These days, you don’t need a college degree or formal training to edit videos for YouTube — although, it might help in the grand scheme of things. Rather, with the help of sophisticated video editing software and some patience while you get the hang of it, you can edit movie-quality videos from the comfort of your home.
What should I look for in YouTube editing software?
When you first set out to find your perfect video editing software, there are a few features that you should pay close attention to — the first being price. There are so many options out there, so there’s really no need to break the bank when purchasing video editing software if you don’t have to.
The second most important thing to look out for is if it’s user-friendly. Generally, there will be a learning curve with any new software the first time you try it. However, if you can’t figure out how to use it after hours of research and YouTube tutorials, it probably isn’t the right editing software for you.
Another feature you should look for is advanced editing tools. YouTube creators are able to take their videos to the next level with the help of some extra features, such as object motion tracking, color correction, and 360-degree video editing. There are billions of videos on YouTube, so you’ll want yours to stand out in order to be seen. The way to do that is by using editing tools and video features that make your videos stand out.
The last feature to look out for, and arguably one of the most important ones, is its customer service. It’ll be worth your time in the long run to see what current customers are saying about a software product’s customer service, such as if they are responsive and actually helpful. Technology can be finicky, and quite frankly there isn’t a YouTube video out there to solve all of our tech questions. It’s important to invest in a software company that will be there for you when you need their help.
Below, you’ll find an assortment of our favorite video editing software for YouTube.
It’s just for Apple devices, but this free video editing software gets the job done well.
Free to use on Macs, iPhones, and iPads
When it comes to video editing software, it’s important to start off with a product that’s easy to use and, most importantly, won’t break the bank. That’s where iMovie comes in. iMovie is editing software that boasts the ability to “turn your videos into movie magic.” It’s compatible with iOS and macOS and produces 4K-resolution movies. Unlike most editing software, iMovie is simple and user-friendly. iMovie is available on most Apple products with a screen — iPhones, iPads, and Mac’s. A unique feature is you can start work on your movie on your Mac and then continue to edit it on your iPad, allowing you to work from basically anywhere, whenever.
Simple to use • Lots of features, like split screen
Used by both professional videographers and newbies, Adobe Premiere Pro offers tons of features for your money.
2. Adobe Premiere Pro
This software is an industry leader — and for good reason.
$239.88 per year or $31.49 per month
When searching for that perfect video editing software, you can’t go wrong with choosing the cult classic Adobe Premiere Pro. It’s relatively popular in the YouTube community, and is considered by some to be a leader in the video editing software industry. Adobe Premiere Pro has a responsive interface that has rich video editing tools, such as the Slip Tool, Rolling Edit Tool, and Ripple Edit. Its responsive interface is what most users are looking for — maximum performance. This trustworthy video editing software also has split screen capability and allows you to edit your videos in real time.
Adobe Premiere Pro is not only user-friendly, but it also makes it so users can easily collaborate with others on different projects. Adobe Premiere Pro is compatible with macOS and Windows 10, broadening its possible clientele.
All the features you want, and then some • 30-day free trial
Final Cut Pro X is used by the pros and allows newbies to create pro-level content.
3. Final Cut Pro X
Final Cut Pro X could be the last video editing software you’ll ever need to buy.
Aspiring videographers: Final Cut Pro X is the best of the best. Developed by Apple, this classic video editing software ranks No. 1 in just about every category in my book — colors, pixels, VR support. Its editing tools and transitions are as smooth as butter and allow you to get creative with your editing. Plus, for all of the features it boasts, its interface is pretty dang easy to use.
One of its more helpful options is its Multicam feature. It allows users to work with 16 angles simultaneously and sync up to 64 angles. Another great feature Final Cut Pro X provides is the ability to work with 360-degree video — which is pretty convenient to have if you’re working with VR. It also eliminates background noise on audio, which is a plus. Like iMovie, Final Cut Pro X is only available to Mac users. Nonetheless, Final Cut Pro X produces stunning videos at blazing speeds and has the capability to produce both 2D and 3D titles.
It costs $299.99 a year for this video editing software, but especially if you’re planning to work with VR, it’s probably the best way to go.
Cheaper than some options • Works with most operating systems • Good customer service • 30-day money-back guarantee
Reports of occasional crashes • Not the very cheapest
If you’re just starting out and looking to branch away from starter software such as iMovie, Pinnacle offers lots of features.
4. Pinnacle Studio 23
High-tech video editing software at an affordable price.
Like most video editing software these days, Pinnacle Studio 23 features 360-degree video, split screen capability, and multi-camera video editing. One of its best features is its detachable panes, which allow users to have better control over their editing.
A notable feature is Pinnacle Studio’s online support and phone support. It’s perfect for those who don’t love making calls for customer service. It’s always good to have options. Like most software companies, Pinnacle Studio offers a free trial, so you can try before you buy. After that, the price starts at $59.95 and climbs to $129.95, depending on the tier you choose.
Pinnacle Studio features pro-grade editing tools, including split screen and 360-degree video editing. The downside to getting some additional features is you’ll have to upgrade to the Ultimate version, which means more money. However, they do have frequent sales, so keep an eye out for those.
Unlike iMovie and Final Cut Pro X, Pinnacle Studio 23 is compatible with most computers, such as Windows 10 and Intel Core i3.
500 video effects • Animated themes • Exports to YouTube • Award-winning
Fast and easy to use, Power Director 365 has YouTube creators in mind and excellent customer service.
CyberLink’s Power Director 365 features all the necessities you’ll need to edit your YouTube videos, because it’s basically made for YouTube creators. It’s more popular among videographers just starting out, but is also used by the professionals.
It’s surprisingly fast and features an array of features that allow you to customize your videos to your heart’s desire, especially transitions and titles. Like most on this list, Power Director 365 is fairly easy to use even for beginners. Its tools include more than 500 video effects, 200 editing tools, transitional effects, and animated themes. It’s available on most computers with an internet connection. It can also export to YouTube and create videos for Instagram. Power Director 365 also includes new design packs and sound packages every month.
The templates it provides are pretty top-notch and worth your buck • Seamless transitions
Keyboard shortcuts don’t always work • Not free
This video editing software is pretty basic, but it gets the job done.
6. Magix Movie Edit Pro
Magix is best known for audio, but keeps adding new features to their video editing packages.
Magix is best known for its audio editing capabilities. However, it also offers advanced features for video editing, like 1500 effects, transitions, and templates. Its most notable features are its 360-degree video editing, 4K support, and its NewBlue effects. Because it provides the basic necessities, this software is suited best for those just starting out creating content for YouTube. Like most editing software, Magix offers keyboard shortcuts, too. For more features, you can upgrade to the Plus version ($99.99) or Premium Plus ($129.99).