Best video editing apps on Windows in 2023

Making good videos requires skill and a lot of practice, but the right tools can also help.

Screenshot of the Windows 11 desktop with icons for Adobe Premiere, DaVinci Resolve, and Wondershare Filmora overlaid on it

Content creation, whether that’s editing photos, music, or video, is a demanding job in more ways than one. Not only does it require a lot of skill and practice to get everything right, but you also need the right tools to be more efficient with your work. That includes having a good laptop or PC, of course, but you also need software that works well for your needs. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of apps that allow you to edit videos, stitch them together, add music, and so on.

Some of these programs are aimed at more professional users, while others are more suited for beginners. No matter where you sit on that spectrum, there’s something to help you get started on Windows 11.

1 Adobe Premiere Pro

Screenshot of Adobe Premiere Pro's video editing interface

It’s impossible to talk about any kind of creation tool without bringing up Adobe considering the company dominates most of the fields it’s in. Photoshop is easily the most popular photo editing tool in the world, and Premiere Pro essentially does the same for video. It’s packed with features for color grading, audio mixing, video effects, and anything else you could want. Of course, it’s a multi-track editor, so you can have multiple audio and video tracks, and Adobe also offers tools for team projects.

However, there are a few additions that help Premiere Pro stand out. First off, since it’s the most popular video editing tool in the world, it has tremendous support from third parties. Plus, using Adobe Stock can help you obtain stock photos, videos, music, graphics, and perhaps, more importantly, plug-ins. These can expand the capabilities of Premiere Pro even further, giving you access to more effects, and more. There’s also a huge community behind Premiere Pro, and Adobe bets hard on it, with various tutorials available right within the app to help you get started or learn new skills.

There is a pretty big downside here, which is pricing. Adobe Premiere Pro costs $20.99 per month by itself, but a lot of the features you might want will also require After Effects, and that’s not included in the subscription. You can also opt for the full Creative Cloud suite, which will also give you access to other Adobe apps, such as Photoshop, Lightroom, and so on, for a $54.99 per month subscription.

See at Adobe

2 DaVinci Resolve

Screenshot of Dainci Resolve 18's video editing interface

DaVinci Resolve is a personal favorite, but it’s also a fantastic video editing tool with a ton of capabilities right out of the box. I’d argue many of the tools in DaVinci Resolve are a bit easier to understand than in Premiere Pro, and everything is laid out in front of you much more clearly, so you can start looking around and changing settings. It can feel overwhelming to have all these tools at your disposal, but once you get in the flow of things, it’s pretty easy to use.

DaVinci Resolve may not have as widespread support in terms of third-party plug-ins as Adobe’s offering does, but it does support OpenFX and audio plug-ins, and there are plenty of effects built right into Resolve. It also comes with Fairlight, an advanced audio utility, so you get an all-in-one solution for your video editing needs. Blackmagic, the company behind DaVinci Resolve, also backs up the product with a ton of support documentation, including tutorials and full-blown books which you can read for free. If you’re willing to put in the time to learn, there’s a lot in store here.

And the best part is that you get access to a lot of these tools for free. Indeed, DaVinci Resolve is available as a free download and while some of the most advanced features are reserved for paying users, it’s far from a limiting version, and there aren’t any nagging ads asking you to pay up unless you try to use a paid feature. The full version of DaVinci Resolve costs $295 as a one-time payment, so it can also save you money in the long run compared to Premiere Pro.

See at Blackmagic Design

3 Clipchamp

Screenshot of the Clipchamp timeline and video editing interface

The tools we’ve mentioned above are clearly meant for more advanced or professional use, even if beginners can make good use of them if they put time and effort into learning. But if you’re just sharing videos on social media, and you’re not trying to be overly professional with it, then you may already have all the tools you need right on your PC. Microsoft’s Clipchamp is a web-based video editing software that comes pre-installed as a web app on Windows 11, and it’s actually very capable.

Clipchamp is a multi-track video editor, so you can have multiple video and audio tracks overlapped on top of each other and playing at the same time, allowing you to make more professional videos. You also get a few effects and transitions you can use, as well as stock images and video, though many of these are limited to the premium subscription. There are a few templates available, too, making it easier to get started with specific kinds of videos. For example, Instagram templates make it easier to create vertical videos. We even have a guide on how to use Clipchamp, if you’d like help getting started.

It’s not as robust as more expensive solutions, but Clipchamp is a great tool you can use for free. The paid plan costs about $12 per month, but some premium filters and effects are also included in Microsoft 365, so if you already have that, you have some extra tools at your disposal at no additional cost. Clipchamp comes pre-installed on Windows 11, but you can also use it on the web.

Use Clipchamp online

4 Kdenlive

Screenshot of Kdenlive's video editing interface

If you’re a fan of the open-source community and you want to use something that’s well and truly free and open for contributions, then Kdenlive might be what you’re looking for. This video editing software offers a lot of the tools you’d expect in professional video editing software, including various effects, tools for color grading and correction, and some audio mixing tools, as well as the ability to record audio directly within the app.

The interface may take some getting used compared to some of the more user-friendly (and paid) tools, but there’s a lot to work with here, and if you have experience with video editing, you should be able to find your way around fairly easily. The team behind Kdenlive also provides some documentation to get you started, so you’re not completely lost.

You can download Kdenlive for absolutely no cost, but if you want to support the project, you can donate to the team. You can also contribute to the program, either as a developer or by helping the team diagnose and fix bugs.

See at Kdenlive

Screenshot of video editing interface in Wondershare Filmora

Another easy-to-use, yet decently comprehensive tool is Wondershare Filmora, a video editing app with a modern interface and plenty of capabilities. It’s another multi-track editor, meaning you can add multiple audio and video tracks, and it has a lot of the features you’d want. You can use effects and animations, and add your own videos and media as well as stock footage, including images and gifs from various sources. It makes it a lot easier to create quick videos for social media, especially with some of the available templates, too.

This isn’t a video editing tool for professional users, so don’t go in expecting a ton of plug-ins or advanced color grading tools, but you have enough here to make great videos, and the more streamlined interface makes it really easy to get started. It’s more in line with Clipchamp, but it runs more smoothly and has more advanced features.

Wondershare Filmora is available in a free version, but exported videos will have a watermark, and certain effects aren’t available. You’ll have to pay to remove those limitations, and you’ll most likely want to.

See at Wondershare

Choose what’s right for you

All of these options are great video editing apps for different kinds of users, and it’s up to you to decide which one fits your needs the best. It’s hard to argue against the popularity of Adobe Premiere Pro, but I’m a big fan of DaVinci Resolve. It’s mostly free for any user, although true professionals may want to pay up, and it has a boatload of features and advanced capabilities that are easily accessible. Plus, there’s a lot of documentation to make things easier to learn and understand.

But even Resolve may be too much for you, and an app like Clipchamp is, frankly, totally fine for making videos to share on social media. It’s enough to make a screen recording with your webcam in view, for example, add some effects to your gaming videos, and more, all without requiring a paid plan. And if you’re also in need of a powerful PC to handle your video editing, check out the best creator laptops you can buy right now.