How To Use YouTube Video Editor To Edit Videos

Last updated September 06, 2021

user Written by Nhat Kieu Minh

How To Use YouTube Video Editor To Edit Videos

Finding and installing a standalone editing program is probably what most people think about when starting their channel, and learning how to use YouTube video editor is usually overlooked.

But these native editing tools offer a level of convenience that third-party software can’t rival. And of course, there are some tasks you can only perform in this built-in editor.

Read on to learn more about YouTube video editor and what you can achieve with it.

What Is YouTube Video Editor?

It may come as a surprise for many beginners, but YouTube has had a built-in video editor for many years.

This feature only provides basic editing tools yet can seriously compete with other powerful products on the market when performing some simple tasks.

Youtube video editor
You don’t always need professional editing software

Like YouTube, the editor is completely free as well. It’s a web-based application, so you don’t need to download and install any additional software.

As long as you have a stable Internet connection, this online editor will be ready for use within seconds.

As part of YouTube Studio, the tools provided by YouTube video editor allow you to quickly edit, trim, add music, and carry out some other editing actions without downloading the whole video file to your device again.

There are certainly many needs that you can achieve with this basic editing tool. But being aware of its existence and knowing how to use it may come in handy for you as a content creator in many situations.

How To Use YouTube Video Editor

Learning to use this simple tool won’t take up too much time. For the best results, you should have a test video that you can use to try out the features below.

Open YouTube Video Editor

Go to YouTube Studio (and sign in if you haven’t). Click on the “Content” tab on the left sidebar, which will display all content belonging to your channel.

Youtube video editor
Choose the Content tab

Click the thumbnail of the video you need to edit. A new window will open showing details of that video, where you can find the “Editor” tab on the left sidebar. Click on it.

using youtube video editor
Choose Editor

Click “GET STARTED” if this is the first time you open the video editor inside YouTube Studio.

The YouTube Studio’s webpage now will show you the workspace of the editor with two main components – the preview and timeline of your video.

YouTube video editor workspace
YouTube video editor workspace

How To Trim A Video Using YouTube Editor

With the YouTube video editor, you don’t need to download and re-upload your video to cut out any part of it.

The trimming is workable even for published videos, whose comments, view count, and URL won’t change after the editing. However, this feature is only available if your video is 6 hours long or shorter.

Trim The Beginning Or The End Of Your Video

Open the editor on your YouTube Studio page and select “TRIM.” A small blue box will appear below your video’s timeline.

using trim on youtube video editor

Move your mouse to the edges of this box and drag them along the timeline to indicate the portion you want to keep. Everything outside of this box will be cut from your video.

How To Use YouTube Video Editor
The blue box

The preview panel at the top will help you know whether you’ve chosen the right frames for the new beginning and end points. You can also choose “PREVIEW” to review your cut.

how to use Youtube video editor
Preview your cuts

Select “SAVE” when you’re done. YouTube will start processing the video and apply your edits immediately – a process that may take a few minutes. You can’t make any further adjustments in the meantime.

Trim Parts In The Middle Of Your Video

Select “TRIM” and click on the timeline to mark the beginning of the section you want to remove. A white bar will appear at that point.

how to use Youtube video editor
The white bar

Note: you can also input the specific time into the box next to the “TRIM” button instead of manually moving the bar.

Choose “SPLIT” at the bottom toolbar. Now the white bar will become blue, which you can drag forward or input the time to indicate the end point of the trimmed section.

how to use Youtube video editor
Create a split portion

Select “PREVIEW” if you want to confirm your cuts. Choose “SAVE” to finalize the trimming.

Clicking the X button on top of the section will undo the split, while choosing “CLEAR ALL” will cancel all your changes.

Undo The Trimming

At any time of the editing, select the three vertical dots menu next to the “SAVE” button and choose “Revert to original” to undo all unsaved changes you’ve made to the video.

how to use youtube video editor
Undo your changes

Add Music To Your Video

While you could use the YouTube mobile app to add audio tracks to your videos in the past, this is no longer possible. Users can only now use YouTube Studio to do this task.

Keep in mind that YouTube video editor only allows you to add tracks from its own Audio Library.

Despite this limitation to the song available, you can use them in monetized videos and don’t have to worry about copyright claims – the legal aspect handled by YouTube.

Open the editor of your YouTube video and click the plus icon (“Add a track”) next to the music note (“Music”) at the beginning of its timeline.

Add a track
Add a track

A dialog will appear, letting you search for an audio track.

Enter the name of an artist or title into the search bar to find a certain track you already have in mind. The filters can also help you narrow down the choices and sort them by artist name, title, genre, duration, attribution, and mood of the provided tracks.

You can also click the play button to hear a preview. Click “ADD” to add it to the editor.

how to use Youtube video editor
Find the track you like from the library

The chosen track will appear within a blue box along the timeline of your video. Drag the whole box and each edge to change where the track should start and how much of it should play. The zoom options above the timeline can help you fine-tune these adjustments.

Click “SAVE” when finished.

Adjust Mid-roll Ad Placements

You can enable mid-roll ads to videos that are 8 minutes or longer. These ads appear at multiple points during the video instead of the beginning and the end, like regular ads.

To manually place mid-roll ads into your video, open it in YouTube Studio.

Select “Monetization” and check “During video” beneath “Location of video ads.”

Go back to the editor, and you will see ad breaks YouTube has automatically inserted into your video.

There is also a new line with a dollar symbol in the timeline showing their placements. Click on them to open the panel for adjusting ad breaks.

You can delete any mid-roll ad by clicking the trash can next to it. To move an ad break to a new start time, drag it alongside the timeline or enter the exact timing.

Click “SAVE” when you’re done.

Add And Edit End Screens

With YouTube video editor, you can add end screens at the last 5-20 seconds of your video to encourage subscriptions or promote other content like the latest upload, another channel, or related playlists.

To do so, open the editor screen of your video and click the plus button next to the end screen icon at the beginning of the timeline.

Add an element
Add an element

A menu will appear asking which kind of element you’d like to add: Video, Playlist, Subscribe, Channel, Link, or apply an existing template.

Choose one of them to open the setting panel, where you can set some options for the element.

For example, you can choose whether to add the most recent upload or any other video from YouTube to a video element. You can also let YouTube pick a video from your channel that it thinks is the most suitable for your viewers.

Set options for the element
Set options for the element

Enter the timing and frame during which you need the element to appear. Click “+ ELEMENt” when done.

Repeat those steps to add another element to your end screen or click “SAVE” to complete.

Tips For Using YouTube Video Editor

Mid-roll Ad Breaks

While they can improve your income, the placement of these ads can have an impact on the viewing experience of your audience.

When you enable mid-roll ad breaks, YouTube will automatically find the best placements and insert ads there to balance viewing experience and monetization outcome.

You can try to manually place those ad breaks, but please do so with care.

Put them at natural breaks so that your viewers won’t find the ad-serving infuriating and annoying. Avoid disruption points such as mid-action or mid-sentence.

For the best results, record and edit your content with such mid-roll ad breaks in mind. This preparation will make sure you don’t have to put much effort into closely going through your video to find proper placements for ad breaks.

The likelihood of ad serving depends on how you place within your videos. YouTube may show fewer ads if your manual placements make the video disruptive.

End Screens

Try combining the end screens with call-to-actions (CTAs) in your video’s content to draw more attention from viewers and drive your engagement to the content you put on the end screens.

Consider the ending of your video when shooting and editing it. Leave proper space for end screens, including filming your CTAs.

Note: As the actual position of end screens varies between devices, don’t point to an exact point while shooting your content.


Even if you’ve installed and mastered another advanced editing software, knowing how to use YouTube video editor is never unnecessary. These built-in features provide a convenient way to make some light edits to your videos, including some settings you can change in YouTube Studio.


Nhat Kieu Minh linkedin

CEO & Founder of EazyViral

Continuously growing is our main target to become one of the best trustable providers in social networking services.

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