iMovie is a simple but incredibly easy-to-use video editor for Mac and iOS devices. Originally released in 1999, it has since undergone several changes and improvements.
Despite being a basic tool and its lack of advanced video editing features, it is awesome for editing videos on Macs. Even people without any technical skills can use iMovie — its interface is incredibly pleasant to navigate.
Though the best iMovie alternative for Windows is Windows Video Editor. The fact that it is the default video editor program for Windows, you experience seamless performance everytime you use it. It’s also free and works best for all basic editing requirements.
Though if you need advanced features, you can go with a premium tool.
Why explore alternatives to iMovie for Windows?
iMovie is inaccessible to the vast majority of people — simply because most desktop users have Windows, not Macs. With a market share of only around 15 percent, Mac computers are not that popular.
iMovie is not available on Windows. There are workarounds that might work (if you can emulate a Mac environment on Windows), but they require a lot of technical knowledge and are not recommended as a first choice.
However, if you recently switched from a Mac to a Windows and are looking for a good video editor to replace iMovie, you’re in luck! In this article, I will cover 14 awesome iMovie alternatives for Windows devices.
I’ll go over only free alternatives in this list, as iMovie is free. Let’s start!
Windows Video Editor is the equivalent software to iMovie on Windows. Like iMovie, it is available for free to all Windows users.
Microsoft itself made Windows Video Editor, just like Apple made iMovie. Also, it was initially released around the same time — the first version came with Windows Me back in 2000.
You may be more familiar with its old name Windows Movie Maker or its even older name, Live Movie Maker.
Windows Video Editor comes automatically with all Windows 10 devices.
Some other things you can do include:
- Add music from the built-in library
- Upload your custom music or audio
- Add text
- Speed up the video
- Slow down the video
- Add filters
- Add 3D objects
Here’s a quick YouTube tutorial on how to use Windows Video Editor on Windows 10.
Movie Maker for Windows 10 is an app you can get in the Microsoft Store. Despite the similar name to Windows Movie Maker, it is actually a third-party app.
However, it’s pretty good — and it has a free plan.
With Movie Maker, you can:
- Create videos from photos
- Edit and trim videos
- Upload background music to videos
- Add music from the built-in music library
- Add transitions to your videos
- Add text
- Rotate and crop videos
- Edit music by adding fade-ins, fade-outs, and more
So, what are some limitations of the free plan? Here are some things to keep in mind if you decide to stick with the free plan:
- You can only export videos in 720p
- You get just four video transitions to use
- However, you get 30 photo transitions
- You can’t speed up or slow down videos
- Photo overlay features are limited
Overall, however, Movie Maker is a pretty good app. It’s not the most advanced video editor, but it is free and simple to use, like iMovie, except that it was designed specifically for Windows.
OpenShot is a great open source alternative to iMovie for Windows users. Since it is open source, unlike iMovie, you can inspect, edit, and distribute the source code.
It is a more advanced tool, however, allowing you to do really cool stuff like adding animations, fades, transitions, and even 3D animations and animated text. You can visualize your audio as wavelengths and export those wavelengths as part of the video.
Some other cool stuff you can do with OpenShot include:
- Add titles using the built-in templates
- Drag and drop images, video, and audio to edit and create videos
- Add an unlimited number of layers
- Add watermarks to your videos
- Add background videos
OpenShot was originally created in 2008 for Linux devices. However, it has since been made available for Windows devices as well.
It is entirely free to use, and there is a fantastic community of users and developers who contribute to the project, find bugs, and create patches.
Even though OpenShot is entirely free and will always be free, you can donate if you wish. Donating will help support the project, as it doesn’t have any other revenue streams like Apple does.
OpenShot is also incredibly simple to use. Sometimes, open source projects require a bit of a learning curve, but most people won’t have any trouble figuring out how to use OpenShot.
Want an iMovie alternative to Windows that has more advanced features? HitFilm Express is one of the best and most popular free video editing software.
HitFilm Express is actually available for both Windows and Mac devices.
One of the best things about HitFilm Express is that it has an incredibly easy workflow, and its interface is incredibly easy to use. Some things you can do to streamline your workflow include:
- Set up multiple tabs and switch between them
- Collapse or expand panels to customize your workstation
- Set up an export queue, so you can export clips and videos you created while away from your desk
- Color code your shots to easily differentiate between different types of videos you are working on
In addition to a great interface and workspace, HitFilm Express has excellent video editing features. Here are some of the features that stood out to me the most:
- There is support for vertical videos — a blurred version of the video will be created for the background frame, so you can upload the video to YouTube or other platforms
- Add 2D and 3D graphics
- Add transitions and animations
- Choose from over 400 presets and effects
- Edit and optimize your audio
- Use the built-in voice recorder to record audio over your video without leaving HitFilm editor
- Add unlimited tracks to the editor (iMovie only allows you to add two tracks)
There are many advanced features as well, such as:
- Copy attributes from one clip and apply them to all other clips
- Use the Picture in Picture effect to put one clip inside another
- Mix audio tracks
- Upload videos with multiple streams of audio (this is especially important for gamers who want to upload streams)
- Edit 360-degree videos, including footage from your GoPro
- Take 2D video and transform it into 3D video
HitFilm Express is also great for fixing footage and making it more suitable for professional presentations. You can do things like:
- Remove digital grain
- Mix lens flares, light streaks, and more
- Add natural motion to animate images and graphics and make them come alive
- Use the powerful color correction tools to make your video look better
As you can see, Hit Film Express is a lot more advanced than iMovie — and it is all free! The reason I did not include it as my #1 alternative to iMovie is that it is not exactly as good as iMovie in terms of simplicity.
However, it is still very beginner-friendly, and it won’t take too long to learn how to use it. It is also perfect for editors with more advanced needs, including gamers and YouTubers.
FilmForth is an excellent free video editor for Windows devices, and it brands itself as a “perfect alternative” to iMovie. Indeed, like iMovie, it is simple to use, but it still lets you create powerful videos.
Using FilmForth, you can:
- Create a video using your photos
- Trim and edit the video
- Add music from the music library or upload your own music
- Add voiceover commentary to the video
- Detach audio from the video
- Use the Picture in Picture effect
- Add transitions between photos and videos
- Rotate videos
- Export videos with no watermark
Animotica is another great alternative to iMovie for Windows devices. Like iMovie, it is free, and even beginners can use it without any problems.
Some things you can do with Animotica include:
- Join and combine images and videos
- Crop and trim videos
- Create square and vertical videos for Instagram and other social media platforms
- Speed up your videos or slow them down for a slow-motion effect
- Add text, captions, and stickers
- Animate text
- Add GIFs
- Adjust colors
- Add music or voiceovers
- Create videos for TikTok and YouTube
- Add transitions
- Remove audio from your video
- Rotate the video
- Add transition effects
- Blur the background of your video
Do you have a shaky, low-quality video? You can stabilize it and improve the quality with Animotica with just a few clicks.
Although Animotica is perfect for beginners, it does have a major downside. If you are using the free version, there will be a watermark on every video.
If you are only using Animotica for your personal Instagram stories, however, that won’t be a problem. You can also remove the watermark from all of your videos for just a few dollars.
VideoPad is a free video editor. Despite some features being hidden behind a paywall, it still is a great alternative to iMovie on Windows.
You can upload videos in almost any format — the same goes for audio formats. In fact, it supports over 60 different video formats.
You can also record video and audio from scratch using the app.
VideoPad has a stock library of different sound effects you can add to your videos, but you can also upload your own custom audio.
VideoPad supports green screen production, and you can also transform 2D video to 3D video. Turn your video into a slow-motion video, or speed it up.
Although there are some features that are reserved for paying members, you can still enjoy them for free during the free trial period. After that, you can continue using VideoPad for free, but it will be more limited.
Once you create a video, you can either export it to upload it to your website or social media profiles or even burn it onto a physical DVD.
Vega is a pretty good alternative to iMovie if you are on Windows. It has a sleek interface with a black background, and I’m sure you’ll find it easy to use.
Using Vega, you can:
- Merge videos together to make a longer video
- Cut and trim videos to make them shorter
- Add stickers, images, memes, GIFs, and emojis to videos
- Add background music and adjust the volume of the video’s audio
- Speed up and slow down the video
- Freeze a specific scene in the video, so people can focus on it longer without pausing the video manually
- Add borders to your video
- Select your desired output ratio, depending on the social media platform you will be uploading the video to
Clipchamp is an excellent alternative to iMovie on Windows devices, and you can even use it to create marketing and sales videos. Of course, it has all the essential features, such as:
- Speed control
- Filters and overlays
- Titles and text
- Picture in picture
- Green screen editing
- Editing, cutting, trimming, etc.
However, Clipchamp also has some other features that will make your life easier. For example, there are over 800,000 stock videos, audio tracks, and GIFs you can incorporate in your videos!
Not only that, but there are hundreds of templates you can use as a base for your videos.
Another amazing feature is the text-to-voice feature. Instead of recording your own voice for a voiceover, you can simply write the voiceover text, and the app will talk for you.
That makes it even better than iMovie for creating tutorials.
There are 14 voices to choose from. Text to voice is a great option if you are shy or don’t want to reveal your voice for privacy reasons.
There are many ratio aspects and resolutions to choose from when exporting your video. Also, you can upload your video from Clipchamp directly to YouTube, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and more.
VideoShow, unlike many other free video editors for Windows, does not leave a watermark on videos you export. There are several aspect ratios to choose from when exporting, depending on whether you will be uploading your video to Instagram, TikTok, etc.
Other things you can do with VideoShow include:
- Combine several videos into one video
- Compress videos
- Split and splice videos
- Add music to your video
- Rotate your video
- Extract the audio from your video to create an MP3 file
In addition to creating and editing videos, VideoShow allows you to combine your different photos into a photo slideshow, complete with transitional effects between photos.
If you don’t have technical skills but want to create simple videos or photo slideshows for social media on your Windows laptop, like you would in iMovie, VideoShow is a great tool to use.
King Loft’s app, Movie Maker for Photos, is an excellent alternative to iMovie if you simply need to turn your photos into short videos or slideshows. Slideshows display your photos in a flow, without the viewer needing to tap through, while movies are a bit longer.
When creating a “home movie” out of your videos, you can:
- Flip the video
- Apply filters
- Add background music
- Upload additional videos and images
- Trim the video to make it fit on social media
- Export your video in a square size for certain social platforms
- Blur the video or parts of the video
- Mute the video and remove the audio
- Export the audio as a separate audio file (MP3)
King Loft actually has a suite of apps on different devices, and you can use them together for a better experience. For example, if you will be making movies out of selfies you take on your phone, you can download King Loft’s selfie app, so you can take beautified selfies and add stickers or filters.
Blender is a free 3D creation studio, and it comes with a number of basic and advanced video editing tools. Unlike iMovie, it is open source, and it is supported by donations.
You can cut and splice videos or do more complex edits like color grading. You can visualize waveforms and scrub, sync, and mix audio.
Speed up or slow down your video, add transitions and adjustment layers, and make use of the 32 slots for adding videos, scenes, images, and more.
However, Blender is a lot more than just a video editor. Other features include animation, rigging, sculpting, and scripting.
You can use Blender for game development, VFX, animation, modeling, and more. Since Blender is entirely open source, you can sell any work you create with Blender without limitations — you can even use it to create videos for your clients if you are a professional photographer.
13. DaVinci Resolve
DaVinci Resolve is a great alternative to iMovie if you need something more professional and advanced for Windows. According to DaVinci Resolve, it offers the same tools that professionals in Hollywood use for studio productions — and it does it for free!
There is a paid version of DaVinci Resolve, which you will need if you want to access all the features and tools. However, the free version is pretty good too, and it will probably be enough for you if you have been using iMovie in the past.
DaVinci Resolve is a lot more than a simple video editor — it is an entire suite of tools. Some video editing features, in particular, include:
- Drag and drop to edit videos
- Automatic video trimmer
- Overwrite and replace clips
- And a lot more
I wouldn’t say DaVinci Resolve is as easy to use as iMovie. In fact, it requires a bit more of a learning curve, especially if you want to figure out how to use all the features it offers.
Nevertheless, it is a better option if you want to try Hollywood-level editing software.
Finally, I wanted to mention Olive. Unlike iMovie, it is open source — but it is currently only available as alpha software.
Alpha software refers to software that has been pre-released and is currently being tested for bugs. You may have heard of beta versions of apps — beta software is already past the alpha stage and is being tested by real users to see if the users find bugs.
Alpha software is still being tested by the developer, but it has been prereleased. There are two versions of Olive.
The older version does not come with any support, but it has been around longer, so it has fewer bugs. The newer version might have more bugs.
Even though Olive is only in a prerelease stage, it has some unique features, such as node-based compositing instead of a fixed pipeline.
Olive also has very advanced color management and editing features, as well as a disk cache that works in the background to provide for smoother playback.
The Olive project is a work in progress. It is not for newbies, as the release is still unstable.
However, if you are used to using alpha software, or if you can wait around until Olive becomes officially released, I think you should consider it as a great alternative to iMovie.
The best iMovie alternative for Windows is Windows Video Editor. It is the official Windows alternative, and it comes included with all Windows 10 computers.
If you have a previous version of Windows, you may also already have it on your computer — it was previously included with the Windows Essentials Pack.
Windows Video Editor might not be the most advanced video editor, but it is free to use and great for beginners.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.