Are you looking for the best free GoPro editing software? Awesome! In this post, I'll share the best options for free GoPro editing software.
Free GoPro Editing Software: 7 Options
Before we get started, I want to qualify the programs on this list. To be listed, they must offer a “free forever” version. Some of these programs are available for free with a premium upgrade. But there is no trial software included in the list.
How are these programs determined to be the “best”? They are deemed the best by the number of reviews and their features. While I've used many different video editing programs, I haven't used all of them – but after writing this post, I plan to review a number of them.
Okay, let's begin!
Here's the short list of the software options. Below this list, you'll find more in-depth information on each option.
- Quik by GoPro (Free) Somewhat automated editing software that replaced the failed GoPro Studio.
- DaVinci Resolve 15: (Free and Paid) This is an impressive looking program. I've downloaded the free version and can't wait to try it.
- Blender (Free) This open source software comes highly praised. Should be worth a look.
- Filmora Wondershare (Free and Paid) Trial version (unpaid) has the same functionality as the premium – except that output videos have a watermark. See how to get a free premium license below.
- iMovie for Mac (Free) Popular and free but you'll have to own (buy) a Mac to use it.
- Windows Movie Maker (Free) This is popular because Microsoft makes it. And because it's free. (You can probably do better.)
- Lightworks (Free and Paid) This is a new one to me. They offer a free and premium subscription option.
Additional GoPro Editing Software
Here are a couple of programs that are pretty outdated. And while their sites are old (and I'll never use them) they are free video editing programs. So here are two that I don't recommend:
- VirtualDub.org: This site was last updated in 2013 and the software is not made for Windows 10. In spite of this, it continually comes up as a viable choice. I included this so you can take a look if you're interested.
- Wax (DebugMode): This can operate as a standalone program or a plugin with Sony Vegas, Pure Motion and Adobe Premiere. The site looks like it was cutting edge in 1995. I'm not sure that I trust this program.
7 Best Free GoPro Editing Software Options
First up: Quik Desktop
1. Quik for Desktop (by GoPro)
This is the software that you'll probably start with. And if you've never used video editing software before, this will probably be okay.
This is created to be – you guessed it – quick. And it direct connects to Facebook and YouTube for fast sharing.
In addition to video editing, you can use Quik for Desktop to update the firmware your camera. Supported models include: HERO, HERO+, HERO+LCD, HERO3+: Silver Edition, HERO3+: Black Edition, HERO4 Session, HERO4: Silver Edition, HERO4: Black Edition, HERO5 Session, HERO5 Black). Use Gauges in Quik to show your GPS path, speed, elevation gain with overlaid gauges and graphs.
There is a level of automation that some users don't like. When you plug your camera in, it auto uploads the footage to a preset folder. As long as you don't mind automation – and have tons of space on your hard drive – you should be good to go.
Next up: DaVinci Resolve
2. DaVinci Resolve 15
I'm surprised that this is free. The amount of features belong on a program costing $100's and yet, you can download simply by creating a free account.
I haven't used it yet, but I'm excited to give it a try. Combine multi-cam editing, color and lens distortion correction, and new media management functions and you have a great piece of software. It is non-linear video editing with “the world's most advanced color corrector” (BlackMagicDesign.com)
Next up: Blender
This is some super powerful software. It does 3D modeling, photo-realistic rendering, animation, sculpting, simulations, game creation and – oh yeah – video editing.
I'm excited about this one. Blender comes with 32 slots for video, audio, images, masks and effects. It has camera and object tracking and the ability to mask areas.
This should be expensive – but it's free. And don't worry about it changing. They publish this commitment on their homepage:
Next up: Filmora
This looks like decent software. It has screen recording, video stabilization, split screen, green screen, tilt shift, crop, color correction and speed adjustment. Some of it's transitions are a little too “home-movieish” for me, but it might work for certain projects.
The catch with Filmora is that their free version comes with a HUGE watermark across all your videos. But don't worry, there's a solution for this. I'll share how to get Filmora for free below this video (example of their edit quality).
Watch on YouTube
Here's how to get Filmora for free (and remove the watermark): The video explains it well, but you'll want to jump ahead to 2:17. That's where it explains all the details for the free Filmora license.
How to get a free Filmora license: write a review of the product and submit it to them. You'll need one of the following:
- Blog or forum: Alexa ranking of 100,000 or less; PR3 or above. If you aren't familiar with these metrics, your blog probably doesn't qualify.
- Social media following: 1000+ followers on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. Or 500+ YouTube subscribers.
Next up: iMovie for Mac
5. iMovie for Mac
If you're on a Mac, you already have access to this program. And it's free.
Their description (below) doesn't sound very compelling. It could be describing just about any video editing software.
What does set iMovie apart, is their synced mobile app. iMovie for Mac works seamlessly with iMovie for iOS. This means you can start a project on your iPhone, make some adjustments on your iPad and then finish on your Mac. iMovie Theater will keep all your finished videos synced across all your devices.
Next up: Windows Movie Maker
6. Windows Movie Maker
This is still in use – and will probably be for a few more years.
And you can still make decent videos with your GoPro footage. But you should know that it isn't being supported in Windows 10. This means that it's just a matter of time before it disappears.
I recommend choosing from one of the other options in the list.
Next up: Lightworks
This non-linear editing software by EditShare looks promising. It handles resolution up to 4K and advanced multi-cam editing.
Lightworks has edited many Hollywood films, including The Wolf of Wall Street, LA Confidential, Pulp Fiction, Hugo, and The King’s Speech.
The free version gives you the same editing power as the Pro version. But you can only output to a maximum of 1080P (Vimeo) and 720P (YouTube) with the free option.
Not quite what you were looking for? Check our our full list: GoPro Editing Software (includes 13 best options for Windows and Mac)
Did I miss one? Please share your favorite free GoPro editing software in the comments.