Apple iMovie vs Adobe Premiere Elements

Apple iMovie (opens in new tab) is one of the best free video editing software (opens in new tab) Tools available by default on macOS computers. While iMovie isn’t exactly what you would call professional video editing software, it’s still a very useful tool with lots of options for customizing your vlog or creating your first movie. It has interesting visual effects and powerful tools that will make editing your first video an exciting experience.

Adobe Premiere elements (opens in new tab) is a paid video editing tool from Adobe, the developers of Photoshop. It’s not as robust or powerful as its professional counterpart, Adobe Premiere Pro, but still offers a decent number of options for creating video blogs and short films.

It’s usually unfair to compare a free product to a paid one, but in this case, Apple iMovie offers some really strong competition from Adobe Premiere Elements. But which of them is the best video editing software? (opens in new tab) to you? This article will help you find out.

We’ve tested and compared the best video editors to help you find the perfect post-production tool for the job.

Check out our guides Adobe Premiere Pro versus Apple Final Cut Pro (opens in new tab), Adobe Premiere Pro versus Lightworks (opens in new tab)and Adobe Premiere Pro versus Adobe Premiere Elements.

Screenshot of Apple iMovie video editing software

Apple iMovie is the default video editing tool for macOS computers (Image credit: Apple)


Apple iMovie is the built-in video editor offered with macOS computers. It has some really powerful features including support for 4K and HEVC video editing, which sets it apart from other free video editors. There are also many video effects to choose from. In addition, you can annotate the video with your own voice or add background music from iTunes.

Adobe Premiere Elements is a paid video editing application aimed at beginners. It includes a variety of effects and transitions, as well as options to adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation of your video. There are also useful tools like noise reduction and haze removal, and you can add background music and stylized text to your video.

When it comes to the interface, iMovie isn’t as clean or as easy to use as Premiere Elements. The latter uses built-in tutorials and a quick mode to simplify the video editing process to a surprising degree. However, iMovie uses the standard professional video editing interface.

Neither iMovie nor Premiere Elements support 360 degree video editing. However, Premiere Elements offers many other visual effects (opens in new tab) and transitions as iMovie. It also features the extremely useful guided mode that helps beginners better understand the video editing process unlike its Apple counterpart. In conclusion, it is safe to say that Adobe Premiere Elements is the more feature-rich application.

Screenshot of Adobe Premiere Elements video editing software

Adobe Premiere Elements is a video editing application aimed at beginners (Image credit: Adobe)


Adobe Premiere Elements requires at least a 64-bit operating system with 4-8 GB RAM and a 2 GHz processor. It can run on both Windows and macOS. Apple iMovie, on the other hand, is the built-in video editor that comes with all macOS devices and runs smoothly on an iPhone or Mac with no additional requirements. It is not available to Windows users.

Both applications run without significant lags on devices that meet their minimum system requirements. However, as with any video editing software, the more powerful your PC, the faster the rendering will be.

So whether you use the best video editing laptops (opens in new tab) and computers for video editing (opens in new tab)or using a low-end PC should have no difficulty cutting and rendering footage.

to edit

Apple iMovie has no additional system requirements for macOS users (Image credit: Future)


Adobe Premiere Elements has a phone and chat-based support system combined with a knowledge base and an online forum where users can discuss various issues related to the software.

Apple iMovie is only available on iOS and macOS devices. Therefore, it offers the same support that is offered alongside all other Apple products. There is a ticket-based support system on the company website, as well as a knowledge base where you can search for frequently asked questions. Phone and chat support are reserved for hardware-related issues.

Overall, Premiere Elements offers a much better support network compared to iMovie. Requests are resolved faster because two-way communication options such as phone and chat support are also available at Adobe.

Adobe Premiere elements

Premiere Elements offers a phone and chat-based support system (Image credit: Adobe Premiere Elements)

prices and plans

Apple iMovie comes preinstalled on your macOS laptop or desktop. However, if you own a device purchased before 2014, you’ll need to pay $14.99 (about £14 / AU$24) to access the latest version of Apple’s software.

Adobe Premiere Elements costs $99.99 (about £87 / AU$160), while a combination of Premiere Elements and Photoshop Elements costs $149.99 (about £134 / AU$239). This is a one-time fee and the application can be purchased directly through the company’s website. A Creative Cloud (opens in new tab) No subscription is required to access Adobe Premiere Elements


A combination of Premiere Elements and Photoshop Elements costs $149.99 (Image credit: Adobe)


iMovie 3.0 on iPadOS

Apple users who are looking for free video editing can do a good job with iMovie (Image credit: Apple)

Apple iMovie and Adobe Premiere Elements are both feature-rich video editing applications aimed at novice users. While one is exclusive to macOS devices, the other can be downloaded on both Windows and macOS computers.

But Adobe Premiere Elements is not only ahead in terms of compatibility. It offers a much larger collection of ready-made transitions and visual effects, and comes with phone and chat support for all paying users.

iMovie, on the other hand, supports HEVC, has lower system requirements, and is free on all compatible devices. The downside is that you need to own an Apple device to use it. The collection of effects and transitions is relatively limited, which is reflected in the lack of a premium price tag.

Overall, as a paid application with premium features and better support, Adobe Premiere Elements is the ultimate winner. However, Apple users looking for a free alternative can still use iMovie for decent video editing.

  • Edit on the go? We’ve tested, reviewed and rated them The best video editing apps (opens in new tab) for Android and iPhone.

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