way.

It's so easy to navigate, Tom's Guide named Adobe Premiere Elements 14 "the most user-friendly video-editing program available for consumers." Now with Premiere Elements 15, you get a larger selection of tools and some neat new features, including haze removal, to work with.

Premiere Elements isn't the quickest to render video, nor does it have as many tools as some of the pricier options, but it will still do a great job with high-resolution content and plenty of video formats. If you're looking for a great introductory option, Premiere Elements, with its intuitive user interface and modest set of tools, is a smart choice. You can download it now for about $90.

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Cale Hunt
Senior Editor, Laptop Reviews

Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.