Looking to step up your video editing game on a Chromebook? I‘ve got you covered.
As a video production professional with over 5 years of experience editing on Chrome OS, I can tell you that it‘s absolutely possible to cut high-quality videos on a Chromebook.
But it does take the right software and workflow to overcome the hardware limitations.
In this guide, I‘ll share the inside tips and tools I‘ve learned for smooth Chromebook video editing. I‘ll go over:
- The unique challenges of Chromebooks for video editing
- 7 excellent Chromebook video editing software options
- Detailed reviews of each program‘s standout features
- How to choose the best one for your needs
- Extra Chromebook video editing tips for optimal performance
I know first-hand the pain of trying to edit on underpowered Chromebook hardware. But believe me, with the right editor optimized for Chrome OS, you can have a fast, fluid editing experience even on low-spec devices.
Let‘s dive in!
Why Video Editing is Challenging on Chromebooks
Chromebooks are amazing for lightweight computing tasks like writing, web browsing, and email. But video editing pushes Chromebooks to their limits.
That‘s because video editing requires serious processing power and storage space that Chromebooks generally lack. Specifically:
Limited CPU Performance
Complex software like video editors lean heavily on processor performance. But most Chromebooks use lower-power mobile chips instead of the beefier CPUs found in high-end laptops.
Basic editing may be alright. But tasks like adding lots of effects, grading footage, and rendering will really slow down.
Graphics cards are crucial for video editing so visual playback and previews render smoothly.
Yet Chromebooks typically have basic integrated graphics that can‘t handle much beyond simple 2D and video decoding.
If you use effects or try to edit high resolution footage, the underpowered GPUs quickly choke. Playback and scrubbing become choppy and laggy.
Lower RAM Capacity
Video editing requires lots of fast memory to cache frames, preview edits, and handle complex processes.
Many Chromebooks skimp on RAM though. 4GB is common. And while Chrome OS is optimized for efficiency, 4GB still makes for a sluggish editing experience.
Smaller Storage Drives
Editing high-res footage means dealing with huge file sizes. But many Chromebooks have limited internal storage, often just 32GB or 64GB.
You‘ll quickly run out of space for the media assets, caches, exports, and scratch disks that editing requires. Slow external storage makes this worse.
Weaker Battery Life
Video editing pushes laptops to work hard, draining batteries much faster. Most Chromebooks have weaker processors that prioritize efficiency over speed.
So while light browsing may last 8+ hours, expect heavy editing to use a full charge in just 2-3 hours. Bring your charger!
Chromebooks run Chrome OS, which is designed for web and cloud apps. Most standard desktop video editors like Premiere Pro aren‘t available.
Luckily more web and mobile apps work on Chrome OS now. But the software ecosystem is still more limited compared to Mac or Windows.
The Best Video Editors for Chromebooks
Given the hardware constraints, how can you effectively edit videos on a Chromebook?
The key is using software tailored for Chrome OS. Web apps and mobile editors designed for low-power devices tend to work better than desktop-class software.
Here are 7 excellent Chromebook video editors I recommend from my own experience:
WeVideo is my top pick for Chromebook editing. It was built from the ground up to work smoothly in Chrome browsers.
The web interface provides a full-featured nonlinear video editor. Despite limited Chromebook resources, it can handle multi-track timelines, effects, transitions, text overlays, and more.
I‘m always impressed that basic edits and previews seem to run faster in WeVideo than installed desktop programs on my underpowered Chromebook.
WeVideo uses cloud rendering to offset the weak Chromebook GPU. It also optimizes playback for streaming over the web. The result is excellent performance even on cheap Chromebooks.
For easy collaborative editing, WeVideo supports team members with different permission levels for each video. You can invite contributors to co-edit within the web app.
There‘s also cross-platform support for iOS and Android mobile apps. You can start editing on your Chromebook, then pass the project to your phone seamlessly via the cloud. All edits stay in sync across devices.
WeVideo offers a free plan for videos up to 5 minutes. Reasonably priced premium plans start at just $4.99/month for longer form videos and additional capabilities.
Overall, I find WeVideo to be the fastest and easiest Chromebook video editor. The web interface really makes the most of the limited local hardware.
Clipchamp is another excellent Chrome OS video editor option.
Like WeVideo, Clipchamp uses an intuitive web-based timeline interface that works smoothly in Chrome. Playback and previews stay fluid even on underpowered hardware.
I like Clipchamp for its balance of pro-level tools and simplicity. Their trimmed down UI is beginner-friendly, but still packs in advanced features like tracking, keying, speed adjustments, audio mixing, and more.
One handy bonus is Clipchamp‘s integrated webcam, screen, and audio recorder. You can record footage and voiceovers directly within the web editor. No need to export and import media from other apps.
Clipchamp offers a surprisingly full-featured free version. But it‘s limited to 10 minute videos and max 480p resolution.
The $9.99/month Creator plan unlocks 1080p exports, unlimited length, and extra tools like object animation and AI voice synthesis. There are team plans as well.
For easy Chromebook editing with plenty of capabilities, Clipchamp is a top contender. The free version is great for basic cutting. And paid tiers provide solid value.
InVideo is a new breed of intelligent web editor. It makes editing easier with integrated templates, stock media, and smart features.
InVideo‘s huge template library lets you quickly customize professional video layouts for intros, ads, explainers, and more. There are over 5000 templates covering every use case.
Simply pick a template, customize the text and swap in your own media. InVideo automatically arranges the timing, motion, fonts, colors, and editing flow.
So even with limited Chromebook resources, you can produce great looking videos just by swapping out assets in pre-made templates.
InVideo also provides a stock media library with over 500,000 video clips, images, graphics, and audio tracks. You can build entire videos without any original media.
Other handy features include animated text, subtitles, logo intros, auto voiceovers, and collaboration with teams.
InVideo really streamlines editing by handling complex tasks like animation and motion graphics for you. This saves your underpowered Chromebook processor from struggling to render such effects.
The basic plan is free and provides 60 video renders per month. Pro plans start at $7.99 for more capabilities and unlimited use.
Kapwing focuses on fast, easy editing tools for social media content directly in your browser.
The trimmed-down web interface prioritizes tasks like trimming, slicing, splitting, looping, resizing frames, applying filters, overlaying text, and stitching clips.
You can publish edited videos directly to YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and more. Or download them to your Chromebook for further refinement in other tools.
I like Kapwing for quick edits and mock-ups. The simplified timeline and limited controls avoid taxing Chromebook hardware. Playback stays smooth.
Kapwing‘s free plan works for non-commercial videos up to 10 minutes long. Paid plans provide 2+ hour videos and options for private sharing.
For fast in-browser tweaking and social media prep, Kapwing is a handy inclusion in your Chrome OS video toolkit.
5. Vimeo Create
Vimeo Create makes it easy to produce great-looking videos through template customization.
Just choose from their professional-grade video templates for social media, ads, explainers, intros, and more. Swap in your own text, media, and branding.
Vimeo Create handles the animated graphics, motion graphics, and overall editing flow. This avoids taxing your underpowered Chromebook with complex timeline edits and effects.
Built-in tools help customize templates like:
- Media manager for uploading your own videos, images, and logos
- Animated text to spice up titles and captions
- Music mixer with included tracks and volume control
- Color controls to change background colors and text
- Layout controls for resizing, positioning, and spacing visuals
Finished videos render quickly. You can download them to your Chromebook or publish directly to Vimeo.
I like pairing Vimeo Create with tools like WeVideo or Clipchamp. Use Vimeo‘s templates for introductions, outros, and title animations. Then edit the main content in a traditional timeline tool.
The basic Vimeo Create plan is free. A premium plan for $20/month provides 10x the online video exports and more capabilities.
Renderforest is another excellent template customization tool. It provides over 1500 templates for ads, social media, intros, business promos, and more.
Just select a template, swap in your own brand assets and media, customize the colors and text, and render a unique video.
Renderforest really takes the work out of designing graphics, titles, animations, and overall timeline layouts. Their templates have refined professional designs that would take hours to recreate from scratch.
So rather than push your underpowered Chromebook to render complex animations and motion graphics, Renderforest does that heavy lifting for you.
It‘s also integrated with stock media libraries to access video clips, audio tracks, and photos. Or you can upload your own media to integrate.
As with other template editors, Renderforest shines for quick video jobs like social posts, intro/outro animations, and advertising content. Use it to supplement your main timeline editor.
Renderforest has a free watermarked plan. Commercial use starts at $9/month.
Lastly, Magisto uses artificial intelligence to automatically edit videos for you. Just provide some raw footage and pick a theme, music track, and length.
Magisto will analyze the content, stitch together cuts, sync to the music beats, apply color grades and movement, and output a complete video.
The AI editing isn‘t perfect and usually needs some refinement. But it handles the tedious timeline cutting that strains Chromebook performance.
And Magisto includes an extensive stock content library with over 250,000 video clips, photos, and tracks. So you can build great videos without shooting your own footage.
Handy editing features let you tweak the AI results:
- Reorder shots
- Trim clips
- Adjust durations
- Choose alternate music tracks
- Refine the automatically generated title
For ultra-fast video creation, letting Magisto work its AI magic is a huge help. The free plan has a Magisto watermark. $4.99/month removes it.
Chromebook Video Editing Software Compared
|Software||Key Highlights||Starting Price|
|WeVideo||Optimized for Chrome OS. Fast timeline editing. Collaboration enabled.||$4.99/month|
|Clipchamp||Web-based. Generous free plan. Integrated recorder and stock media.||Free|
|InVideo||Huge template library. 500k+ stock assets. Automated graphics.||Free|
|Kapwing||Fast and easy browser editor. Social publishing built-in.||Free|
|Vimeo Create||professionak templates. Animated text and graphics.||Free|
|Renderforest||1500+ templates. Integrated stock media.||$9/month|
|Magisto||AI automated editing. Huge stock media library.||$4.99/month|
This covers the top 7 software picks I recommend for smooth video editing with Chrome OS.
The best one depends on your needs and priorities…
How to Choose the Right Software
With many solid Chromebook video editors available now, how do you select the right one?
Here are the key factors to consider based on your video projects, skill level, and resources:
1. Experience Level
If you‘re newer to video editing, start with a tool like Clipchamp or WeVideo that provides an easy yet capable timeline interface.
Veteran video editors can still benefit from their deeper capabilities like multicam editing and keyframing effects.
For easy push-button editing, try Magisto‘s AI engine or template customizers like Renderforest and InVideo.
2. Video Type
Certain tools are better tailored to different video genres:
- Kapwing, Vimeo Create – social media ads, posts
- InVideo, Renderforest – promos, intros, explainers
- WeVideo, Clipchamp – interviews, documentary, narrative
- Magisto – music videos, image compilations, travel recaps
Match your software to the type of video content you most often work on.
Some tools like Clipchamp and Kapwing offer generous free versions. Others have premium plans starting around $5-10/month.
Factor in your budget and how frequently you need to export videos without watermarks when evaluating cost.
4. Learning Curve
Tools like WeVideo and Clipchamp provide familiar nonlinear editing timelines akin to desktop software. Useful if you‘re already experienced.
Template editors and AI tools from InVideo, Renderforest, and Magisto speed up editing with their smart interfaces. But limit customization.
5. Media Resources
Tools like WeVideo, InVideo, and Clipchamp offer huge stock media libraries with video clips, photos, graphics, and music.
Other tools require you to provide and upload all your own media assets.
For quick access to media, the integrated libraries can save tons of hassle.
6. Collaboration Needs
If you work on team videos, apps like WeVideo and Clipchamp enable inviting contributors, managing permissions, and real time co-editing.
Other programs are focused more on solo use. So weigh your team requirements.
Take some time to reflect on factors like these when picking your software. Test out the free versions of multiple apps to get a hands-on feel for each.
I recommend starting out learning just one tool deeply rather than jumping around. Once mastered, adding other apps expands your creative toolbox.
Pro Video Editing Tips for Chromebooks
Beyond just software selection, a few additional tips will help you edit videos smoothly on limited Chromebook hardware:
Use proxy previews – Edit with lower resolution proxy files to relieve processor demand, then relink to high-res footage for exports.
Rely on audio/picture-only preview – Disable video preview in playback to boost performance when scrubbing and cutting.
Limit real-time effects – Add complex filters and corrections during export rendering instead of playback.
Close other apps and tabs – Quit all unnecessary programs so your Chromebook dedicates resources to video editing.
Use an external drive – Edit footage from a fast external SSD to avoid taxing your Chromebook‘s limited internal storage.
Plug in AC power – Keep your Chromebook charger connected while editing to avoid performance throttling on battery power.
Use integrated cloud rendering – Enable cloud GPU features in WeVideo and Clipchamp to offload intense rendering.
Pre-render motion graphics – For animations and complex FX, pre-render locally or remotely to base media files.
Convert H.264/HEVC footage – Transcode highly compressed footage to editing friendly ProRes or DNx codecs.
Following optimization practices like these really helps overcome Chromebooks‘ limited performance for serious post work.
Editing pro-level videos on Chromebooks is completely within reach. You just need the right software and workflows tailored for Chrome OS.
I suggest giving WeVideo, Clipchamp, or InVideo a try first. See if their web timeline editing or templates suit your production style.
For occasional use, Kapwing, Vimeo Create, or Magisto provide quick results. Use them to supplement your primary editor‘s capabilities.
Hopefully this guide gives you the confidence to step up your video editing game on your Chromebook! With the tips and tools provided here, you can create amazing videos that take advantage of Chrome OS strengths while working around its limitations.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help a fellow Chromebook user upgrade their video editing prowess.