Trying to sort out GoPro editing software? You’re in the right place! While GoPro makes it easy to shoot video, it takes the right software to edit all those clips into something useable and shareable. Learn about the best GoPro video editors for Windows and Mac (and Linux).
In this post, you’ll learn about your options for great GoPro editing software. I’ll cover both free and premium programs – for both Windows and Mac. The list includes the best options for editing your GoPro video – according to user ratings and sales volume.
And while these all come well-rated, some just don’t work for me. I cover it all in this post. Not interested in premium software? No worries. Here are the best free GoPro editing software.
GoPro Editing Software: Winners
Before we get into all the details, here are the programs that you should check out:
- Quik Desktop (Free) Best Free GoPro Software Here’s why: Quik Desktop was made for their footage. It comes with some great presets and it’s easy to combine clips, speed up / slow down footage, and render for a variety of platforms (including YouTube, Vimeo, UHD 4K or custom). It’s free and has decent tutorials.
- Magix Movie Edit Pro ($70) Best Consumer GoPro Software Here’s why: For just seventy bucks, you get 1500+ effects / templates, 32 editing tracks, and motion tracking. I like this program – and it comes highly recommended and has a solid feature set. Check out our tutorial about creating video with Movie Edit Pro.
- Adobe Premiere Pro ($20.99 per month) Best Premium GoPro Software Here’s why: If you are going to make your living with video editing, you should choose Premiere Pro by Adobe. This is the best, cross-platform (Mac and Windows) premium video editor.
9 GoPro Video Editing Apps
Before we get into the full set of programs, there are also a few mobile apps for editing GoPro video. Many of these integrate with the full programs below.
- Splice (iOS) Free. Acquired by GoPro in 2016, this app is highly rated. It edits videos and makes short movies. Available on iPhone and iPad.
- GoPro App Free. (iOS and Android) Also acquired in 2016, Replay Video Editor (iOS) was relaunched as GoPro App on Android devices.
- PowerDirector by CyberLink (Android) Free. Multiple track timeline, free video effects, slo-mo and reverse video. Output at 4K. Highly rated.
- iMovie (iOS) Free This is a lightweight and easy to use video editor. Just copy your video clips to your iPhone or iPad and get started.
- Antix (Android) Free. Quickly create videos (cut, add music, filters, effects) and easily save and share.
- FilmoraGo (iOS and Android) Free. Offers a nice set of templates and filters. Well rated on Google Play – not so much on the AppStore.
- Corel Pinnacle Studio Pro (iOS) $17.99 Available, but not well rated.
- Magix Movie Edit Touch (Windows) Free. Cut, arrange, add music, and output your clips right on your Windows device.
- Adobe Premiere Clip (iOS and Android) Free. This is the mobile version of the best video editing software. And while it is available on both platforms, it isn’t well rated on iOS – it is probably skipping this on Apple devices. But if you have an Android phone or tablet, this is a great option for you. Projects can be easily opened in the desktop version (Adobe Premiere Pro CC) to continue editing.
13 GoPro Editing Software Options
Okay, with the editing apps out of the way, let’s get started! Here are the GoPro editing software options that I’ll cover in this post.
- Quik Desktop by GoPro (Free) Windows and Mac Get your free copy here.
- iMovie for Mac (Free) Mac OS Get your free copy here.
- Magix Movie Edit Pro ($69.99) Windows with Android App Learn more here.
- Cyberlink PowerDirector Ultra 18 ($100) Windows Learn more here.
- Corel VideoStudio Ultimate 2019 Windows Learn more here.
- Corel Pinnacle Studio 23 Windows with iOS App Learn more here.
- Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 16 Windows Learn more here.
- Vegas Pro 17 Suite Mac OS and Windows Learn more here.
- Adobe Premiere Elements 2020 Windows and Mac Learn more here.
- Adobe Premiere Pro ($20.99 / month) Mac OS and Windows Learn more here.
- Final Cut Pro ($399.99) Mac OS X Learn more here.
- Animoto (Free trial, Online subscription $13-39/month, Apps start at $5) Online video editor with iOS / Android apps and Lightroom plugin Learn more here.
- Davinci Resolve 16 / Studio (Free / Premium) Windows, Mac and Linux This is definitely an advanced editor, and the only one on the list to run one all three platforms. Learn about the free and premium versions.
While most of the programs on the list are great, a few of the options might be better to avoid.
- Animoto: Disappointing upload limit. While I was initially excited about this app, when I realized their 400MB upload limit, I quickly fell out of love. While many of your video clips will be less than 1 minute 47 seconds, how will you edit all your 2 minute+ clips? Not with Animoto.
- Windows Movie Maker: Has begun it’s slow death. This is a solid free option – but because it is no longer supported in Windows 10, you can do better. If you’re going to learn a new piece of software, choose one that will be around for a while.
Only a few players… The options in this list are dominated by a few companies. Apple, Adobe, Corel, and BlackMagic Design all have two programs each. Magix has three programs – now with their acquisition of the Vegas line from Sony. In addition to the above video-focused options. you can also edit video with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
Note: I have not tested the majority of the programs in this list. Over the coming months, I plan to review some of my favorite options (Magix, Cyberlink, and Corel). I’ll be publishing detailed reviews of each of these.
1. Quik Desktop (Free) Windows and Mac
This is solid video editing software – especially for being free. It does take a little getting used to – but once you have it, it’s super easy to output great video edits.
Quik is aptly named – as you can quickly create awesome videos from your footage (and synced to music). Automatically import your photos and footage and then share the best ones.
- Video formats handled: mp4 and .mov. Supports only GoPro video footage and photos. This means you can’t use Quik to output footage from your other cameras.
- Video resolution handled: From the super basic WVGA up to the huge 4K video. Editing 4K video requires more video RAM: Under 4K resolution, you will require a minimum of 512 MB RAM (more is always better). For 4K video playback, you will need a minimum of 1GB RAM on your video card.
- Motion tracking: No
- Additional features: Auto import your GoPro media, and update your GoPro camera firmware (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.
- Where to get it: gopro.com
- Price: Free
2. iMovie for Mac (Free) iOS
In addition to footage captured with the iPhone and iPad, it also edits 4K video from GoPro, and lots of cameras like GoPro (including DJI, Sony, Panasonic and Leica).
Similar to GoPro Studio’s templates, iMovie provides 15 movie themes that include titles and transitions. This will speed up your editing process and give it a professional (or playful) feel.
- Video formats handled: AVCHD / MPEG-4
- Video resolution handled: Up to 4K.
- Motion tracking: Not automatically. Here is a way to manually keyframe your video.
- Additional features: The ability to begin editing on your iPhone (iMovie for iOS) and complete the edit on your Mac is pretty nice.
- Where to get it: Apple.com
- Price: Free
3. Magix Movie Edit Pro ($70) Windows w/ Android App
It comes with 1500+ templates (effects, menus, and sounds) for fast, professional videos. They have a great set of short, video tutorials.
It has 32 multimedia tracks. This is significant when compared to other base models that have just a couple. I can’t image a video edit that will require more than 32 tracks.
Both Dena and I own and use this program. It is simple to use, feature-rich, and just $70. Watch for a full review in the coming months.
- Video formats handled: In addition to GoPro’s MP4 format, it also handles (DV-)AVI, HEVC/H.265, M(2)TS/AVCHD, MJPEG, MKV, MOV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MXV, VOB, WMV(HD)
- Video resolution handled: Up to 4K / Ultra HD
- Motion tracking: Their object tracking allows text titles to be pinned to moving objects, and pixelate license plates and people’s faces (for privacy).
- Additional features: 1500+ templates, additional app on Android and Windows tablets.
- Where to buy: Magix.com
- Price: USD$69.99 (Available via instant download)
Get your copy of Magix Movie Edit Pro
4. Cyberlink PowerDirector Ultra 18 Windows
Although I still haven’t used CyberLink, I like the looks of this software. Hundreds of our readers have opted to use PowerDirector to edit their GoPro footage. It was made with action cameras in mind.
It can edit up to 100 media tracks simultaneously. And it has a powerful MultiCam Designer feature that allows switching between 4 simultaneous camera shots. Footage can be synced by audio, timecode or time taken.
It has one-click color correction, customizable design tools (transition designer, title and subtitle designs) and has integrated video collages. It can also edit footage from a 360º camera – like the GoPro Fusion.
PowerDirector is a 10-Time Editors’ choice and rated 4.5 out of 5 by PCMag.com.
- Video formats handled:
- MVC (MTS)
- Side-by-Side Video
- MOV (H.264)
- Top-under Video
- Dual-Stream AVI
- FLV (H.264)
- MPEG-4 AVC (H.264)
- MKV (multiple audio streams)
- MP4 (XAVC S)
- AVCHD (M2T, MTS)
- WTV in H.264/MPEG2 (multiple video and audio streams)
- DSLR video clip in H.264 format with LPCM/AAC/ Dolby Digital audio
- Video resolution handled: Up to 4K
- Motion tracking: Yes. I haven’t used it yet, but it look very easy.
- Additional features: With 30 animated theme templates, you only need to drag-and-drop your footage to create great videos.
Watch on YouTube
5. Corel VideoStudio Ultimate 2019 Windows
This version comes with multi-camera editor – editing up to six different cameras in one project. The less expensive Pro version will edit footage from up to four cameras in the same project.
There are presets for beginners (FastFlick and Instant Projects) and advanced settings (stabilization, motion effects, and color correction). Edit up to 21 video tracks and 8 audio tracks in each project.
- Video formats handled: XAVC, HEVC (H.265), MP4-AVC/H.264, MKV, and MOV.
- Video resolution handled: Up to 4K, and even 360 video.
- Motion tracking: Yes. You can track up to four points at a time in your video. Easily obscure logos, faces or license plates, or add moving text and graphics.
- Additional features: Create time lapse, stop motion and screen capture video as well.
Corel makes another video editing program called Roxio Studio. While it can edit footage, this is primarily for DVD authoring.
6. Corel Pinnacle Studio 23 Ultimate Windows
The desktop version comes in three levels (Standard, Plus, and Ultimate). The details in this profile are based on the entry level version. Some advanced features (4K editing, motion tracking, effects) are only available in either Plus or Ultimate versions.
The basic version comes with 1500+ transitions, titles, templates and 2D/3D effects. The entry-level Standard version appears to be too stripped down to compete against some of the other options included in this list.
- Video formats handled: [Import] MVC, AVCHD, DV, HDV, AVI, MPEG-1/-2/-4, DivX, Flash, 3GP (MPEG-4, H.263), WMV, QuickTime (DV, MJPEG, MPEG-4, H.264), DivX Plus MKV. [Export] AVCHD, DVD, Apple, Sony, Nintendo, Xbox, DV, HDV, AVI, DivX, WMV, MPEG-1/-2/-4, Flash, 3GP, WAV, MP2, MP3, MP4, QuickTime, H.264, DivX Plus MKV, JPEG, TIF, TGA, BMP, Dolby Digital 2-channel
- Video resolution handled: 4K Ultra HD.
- Motion tracking: Not available in the Standard version. Both Plus and Ultimate versions offer this feature.
- Additional features: All versions offer multi-camera editing [Standard (2), Plus (4), and Ultimate (4)]. The standard version comes with a 6-track editing timeline and lots of presets great for beginners.
7. Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 16 Windows
The instant Color Match feature will make two different scenes appear as though they were shot on the same day, at the same time, and with the same filter.
The basic (Platinum) version comes with 10 audio and 10 video tracks – perfect for 99% of all video edits. It also comes equipped with 350+ video effects and 200+ video transitions.
I’ve been using Vegas Movie Studio for many years and it is super powerful. The basic version is a great upgrade from Quik Desktop. As you need more function, you can easily upgrade within the Sony line. There are three more editions (Suite, Vegas Pro Edit, and Vegas Pro) each with increasing power and features.
- Video formats handled: AAC, AA3, AIFF, AVI, BMP, CDA, FLAC, GIF, JPEG, MP3, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MVC, OGG, OMA, PCA, PNG, QuickTime®, SND, SFA, W64, WAV, WDP, WMA, WMV, XAVC S.
- Video resolution handled: Up to 4K.
- Motion tracking: Yes.
- Additional features: Color match, image stabilization, easy slideshow creation and color correction all help create solid videos – in less time.
8. Vegas Pro 17 Suite Mac OS X and Windows
Catalyst focuses on fast production of 4K, RAW and HD video. Set-up specifically for action camera footage (including GoPro, Sony, Canon, etc). It is touch and gesture enabled and works on both Mac OS and Windows.
Catalyst Production Suite includes both Prepare and Edit modules. It also comes with a free trial.
This is powerful, flexible software with a price to match.
- Video formats handled: Sony RAW 4K, Sony RAW 2K, XAVC Long, XAVC Intra, XAVC S, XDCAM 422, XDCAM SR (SStP), DNxHD, ProRes (OS X), AVC H.264/MPEG-4, AVCHD, HDV, DV, XDCAM MPEG IMX, JPEG, PNG, WAV, and MP3.
- Video resolution handled: 4K
- Motion tracking: Not noted.
- Additional features: Get Catalyst Browse (the clip-management too) for free. This is a great way to give it a try and see if you like the navigation and feel the software.
- Where to buy: Magix or Amazon
9. Adobe Premiere Elements 2020 Windows and Mac
This is a stripped-down, basic version of Adobe Premiere Pro (see #10 below). While I’m a huge fan of Photoshop, Bridge, and Illustrator – I don’t care for Adobe’s video editing tools. A few years ago I reviewed Premiere Pro (I still have CS6 version installed) and found it overwhelmingly complicated.
It’s not that they don’t make a good product. Their quality is solid. I just feel that with all the intuitive video editing software available, I’m not eager to invest the time to learn the complicated menu structure. I’ll be reviewing this in the coming months and my opinion may change.
Adobe is good at organizing media. Premiere Elements allows you to order, label, find and view your videos and photos.
- Video formats handled: In addition to GoPro’s MP4 format, it also handles Adobe Flash (.swf), AVI Movie (.avi), AVCHD (.m2ts, .mts, .m2t), DV Stream (.dv), MPEG Movie (.mpeg, .vob, .mod, .ac3, .mpe, .mpg, .mpd, .m2v, .mpa, .mp2, .m2a, .mpv, .m2p, .m2t, .m1v, .mp4, .m4v, .m4a, .aac, 3gp, .avc, .264), QuickTime Movie (.mov, .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .m4a, .m4v), TOD (.tod), Windows Media (.wmv, .asf).
- Video resolution handled: Up to 4K.
- Motion tracking: Not noted.
- Additional features: Animated titles, powerful color correction, image stabilization, and easy speed-up / slow-down video controls.
10. Adobe Premiere Pro ($20.99 / month) Mac OS and Windows
This is the full, pro version of Adobe Premiere Elements.
It can do all you want – and about 100x more. While the depth of features makes it powerful – it’s also what makes it a poor choice for most content creators.
Ready to make a Hollywood blockbuster? Many major motion pictures (including Avatar, Hail Caesar!, and The Social Network) were all cut on Adobe Premiere.
Unless you have many days (to learn the basics) or many weeks (to become proficient) this isn’t the best choice for the average GoPro user. While this is amazing software, it is best suited for the super complex production – or someone with lots of free time on their hands.
- Video formats handled: Everything.
- Video resolution handled: Everything the GoPro camera can produce – and then some.
- Motion tracking: Yes
- Additional features: The list is long. See all the features here.
- Where to buy: Adobe
- Price: USD$20.99 / month, subscription.
This Mac-only software will output some incredible edits.
While I have yet to test this program, I expect it to be similar to Adobe Premiere Pro: both powerful and complicated.
More than 40 major motion pictures have been cut on Final Cut Pro including John Carter, Focus, and X-Men Origins.
Unless video editing is your living, there are probably better options.
- Video formats handled: Everything. I couldn’t find an excluded format.
- Video resolution handled: Everything GoPro does and more.
- Motion tracking: Yes
- Additional Features: Color grading, masks, 3D titles, and custom effect presets.
- Where to buy: Apple.com
- Price: USD$399.99
12. Animoto ($13-39/month) Online video editor with iOS / Android apps and Lightroom plugin
Because it is web-based, you don’t download any software. Just log in and start using.
This subscription-based software as a service (SaaS) program is great for a few reasons. You don’t have to worry about the cost of upgrading (time and money) when the new version comes out. And you get to use their computing power to render your videos.
Generally speaking, a SaaS video editor should be much more stable (and fast) than software installed on an older home computer.
Something I discovered inside of their help section is that they limit video uploads to just 400MB. While this sounds like a lot, it doesn’t take long to reach 400MB. For example, the Hero4 Black shooting 1080p at 30fps generates 3.75MB of data per second (3.75MBps or 30Mbps). On a side note, here’s the difference between MBps and Mbps and here’s a megabyte / megabit converter. Also, here’s a chart that shows the GoPro video sizes (Mbps) by video resolution and frame rate. That means that you’ll reach your Animoto limit in 107 seconds (or 1 minute 47 seconds) of average video. Switch to 4K resolution and you’ll reach your limit in just 53 seconds.
- Video formats handled: MP4, AVI, MOV, QT, 3GP, M4V, MPG, MPEG, MP4V, H264, WMV, MPG4, MOVIE, M4U, FLV, DV, MKV, MJPEG, OGV, MTS, and MVI. Video clip uploads are limited to 400MB.
- Video resolution handled: Resolutions vary. 720p (personal plan), 1080p (professional and business plans).
- Motion tracking: Not noted.
- Additional features: I like the web-based editing with the option for iOS and Android apps. Just watch the upload limit to make sure you’ll be able to edit all your footage.
- Where to buy: Animoto.com
- Price: Varies from $8 to $34 per month, when purchased on an annual plan. The mobile apps are less and start at $5. Their web-based editor comes with a free 14-day trial to get started.
13. Davinci Resolve 16 / Studio (Free / Premium) Windows, Mac, Linux
This is the only professional video editor that runs on all popular platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux.
And this is the first video editor to combine professional online / offline editing, color correction, audio post production, and visual effects in one tool.
- Video formats handled: Hundreds of formats (at least 10 pages). It is unlikely that you’ll have a format that isn’t handled by DaVinci Resolve.
- Video resolution handled: All resolutions.
- Motion tracking: Yes
- Additional features: Advanced trimming, multicam editing, speed effects, timeline curve editor, transitions and effects. Also color correction, Fairlight audio, and multi user collaboration.
- Where to get it: Download the free version or purchase the full Studio version
- Price: Free / Premium
Curious about which camera to get? Here’s how to choose the best 4K video camera.
More reading: What are GoPro LRV and THM Files?
There you have it. The best options for GoPro editing software. Check out my 3 favorite GoPro editing software options: free, consumer, and premium.
Have I missed one? What’s your question about editing GoPro videos? Please share it below!