This is the fastest desktop editor I've used and the capabilities of CapCut 2.0 are both impressive and perfect for attention-grabbing social media video. Notably, CapCut for Windows is free without any restrictions or watermark. More on this later in the post.

  • Multi-track GPU accelerated editing - no limits on project complexity.
  • Filters, effects, transitions, stabilize, beautify.
  • LUT's, HSL, curves and layer blend modes for grading.
  • Scene splitting, motion tracking, velocity change.
  • Masking, cutouts, text templates - keyframe'able. Chromakey and background remove.
  • Royalty free music & SFX library. Beat-mapping - cut to music. Voice over recording.
  • Speech-to-text subtitles/captions, 17 languages including English, French, German, Italian & Dutch. SRT import of existing captions.
  • Text-to-speech with 30+ English voices.
  • Renders 480p to 4K @60 fps with h.264, HEVC and  AV1 codecs for file export and separate .SRT caption file. Integrated TikTok upload.

CapCut UI elements
Some of the filters, effects, templates and transitions available

In our attention-economy this is the ideal editor for social media and marketing video. Rapid production with scroll-stopping visuals and effects.

The editing experience

Video, text and audio tracks are added and removed as needed by CapCut. There are no 'Project properties' settings when starting a project,  CapCut adapts to whatever media you import and can edit and export in any aspect ratio; Instagram / TikTok / Shorts 9:16 , Facebook 1:1, LinkedIn 2.35:1, YouTube 16:9 - all according to format specifications of your channel.

CapCut user interface
CapCut user interface - fullscreen

One of my favorite features is the Velocity speed ramp to mix slow-mo and speed-up in a clip. Here's a screen recording working with velocity speed ramps, compositing and text templates - streamed from Bunny CDN.

Things to be aware of

Some of the included royalty free music tracks are licensed by ByteDance for the TikTok platform and will flag a copyright claim on YouTube. To be 100% safe for music rights use Epidemic Sound and similar.

If you are an experienced editor..

  • The standard J-K-L timeline shuttle is not implemented
  • There is no trimming window - the full clip is dropped on timeline.
  • No keyboard shortcuts to trim & move between clips - mouse only.

I usually edit with Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas. CapCut is my tool for attention-grabbing social media & marketing videos - fast, intuitive, and.... doesn't crash.

How can this editor be free?

CapCut is made by ByteDance, the Chinese company behind TikTok. ByteDance is involved in some controversy regarding targeting and tracking of US audiences, moderation and the content available to kids on the TikTok platform. Full disclosure: I have no relation with ByteDance.

If you're a parent enable Parental Controls for your child's TikTok account and stay involved with their online activities.  

I am concerned about online privacy and took a look at the tracking the Windows version of CapCut performs. Requests to ByteDance domains and sends IP-adress, software version, device type and screen resolution. This is more or less the same tracking Adobe Creative Cloud apps and YouTube do.

Assets (music, filters, SFX, stickers, transitions etc) are downloaded from - an Alibaba Cloud CDN - when you preview or use them in your project. When you use speech-to-text for captions the audio is uploaded and processed by

If you are creating videos for social change you may want use Open Source video editors such as Open Shot or Kdenlive instead.

CapCut creates stunning videos for blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram & Twitter. And TikTok. Which is why ByteDance is providing CapCut for free to create more engaging content on their platform - there is a 'Publish to TikTok' option when exporting your project.

TikTok's Android app users spent an average of 23½ hours per month between January and December last year, just ahead of YouTube’s 23.1 hours.
Source: / Meltwater
Source: / Meltwater

Download, tutorials and community

Have fun! If you need help with strategy and video for social media get in touch on this spam-protected email:

Cover photo by Kyle Loftus