YouTube has gone beyond being a simple video sharing site to become a phenomenon. So much so there are people who now watch YouTube instead of traditional TV.
This means that whether you dream of being a YouTube star or simply want to share videos with your friends, creating videos for YouTube can be a rewarding process.
However, in order to create and edit YouTube videos, you’ll need the right tools. And with that in mind here are the best video editing apps for YouTube.
Adobe Premiere is as close to a household name as you get when it comes to video editors. It’s incredibly powerful, but it’s so feature-packed that it may be overkill for some YouTube creators. If you’re looking for a video editor for YouTube, the new Premiere Rush may be a better option.
As the name suggests, Adobe Premiere Rush is meant to help you get videos put together faster. It has motion graphics templates built-in, so there’s no reason to integrate After Effects into your workflow. This is just one of several features that helps you get videos out more quickly and easily.
Premiere Rush is also relatively affordable at $9.99/month. If you want to have Premiere Pro available as well, you can bundle both for $20.99/month.
Adobe Premiere Rush is available on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
If you’re just starting off and you’re not familiar with all the editing apps for YouTube, you may not want to spend any money. Simple videos aren’t that tricky to put together, so you may not need fancy software. If you use a Mac and are looking for a simple, cheap option, look no further than iMovie, which comes free with your Mac.
You’re not going to edit a feature film with iMovie, but it’s more than enough for simple editing tasks. It offers more than YouTube’s built-in editor, which could be all you need.
The above option isn’t going to do you any good if you’re looking for YouTube editing software for Windows. Windows Movie Maker used to be an option, but you won’t find it on Windows 10. The good news is that Movie Maker Pro offers many of the same features.
You’ll find Movie Maker Pro in the Microsoft Store, but it’s not a Microsoft app. It’s a free download but does offer an optional upgrade. Looking at the user reviews, many people are more than happy enough with the free version. There are better options out there, but for a YouTube editor that’s free on Windows, this is a good place to start.
At first, Blender might seem a strange option to include here. After all, it’s mainly known as 3D rendering software. Interestingly enough, Blender also includes a full-featured video editor. This is more than enough to make it one of the best video editors for YouTube, especially if you’re interested in 3D graphics.
Blender can handle simple video editing functions like cutting and splicing, but also more advanced tasks like masking. You get up to 32 tracks (known as slots here) for video, audio, images, effects, and more. The app is also completely free and open source, and it’s available on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
When it was first released, longtime Final Cut Pro fans hated Final Cut Pro X. While some still deride it as “iMovie Pro,” it’s actually very handy if you’re looking for YouTube video editing software that’s a little more advanced than iMovie. You won’t feel completely alienated, but Final Cut Pro X is much more powerful.
As Mac-only software, Final Cut Pro X takes advantage of features like the MacBook Pro Touch Bar and the Metal graphics API for improved performance. The app isn’t exactly cheap at $299, but that’s not much more than you’d pay for a year of Premiere Rush and Premiere Pro CC. In this case, you’re actually buying the app, so you don’t have to worry about monthly billing.
CyberLink PowerDirector has been around for a long time and has developed a reputation as a go-to app when it comes to editing video on Windows. There’s also an Android version that made it on to our list of the best video editors for Android. If you like the app but don’t like paying for updates, CyberLink PowerDirector 365 brings Premiere Pro CC’s monthly payment model to the venerable app.
While it may not hold up to offerings from Adobe and similar brands, PowerDirector more than matches the default YouTube editing software. It’s also a familiar interface that should appeal not just to PowerDirector fans, but anyone who has used a video editor before.
It may have roots as color grading software for Hollywood movies, but DaVinci Resolve is also one of the best video editors for YouTube. You’ll find an overwhelming amount of features, but fortunately, you don’t have to use them all. All you need to know is that it can edit anything you throw at it, including 4K footage.
If you decide that you want to upgrade, the full version of DaVinci Resolve costs $299, but you can do plenty with the free version. It’s available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, so it is a great option no matter which platform you’re on.
Another pro editor with a free version available, Hitfilm Express is one of the best video editing apps for YouTube you’ll find. Like DaVinci Resolve, it lets you do nearly any editing task you can think of, including editing 4K footage. Hitfilm Express has a friendlier interface, so if you’re new to video editing this may be a better choice.
Hitfilm Express also has a full version available for $299 but offers an in-between option as well. You can purchase optional add-ons for the free version, adding bits and pieces of functionality for around $10 to $20 apiece. Hitfilm Express is available for Windows and macOS.
Like Blender, Shotcut is both free and open source. Because of this, you can’t really expect the same level of interface polish you’d find in a paid app. That doesn’t mean that this app isn’t plenty powerful.
Where Shotcut stands out among the crowd of free editing software for YouTube is the tutorials on offer. When it comes to open source software, this isn’t always something you can count on. If you’re looking for a simple, free option on Linux, this is absolutely worth trying. You might like it on Windows or macOS as well, but the competition is much stiffer on those platforms.
Finding the Best Video Editing Apps for YouTube
Before you decide on one of these video editing apps for YouTube, it makes sense to think about your ambitions. If you just want to share a gameplay clip of yourself singing a song, you don’t need a powerful editor. On the other hand, if you’re looking to replace every person in a movie with Nicolas Cage, you’ll need something more capable.
You also have to think about how popular you want your videos to become. If you just want to create for creating’s sake, just have fun. If you’re looking to make a living, though, take a look at our strategies for making money on YouTube.