One of the most important steps in creating amazing YouTube content is editing. It’s during this process that you’ll shape the look and journey of your videos. So, you need to make sure you use the right software. But which one should you choose?
There are so many video editing programs available that it can be hard to understand which one will suit you and your needs. That’s why we battled tested the top eight best video editing apps for YouTube to help you in your search.
You’ll find out which are the best editing apps, what systems they work with, how much they cost, pros and cons for each, and plenty more. Choosing the best one will be so much easier that you can quickly pick one and get back to making great content.
The Top 8 Best Video Editing Apps For YouTube
Here is the full list of the best video editing apps for YouTube:
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- Apple iMovie
- GoPro Quik
- Apple Final Cut Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the most common video editing tools around, and for good reason. It has many advanced features but isn’t too difficult to learn. And it’s integrated with Adobe’s other creative tools, so if you get the Creative Cloud package, you can take your content to the next level.
Updates are released regularly, which can be good and bad. New features and tools are added frequently, but they aren’t always well tested or developed. So, even though at times you’ll see the benefits of the updates, at others you’ll become frustrated with the quality.
It includes all the basic features you need as well as some fantastic ones that are more advanced. Automatic color correction, amazing tracking, and the possibility to export in many formats are some examples of what makes this such a great software.
Overall, it’s a great choice if you’re either a beginner or more advanced editor. Adobe offers a variety of pricing plans and you can take advantage of their other programs for the best results. It’s available for both desktop and mobile, so anyone can enjoy this app.
- $20.99/month annual subscription
- $239.88/year up front payment
- $54.99/month for Adobe Creative Cloud package which includes Premiere Pro
- Desktop (Windows and MacOS)
- Mobile (Android and iOS)
- Frequent updates.
- Advanced features for professionals.
- Easy learning curve for beginners.
- Large variety of tools.
- Cloud backup.
- Not all updates include well-developed features.
- High RAM usage.
- Only subscription-based model. No one time payment option.
The best (exclusively) free video editing software out there is iMovie. It’s quite basic and can only be used by Apple users, but it’s so easy to use that you’ll figure out your own workflow in no time. And it’s full of automatic functions, so you can save time working on your videos.
You can store your projects on Apple’s cloud service. This is great for two reasons. You save storage space on your Mac, iPad, or iPhone and you can pick up where you left off on another device. You’ll just need to make sure your project is shareable.
Advanced users won’t have much use for iMovie as it is very basic. But if you’re a novice in video editing and want to start sharing content to YouTube, it’s a great choice to take your first steps.
Overall, it’s a fantastic choice if you’re beginning your journey into video editing. You can quickly understand how to trim, crop, and place your clips in the timeline. All of these skills can be transferable to other editing programs when you’re ready.
- Desktop (MacOS)
- Mobile (iOS)
- Free software.
- Quick and simple to use.
- Cloud storage.
- Great for beginners.
- Many automatic functions for creating videos.
- Not worth it for advanced users.
- Only available for Apple users.
- Limited features.
Despite being aimed at GoPro users, GoPro Quik is suitable for all content creators. If you have a GoPro Subscription, you get unlimited storage. And, as your videos are uploaded to the cloud, you’ll get a highlight reel for inspiration.
It has quite basic features, which is reflected in its pricing plan. You can get a free version that is very limited and that doesn’t have unlimited cloud storage, or you can go for the paid version for more tools.
There are many filters to choose from, including some made specifically for footage shot in the snow, water, or other environments. And you can sync your edits to whatever music you’re using. Quik will analyze the song and discover the best ways to make changes to your video.
Overall, it’s a great choice for GoPro users, but not exclusively. If you’re a beginner, it’s a good way to get started with video editing. You can use the desktop version (which is now the legacy edition with no new updates) or the mobile version so you can learn on the go. And, despite its limitations, it’s reasonably priced, especially when compared to other video editors on the market.
- Free version
- Desktop (only legacy version for Windows and MacOS)
- Mobile (Android and iOS)
- Unlimited cloud backup.
- Free and reasonably priced paid versions available.
- Auto-generated highlight videos.
- Possibility to sync video to music.
- Quick story-sharing feature for social media, including YouTube.
- Free version is very limited.
- No updates for desktop versions, only legacy software.
- Cloud storage only for paid versions.
If you use a lot of stock footage for your YouTube content, then Filmora is an amazing option for you. You get access to a stock library with over 10 billion images, effects, footage, music, and so much more.
Unlike most video editors (and other digital programs these days), you get the choice to buy the software outright for a reasonable price. There are subscription versions for a yearly cost, but if you’re happy with the current edition, you can buy it for around $80 and keep it forever. You’ll still get updates for the current version, you just won’t get access to the next one when it is released.
New tools are added regularly. Some of the latest highlights are AI cutouts so you can quickly remove backgrounds, fantastic templates so you can quickly make changes, and asset backup and sync. This allows you to store your data on the cloud and make changes on other devices.
Overall, Filmora is a great mid-level editing program. It’s easy for beginners and has enough advanced tools to keep professionals interested. If you’re looking to make a feature film, it’s not the right choice. But for high-quality YouTube content, it’s perfect.
- Free version
- $49.99/year (only for Windows)
- $59.99/year cross-platform version (connect up to 6 devices, including Windows and MacOS)
- $79.99 one time payment (no free update to next version)
- Desktop (Windows and MacOS)
- Mobile as FilmoraGO (Android and iOS)
- High-quality exports.
- Vast stock library with over 10 billion images, effects, and more.
- Great for beginners, but still has enough advanced features for professionals.
- Affordable perpetual plan.
- Intuitive interface.
- Free version watermarks your videos.
- Extra subscription pricing for Effects and Plug-Ins bundle.
- Mobile version (FilmoraGO) isn’t the same as desktop version.
Apple Final Cut Pro
Apple’s Final Cut Pro is professional in name and in nature. It’s a versatile video editing program that is used by editors of all levels, but is better suited to advanced users. Beginners will take longer to pick up the necessary skills than with other apps like iMovie, and for the price, it’s not worth it.
There isn’t a subscription plan available. You make a one time payment of $300 and you own the software forever. When another version comes out, you’ll have to make the next investment.
It’s limited to Mac users (there isn’t a mobile version), which drastically limits possible consumers. However, if you do choose it above any of the other editing programs in this list, you’ll get access to advanced features like 360º video editing, resolutions of up to 8k, and the innovative magnetic timeline.
Overall, Final Cut Pro is one of the most advanced video editing apps available. If you’re not sure about it, you can get a 90-day trial. This is far longer than any other trial out there. You might need some time to understand the vast number of tools, but once you do, you’ll have the skills to take your editing to the next level.
- $299.99 one time payment
- Desktop (MacOS)
- User-friendly interface.
- Advanced features.
- 90-day trial.
- Integrated uploads to YouTube and other platforms.
- High-quality rendering.
- Only for Mac users.
- High price.
- Not great for audio mixing.
Even though there are plenty of free versions of these apps, Lightworks stands out as being the most complete. There are several paid options, but you can get amazing results without spending a cent. Exports are limited to 720p, which is a downside, but you get a lot more features than most other free apps. Also, your videos won’t be watermarked.
It’s a fantastic app for mid- to high-level editors. Beginners will take a bit longer to get used to it. This is because it has a huge group of tools with amazing features, like advanced background editing, multicam processing, and fantastic integration with audio plug-ins.
Aside from all these great features, there’s one that is perfect for YouTube creators. Once you’ve finished your edit, you can export the finished product directly to your channel. This works with Vimeo too, but not any other social media platforms.
Overall, it’s a great video editing app that gives you high-end tools and quick sharing capabilities to YouTube. And, even though it’s not the best if you’re a beginner, it gives you the chance to advance your skills far beyond any other apps for free.
- Free version
- $9.99/month Create (basic)
- $23.99/month Pro
- More yearly and perpetual options.
- Desktop (Windows and MacOS)
- Mobile (Android and iOS)
- Varied pricing plans.
- Free version without watermark.
- Extensive royalty-free library.
- Vast toolkit for more advanced users.
- Free version gives beginners the chance to learn about editing without paying.
- Free version only has 720p exports.
- Not the easiest for beginners.
- Not suitable for sharing to platforms other than YouTube and Vimeo.
If you’re interested in using an online video editing app, VEED is a great choice. You can use it on any device and you have access to your files wherever you are. You can even get up to 200GB of cloud storage, depending on the pricing plan you choose.
There is a free version which is limited and which watermarks your videos. It’s a good way to get used to the program, but you’ll quickly find yourself wanting more.
A great feature for you as a YouTube creator is the brand kit. You can upload all of your logos and designs that identify your brand to VEED so that they're always ready to be included in your videos. You don’t need to waste time uploading them each time. The faster you can make content, the more your channel can grow.
Overall, it’s great if you want to edit online. You’ll save space on your computer and you can make changes from other devices. There are several features which give it more value for YouTubers, from the stored brand kit to preset export options. It’s not the cheapest online option, but if you have the budget, you’ll see the benefits quickly.
- Basic - $25/month
- Pro - $38/month
- Business - $70/month
- More offers if you sign up for an annual subscription
- Easy-to-use subtitling tools.
- Export presets for YouTube.
- Work from anywhere.
- Edit green screen footage easily.
- Quick background noise removal.
- Lacks a music library.
- No animations.
- Limited free version.
InVideo is a great app if you’re a beginner with a decent budget. It has lots of great tools that are easy to use and loads of clear tutorials for getting started. There is even 24/7 support to help you on your way.
What will get in the way of your progress is the fact that the free version is very limited. You can’t export videos, so you will just be practicing to hone your skills. However, if you do opt for a paid version, you’ll see the advantages.
You get 100GB of cloud storage and a huge choice of templates. The free version has a lot of stock files, and the paid versions give you a much more extensive list to choose from.
Overall, it’s a great way to get started in the world of editing. You can practice using the basic tools for free and enjoy the 5000+ templates to get a good idea of how the process can go. Signing up gives you a lot more to choose from and the added benefit of being able to edit anywhere anytime.
- Business - $30/month
- Unlimited - $60/month
- More offers if you sign up for an annual subscription or Lifetime Business Plan
- Vast template library.
- Extensive stock library.
- Support available 24/7, even for free users.
- Loads of tutorials for beginners.
- Lots of advanced features for experienced editors.
- Free version adds a watermark to the stock files you use.
- Free version doesn’t allow you to export.
How To Decide
Now that you’ve seen the eight best video editing apps for YouTube, it’s time to choose one. But how will you decide between so many great apps? Here are a few factors to keep in mind.
What kind of device will you be using?
If you have a Windows computer, a few of the apps are already out of the game. Final Cut Pro and iMovie are exclusively for Apple users, so you can forget about them.
You should think about if you want to make changes on the go with a mobile app, and if you want to edit online or offline. VEED.io gives you the possibility to work on both Windows and Mac computers because it’s hosted in a browser.
What kind of budget do you have?
If you have a low budget, choosing one of the editing programs with the best free versions is the right choice for you. Lightworks and iMovie stick out as being amazing apps that won’t cost you anything. And if you’re just getting started, GoPro Quik is a good choice too.
However, if you have enough money to pay a higher subscription price or even make one large payment, Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro might be the apps for you.
How much experience do you have?
If you’re just getting started, InVideo has lots of tutorials to help you understand the basics, and iMovie has everything you need without making you feel overwhelmed.
In the chance that you feel comfortable editing but haven't mastered the most advanced tools, apps like Filmora and Lightworks can help you take your skills to the next level while still offering you great features for excellent content.
Finally, if you need the best tools for the best results, you have to go for Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro. They are industry standard, have amazing tools and features, and can help you show the world that you’re a great video editor.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best video editing app for Mac users?
The best video editing app that is exclusively for Mac users is Final Cut Pro. It has so many amazing features and is constantly proving that it’s innovative and versatile.
Adobe Premiere Pro is available for Mac and iOS (as well as Windows), so it’s also a fantastic choice. If you want to make changes on the go with your iPad, it’s a better choice than Final Cut Pro.
What’s the best free editing software?
Lightworks is the best free editing software for more advanced users. The free version has a lot more tools than, for example, iMovie. The main downside to the free version is that you’re limited to 720p exports, which is below YouTube’s recommended video resolution of 1080p.
Can I get a free trial of all these apps?
Not all the apps have free trials, but the ones that don’t have free versions. Adobe Premiere Pro has a seven-day trial period and Final Cut Pro has an amazing 90-day trial. All the others (iMovie, GoPro Quik, Filmora, Lightworks, VEED.io, and InVideo) don’t have trials, only free versions.
This guide has shown that there is an amazing video editing app for everyone. Whether you’re a novice or pro, have a Mac, Windows computer, or mobile device, want to work off or online, and need a free app or have a larger budget, you can make incredible videos with these editing programs.
Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro are well-recognized as industry standards and will suit the most advanced users. VEED.io and InVideo are great apps for editors who want to work online without losing quality. Beginners will love iMovie and GoPro Quik for their simple controls and mobile versions. And Lightworks and Filmora can gather users of all levels with different budgets with their great features.
If you choose any of these eight programs, you’ll be sure that you’re making a great decision. It’s not easy to be included in the list of best video editing apps for YouTube, but they all made it. And now, the decision is up to you.
Have you used any of these apps in the past? Which one strikes you as the best? Feel free to share your experiences with your fellow readers.