These days, videos dominate social media. If you’re a content creator, you can no longer rely on good pictures and graphics alone to keep users engaged. You absolutely need good video editing software to consistently produce videos that your audience loves.
When it comes to free video editing software, most people recommend iMovie. It’s no surprise why, it’s very easy to use and comes installed free on most Apple devices. However, not everyone wants to shell out for an Apple computer just to edit movies.
Now, there are a lot of programs out there that claim to be an iMovie alternative for Windows. Many of them simply replicate the look of the software but not the functionality. We’re going to break down what makes a good iMovie alternative and finish it off with a few software recommendations of our own.
Features To Look for in an iMovie Alternative
So, what do people love about iMovie? Here’s a breakdown of what makes it such an effective application. It has:
- Basic editing tools like crop, rotate, merge, and transit to put nice videos together
- Tons of filters, royalty-free music, fonts, and stickers that make videos fun
- The ability to high-res videos and save them without compressing the file
- Easy and flexible file sharing
- The ability to use different video files like MP4, MOV, and WMV, so you can edit videos taken from any device.
Different video editing programs let you do different things. Here are our top five choices.
Top 5 iMovie for Windows Programs
While there is no official iMovie for PC, here’s a list of PC-compatible software that will give you A similar range of features.
Movavi makes professional-grade software made for complete newbies. Overall, it is our favorite iMovie alternative because it combines all the features we love with an intuitive interface.
We really dig Movavi because they’re always rolling out new stuff. Their new AI tools can remove background noise easily. Movavi also lets you upload directly to TikTok.
- Great balance of features/ease of use
- Easy to edit and share videos across multiple platforms
- Background noise removal
Movavi offers a bunch of different versions of their professional-grade video editing software. This way, in case your channel ever blows up, you’ll have a video editor that can grow with you.
Sometimes you don’t want a lot of bells and whistles. Sometimes you want something that does only what you need it to do and takes advantage of all the keyboard shortcuts you already know. That’s where Olive comes in.
Olive is an open-source video editor that can run on macOS, Windows, and Linux. It’s still in alpha, but the video editing community on Reddit is quite excited about Olive’s official release.
- Free open-source software
- Passionate online community of users
Overall, Olive has a very specific appeal in terms of video editing software. If you’re looking for an open-source video editor that’s compatible with Linux, Olive is right for you.
On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got HitFilm Express. This is the free downloadable version of HitFilm Pro. HitFilm lets new movie makers go wild with special effects.
In addition to the basic tools that let you edit a video, HitFilm Express comes with a ton of cool effects like fire and glitch. You can easily replace green (or whatever color) backgrounds with whatever image you want. They also offer additional paid effects on a sliding price scale, so you can purchase effects à la carte instead of paying for a whole package.
- Lots of special effects
- Easy background removal
- Can purchase additional effects
Basically, if you want to make your own Marvel movies, HitFilm Express is the iMovie for PC program for you.
Davinci ResolveSome people are really into post-production but find over-the-top special effects a little cheesy. Davinci Resolve is a great video editor for people who want to make artistic movies. This program gives you the ability to color-correct your videos and make them visually stunning.
We do need to warn you though: this program is resource-intensive. You will need a good video card and some decent hardware.
- Color-correction tools
- Sound mixing features
- Ability to make professional-grade videos
We want to warn you though: this is not nearly as easy to use as iMovie. It has a lot of tabs and comes with a pretty steep learning curve. It also only saves your videos as AVI files, you might need to use a video converter to get it in the format you want.
Overall, Davinci Resolve is amazing if you want to make art films. If you’re looking to make a quick TikTok, however, this might not be the one for you.
VSDC is a bit different from the other video editors on this list. It lets you do non-linear video editing. This means you can place video clips on random parts of the timeline and still place them in whatever order sequentially. This works very well for some people and is completely confusing for others.
This program is completely free, though there is a paid pro version should you want additional features. The standard features in the freeware include basic color corrections, object transformation, and volume adjustment. It works with Chroma Key, so once you figure it out it’s quick to use.
- Nonlinear functionality
- Chroma Key compatibility
- Text animating abilities
Overall, the nonlinear workflow is truly polarizing. If you like it, it’s the best thing about it. If you don’t, it’s a difficult program to work with.
What’s the Best iMovie Alternative?
As we’ve said before, there is no official iMovie for Windows. That said, there are a lot of similar programs. Each of these programs plays to different types of video editors.
That said, if pressed to choose one, we would go with Movavi. The easy user interface, range of features, and ability to easily share to any platform make it our favorite iMovie for PC program.