When it comes to video editing on a Mac, having the right software can make all the difference. Fortunately, there are several high-quality free options available.

Whether you’re a beginner looking for an intuitive interface or an experienced user in need of advanced features, the best free video editing software for Mac has something to offer. From AI-powered tools to seamless project sharing, these programs are designed to cater to a variety of needs and skill levels.

In this article, we will explore some of the top choices, including iMovie, Lightworks, OpenShot, and HitFilm Express, to help you find the perfect fit for your video editing endeavors.

Best Free Video Editing Software for Mac


The best free video editing software for Mac helps you make really good videos without spending a lot of money.

If you’re new to editing videos on a Mac and don’t want to spend a lot on software, or if you want to make professional-looking videos without buying expensive programs like Premiere Pro, you’re in luck. There are a bunch of great free video editors for Mac available now. But be careful, not all free options are great; some only have basic features, while others let you edit videos just like the expensive, pro-level programs.

So, we’ve put together a list of the best free video editing software for Mac. We’ll tell you what each one is good at and what it’s not so good at, so you can pick the best one for you.

1. OpenShot

OpenShot is a free and easy-to-use video editor that works on Mac, Windows, and Linux. It’s great for beginners who want to learn video editing.

With OpenShot, you can do basic editing without spending a lot of time. It’s a good choice if you want to get started quickly.

OpenShot

Besides basic editing, you can also make 3D animations with OpenShot. Plus, it supports over 70 languages, so language won’t be a barrier to editing videos.

Key Features:

  • Quick trimming and slicing of videos.
  • Shows waveforms while editing.
  • Provides templates for editing titles.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and won’t strain system resources.
  • Easy to use, especially for beginners.

Cons:

  • Freezes or lags with longer videos.
  • Renders slowly, making users wait longer for their finished videos.

2. Apple iMovie

The latest version, iMovie 11, is a fantastic free video editor for Mac with lots of great features like movie trailers, one-step effects, and audio editing.

Apple iMovie

With just a few steps, you can share your movies on YouTube or export them to your iPhone or iPad. However, iMovie is only free if you buy a new Mac. Also, when you start using iMovie, you might find it a bit challenging to learn all its features.

Overall, iMovie is one of the best free video editing software for Mac users and has a good reputation. You can also find some useful tips and tricks for using iMovie.

Key Features:

  • Supports editing 4K videos.
  • Can be used on iPhone and iPad.
  • Offers 10 video filters.

Pros:

  • Available on iPhone and iPad.
  • Works well with the Apple ecosystem.

Cons:

  • Limited to 2 video tracks and 2 audio tracks.

3. ZS4 Video Editor

ZS4 Video Editor is a free editing tool for Mac that lets media experts blend different types of media into one file. It’s also available for Windows and Linux. With over 150 built-in video effects, ZS4 Video Editor can instantly enhance your videos.

ZS4 Video Editor

One of its key features is the ability to combine various media types like videos, audios, and photos into one file. This all-in-one editor eliminates the need to install multiple apps.

Key Features:

  • Edit photos, videos, and audio files.
  • Easy to use.

Pros:

  • More than 120 built-in video effects.
  • Unlimited tracks.

Cons:

  • The user interface isn’t very friendly.

4. Avidemux

Avidemux is a great free video editor made for simple tasks like cutting, filtering, and encoding. It works on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and BSD under the GNU GPL license. It supports various video, image, and audio formats like AVI, MP4, MOV, ASF, JPG, and AC3.

Avidemux

One of the best things about Avidemux is its compatibility with many video formats. You can use it to cut out ads from TV recordings or save just a small part of a video. It also has filters like color correction that you can apply to make your video look better.

Key Features:

  • Supports AVI, MP4, and ASF formats.
  • Based on an encoder.

Pros:

  • Clean and easy-to-use interface.
  • Open-source software with no built-in purchases.

Cons:

  • Exporting process is slow, so it takes longer to finish.

5. Kdenlive

Although the development focus has shifted primarily to Linux, you can still access this excellent free video editor on Mac using packages available through MacPorts. Kdenlive supports nearly all popular media formats, and you can easily add files to its multi-track timeline.

Kdenlive

You can create 2D titles to enhance your project by aligning texts and rotating them. Additionally, for editing large video files, Kdenlive lets you create proxy files to ensure a smoother editing experience.

Key Features:

  • Edit multiple audio and video tracks.
  • Customize shortcuts easily.

Pros:

  • It’s open-source software

Cons:

  • Not very beginner-friendly.
  • Updates are slow.

6. Blender

Blender is free and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’s mostly used for making 3D graphics, but many people also use it to edit videos. You can do a lot with Blender, like making models, animations, and special effects for movies or games.

Blender

You can also edit videos in Blender. It’s not like normal video editors, though. It’s more for people who want to do fancy stuff with their videos, like adding 3D effects or making animations.

Key Features:

  • It’s good for making 3D stuff.
  • It can use both your computer’s processor and graphics card to make things faster.
  • It has tools for shaping 3D models and painting textures.

Pros:

  • It’s fast for making 3D models.
  • You can change how it works to fit what you like.

Cons:

  • It’s hard to organize things in Blender.
  • Making animations can be tricky.

7. Lightworks

Lightworks is a professional video editing software available for Mac. It is known for its advanced features and is used by professionals in the industry.

Lightworks

The free version of Lightworks offers a comprehensive set of tools for both beginners and experienced video editors.

It supports high-quality video production, including 4K footage, and provides features such as high-quality proxies, YouTube exports, and quick LUTs for color grading.

Key Features:

  • On Mac, you can edit videos with cool features like trimming from different points and sliding, or rolling clips.
  • You can also choose from many professional-looking transitions to make your videos smoother.
  • Plus, you can adjust audio levels for each clip and control them using MIDI.

Pros:

  • Works with any type of media file.
  • Offers advanced editing tools for maximum creative control, resulting in high-quality videos, perfect for professionals.

Cons:

  • Recommended for users with some editing experience; may be challenging for beginners.
  • The free version limits exports to 720p resolution only, restricting higher-quality output options.

8. Wondershare Filmora for Mac

Wondershare Filmora is a powerful and easy-to-use editing software that offers advanced features like compositing, motion graphics, special effects, and color correction tools. It’s perfect for experienced video makers who want more control over their footage.

Wondershare Filmora for Mac

Filmora works on both Windows and Mac and lets you export your projects in almost any popular video format.

Key Features:

  • Easy-to-use professional tools.
  • Multi-track timeline.
  • Excellent auto color correction.
  • Animation keyframing and motion tracking.

Pros:

  • Lots of preset options, effects, overlays, and transitions.
  • Supports 4K video and GIF output.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t support plug-in extensions.

9. HitFilm Express

HitFilm Express is a free video editing software offered by FXHome, designed for beginners, YouTubers, students, and anyone interested in filmmaking.

HitFilm Express

It provides professional-grade VFX tools and is suitable for creating films, gaming videos, and other creative content. Despite being a free product, HitFilm Express offers a wide variety of powerful features, including professional technology and creative effects.

It is a good option for those looking to get into video editing without a budget. The software is updated regularly and is available for Mac, making it a popular choice for users seeking free video editing solutions.

Key Features:

  • Various courses are available.
  • Proxy for 4K videos is offered.
  • More than 400 video effects.

Pros:

  • Supports a wide range of formats using different codecs.
  • Best free video editor for Mac for encoding and converting video.

Cons:

  • Lacks creative or pro-level features.
  • Has an unappealing and unintuitive user interface.

10. Shotcut

Shotcut is considered one of the top free video editing software options for Mac, especially for those who have outgrown basic programs like iMovie. Being open-source, once you download it, you get access to all its features and can tailor the interface to suit your preferences.

Shotcut

Moreover, this free Mac video editor offers unlimited undo and redo capabilities for edits, along with a convenient history view.

Key Features:

  • Mix and match frame rates and resolutions within the same video.
  • Utilize a comprehensive suite of audio editing tools to balance, fade, mix, and more.
  • Create composites with a variety of blending modes for added visual effects.

Pros:

  • Requires low system resources, making it accessible for most computers.
  • Utilizes FFmpeg, enabling support for a wide range of audio and video formats.

Cons:

  • Lacks built-in publishing tools for social media platforms.
  • Faces stability issues, leading to potential crashes or disruptions during use.

FAQs

Q1: Can I use free video editing software on my Mac?

  • Yes, there are several free video editing software options available for Mac users.

Q2: What features should I look for in the best free video editing software for Mac?

  • Look for features like an intuitive interface, support for various video formats, essential editing tools (trimming, cutting, merging), and if possible, advanced features like special effects and transitions.

Q3: Is it possible to create professional-quality videos with free editing software on a Mac?

  • Yes, many free video editing programs for Mac offer advanced features and tools that allow users to create professional-quality videos.

Q4: Are there any limitations to using free video editing software on Mac?

  • While free video editing software on Mac can be powerful, they may have limitations such as fewer advanced features compared to paid software, and in some cases, watermarks or restrictions on output quality.

Q5: Can I edit and export videos in high resolution using free editing software on Mac?

  • Some free video editing software for Mac supports high-resolution video editing and exporting, but it’s essential to check the specific capabilities of each program.

Q6: Is technical support available for free video editing software on Mac?

  • Generally, free video editing software for Mac may not offer dedicated technical support, but many have active user communities and online resources for troubleshooting and assistance.

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