The Best Free and Paid Alternatives to Windows Movie Maker in 2020

The Best Free and Paid Alternatives to Windows Movie Maker in 2017

Easy to use yet robust alternatives to the all-time favorite Windows Movie Maker

On January 10, 2020, Windows officially discontinued its beloved video editing software Windows Movie Maker. After 17 long years of helping us put together home movies, school projects, and YouTube videos, it’s finally being retired.

More than anything, Movie Maker was loved for its convenience and simplicity. You didn’t have to be a Hollywood video producer to import and edit clips and then publish them online or burn them to a DVD, and chances are you don’t want to have to learn some new, overcomplicated interface.

But there is life after Movie Maker, we promise – and if you’re feeling lost, check out the following Windows Movie Maker alternatives so that you can get back to creating your very own video content.

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Free Alternatives:

  • Shotcut

For the die-hard Windows Movie Maker lover, Shotcut is the next best thing.

Sporting a similarly simple interface, Shotcut is easy to pick up and start creating with right away. Everything you loved about Movie Maker is there, including plenty of different transitions, filters, and a painless drag-and-drop video and audio editing system.

A huge selection of export formats means that you can take your video anywhere, from the phone screen to the big screen with Shotcut’s 4k resolution support.

For a free program, Shotcut has a lot to offer. The only thing it truly lacks is built-in sharing – videos can’t be directly uploaded from the program to the web like they could be in Windows Movie Maker. But the program easily makes up for it with more professional editing tools and greater flexibility.

+ Simple user interface
+ Mix and match different resolutions and framerates in one project
+ Long list of supported formats
– No built-in sharing to YouTube, Flickr, etc.

Operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux

Download Shotcut

  • VSDC Free Video Editor

For those who don’t mind taking the time to learn something a bit more complex, VSDC Free Video Editor is a powerful program packed with useful tools. Like Windows Movie Maker, you’re able to combine video clips, photos, and audio files.

But unlike Windows Movie Maker, VSDC is a non-linear editing program. This means that clips, sounds, and effects can be placed anywhere in any sequence – even on top of each other.

When you first start the program, you’ll be provided with several useful tutorials to help you get started. Because of this, VSDC Free Video Editor is a great stepping stone from the basic features of Movie Maker to the more advanced features paid editing programs have to offer.

+ Beginner friendly tutorials
+ Non-linear video editing
– Busy interface may take some getting used to 

Operating systems: Windows only

Download VSDC Free Video Editor

  • Avidemux

If you don’t need anything fancy, Avidemux is a no-nonsense video editor that’s perfect for completing basic tasks.

If you just used Windows Movie Maker to trim and change the format of videos, Avidemux’s simple and clean interface might be your best bet. You won’t find any fancy color filters or flashy transitions, but you will find plenty of exporting options and a decent selection of audio editing tools.

The best thing about Avidemux is that it allows you to make quick edits without having to re-encode the entire video. For example, if you just need to go in and trim a few frames, you can simply hit save and skip the lengthy and unnecessary re-encoding process altogether.

+ Simple interface
+ Plenty of exporting options
– No audio/video layering

Operating systems: Windows, Linux, Mac

Download Avidemux

  • VideoPad Video Editor

At first glance, VideoPad Video Editor looks a lot like Windows Movie Maker’s slightly outdated twin, and sports an interface very similar to the one we all know and love.

Despite its old-school look, the free version of VideoPad is packed with modern features such as HD quality support, a large selection of video effects and filters, and an easy to use drag-and-drop editing timeline.

The paid version offers all the same features as the free version and more, including direct sharing to YouTube and Facebook, 360 video editing, 4k video exporting, and access to a free library of sound effects.

+ Dozens of stylish transitions to choose from
+ Simple interface that closely resembles Windows Movie Maker
– Social media sharing limited to paid version

Operating systems: Windows, Mac

Download VideoPad Video Editor

  • Lightworks



Lightworks is one of the most well-known Windows Movie Maker alternatives available, and for good reason.

For a free program, it features an impressive selection of post-production tools that can be used to create professional-quality videos. The full paid version of Lightworks has even been used to edit blockbuster films like Pulp Fiction and The King’s Speech.

With the free version of Lightworks, you can add special effects, color correction filters, and layer masks, drag and drop audio and video files on a non-linear timeline, and then render and encode your video to share it on the web or burn to a DVD.

That being said, those who are primarily familiar with Windows Movie Maker’s simple editing tools may have trouble navigating the more complex interface. Because of this, Lightworks is less of a Movie Maker replacement and more of an upgrade.

+ Advanced editing tools
+ Non-linear timeline
– Complex interface takes time to learn

Operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux

Download Lightworks

Paid Alternatives

  • Filmora

Once a Mac exclusive, Filmora has only recently become available for Windows users. Filmora’s interface is much closer to iMovie than it is to Windows Movie Maker, but it’s still a great choice for any beginner.

To get started, all you need is to be able to trim and arrange video clips on a timeline – from there, you can choose a premade theme and music to bring your movie to life. More advanced users can take advantage of Filmora’s text, transition, filters, and eight editing tracks to create high-quality video content.

What makes Filmora especially great for those transitioning from Windows Movie Maker is its two video editing modes. Users can choose between “easy mode” and “full feature mode” so that video editing novices aren’t bombarded by an overstuffed interface right from the start.

While Filmora isn’t free, there is a free trial available if you’re just looking to get your feet wet.

+ Long list of supported export formats
+ Easy mode is great for beginners
– No motion tracking or closed caption support

Operating systems: Windows, Mac

Download Filmora

  • Camtasia (30 Day free trial)

From basic video editing tasks like trimming and rearranging clips to more advanced editing techniques such as adding motion graphics, animated backgrounds, and layered audio tracks Camtasia can do it all flawlessly.

Camtasia’s screen recording feature is perfect for gamers, digital artists, and tutorial creators who need to capture screen footage and convert it to a video format. The captured content can then be edited and uploaded to social media with just a few clicks.

Compared to Windows Movie Maker, Camtasia is a complex editing software – but compared to other paid programs, it’s relatively simple and easy to navigate. If you don’t mind taking the time to watch a few video tutorials, you’ll be comfortable using Camtasia in no time.

+ Easy video annotation
+ Record any part of your computer screen
+ Create interactive videos
– Advanced interface can be confusing at first

Operating systems: Windows, Mac

Download Camtasia 30 Day Free Trial