The best video editing software in 2019
With the best video editing software installed on your laptop or smartphone, it's never been easier to become a movie-maker and produce some impressively professional-looking videos.
The best video editing software gives anyone – no matter what their experience or budget is, or what kind of equipment they have – the ability to make eye-catching videos, and the tools that are on offer these days are getting better all the time, offering tools and features that wouldn't have been possible only a few years ago.
However, with the sheer amount of video editing software out there, it can be difficult to choose what the best video editing software is for your needs – and that's where we come in.
In this buying guide, we've rounded up a selection of today's very best video editors. These tools make cutting, editing and perfecting really simple. The software we've picked out won't break the bank, but if you're really short on cash (or aren't ready to commit to a paid option just yet), lower down the page you'll find our list of the best free video editing software.
We've made sure that this guide to the best video editing software contains choices for all kinds of people, from budding movie makers just starting out, to professional editors who want to make their work really stand out. It doesn't matter if you're using one of the best laptops for video editing or another device, we've picked the best options to suit you. You'll find the best video editing software for Windows PCs, Mac and Android machines. There are also brilliant choices for beginners and experienced video editors alike.
Plus, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday now here, you should find some great discounts on both the gadgets you need to shoot your videos, as well as the software you need to edit them.
01. Adobe Premiere Pro CC
The best video editing software for Windows
Platform: Windows and Mac | Key features: Multi-cam editing, 3D editing | Video tracks: Unlimited | Free trial: Yes | Best for: Professionals and enthusiasts
Excellent automatic functions
Industry standard video editing tool
Free trial available
Dedicated companion app
If you're a Windows user, Adobe Premiere Pro CC is the best video editor available right now. This one's a bit of a no-brainer: Premiere Pro is an all-singing all-dancing video editor from one of the biggest names in the industry, which is used by multitudes of creative professionals.
It's easy to see why it's so popular for Windows 10 users. It can handle an uncapped number of video tracks, which can be imported from pretty much any source you can think of (files, tapes, cameras of all standards... even VR). The automatic sync is a gem when you have multi-angle shots, and it's hard to fault the fine-tuning tools that really make your video stand out from the crowd.
There's also an all-new free companion app – Adobe Premiere Rush – that makes it easy to work with footage captured on your phone. At time of writing, it was available on iOS, macOS and Windows.
You can subscribe to just Premiere Pro on its own, but if you use more than one of Adobe's apps, it'll be worth your while subscribing to Creative Cloud for a slightly higher monthly fee.
02. Final Cut Pro X
The best video editor you can get for your Mac
Platform: Mac | Key features: Muti-cam editing, intelligent colour balancing | Video tracks: Unlimited | Free trial: 30-day | Best for: Professionals and enthusiasts
Versatile and powerful editing
Makes sense for Apple users
Final Cut Pro X is our pick for the best video editing software for Mac. And, as you would suspect with Apple, the must-have editor is consummately easy to use and comes packed with enough features to warrant the (admittedly high) price tag. We like the grouping tools, effect options and the straightforward way you can add and edit audio. If you're already entwined in Apple's ecosystem, you'll appreciate how Final Cut cleverly coordinates with your Photos or iTunes collections.
3. Adobe Premiere Elements 2019
A great all-round video editor to suit most users
Platform: Windows and Mac | Key features: Video stabilisation, face detection, automatic motion tracking | Video tracks: Unlimited | Free trial: Yes | Best for: Professionals and enthusiasts
Easy to use
Loads of features
Not as powerful as some tools
Not the fastest video editor
Adobe makes another entry in this list with Premiere Elements; a great choice for both beginners and experienced editors. It isn't as complex as the more heavyweight Premiere Pro video editor (listed at number one above), which is best suited to full-time video editing professionals. But Premiere Elements is still packed with excellent features, such as face detection, audio effects and bundled soundtracks. And it's friendly to use, too.
Whether you're an editing newbie or a pro, automated functions – such as motion tracking and smart toning – will make your life a lot easier. The same can be said of the video stabilisation option and simplicity of editing. Premiere Elements comes with all the video effects you’d expect in a consumer video editor: transitions, chroma-keying, opacity and so on. The media library is also intelligently organised, with smart searches making it easy to find finished and draft files.
04. Adobe Premiere Rush
All the Adobe goodness but on your mobile
Platform: Android, iOS | Key features: In-app motion graphics, 4K support | Free trial: Free starter plan | Best for: Enthusiasts on mobile
All can be done in the app
Excellent for sound editing
Ideal if you already know Adobe
Don't rely on limited free plan
Any PC-using video editor worth their salt has inevitably used Adobe software at some point. Adobe Premiere Rush takes all the best bits that Adobe has perfected over the years and transports it to the palm of your hand.
So what does it offer the editor on the go? A straightforward user interface that will be immediately familiar to users of Premiere Pro or Elements; four video tracks; three audio tracks; easy instant export to your social media accounts; in-app editing tools...the list goes on! It's no wonder that it recently went to the top of our best video editing apps countdown.
Yes, you can give it a good go for free with the Rush Starter Plan, but it's only enough to export three videos. Luckily, it doesn't cost a lot to grab the full version of the Adobe Premiere Rush app on iOS or Android.
Best video editing software for Android...for pros
Platform: Android, iOS | Key features: Instant preview, smart effects | Free trial: Free app | Best for: Beginners and lightweight professional use
Surprising amount of features
Good enough for professionals
Cheap editing app
Slow on lower-end devices
If you think that trying to edit video on your smartphone or tablet is a pointless exercise, KineMaster will make you think again. Available for Android devices, iPhones and iPads, we've highlighted this option as the best video editing software for Android because it goes way above and beyond what you'd expect from a mobile app.
It packs the ability to edit multiple layers, add handwriting and text annotations, experiment with up to four audio tracks and precisely edit at a frame and sub-frame level. We could go on with a long list of features, but perhaps the best endorsement is the average review score from on both the App Store and Google Play. Plus, it's free, so it's probably worth just downloading this video editing app and giving it a try.
06. Corel VideoStudio Ultimate 2019
Best video editing software for beginners
Platform: Windows | Key features: Real-time effects, colour correction | Free trial: 30-day | Best for: Beginners
Really easy to pick up
Nice selection of features
Too basic (and unusual) for pros
Corel VideoStudio Ultimate offers a great way into video editing for novices. A well-designed interface means it's very easy to get going with straight away, but yet it doesn't lack in features. There's multi-cam editing, 4K video support, 360-degrees VR video support, a music library and loads of effects, to name but a few. Not bad at all for the price.
The more you use VideoStudio Ultimate, the more you'll notice and make use of its little features and flourishes. It's a great option for beginners, and still has plenty to offer more experienced video editors – although pros will probably want to opt for one of the standard video editing software options.
An easy to use tool with plenty of effects and resources included
Platform: Windows, Mac | Key features: 4k support, built-in effects and titles | Free trial: Free version available | Best for: Enthusiasts
Simple to use
Free version to try
Wondershare's Filmora9 is a strong video editing tool for enthusiasts, or those just getting started with editing. The intuitive interface should make it easy to get started with, and there are built-in titles, effects and filters designed for budding YouTubers. There's also a library of royalty-free sound effects and music to give your videos impact – plus the ability to record your own media to include, directly within the tool.
If you're using the tool professionally, you'll probably want to opt for the more advanced FilmoraPro – explore the differences between the two tools here.
Price-wise, there are a few different options to choose from. If you're just starting out, the free version includes all the same features and tools as the paid tool, but all your videos will have a brand watermark on them. You can then choose between a 1-year plan, a lifetime plan for a one-off fee. Finally, there's a supercharged Unlimited plan, which throws in unlimited downloads from an stock library and new effects each month.
08. CyberLink PowerDirector 17 Ultra
Video editing software for experienced filmmakers
Platform: Windows | Key features: Multi-cam editing, 360-degree video, motion tracking (and loads more) | Free trial: 30-day | Best for: Enthusiasts
Really powerful tool
Stacks of features
Tough for newbies
CyberLink PowerDirector is a serious bit of software for serious video editors: this is excellent video editing software that delivers professional and high-quality features, without a Hollywood budget. Get cracking on the 100-track timeline and you'll soon find yourself making the most of multitudes of stabilisation and video correction tools, professional effects, multi-cam editing, motion tracking and surprisingly easy trimming.
There's 360-degree video editing as well, together with support for all the file standards and formats you can imagine. And if you're finding it all a bit of a struggle, then there are plenty of video tutorials to help to get you sorted.
09. Pinnacle Studio 22
An easy-to-use video editor if you're starting out
Platform: Windows | Key features: Multi-camera capture and editing, color controls, stop motion animation | Free trial: 30-day (money back guarantee) | Best for: Beginners
Super-simple to use
May be too basic for some
Going for Pinnacle Studio 22 is well worth considering if you've never edited video before and want to delve in for the first time. The pricing is below the average of those above and you can always bail out if you find within the first 30 days that it's just not for you.
But honestly, we'd be surprised if you need to. For in the region of $60/£60, you get more than 1,500 effects, titles, and templates, 6-track HD video editing, handy colouring tools, a dedicated stop motion feature, time remapping and much more. And most features are an absolute doddle to use. So it feels like a genuine step up from free options, without splashing stupid money.
Of course it doesn't have the full suite of features that some others in this list offer, that's not what Studio 22 is all about. And if you try and like the Pinnacle interface and tools, you can always upgrade to one of the company's more comprehensive packages.