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The best video editing software in 2022

Best video editing software: Woman uses video editing software on her desktop computer
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best video editing software is a must-have if you work in the world of videography. With all offering time-saving tools and an interface that fits in with your personal workflow, they make editing video a smooth, fast and perhaps even pleasurable experience. 

To help you reach this editing nirvana, we've selected the best video editing software available today, bar none. We have software at a range of budgets, and for Windows PCs, Mac and Android devices. (If you're only interested in mobile apps, though, then our guide to the best video editing apps will serve you better.)

Whether you're a professional working on movies and streaming content, a YouTube trying to make your footage sing, or just an enthusiastic smartphone user wanted to make your holiday clips look slick, you'll find the right tool for your needs here. Of course, along with the best video editing software, you're going to want the best hardware. So don't miss our guides to the best monitors for video editing, the best laptops for video editing and the best tablets for video editing.

The best video editing software: Our top 3 picks

1. Premiere Pro: the best video editing software for pros

1. Premiere Pro: the best video editing software for pros
Perfect for working editors and pro YouTubers, Adobe's Premiere Pro is the best video editing software overall. The industry-standard tool works on both PC and Mac, and the latest October 2021 updates make it more powerful than ever. A seven-day free trial is available.

2. CyberLink PowerDirector 365: the best video editing software for everyday use

2. CyberLink PowerDirector 365: the best video editing software for everyday use
CyberLink PowerDirector 365 is among the best video software available for a one-off fee. It offers an array of video editing tools, plus access to the Shutterstock library. You can try it with a 30-day free trial.

3. Adobe Premiere Elements: the best video editing software for beginners

3. Adobe Premiere Elements: the best video editing software for beginners
If you're new to video editing, Adobe Premiere Pro can be a bit challenging. Instead start with Adobe Premiere Elements, a simplified version of the software that's also cheaper (and there's a 30-day free trial, too).

The best video editing software in 2022

best video editing software: Premiere Pro screenshot with logo

(Image credit: Adobe)

The best video editing software for pro video editors

Specifications
Platform: Windows, Mac
Key features: Multi-cam editing, 3D editing
Free trial: 7 days
Best for: Video editing professionals, video editing students
Reasons to buy
+
Industry standard 
+
Powerful features
+
Constantly updated
Reasons to avoid
-
Requires subscription

Alongside Final Cut Pro (see number 5 on our list), Adobe Premiere Pro is the industry-standard for video editing today. It's routinely used by professional video editors to create everything from YouTube videos to streaming content and movies. 

The two tools are closely matched in features and sophistication, but Final Cut Pro is only available for Mac, giving Premiere Pro the edge as it's available for Windows too. Premiere Pro interface enhances productivity by dividing everything into different workspaces, such editing, effects, and audio. Each workspace helps you to manage a specific task and minimises distraction. 

The software supports 4K, 8K and VR formats. Its trimming and editing tools give you a high degree of precision and control. You can work on an unlimited number of video tracks, which can be imported from pretty much any source. The automatic sync is a gem when you have multi-angle shots, and it's hard to fault the fine-tuning tools that really make your video stand out from the crowd. Plus you get customisable keyboard shortcuts and great collaboration features.

If you subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud, you get access to Premiere Pro as part of the package, and you'll be able to use it seamlessly with other software, from the motion graphics tool After Effects to Adobe Stock. However, even if you don't want other Adobe apps, Premiere Pro's still worth considering as a standalone app. You can take out a seven-day trial to make sure you like it before committing. 

Like all Creative Cloud software, Premiere Pro is constantly being updated, and subscribers get all updates for free. The latest update last December (22.1.1) makes it easier to edit titles and graphics with Search and Replace and spell-checking, and also introduces a new Universal Text engine and improved shape tools. 

For more details, check out our Adobe Premiere Pro review, as well as our guides to how to download Premiere Pro and the best Premiere Pro tutorials.

best video editing software: CyberLink PowerDirector 365 screenshot with logo

(Image credit: CyberLink)

The best video editing software for everyday use

Specifications
Platform: Windows, Mac
Key features: Multi-cam editing, 360-degree video, motion tracking (and loads more)
Free trial: 30 days
Best for: Experienced filmmakers
Reasons to buy
+
Powerful tool
+
Stacks of features
+
Choice of payment models
Reasons to avoid
-
Tough for newbies

CyberLink PowerDirector 365 is among the best video editing software packages aimed at consumers. While isn't quite as powerful and feature rich as Premiere Pro or Final Cut X, it certainly comes close. It's available for Windows and Mac, either as a one-off purchase or a monthly or annual subscription. 

Get cracking on the 100-track timeline and you'll soon find yourself making the most of lots of stabilisation and video correction tools, professional effects, multi-cam editing, motion tracking and surprisingly easy trimming. There's 360-degree video editing as well, together with support for all the file standards and formats you can imagine. Then there's slideshows, screen recording, DVD menus, object design tools and more. 

You get free and unlimited access to an extensive, royalty-free library of content from Shutterstock. The latest version, released in December, lets you add text or graphics that automatically follow the motion of any object, and introduces three AI-driven features: AI Audio Denoise, AI Video Denoise and AI DeReverb.

Admittedly, this level of sophistication can make PowerDirector 365 a little challenging to newbies. However, there are lots of video tutorials to help to get you started. To learn more, read our Cyberlink PowerDirector review.

best video editing software: Adobe Premiere Elements screenshot and logo

(Image credit: Adobe)

The best video editing software for beginners

Specifications
Platform: Windows and Mac
Key features: Video stabilisation, face detection, automatic motion tracking
Free trial: 30 days
Best for: Video editing beginners and enthusiasts
Reasons to buy
+
Easy to use
+
Loads of features
Reasons to avoid
-
Not as powerful as some tools
-
Not the fastest 

Want to edit some family video footage or your first YouTube video for fun? Then we'd recommend Adobe's Premiere Elements, which is the best video editing software for beginners.

Premiere Elements is a simplified version of Premiere Pro (number one on our list). That makes it cheaper and easier to learn. But it's still very capable, with high-end features including face detection, audio effects and bundled soundtracks. 

The interface is very simple and visual, and you get all the video effects you need, including transitions, chroma-keying and opacity. You can develop a fast workflow by harnessing smart search functionality, video stabilisation options, and automated functions, such as motion tracking and smart toning. 

With the latest version, Premiere Elements 2022, you can now edit and export video in social-friendly formats. There's also a new auto-reframing feature that lets you select a subject and then focuses on it throughout your video; a new easy-to-use video compression feature based on sliders; and the ability to view animated GIFs within the interface.

Although it's made by Adobe, Premiere Elements is not part of a Creative Cloud subscription, but for a one-off fee. There's also a 30-day free trial. For more details, see our Premiere Elements review and our comparison article, Adobe Premiere Pro vs Adobe Premiere Elements.

best video editing software: Pinnacle Studio screenshot and logo

(Image credit: Pinnacle)

Strong video editing software for beginners using Windows

Specifications
Platform: Windows
Key features: Multi-camera capture and editing, colour controls, stop motion animation
Free trial: No, but 30-day money back guarantee
Best for: Beginners
Reasons to buy
+
Super-simple to use
+
Varied features
+
Free effects, titles & templates
Reasons to avoid
-
May be too basic for some

Pinnacle Studio is a good choice for Windows users (there's no Mac version) who've never edited video before. Overall, it sits somewhere between the more basic free tools and professional-level video editing tools, both in terms of price and capability.

For an affordable price, you get more than 1,500 effects, titles, and templates, six-track HD video editing, colour correction tools, a dedicated stop motion feature, time remapping and more. It's very easy to use too. The latest edition, version 25, introduces a number of new features including smart object tracking, 8K import, keyframe groups, new blend modes and new audio features. 

Pinnacle Studio is available for a one-off fee and if you like it, you can always upgrade to one of the more fully-featured packages, Pinnacle Studio Plus and Pinnacle Studio Ultimate. To learn more, read our Pinnacle Studio review

Final Cut Pro screenshot and logo

(Image credit: Apple)

The best video editing software for Mac

Specifications
Platform: Mac
Key features: Muti-cam editing, intelligent colour balancing
Free trial: 90-day
Best for: Video editing professionals, video editing students
Reasons to buy
+
Versatile and powerful 
+
Optimised for Mac
+
Generous free trial
Reasons to avoid
-
No Windows version

Before Premiere Pro came along, Apple's Final Cut Pro used to be the industry standard. And it's still used today throughout the TV and movie professions. (Note: it was called Final Cut Pro X until Apple dropped the last letter in November 2020.)  Unlike Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro is subscription-free: you pay once, and once only. 

Professionals particularly love the Magnetic Timeline, grouping tools, a wide range of effects, good organisational features and simple ways to add and edit audio. Other features includes 360° video, HDR and advanced tools for colour correction. 

Despite being so powerful and feature-rich, this video editing software is surprisingly easy to use. And there are lots of resources to help newbies get up to speed (see our guide to the best Final Cut Pro tutorials).

As Apple software, Final Cut Pro is optimised to get the most out of your Mac (there's no Windows version). And as you'd expect, integrates nicely with other parts of Apple's ecosystem, such as your Photos or iTunes collections. Every update to Final Cut Pro since its release has been made free. For instance, the latest release in November (10.6.1) improved performance when opening large libraries and introduced fixes for multiple file handling issues. 

Also note the generous 90-day trial period, which makes the one-week trial offered by Premiere Pro look particularly stingy. For more information, read our article Premiere Pro vs Final Cut Pro and check out our Final Cut Pro review.

best video editing software: Adobe Premiere Rush screenshot

(Image credit: Adobe/Jason Parnell-Brookes)

The best video editing software for mobile

Specifications
Platform: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Key features: In-app motion graphics, 4K support
Free trial: Free starter plan
Best for: Enthusiasts (Premiere Rush alone), professionals (with Premiere Pro)
Reasons to buy
+
Simple interface
+
Good for social videos
+
Interoperable with Premiere Pro
Reasons to avoid
-
Less powerful than Premiere Pro

Going to be working on the move? Then check out Premiere Rush, which makes all the most important bits of Premiere Pro available on your tablet or phone. Available for iOS and Android, this is the best video editing software for mobile, especially because the free version is so powerful. 

In general, Premiere Rush offers a simpler version of the Premiere Pro interface, with large icons and panels that are easier to click on a small touch screen. And while there this means fewer features, you still get all the basics, such as adding videos to the timeline through drag-and-drop and mixing in music. (For more details, see our article Premiere Pro vs Premiere Rush.)

One of the best video editing apps around, Premiere Rush can be used as a mobile app in its own right, or in concert with Premiere Pro. For instance, when you're on a train, you could make some extra edits to footage you previously worked on at the studio on your desktop PC. 

If you're a YouTuber who wants to make quick edits to your clips, Premiere Rush is good for that too. There are export options optimised for Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and more. That alone makes it among the best software for editing videos for YouTube.

Like all Adobe software, Premiere Rush is updated regularly. The most recent release in December, version 2.0, introduced unlimited exports on desktop and availability in additional languages, as well as adding new audio tracks.

You can get Premiere Rush as part of the Creative Cloud, or subscribe to Premiere Rush alone. Recently, Adobe has announced that subscribers to the Photography Plan will also be getting Premiere Rush for free. There's also a free starter plan that includes access to the app, 2GB of cloud storage and unlimited free exports on mobile. For full details, see our Premiere Rush review.

best video editing software: Corel VideoStudio Ultimate screenshot and logo

(Image credit: Corel)

The best video editing software for Corel users

Specifications
Platform: Windows
Key features: Real-time effects, colour correction
Free trial: 30 days
Best for: Beginners, Corel users
Reasons to buy
+
Easy to pick up
+
Relatively inexpensive
Reasons to avoid
-
Too basic (and unusual) for pros
-
Unusual approach to layers

If you're a beginner at video editing software, Corel VideoStudio Ultimate is a good choice – especially if you're already familiar with Corel's illustration and graphic design software, such as Corel Painter

This relatively cheap video editing software for Windows has a clear, intuitive interface that makes it easy to get started. Once you've mastered the basics, you can explore more powerful features, such as motion tracking, 4K support, 360-degrees VR video support, a music library, multi-cam support, 3D text editing and thousands of effects. 

The way Corel VideoStudio Ultimate works with layers is a bit different to other video editing software. And on the whole, it's not advanced enough to be considered a pro tool. However, for newcomers, it offers very good value. To learn more, read our Corel VideoStudio Ultimate review, and our comparison of Corel VideoStudio Ultimate vs Adobe Premiere Pro

best video editing software: Filmora screenshot and logo

(Image credit: Filmora)

The best value video editing software for hobbyists

Specifications
Platform: Windows, Mac
Key features: 4K support, built-in effects and titles
Free trial: Yes (with watermarks)
Best for: Enthusiasts
Reasons to buy
+
Simple to use
+
4K support
+
Royalty free sound effects and music
Reasons to avoid
-
Too basic for pros

For a low price, Wondershare's Filmora offers a solid video editing tool for enthusiasts, or anyone new to video editing. It has an intuitive interface that's easy to use, whatever your level of experience. There are a large number of handy built-in titles, effects and filters designed for YouTubers and the like, as well as a library of royalty-free sound effects and music to give your videos impact. You can also record your own media directly within the tool. 

The most recent version (10.5.5) in July introduced Template Mode, which uses AI algorithms to pick highlights from your footage and automatically creates the video for you. Another highlight is the new Cloud Files feature, which allows you to synchronize multiple files and use them across applications.

There's a free version of Filmora but all your videos will have a watermark on them. To remove this, you can choose between an Annual plan and taking out a Lifetime plan for a one-off fee. Alternatively, there's an Unlimited plan, which includes unlimited downloads from a stock library, and new effects each month. To learn more, read our Filmora review.

best video editing software: Vimeo Create screenshot and logo

(Image credit: Vimeo)

The best video editing software for small businesses

Specifications
Platform: Browser
Key features: Templates, stock content, intuitive interface
Free trial: 30 days
Best for: Beginners
Reasons to buy
+
Excellent templates
+
Lots of stock content
Reasons to avoid
-
Limited use cases
-
Requires membership

Vimeo offers a paid-for service called Vimeo Create, which helps businesses with zero experience to produce social media videos, using pre-prepared templates. It also provides millions of stock video clips, photos and commercially licensed music tracks, available to use for free, and lots of built-in styles. 

The browser-based interface makes it easy to produce videos for a variety of aspect ratios (such as square, horizontal and vertical) for different social platforms. And while in general the platform lacks the advanced features of pro video editing software, it delivers what it promises very well. 

Note, though, that Vimeo Create is not sold as a separate app, but included as a part of paid-for Vimeo Pro, Business and Premium memberships. For more information, read our Vimeo Create review.

Which software is best for video editing?

Right now, Premiere Pro from Adobe tops our list of the best video editing software. This industry-standard, subscription-based tool is aimed at professionals and comes packed with sophisticated and powerful tools. And the latest features, released this October, show just how committed Adobe is to continually updating and improving it.

If you're more of a hobbyist, though, you're probably better off with our second choice, CyberLink PowerDirector 365. It's cheaper and easier to get started with, and it's available to buy via a one-off fee. 

What is the easiest software to edit videos?

If you're just starting out in the world of video editing, and using a desktop PC or Mac, our top recommendation is Premiere Elements. It's a simplified version of the more powerful Premiere Pro, so there's not such a steep learning curve, and it's cheaper too. Plus unlike most Adobe tools, it's available for a one-fee rather than a subscription.

Meanwhile, if you're a beginner who wants to edit videos on your phone or tablet, we'd suggest checking out Premiere Rush, which makes all the most important bits of Premiere Pro available for iOS and Android devices. 

Its interface is nice and simple, with large icons and panels that are easier to click on a small touchscreen. But you still get a range of useful features, such as adding videos to the timeline through drag-and-drop and mixing in music.

What is the best video editor for free?

If you have zero cash to spend, then our guide to the best free video editing software will give you lots of options. But bear in mind that many of these tools have serious limitations, such as ads, watermarks or limited features.

An alternative to these free-but-flawed tools is to opt for a free trial of one of the paid options that we list above. This will enable you to explore your options before making a decision. Just don't forget to cancel your trial if you don't want to be charged!

How difficult is video editing?

Learning to edit video isn't something that should intimidate you. If you've ever used any kind of app on web or mobile, you'll be able to use video editing software. You just have to start with the basics and build up your skills from there. Whatever video editing software you use, there are plenty of tutorials online to get you started, and often the best ones are provided free by the makers themselves. Check out our guide to Premiere Pro tutorials to get an idea of what's out there, and read our Premiere Pro tips for further pointers.

What do most YouTubers use to edit their videos?

Anecdotally, the most popular video editing software amongst YouTubers are iMovie, Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro. iMovie is a common choice among beginners and casual YouTubers, because it's free, already installed on Apple devices, and does everything you need for basic editing. If you're on Android, though, we'd recommend Adobe's Premiere Rush.

Pro and semi-pro YouTubers, meanwhile, need something more sophisticated, and so most opt for either Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro. For more details, read The best software for editing videos for YouTube.

How do you edit a video for TikTok?

You don't need to be a video professional to edit videos for TikTok; nor do you need video editing software. The TikTok app itself offers everything you need to create your video, including editing your footage, adding effects and transitions, adding music or other audio clips, and posting it to TikTok. Find out more in our article How to edit a video on TikTok

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Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books. He was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine.