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
The gold standard for professional video editing, the feature-packed Adobe Premiere Pro is our top choice for best software. It might feel overwhelming if you’re new to Adobe’s video production tools. But for cutting Hollywood-grade projects, it’s one of the best in the business.
It might be free to use, but don’t let that fool you. DaVinci Resolve from Blackmagic Design is a powerful editor for pros and enthusiasts, with all the tools you’ll need for social media clips right up to studio productions.
Best for prosumers
If you know your way around video editor software, but don’t need all the advanced studio-grade tools of Premiere Pro and Resolve, then CyberLink PowerDirector is an excellent pick. It’s powerful enough for most projects, and we found it a delight to use during our tests.
Best for Mac
Final Cut Pro is Apple’s answer to Adobe’s offering: ultra-slick video editing software for professionals. It’s a serious step up from iMovie, a free app for editing videos, while maintaining a simple and efficient editing process.
If you want full video editing software without a monthly charge, there are a few available with a lifetime license instead. And we found Pinnacle Studio Ultimate to be one of the best, with its pro-level features and a welcoming, easy-to-use interface.
Best for content creators
Lightworks is great for creating social media content. That’s not to say it can’t handle more complex projects - it’s been used in multiple big-name Hollywood movies and includes a built-in VFX workspace. However, the simple, free version is ideal for social media feeds and channels.
Load more products
Best for built-in VFX
Many of the best video editing software like Resolve and Lightworks include VFX tools built into the app. But for a really streamlined workflow with professional polish, Hitfilm is ideal - especially if you’re a novice. An all-in-one post-production tool for every skill level.
Best for novices
Just starting out in the world of video editing? The ever-popular Magix Movie Studio is a great place to start. The non-linear video editing suite offers easy-to-use tools, fast rendering, and a convenient user experience.
Best for mobile
Adobe Premiere Rush may lack Premiere Pro’s advanced tools, but for editing on mobile, you can’t go wrong. It’s super-simple to use, with polished results. We also found it paired exceptionally well with other Creative Cloud apps for omni-channel content creation.
Best on a budget
Wondershare Filmora is a really straight-forward and affordable video editing tool. It’s nowhere near powerful enough for professionals, but if you just want simple video editing software that won’t break the bank, it hits the mark.
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
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
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
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
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