How to edit videos online

Make amazing movies in your web browser

Editing a video online

Editing videos doesn't have to be hard or time-consuming - you can achieve great results online in just a few minutes. We've put all the biggest free video editing sites through their paces, and in our opinion Movie Maker Online is the best. It lets you upload large video clips, images and audio files, edit them individually and arrange them in a timeline-style interface. There are filters, fades, and even royalty-free music to give your video a professional look.

Your finished video will be exported in MP4 format ready for sharing online, and there are no watermarks to spoil the finished product.

The only downside to Movie Maker Online is its interface, which is far from intuitive and sometimes just plain weird. Don't let that stop you, though – here's how to find all its features and edit your videos online in just five steps.

Movie Maker Online - upload a video

1. Upload a video

Visit Movie Maker Online and click the button marked 'Own videos photos music'. Check the terms and conditions, and click 'Accept' if you're happy to continue. Find the video file on your desktop and click 'Open' to upload it.

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Movie Maker Online - trim a video

2. Trim, crop and apply effects

Once you've uploaded your video, scroll down and you'll see several thumbnails from it in a column labeled 'Main'. Hover your mouse pointer over this, then click the gear icon that appears to open Movie Maker Online's editing options.

You can scrub through your video by clicking and dragging on the red waveform on the right, and use the various controls underneath the preview window. Most of these are self-explanatory, but some are a little unusual. 'Appearing' and 'Disappearing' are transition effects, much like those you'd find in Microsoft PowerPoint.

To see the effects of your edits, click the play button under the preview window. When you're happy, click the green 'To main' button.

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Movie Maker Online - add music

3. Add music

You can upload audio files in the same way as videos, but Movie Maker Online also offers a selection of royalty free tracks for your projects. On the main editor page, scroll down to the controls and click ‘Free music’.

The page contains a lot of ads, plus strange chunks of text about the downloading habits of Mozart and Mark Twain, but what we’re interested in is the list of themes and genres above the search box. Choose something that fits your video, then scroll down to see an extensive list of tracks.

Click the play icon beside a track to preview it, then click the plus icon when you’ve found one you like. The music will be added to your project and trimmed to match the length of the video. It won’t replace your video’s existing audio, but will be overlaid on top.

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Movie Maker Online - insert text

4. Insert text

Adding titles, captions or credits to your video is easy, when you know how. To the right of the 'Own videos photos music' and 'Free music' buttons, you’ll see a small text entry box. Type something here and click the plus icon, then scroll down to the timeline and you’ll see that it’s been added under the heading ‘Text’. It’s not intuitive, but it works.

Move your mouse over the text and click the gear icon that appears to edit the position, font, size, color, alignment, and apply special effects and transitions.

Movie Maker Online - export video

5. Export finished video

You can add multiple video clips, audio files, images and text snippets using the methods described above.

Once you’re happy with your project, it’s time to export it. Scroll down and click the wide green button marked 'Make video'. Long videos will take a while to process, but don't close the browser tab or your work will be lost.

Once it’s done, click ‘Watch my movie’. If you’re happy with the result, click the blue ‘Download’ button and it will be saved to your PC or Mac in MP4 format. You can also send it directly to YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook.