Video Editing

How to Cut a YouTube Video that is Not Yours on Any Device

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There are plenty of reasons to cut a YouTube video that is not yours. It could be to improve a published video or extract a clip to share on other social media platforms, etc. 

Whatever your reason may be, there are countless tools out there to help you cut a YouTube video that isn’t yours.  However, most of them either cost money, have limited features, or require having prior medium to advanced video editing skills. Though there are a few tools out there as well which can help you cut someone else's video free of cost. But are they any good? 

Here, we will be discussing three video editors that you can use to cut a YouTube video that is not yours and tips for legally creating new content with other people’s videos.

Ways to Cut Someone Else’s YouTube Video

Video rather than the written word is dominating the world of content marketing, and this is not a fad. This has made content marketers aware of the fact that they need to know how to make creative, video-based content. But creativity needs inspiration, and sometimes that comes from the published work. In this case, someone else’s YouTube video.

Whether you want to create a video for marketing or educational reasons, building on the work of others is an excellent way to produce something new and unique.

As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of video editors capable of helping creators do this. But very few meet all three criteria of being free, feature-rich, and requiring little to zero prior video editing knowledge.

Out of that small pool, we have identified three tools that satisfy all three requirements, perfect for editing on most, if not all, devices. They are -

  • Windows Video Editor
  • Keevi Video Cutter
  • InShot

Irrespective of their pros and cons, which will be discussed later in the blog, it is worth stating at the outset that out of these three only Keevi supports automatic video import with URL, the remaining two require first downloading the YouTube video.

How to Download a YouTube video that is not Yours before Editing 

For reasons that include protecting its ad revenue, YouTube does not allow users to download videos from the platform.  The only supported form of download is through its mobile app.

The offline videos are only playable in-app and expire after 30 days unless it resyncs with the online version. And that is even if the content uploader enables the download option or never deletes the video.

All the more reason why online YouTube downloaders have grown popular in tandem with the video-sharing platform. And just like video editors, there are plenty of downloading options out there. Some are free, and others are paid. Some are web-based, and others require a software download.

We prefer to keep things simple enough for anyone, including less tech-savvy. That is why we recommend Yt1s. It is web-based, and you can download any YouTube video in five short steps.

  1. Launch the website
  2. Paste the video’s link in the URL box and select ‘Start’
  3. Choose the output format you want
  4. Click ‘Get Link’
  5. Wait for the conversion to finish and then click ‘Download’

How to Cut a YouTube Video that is Not Yours with Windows Video Editor

A simple and inexpensive way to edit someone else’s YouTube video is using Microsoft Windows Video Editor. It is a decent tool that supports basic editing actions like cutting, trimming, and splitting videos. Ultimately, it is easy to use, with an intuitive interface perfect for anyone with limited background video editing knowledge.

Besides that, it also comes with decent customisation features to reshape the cut video into a different form of content. Some of these include -

  • Contextual text
  • Music and sound effects
  • 3D Motion
  • Filters

What’s more, it supports video merging, to combine the cut video with a recorded clip of your own or another video. Unfortunately, accessibility is limited to Windows devices, specifically those with the latest version of the operating system, Windows 10. Additionally, to edit other people’s YouTube videos, you first have to download them with a YouTube downloader.

Free with no watermarks Only available on Windows devices
Supports most video file formats Requires YouTube video download before edit
Decent personalisation features Intuitive user interface

Regardless, it is still a valuable tool for anyone who wants to cut a YouTube video that is not theirs and here is a step-by-step guide on how to use it.

STEP 1: Launch the App and Start a New Project

If you have downloaded the YouTube video you want to cut, start editing by searching for ‘Video Editor’ in the Windows start menu and launch the app. 

When the app opens, start a new project by clicking the ‘New Video Project’ option. A small pop-up window will open for you to set the title of the project. 

There is an option to skip this, but it is advisable to do it right away to keep track of your work.

STEP 2: Import the downloaded YouTube video

Ensure you know the exact location of the downloaded YouTube video you want to shorten on your device. Once you do, open the project library by clicking the arrow beside the video preview section.

Then click the ‘Add’ option to open your system file and import the downloaded video.

Once the video is in the project library, select it and click ‘Place in Storyboard’ to add it to the storyboard, as shown above. You can also drag the video into the storyboard.

STEP 3: Cut the Video

With the downloaded video in the storyboard, the next thing is cutting. To do this, select the ‘Split’ option to separate the parts you want in the video from the irrelevant sections. 

The editor will open the Split controls. Drag the seek bar to the start time of the section you want to cut and click ‘Done’ to divide the video into two.

Repeat this process on every clip until the sections you need are all standing alone. Then delete the unwanted clips by selecting them and clicking the trash button in the storyboard panel.

A helpful piece of advice before deleting the clips is to preview the entire chain of clips in the storyboard using the playback buttons in the main editor. It will give you an accurate view of the video’s final look.

Once you have all the right clips, you can apply every other feature in Windows Video Editor to customise the look and feel. You can also import your filmed clip to merge with the now edited YouTube video.

STEP 4: Export the Video

When you finish cutting the video and applying personalisation features,  click ‘Finish Video’ at the top right corner of the editor to complete the editing process.

A small pop-up window will open for you to set the output quality of the video. It is advisable to select the highest quality, especially if you plan on sharing it on social platforms.

After that, you are done. You now know how to edit a YouTube video that is not yours with Windows Video Editor.

How to Shorten a Video on Youtube using Windows Video Editor

We talked about cutting, but what about trimming? Cutting a video is the go-to option if the parts you need are in different sections. But when it is one section, trimming, i.e., shortening the beginning and end of the video will do.

Here is how to perform this action with someone’s else’s YouTube video.

STEP 1: Import the downloaded YouTube video

Start by using the same video import steps for cutting the video to import the downloaded YouTube video into the Windows Video Editor.

If you already have the video there or simply want to trim one of the clips you cut from the original, you don’t have to import it again.

STEP 2: Trim the Video

Once the video is on the storyboard, click the ‘Trim’ option in the editing panel. If you have multiple clips in the storyboard, make sure you select the exact clip you want to trim before clicking ‘Trim’ to avoid editing the wrong clip.

Clicking Trim will open the feature’s editing controls. Drag the sliders at both ends from left to right to shorten the clip as necessary. Then click ‘Done’ when you finish.

You can take and complete additional actions on the trimmed video, such as adding 3D effects and contextual text. When you finish, click the ‘Finish Video’ option in the main editor to complete the editing process.

As you can see, using Windows Video Editor to cut someone else’s YouTube video is simple and requires little background knowledge. 

However, the editing process is longer because you first have to download the video. Also, it is only available to Windows users. This next tool, however, has none of these limitations.

How to Edit a Youtube Video that is Not Yours (Best Alternative): Keevi Video Cutter

On top of having wider device compatibility, Keevi Video Cutter is an excellent editor for shortening YouTube videos. Yours or someone else’s. It is entirely web-based, i.e., accessible only via web browsers, from Chrome to Safari, on PCs, laptops, and tablets.

As an editor, it offers all the relevant features for the perfect tool - easy to use, and free. Asides from these, Keevi also supports automatic YouTube import. You don’t have to download the YouTube video you want to cut before you can edit. 

Simply paste a link to the video in the URL bar, and it will grab it for you, reducing editing time significantly.

What’s more, Keevi Video Cutter lets you merge multiple videos at once and record a video or voiceover, all within the web app. Other features of the editor include -

  • Automatic subtitles
  • GIFs and emojis
  • Extensive audio library
  • Animated texts

Additional utilities provided by the editor include aspect ratio settings, which is handy if you want to cut a YouTube video to share on a different platform like Instagram or TikTok. You can also share directly to these social media sites from the app.

Intuitive interface No mobile app. Only available via web browsers
Automatic URL video import

As a tool, it is user friendly with understandable controls that makes it ideal for anyone of any skill level. Here is how to use it to cut someone else’s YouTube video.

STEP 1: Launch the web app

Click this link to open the Keevi Video Cutter website. After the page loads, click ‘Get Started’ to open the editor.

STEP 2: Paste the YouTube link to import the video automatically

No need for prior downloading of the YouTube video you want to cut. Simply copy the video’s URL and paste it in the editor’s address bar to import the clip.

If the video is already on your device, click the ‘Browse’ option to open your file explorer.

STEP 3: Choose the parts you want to cut

Once the video is in the editor, select the parts you want to cut. Here, you can use the magnifier to improve your accuracy by enlarging every frame. 

Replaying the video multiple times is also a great way to ensure you choose the right and most relevant parts.

STEP 4: Split the video and delete unwanted parts

Once you have accurately identified the sections you want to cut out, place the blue cursor at the beginning of the clip. Then click ‘Split’ at the bottom left corner of the editing panel to divide the video.

Do the same for the end time, and you should have a middle section separate from the rest of the video. Repeat this process to cut multiple clips from the video.

After cutting the video into smaller bits, delete unwanted clips by selecting each clip and clicking the ‘Trash’ icon.

It is beneficial to do this to keep your video timeline free of irrelevant video clips. It also helps in giving you an accurate view of the order of clips in the final video.

To trim the video, drag the sliders at both ends from left to right to shorten or lengthen the video.

STEP 5: Add media files to merge (OPTIONAL)

A common reason to cut a YouTube video that is not yours is to combine the extracted clip with yours. To do this with Keevi Video Cutter, go to the ‘Add Media’ tab at the top of the editor.

Then select the media file you want to merge with the video. This can either be an audio, image, or video file.


Once the added files are in the editor, you can arrange their placement in the timeline by dragging the respective element from left to right. Do not forget to use the playback buttons to track the changes in your video and ensure proper order.

After trimming and cutting, personalise the video by applying Keevi’s suite of features.

Enhance your Video with other Editing Actions

Personalising the video will further distinguish it from the original content and help you tell a compelling story. Keevi has a sufficient amount of features designed to help you achieve this.

One of them is adding contextual text and branding the video with your style with font type, color, and size.

To access this feature, click the ‘Text’ menu at the top of the editor to open the text controls.

Want animated texts instead of a static block of text? You can do that too. Just select the animation submenu within text controls.

Adding subtitles is also a great way to ensure the newly cut video gets in front of the right audience and is suitable for all kinds of people.

Keevi lets you add them automatically or manually. Just click the Subtitles menu to open the controls.

You can also add some flair with stickers like GIFs and emojis. No need to download them separately.

Looking to repurpose the cut YouTube video for other platforms like Instagram or Twitter? Set the aspect ratio, background colour, and output format to suit the video’s destination.

STEP 6: Export and Share the video

When the customisation is complete and you have double-checked the final look through video playback, click ‘Export’ at the top right corner of the editor to render the edited clip.

Once complete, save the video to your device or publish it directly to YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, or any other platform. 

This completes the step-by-step guide on using Keevi Video Cutter to edit someone else’s YouTube video.  

How to Edit Someone Else's Youtube Video on Mobile: InShot

InShot is a popular mobile editing app available on both iOS and Android devices. It's mostly used for making photo collages and editing videos. But it is capable of much more, including cutting a YouTube video that is not yours.

Even though editing videos is generally better on computers with larger screens and greater processing speed, this mobile app can do a decent job on the go.

It has all the basic cut, trim, and split features and many personalisation tools to customise and transform the video into something uniquely yours. InShot’s features include -

  • Vlog music
  • Voiceover support
  • Stickers and texts
  • Filters and transition effects

Available on Android and iOS devices Contains ads
Regular updates No automatic URL import
Extensive customisation features

Like Keevi Video Cutter, it is free, except it contains a fair bit of ads. It also has an intuitive design that makes it easy to use. Here is a step-by-step guide to edit someone else’s YouTube video with it.

STEP 1: Launch the app and click ‘Video’

Install the app from your device’s play store if you don’t have it already. After installation, launch the app and click the ‘Video’ in the ‘Create New’ block.

STEP 2: Import the downloaded YouTube video

InShot, unlike Keevi Video Cutter, does not support automatic URL import, so you’ll first have to download the YouTube video. You can use the downloader tool we recommended earlier. 

Once it is on your mobile device, locate and select the video in the library to import it in the editor. 

STEP 3: Click Trim Menu

Once the video is in the timeline, click the ‘Trim’ icon to open the Trim, Split, and Cut tabs.

Then go to the ‘Cut’ tab to launch the cutting controls. 

In the ‘Cut’ tab, drag the sliders highlighted in green to the start and end times of the parts you want to keep. You can preview your video by hitting play on the playback section at the top of the editing panel.

Once you finish, press the arrow on the right to apply the changes.

Apply additional features such as stickers, transition, and background effects via the central editing panel.

STEP 4: Save and share the video

After completing the edits and applying the features, save the new video by clicking the ‘Save’ button at the top right corner of the app.

A small window prompt will open to choose settings for video resolution and frame rate. Select your preferred options and hit ‘Save’ again to finish the video.

Once the save is complete, share the video across multiple social media channels. 

Why Edit Someone Else’s Video on YouTube

Some may assume editing other people’s YouTube videos is theft, but that depends entirely on what you do with the video. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to edit someone else’s video without committing copyright infringement. Here are a few of them.

  1. To build your resume

If you aspire to become a professional YouTube editor, editing published videos of popular creators is a great way to build your resume. Showing potential employers how you can improve their work without compromising their online personality or style can be effective at securing a well-paying gig.

  1. Improve the video for personal satisfaction

Ever watched a video you knew could be better? Watching the creator come so close to creating something perfect can leave an annoying and disappointing taste. Loading up the video via URL with a tool like Keevi Video Cutter and editing it is a quick and effective way to scratch that itch.

  1. For private, non-commercial use

A creator usually has a target audience in mind when they create their videos. In some instances, however, a video is so good and informative that one might want to repurpose it for a different kind of audience. A typical example of this is removing adult language in explainer videos to play in schools for children. 

  1. To save and share the good parts

Even though YouTube has a time-based share option, it doesn’t always work, which means viewers have to wait for the interesting part when you share a video. Secondly, the video could get deleted, ending any future chance of a rewatch. Cutting out and saving the good section is an effective and easy way to solve both issues.

How to Edit Other People's Youtube Videos: Best Practices to Follow

Creating fresh content with other people’s YouTube videos requires deft skill. Here are a few tips worth considering when working with someone else’s videos.

  1. Focus on relevant sections

If you intend to merge your video with clips taken from other YouTube videos which aren’t yours, make sure to take only those clips that are relevant to your video. This will help you sync in your video with the other clips. 

  1. Use transitions for merged videos

When you cut a YouTube video that is not yours and merge it with a clip of your own, transition effects help maintain a consistent visual narrative. It gives viewers necessary visual cues to identify different sections in the video and follow the story.

Additionally, transitions are a subtle and effective way to maintain artistic integrity. Passing off other people’s work as uniquely yours can have adverse effects on public perception.

  1. Maintain narrative cohesion with additional content

If you use someone else’s video to create new content, make sure you are cutting a part related to your video’s overall message. A clip about mechanical engineering is likely to look out of place in a video about English literature.

That’s not to say two distinct ideas cannot be married in a video. Just ensure you do that with additional content that provides understandable context and meaning. 

  1. Avoid copyright infringements

Lastly, and perhaps the most important tip of all, avoid copyright infringement. Avoid using the video in a way that constitutes intellectual theft. A clever way to do this is to apply Fair Use doctrine. It is a set of circumstances under which the use of copyrighted content is permitted.

These circumstances include using only a tiny fraction of the original work and outside of its intended meaning, i.e., out of context. Following them may help you avoid any claim of copyright infringement.

Navigating Copyright Issues when You Edit Someone else's Video on Youtube

According to official YouTube policy, users should only upload content they created or are authorised to use. Doing otherwise would result in copyright violation. 

When you cut someone else’s video and use it in a video uploaded to YouTube, the owner could file a takedown request on the video. If the claim is valid, YouTube will remove the video, and in extreme cases, your channel could face termination.

Now, you could say you don’t plan on publishing the extracted clip on YouTube. But it does not matter. As long as the clip is published online, the owner could file a copyright claim to get it taken down or, worse, sue you.

However, there are two main ways to navigate copyright issues - sticking to videos with Creative Commons licenses and applying the Fair Use doctrine.

  1. Using Creative Commons videos

A Creative Commons license allows free distribution of copyrighted work, as long as distributors follow the conditions specified by the license. There are different types of CC licenses, such as commercial and non-commercial CC licenses, that allow commercial and non-commercial distribution of copyrighted work.

If you want to cut someone else’s YouTube video, sticking to videos with a Creative Commons license is a nifty way to avoid copyright infringement claims. Typically, you can find videos with CC licenses by searching for the video keyword and filtering by ‘Creative Commons’, as shown above.

  1. Applying Fair Use doctrine

Unfortunately, there is a limited amount of content with creative commons licenses, which means creators need alternative means to use copyrighted works. For videos in this category, applying the Fair Use doctrine can be a way to use someone else’s work safely.

The terms of the doctrine are generally determined from case to case, but by the rule of thumb, fair use applies if you -

  • Keep the shared content short - it is not so much about a specific time limit as it is the fraction of the copyrighted work. Using 30 secs of a one minute video is not considered fair use.
  • Create something new out of the original - for fair use to apply, the copyrighted video must be a small part illustrating a longer body of your original work.
  • Use the copyrighted content out of context - parodies, memes, or sound effects are few ways you can use copyrighted videos to avoid copyright strikes.
  • Review the original work - don’t just insert a clip and call it a day. Comment, review, or criticise the clip. Using copyrighted work without interacting with it falls outside of fair use guidelines.

Overall, for your work to qualify under fair use, it must satisfy all four rules. It is not enough to meet one of them.


Whether it is saving an educational video for future use or cutting a video to make a video essay, there are many legally acceptable reasons to edit someone else’s video. And while you can trim or shorten a video on YouTube, its inbuilt editor does not support editing someone else’s video.

That is why third-party editors like Windows Video Editor and InShot are useful tools for this purpose. They are free, easy to use, and have enough features to help you cut a YouTube video that is not yours. However, neither of them lets you import YouTube videos with a link.

For this reason, we recommend Keevi. It supports automatic URL import and has the requisite features to create unique content with other people’s videos.

Hammad Akbar
Hammad Akbar
June 15, 2021