How to edit your videos using the YouTube video editor

How to edit your videos using the YouTube video editor

There are many video editors and we already have a large list for Windows, macOS and Linux. However, if you want to make a simple change, they can be excessive. If you upload your video to YouTube, why not use YouTube’s own video editor? It’s rare on features, but it’s a good option if you want to strip mount.

Let’s see what the YouTube video editor can and cannot do and how to use it.

What YouTube video editor can and can’t do

The publisher can:

  • Cut the beginning and the end of the videos
  • Crop parts of a video
  • Add Royalty Free Music
  • Add an end card for your channel
  • Blur areas or faces

The publisher cannot:

  • Import other videos to add to your current project
  • Add special effects or transitions
  • Use the custom music you download
  • Slow down or speed up the footage
  • Add text or graphics

As you can see, YouTube Video Editor is quite simple. It was hosting more advanced features, but these days, it’s only used to cut a single video and add music that won’t get you in trouble with copyright law.

How to use the YouTube video editor

To start, go to the YouTube site, click on your avatar at the top right, then click on “YouTube Studio”.

Youtube Studio Start

At the top right, click on “Create”, then on “Download videos”.

YouTube Studio UploadYouTube Studio Upload

Now drag your video to the window or select it by clicking on “select files”. Don’t worry, you’re not posting the video yet. It will remain private and in draft mode until you ask YouTube to publish it.

While YouTube is processing your video, feel free to edit the relevant information on the detail page.

YouTube Studio Video DetailsYouTube Studio Video Details

Once you have reached the third step called “Visibility”, click on the cross at the top right. This will keep the video in draft form until you are satisfied with your video.

Youtube Studio CloseYoutube Studio Close

Now that your video is uploaded, hover your mouse over its title, then click the YouTube icon that appears.

YouTube Studio IconYouTube Studio Icon

You will see your video page. Again, because the video is in draft mode, it is not available to the public, so don’t worry.

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Under the video and under the Like and Dislike buttons, click “Edit Video”.

Youtube Studio Edit videoYoutube Studio Edit video

Then, on the left, click on “Editor”.

Youtube studio editor menuYoutube studio editor menu

You will be redirected to a video editor where you can edit your video.

Youtube Studio Video EditorYoutube Studio Video Editor

You will see four bars below the video. This is where you edit the video to make it your own. They are a bit complicated, so let’s take a look at each in turn.

The four tracks in YouTube Video Editor

Your video can be edited in four ways. The camera icon is the video you’ve uploaded. The musical note is the piece of music that will play with your video. The box in a box is the end card, and the dotted grid is the blur function.

YouTube Studio TracksYouTube Studio Tracks

Using the video track

If you haven’t touched the editor yet, only the video track will contain content. This is where you can trim the video to get rid of any footage you don’t need.

To edit the video track, click “Cut” above all the tracks.

Youtube Studio TrimYoutube Studio Trim

A blue box will appear around all tracks. This box shows you what will be kept in the final video. Everything in the blue box will remain and everything outside and grayed out will be cut.

To cut the start and / or end of a video, adjust the frame by dragging the sides until it covers what you want to keep.

Youtube Studio Trim BoxYoutube Studio Trim Box

However, this is not useful if you want to cut a piece from the middle. If you want to do this, click on the track at the start of where you want to make a cut. After the appearance of a white line, click on “Split”.

Youtube Studio SplitYoutube Studio Split

This will divide the blue box in half from the point you clicked on. Now drag the second blue box so that its leftmost side is right after the part you want to cut.

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Youtube Studio Two BoxesYoutube Studio Two Boxes

When you are finished, click on “Preview” to validate the modifications. Then click at the start of the tracks and press play on the video to see your changes.

You can click on “Modify the trim” to modify your settings, “Delete the modifications” at the top right to group all your modifications, or “Save” next to the button Delete modifications if everything looks good.

Using the music track

To use the music track, click the arrow next to the note icon, then click “+ Audio”.

Youtube Studio AudioYoutube Studio Audio

YouTube will then offer you a royalty-free music library to choose from. Use the search function to find something you want and the play button next to each song title to see it.

When you find the right one, click “Add to video” next to the song.

Youtube Studio MusicYoutube Studio Music

Note that YouTube must make this change, so your video will not be editable while it is adding your music.

Using the end screen track

If you’ve ever seen a subscription button, recommended videos, or the upload profile picture at the end of a video, it’s an end screen. You can use the end screen track to add your own.

Click the “+” button next to the icon on the end screen, then select what you want to add. Models are a good choice if you want something professional looking without having to play with elements.

Youtube Studio Add CardYoutube Studio Add Card

The end card will appear on the track. You can drag the edges to reduce the display time of the map or move it on the gray track so that it appears sooner or later. However, you cannot move the map outside the gray track that YouTube offers you.

Youtube Studio Blue BarYoutube Studio Blue Bar

Using the blur track

Finally, there is the Blur trail. It is a powerful tool that allows you to blur a face or something on the screen. To use it, click on “Add blur” on the blur track.

Youtube Studio Edit DraftYoutube Studio Edit Draft

You can choose to blur a face or an object. Click on the one you want. If you choose to blur faces, YouTube will process the video for all faces and then allow you to blur the ones you don’t want to display.

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If you choose to blur a custom region, you can use a blur editor to move the video to the point where you want the blur to occur. Then click on the item to be censored. YouTube will automatically follow this object in the video and move the blur to censor it.

Custom YouTube Blur StudioCustom YouTube Blur Studio

As with music, adding blur takes time on YouTube. As such, you can’t edit the video until YouTube finishes blurring your video.

Video publication

Once you’re done, save the video and return to your YouTube studio. In the “Videos” section, click “Edit draft” to the right of your video.

Youtube Studio Edit DraftYoutube Studio Edit Draft

Go to “Visibility” and select the level of visibility you want to define. Then click on “Save”.

Youtube Studio Publish VideoYoutube Studio Publish Video

Your video is now free!

Although the YouTube Video Editor isn’t particularly powerful, it can make some basic tweaks to fine-tune your video before it reaches the public.

Besides videos, YouTube also allows you to download and listen to your own music.


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