6 best free alternatives to Windows Movie Maker (from Windows Essentials)
Microsoft’s Windows Movie Maker has been one of the most popular video editing programs for Windows, for a very long time. It was free, it was easy to use, and it produced good results for casual computer users. Since the company has decided to terminate it, it no longer offers any support or development for Movie Maker. This means that now we must look for alternatives. To make it easier for you to find a suitable replacement for your video editing needs, we have compiled a list of free applications that are similar to Windows Movie Maker. Here it is:
Ezvid is one of the simplest and easiest video editors in the world. It is available for free, and its primary purpose is to record your screen. However, it also supports adding videos from local sources such as your hard drives. Its interface is spartan, and the few options that are available are all easy to identify. Ezvid lets you set a title and a description for your video, a watermark image of your choosing, as well as add some background music either from a list of bundled mixes or your music files. Once you finish editing your video, you can save it with a click. Unfortunately, there are no options to choose the format or quality of the final video file, which is always saved as a Windows Media Video file with the .wmv extension.
Ezvid is completely free and does not ask for any money or “donations” from you. However, all the videos you create with it have a short intro, in the beginning, saying that they have been made with Ezvid. If you liked Windows Movie Maker because it was so simple to use, then there is a high probability you will also like Ezvid.
2. VideoLAN Movie Creator
VideoLAN Movie Creator, or VLMC in short, is a video editor tool developed by the VideoLAN, the same organization that produces the famous VLC media player. VLMC is a cross-platform application which is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. VLMC’s main advantage over all the other tools is that it is capable of working with almost any video and audio file types that you can imagine. It is also rather easy to use, as its interface is not complicated. However, it offers plenty of tools and options which you can use to create what you want. There are options for adding, splitting and trimming videos. You can add audio tracks, and include transition effects if you want. When you are done editing, you can also specify what level of quality and at what resolution you want to save your video.
Unfortunately, while we used and tested VLMC, it seemed to be rather unstable as it got stuck during the rendering of our videos, just like in the screenshot below. However, if you have enough patience to retry creating your videos, VLMC does an excellent job in the end.
VLMC is completely free, and furthermore, it is also open source, which means that anyone can contribute to the development of this program. If you used to like using Windows Movie Maker, but you wished it had more options and tools, then VideoLAN Movie Creator might be a better video editor for you.
Download: VideoLAN Movie Creator
Avidemux is another straightforward video editor which anyone can start to use without having to read any documentation first. The user interface is plain, simple and also ugly. However, it does the job it is supposed to do. There are only a few buttons available on the main user interface, and the top menu does not contain too many options although you might be tempted to think otherwise. However, when it comes to choosing the video codecs that are used, things change, and you get a wealth of options to choose from, including various filters which you can apply to your videos. With Avidemux, you start by opening the video file you want to edit, after which you can append new videos if you want. Additionally, you can also trim your videos as you like with the help of the Start and End markers on the bottom of the time scale.
Avidemux is free and, besides Windows, it is also available for Linux, BSD and Mac OS X. It supports a wide array of video codecs to work with. If you do not mind the ugly and old looking user interface, you might like Avidemux more than other similar video editors.
4. VSDC Free Video Editor
VSDC Free Video Editor is a more sophisticated and evolved video editor than most of the other alternatives to Windows Movie Maker. This one looks more polished, while at the same time allowing you to edit videos just as easily as Windows Movie Maker did. VSDC Free Video Editor has a lot of options and settings to play with and gives you every tool you might want or need for editing your videos at a professional level. You can work with multiple video files, you can trim, split, arrange them as you like, and you can even add subtitles if you need to. If you like video or audio effects, you can add those too. VSDC Free Video Editor can work with many popular file formats, and it also supports 4K videos.
Although it has some stability issues (on our test computer, it crashed a few times), it is one of the best alternatives you could find to Windows Movie Maker. VSDC Free Video Editor is free to download and use, but it encourages you to buy a subscription for technical support, to help the developers in their work.
Download: VSDC Free Video Editor
5. VideoPad Video Editor
VideoPad Video Editor is a program with an old school user interface that seems to have come straight from the Windows XP era. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing especially for users who remember using Windows Movie Maker on Windows XP. :) Other than that, VideoPad Video Editor is relatively easy to use. It lets you edit your videos, customize the music track and also do things like trimming or appending video files. If you want to, you can add video and audio effects, as well as insert transitions in the videos you edit. There is even an option to include subtitles.
While working with VideoPad Video Editor, we felt a similarity with Windows Movie Maker in the way it handles the video editing. However, we must admit that we are a bit unsettled by the fact that, although the program is free for home use, there is also a commercial version of the program destined for home use. Apparently, some features and plugins work only if you buy this app. However, we could not find any list with a detailed description of those features anywhere on the VideoPad website. All in all, this is an alternative to Windows Movie Maker that is worth trying at least.
Download: VideoPad Video Editor
Shotcut is one of the best alternatives we could find on the internet for Windows Movie Maker. It is a video editor that offers a simple user interface with a sleek design and which is easy to understand and use. Shotcut supports many file formats for both video and audio files, and it includes all the basic editing tools you might want. You can drag and drop video and audio files as you see fit, you can cut and trim, and you can add filters on top of your work. However, you might not like the fact that you cannot add transitions in your videos. Unless you want that, Shotcut is going to make you happy with the final results you get from it.
Shotcut is completely free to download and use and is available not just on Windows but also on Mac and Linux.
These are our favorite alternatives to Windows Movie Maker. Some of them are easier to use than others, some of them look better than others, and some of them offer more options than others. Although some may say that Windows Movie Maker can never be replaced, we hope that you can find a similar video editor in our list. Do you know other programs like Windows Movie Maker which should be on our list? Share them in the comments below, and we will update this article.