No matter you edit videos for posting on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, sharing with friends and families via Telegram, storing memories, or just for fun, MP4 is undoubtedly the best format for its excellent compatibility with a wide range of devices and software. Lots of free and paid video editing software claims itself as the best MP4 editor but actually varies from others in specific editing features, learning curve, performance, OS compatibility, price, etc.
Needless to say, big brands like Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas Pro, DaVinci Resolve, etc. are primary options when you need a tool to edit MP4 videos. But note that professional tools require pro-level skills and hardware specs. You can start with some simple and free MP4 video editors. They are more friendly and easier to learn, and meet all your basic editing needs. Check them now.
VideoProc Vlogger - Best MP4 Video Editor for Desktop
VideoProc Vlogger is a powerful GPU-accelerated video processing software designed for Windows and Mac. It supports virtually all container formats and codecs, including MP4 container formats and any video files with .mp4 extension, such as HEVC and H.264 encoded videos, 4K/8K UHD videos, 360-degree videos, VR, 3D, and so on.
With its self-explaining UI and easy workflow, you can start editing videos in minutes even when you use it for the first time. In its editing toolkit, you can create videos with either your own ideas for colors, effects, and camera movements or its preset templates for filters, transitions, and motion cropping effects.
- Versatile MP4 video editing toolkits: cut, merge, crop, filter, denoise, color correction, etc.
- High Quality Engine to render MP4 videos of the best quality.
- Full GPU acceleration speeds up MP4 editing real-time faster.
- Perfect support for MP4 from all devices: GoPro, DJI, iPhone, Sony, Canon, Fuji, etc.
- 100% free and friendly to users of all levels.
How to Edit MP4 with VideoProc Vlogger
Step 1. Load one or multiple MP4 videos to VideoProc Vlogger.
Open VideoProc Vlogger and create a project for your MP4 video. Add video(s) to its Media Library from the local storage.
Step 2. Cut and re-sequence videos.
Drag and drop the footage to the timeline (Video Track). Preview your videos and divide your video by clicking Split. Then you can delete unwanted footage and reorganize them by dragging in the timeline.
Step 3. Edit the footage with utilities in Toolbar.
Right above the timeline sits the toolbar where you can find numerous tools for MP4 editing, such as:
- Ripple Edit: Close gaps automatically after you delete any part of the footage in Video Track.
- Time Stretch: Slow down or speed up the video in terms of its duration changes.
- Speed: Change video speed constantly or remap video at variable speed.
- Crop: Reframe the MP4 into an aspect ratio of 16:9, 4:3, 1:1, 1.85:1, custom, etc.
- Motion: Add motion effects to the video, e.g. zoom in/out, move right/left, roll, jump, cinematic open…
- Color: Apply filters, 3D Luts, color correction, and color grading.
- Audio: Analyze audio onset/beat/silence, adjust volume, enable equalizer, and add effects.
- Detach: Separate the audio from the MP4 file and place it into Audio Track in the timeline.
- Record: Record voiceover to add it to the existing MP4 file.
- Text: Add text to the video.
- Extractor: Convert MP4 to MP3 that can be transcribed into text.
Step 4. Add transitions, effects, and titles.
Move to the upper left panel and you can find presets for transitions, titles, and effects. Select one and drag it to the timeline and you can customize it in the inspector panel on the right side of the preview window.
Step 5. Export the video.
Click Export above the timeline. Finish some settings to save the MP4 video to your computer. If you want to edit the MP4 without quality loss, choose the same codec as the source video.
Microsoft Photos – Built-in MP4 Video Editor on Windows 11/10
Windows Movie Maker is one of the most recommended tools when you search for free MP4 video editors for Windows. It is truly easy and free, but Microsoft discontinued all support and downloads services for it since 2017. Did you know that there is another built-in MP4 video editor in Windows 11/10, the Photos app? It was originally developed as a picture management tool for Windows 11/10. Then video editing features are added after the Fall Creators Update. Although the tools that the free video editing software brings to the table are simple, they can be a useful and convenient way to edit your video in basic ways.
- Free and built-in. No extra downloads are needed.
- Beginner-friendly and easy-to-use.
- Three-in-one tool: MP4 video editor, media player, and photos manager.
- Multiple tools for basic MP4 editing: trim, merge, crop, filters, 3D effects, and background music.
- Lack of video transitions and speed-up tools.
- Its presence may not be that obvious at first, you need to take time to figure it out.
- Freeze up while importing large files on occasion.
Further Reading: Full Review of Windows 11/10 Built-in MP4 Editor – Photos
iMovie – Free MP4 Video Editor on Mac
I know many Mac users prefer native apps. So the next one comes to macOS built-in video editor iMovie. No matter a beginner or a professional, editing MP4 with iMovie won't go wrong in most cases. Beginners can start quickly by using its themes, templates, and storyboard. For advanced edits, it has a professional workflow: create a project, load MP4 files, add files to the timeline, edit, and save the project or render to export. If you pick up some pro tricks on YouTube, you can make professional-looking MP4 videos with iMovie.
- Available on all Apple devices, Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
- Easy to get familiar with for beginners. Also, pro-level tricks for users to get better outcomes.
- Save projects for later MP4 editing.
- Only support 2 video tracks overlay.
- Fixed aspect ratio 16:9.
- Limited filters and color correction options.
Note: Mac Photos app is well-modified in macOS Big Sur and macOS Monterey. The previous viewer becomes a promising built-in video editor on Mac for its newly-added accurate color correction, filter, and video crop options.
Further Reading: Full Review of iMovie for macOS and iOS
VSDC - Watermark-Free MP4 Editor
VSDC (short for Video Software Development Company) video editor makes its way into this list for its professional functions but at zero cost. It is rare that a free and versatile video editor does not watermark on the final product. Besides popular video formats, this non-linear editor is also compatible with a wide range of audio and image files, which indicates that you can add more desired elements to your MP4 videos. It empowers you to create videos of any complexity involving numerous audio and visual effects. For instance, echo, volume correction, object transformation, object filters, transition effects, and special FX, etc.
- Multimedia supported: videos, audios, and images.
- Advanced editing capabilities: motion tracking, 360 video editing, and video masking.
- 4K and HD export.
- Available on all Windows OS even including Windows XP and Vista.
- Windows exclusively.
- Some features require a paid subscription to unlock.
Shotcut - Free and Open-source MP4 Editor
As an open-source video editor, Shotcut is completely free, and won't put any watermark on your MP4 files. Once you install it, you get access to all of its editing tools, including transition, overlay, blurring filter, chroma-keying, video stabilization, etc. It still keeps frequent updating to enrich its features. And that is why millions users choose to stay with Shotcut. However, I bet most of them are tech geeks because Shotcut is not as simple and intuitive as editors above. Beginners need more tutorials to navigate around this software and learn more about video codec and format stuff.
- Cross-platform and compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux.
- UHD 4K/8K and high frame rate videos support.
- Editing features are constantly improved and added in every update.
- Active tech support. Any feedback will be responded and solved quickly.
- Not capable of adding external subtitles to MP4 videos.
- Lack of tools of color grading and visual effects.
- Not friendly for users without much codec knowledge when exporting.
More details about Shotcut, you can jump to this review guide >>
Can I edit MP4 video online?
Of course, you can. Besides those free desktop MP4 editors, web-based editors are taking a large portion in the market. Online tools like Kapwing, Clipchamp, and Clideo are all capable of MP4 video editing. But compared with desktop software, online editors rely much on a fast internet connection. Otherwise, you'll waste much time in uploading and downloading video from these sites, or sacrifice video quality for smaller size and faster processing speed.
Is MP4 the best format for video editing?
MP4 (MPEG-4 Part 14) is the most common video (container) format along with FLV, AVI, WMV, MOV. However, technically, the best video format for editing should be uncompressed, which is totally opposite to the format for delivery or sharing. But MP4 itself is a compressed format.
If you want high quality videos, you can convert MP4 to intermediate codec formats for editing, such as ProRes, CineForm, DNxHD, which maintain more data and produce better quality. VideoProc Vlogger can also handle the conversion and editing in a fast and lossless manner. Free download and install it to start converting and edit now.