Best video editing software in 2023

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best video editing software lets you add post-production polish to your raw footage from seamless cuts to effects and eye-catching transitions. 

With visual content constantly growing in popularity, video editing software isn't just for movie-makers. It's essential for marketing a business, helping customers and clients, or creating clips for your YouTube channel. Today’s audiences demand high-quality visuals - whether they're watching Hollywood epics or scrolling past a social media ad. For creators and companies serious about their visual content output, the best video editing software offers the professional tools needed to engage viewers on every platform. 

Our expert team of reviewers have hand-tested  all the top video editing software, including the best video editing apps and the best video editing software for beginners. As part of our review process, we’ve compared each app’s interface and user experience, and pricing. We analyzed all post-production features like VFX, titles, and output selection and quality across a range of desktop and mobile video editing software.  

The quick list

What is the best video editing software in 2023?

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Best video editing software overall

Production

(Image credit: Adobe)
The Hollywood gold standard

Specifications

OS: Windows, Mac
Plan: Subscription

Reasons to buy

+
An industry-standard
+
Feature-rich, fast, and stable
+
Excellent AI-powered tools
+
Great transcription & captioning tools

Reasons to avoid

-
Subscription-only
-
Interface may overwhelm beginners

Adobe Premiere Pro is considered the best video editing software by many for a very good reason: as an industry-standard tool, it has all the features professional videographers and editors need to add pro polish to any project. 

Newcomers should be warned that Premiere Pro’s interface can feel overwhelming at first. Once you’re familiar with the software, though, the experience becomes easy to the point of child’s play. Thanks to Adobe’s uniform UI, you can apply that knowledge to other tools, including Photoshop and After Effects. So, it’s a steep curve worth learning in that respect. 

When we tested the latest version, we found it streamlined to near-simplicity, with a heavy focus on easing the import process. It houses all workflow-critical tools - fit for almost any scale of project, big or small. There’s even a smart auto-transcription tool for captioning videos - Adobe Sensei AI runs through the entire Creative Cloud toolstack, and we found it especially effective here. 

Premiere Pro is only available on subscription. Adobe offers a standalone plan, and includes the video editing software as part of the Creative Cloud All Apps package.

Read our full Adobe Premiere Pro review 

Best free video editing software

DaVinci Resolve free video editing software in action

(Image credit: Blackmagic Design)
Professional video editing software without a premium price tag

Specifications

OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Plan: Free, Perpetual license

Reasons to buy

+
Free
+
Powerful features and tools
+
Multi-platform

Reasons to avoid

-
Complex interface
-
Not for the faint-hearted

DaVinci Resolve is one of the best video editors for those looking to produce Hollywood-grade results on a budget. 

It’s hard to believe a tool as powerful as Resolve can be downloaded free - and with absolutely no limitations. No time-limits. No export restrictions. No watermarks. If you’re a professional content creator, there is an option to buy a perpetual license that upgrades the kit, but it’s not essential. 

Like Adobe’s offering, Blackmagic Design’s video editing software is filled with industry-standard tools to bring creations to life. It also includes Fusion, a built-in visual effects editor. 

But if you thought Premiere Pro’s learning curve was steep, it’s nothing compared to DaVinci Resolve, which is built with professional video editors front of mind. Inevitably, that makes it slightly more overwhelming for novice video editors. However, there’s plenty of community support for the tool, and given time, you’ll find this one of the best video editing software solutions on the market.

Read our full DaVinci Resolve review 

Best video editing software for prosumers