Content Creation

How Long Does It Take To Edit a YouTube Video?

Vukasin Ilic 5 min read
Table of Contents

Creating content for YouTube involves so many processes that you might not even think of.

You don’t just need to film a video and upload it.

The largest amount of work can go into editing, where you collect all the raw footage, choose the best parts, add effects and music, and bring it to its full potential.

When you start learning how to edit, you can feel that your workflow is slow and cumbersome.

But as you get better, you’ll be able to create content that looks more professional and do it in less time.

But how long does it really take to edit a YouTube video?

This guide aims to study the editing process, reveal what it involves, give you some tips on making quicker edits, and to tell you how long it can take to edit a full video once you’ve improved your skills.

Short Answer

Editing time depends on many factors, but a general rule is that it takes one hour to edit one minute of finished footage. 

Some professional editors can cut this down to around 30 minutes for one minute of video, while amateurs can take hours to do the same job.

Of course, this time varies on what kind of content you’re editing, the quality of the raw footage, and what kind of transitions, effects, music, and whatever else you want to add.

The most important thing to focus on is improving your skills over time.

The more practice you get, the faster you will edit videos, from basic to more advanced content.

What Is Editing?

Editing is the process of creating a video by taking raw footage and improving it to make a final product.

This can be done by:

  • Selecting the best clips and merging them
  • Adding transitions
  • Adding text, graphics, and animations
  • Adding sound effects and music
  • Making color adjustments
  • Synchronizing voiceovers

...And much more.

What Gear Do You Need For Editing?

When you start your journey into editing, you’ll need basic gear for creating videos for platforms like YouTube.

The most important is a computer with good processing power and a video editing software.

You can choose between programs that you install on your computer (like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro) or online video editors (like VEED and

No matter which one you choose, you can use them for basic editing methods like trimming clips, cropping shots, changing brightness and colors, and adding transitions.

As you become more of an advanced editor, you’ll start using more complex techniques like rotoscoping, chroma-keying, tracking, and more.

When you feel it’s time to take your passion for editing from hobby to career, you should invest in a good keyboard for using shortcuts and a mouse that can do pinpoint tracking.

Keyboard shortcuts will save you lots of time, and a good mouse can help you make very small changes much more easily.

What Kind Of Videos Are Quicker And Slower To Edit?

Your editing process will vary largely depending on the type of video you’re making.

It will also depend on what materials you're given to begin with.

If you have a tight script and know exactly when the changes will occur, the time will be considerably shorter.

If you have countless hours of raw footage and no definite storyline, editing will take a lot longer.

Here are some examples of videos that are quick to edit:

  • Gaming videos
  • ASMR
  • Podcasts
  • Reviews

And here are some that are slower to edit:

  • Travel vlogs
  • Video essays
  • Instructional videos
  • Educational videos

How To Get Quicker At Editing

As you learn more about editing, aiming for the one hour per one minute timeframe can be a good target.

Again, this will depend on the materials you have and how fancy you want to go with the edit.

No matter how quick you already are, here are some tips on making faster edits.

All of them can decrease the time you spend making technical choices so you can focus on making the best creative decisions for the project.


Organization is a key factor for doing your job more quickly, especially when you have hours of raw footage to go through with no fixed storyline.

When you have all your materials in organized folders, you will know where they are, so you won’t lose time looking for them.

Here is a suggestion for staying organized. Divide all your materials into folders such as:

  • Footage
  • Graphics
  • Images
  • Audio
  • Project Files

Also, making notes of which footage you need to go through, which to keep, and which to ignore will considerably shorten the time you need to work on a project.

Create Presets and Templates

If you’re working on YouTube content, you’ll probably have a brand kit that you will use often.

Certain fonts, sound effects, and transitions will be used in every video, so create presets or templates for your projects.

This way, you won’t waste time correcting and adding things you’ve already done in the past.

Work on Double Speed

When you have a lot of raw footage to go through that has lots of mistakes you know you won’t use, increase the playback speed so you can go through it quicker.

You can edit out all the unwanted footage, then drop down to normal speed for making careful cuts, alignments, and transitions.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Discovering keyboard shortcuts can take a while when you’re starting off.

But once you know what they are, they will make your editing process much quicker.

Clicking through all the options with the cursor isn’t efficient enough for high-speed editing.

Choose an Editing Style that Suits You and Your Content

There are so many ways to edit.

An easy way to see this is by comparing transitions in feature films and vlogs.

In films, every editing decision is made with caution so that the whole piece flows well while adding to the emotion of the scenes.

This is one reason why they can take years to make.

YouTube videos are generally published as quickly as possible, because channels die without a consistent and fast schedule.

This is why jump cuts are so common on vlogs.

Everyone knows when the cut appears and that the creator probably made a mistake there.

But it doesn’t matter. In this instance, speed is key.

So choose your editing style to suit your content and your schedule. If you need to make quick decisions, don’t get too fancy. Quick cuts work well.


As with all skills, you need to practice as much as possible.

Using the tips mentioned above will make you a faster editor, but nothing can beat hours and hours of refining your work with practice.

Bottom Line

Knowing how to edit is a great skill that is very useful in today’s world.

With it, you can work on content for social media like YouTube and improve the look and flow of your videos.

You will need lots of time to practice, but you can decrease how long it takes you to finish a project.

Taking one hour to finish one minute of completed footage is a good rate for editing YouTube videos.

This amount of time can be lower when the raw footage is of good and consistent quality and has a storyline.

You can also reduce your editing time with tricks like using the right gear, creating templates and presets, and choosing the best style for your content.

No matter how long it takes, tackling video editing with determination will make you into a great editor. So keep practicing and making good content for your YouTube channel and you’ll notice a definite improvement.

What kind of tricks do you use for quicker editing? Let fellow readers know in the comments below.


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