Choosing the best free photo editor is quite difficult because there are dozens of great photo editors that has a subscription system, many advertising popup windows or a monthly fee. To save your time, I’ll review the best online photo editors that everyone can use for basic face/body/background retouching, color correction, framing, adding effects or text FREE.
There is a great variety of the best photo editing apps and softwares. However, why have they become so popular? The first thing is that there is no need to buy a program license every month. The best free photo editor typically offers a high speed of work and no delays in the process of image editing. This is the best start for learning photo editing for beginners. You don’t need to buy an expensive computer or laptop, because the online editor requires a browser and a Flash Player. Thus, you can quickly apply the creative image effects you need or add text anywhere from any device, be it a laptop, PC or even your phone.
Pixlr image editor opens my list. This is one of the most functional online photo editors free that I use for the photos I post in Instagram. It has a simple and customizable interface, which, by the way, resembles Photoshop: the same main panel, tools, layers, and functions.
Pixlr photo editor contains all the basic tools and functions. Highlight, Bucket Fill tool, gradient blend, blurring, and image transformation. This editor has almost all the options and tools that Photoshop offers. However, one of the main advantages is the RAW format files support, as not every online image editor can handle this. Still, there is a significant drawback – the advertising, which constantly distracts from work.
Also, on the main Pixlr website, there is a more simplified version of the image editor – Pixlr Express. It contains fewer tools and is designed for simple and fast photo editing. In Pixlr Expres, you can crop a photo, change its brightness, apply effects, and filters, select the font you need and add text, frames, stickers and other elements. By the way, the options of Pixlr Express are periodically updated with new stickers, for example, the ones related to the current holiday. Pixlr Editor is a pretty good choice for beginners and for those. who need good, free photo editing software.
Fotor is an online photo editor free that offers possibilities not only to edit your photos but also to create collages and design. However, like all free online editors, Fotor is cluttered with ads.
Having opened Fotor photo editor, I saw a simple and user-friendly interface that includes five main categories of tools. The first comprises basic editing functions: cropping, rotating, resizing, etc. The next category consists of various effects, filters, using which you can turn your pictures into B&W images, apply color flashes, glare, shadows and plenty more.
Further, you’ll see more interesting settings, namely photo retouching. This tool will especially please the girl, as it allows you to draw makeup, mask skin defects, improve the face tone, and change its shape.
Then you have standard tools to add text, frames, and stickers. The major flaw of this free photo editing software is its simplicity. The editor is so simple that it resembles the built-in app in Facebook and Instagram. Besides, you can only edit photos in PNG, JPG formats. Fotor Edit is a simple photo editor for the primary image retouching. The editor is quite good, and is suitable for beginners and has most of the necessary tools. However, if you choose this best free online photo editor, get ready to see lots of ads, which is especially annoying on a small phone screen.
BeFunky is free photo editing software with limited features. Generally speaking, the editor has basic functions for standard photo retouching: cropping, color correction, alignment filters, and effects. However, the crucial problem of the photo editor is its free character, while 70% of all content is paid.
In addition to the paid content, there are lots of ads.
The number of effects in this photo editor is so huge that you can’t decide what you really need very quickly. But opening almost any filter, I noticed a certain “asterisk” sign. At this point, your choice of the effects is finished. The image editor offers to buy BeFunky Plus premium version, with no restrictions and additional content. Despite the fact that advertising is annoyingly hanging around BeFunky window and more than the half of the content is paid, there is a huge number of effects, textures, and additional settings in the collection.
In addition to the features of the free photo editor, BeFunky has separate modules if you want to create collages and graphic design. However, the story repeats itself. For good content, you will have to pay approximately $5 monthly.
Ribbet is a free online retouching service similar to BeFunky. It has a great and intuitive interface, which is crammed with all sorts of tools.
Like the photo editing online apps listed above, Ribbet offers tools for cropping, rotating, color correction, and other basic image retouching operations. The additional stickers that can decorate and set the mood of your photo will be a pleasant bonus. I also like tools and effects. Compared to other picture editors, Ribbet stands out thanks to a large number of seasonal decoration elements, dedicated to holidays and popular events.
Some premium tools and items are opened only after registration. But in order to unlock all the premium content, you need to subscribe as in the case of BeFunky. Additional Ribbet modules are meant to create collages, drawing on a blank canvas, and cards.
iPiccy is one of the most popular applications for basic image retouching on the web. This free photo editor has a basic set for image enhancement: cropping, color correction, filters, and effects. However, the main advantage of iPiccy, I think, is almost complete access to all content for free.
When I opened this photo editor, I noticed some similarities with BeFunky; the same color correction setting: exposure, white balance, shadows, saturation, filters, and effects. However, as I mentioned earlier, Ipiccy offers virtually all of its content in a free form, with the exception for some filters. Also, there is a pleasant auto photo saving option, which is not typical even for the best free image editing software. How does it work? After some changes done, the image editor makes an automatic copy and, in case of problems with the Internet or any other situations that require the compulsory closing of the program, you are offered to continue working with the last edition, when you open the software again.
However, everything isn’t as good as it seems. The main drawback of this image editor is the speed of work. Any color settings are sometimes too slow, which is a bit annoying. You have to wait a few seconds for the photo to be retouched, but the result is great. Actually, this is the best free online photo editing software for such a work.
Talking about iPiccy Designer, I can say that it is not as good as its image editor “fellow”. The functions are totally simple and useless. Add text and vector drawings, do a little work with layers, and that's all.
FotoFlexer is a simple photo editor with the most user-friendly interface and completely free functions. It has well-designed tools, which make it one of the best free image manipulation software.
Having opened FotoFlexer photo editor, I saw a simple but intuitive interface with all the standard tools, effects, and settings that are common to most image editing apps. Moreover, the service contains many decoration elements and even supports animated stickers, with the help of which you can not only edit images but also create animated GIFs.
The biggest disadvantage of the program is the amount of advertising, which is rather typical for almost every free photo editor. However, it isn’t all. FotoFlexer has not been updated by the developers for a long time, which affects the speed of its work and some of the usual functions. Comparing this app with IPiccy, you will see a significant difference. If you accidentally close the page, you will lose your work without the possibility to restore it, since FotoFlexer does not warn you about program closing. At the same time, developers do not require users to subscribe, and today the photo editor is completely free, including all its content. This is the main reason why some users name it the best free photo editor.
Sumo Paint is a free picture editor like Photoshop.
You’ll see a familiar toolbar with a drop-down menu. Tools for drawing, adding all sorts of shapes, transformation, zooming, wide settings for color correction: exposure, shadows, saturation, brightness, temperature and much more. These tools are available as the free content. Speaking about good, interesting filters and effects, Sumo Paint offers paid options. Still, you can get a couple of awesome effects without additional payment. The photo editor has a great support for layers. I also admire its stable and fast work. I tried to do the initial retouching: added a bit of shadow, brightened the color, and set up the exposure. I was really impressed with the working speed. The difference is enormous, comparing with the previous ones. Sumo Paint is really fast.
If you used to or still work in Photoshop online, you’ll spend maximum 5 minutes to understand Sumo Paint. The major flaw I have to mention is that 50% of content is paid and the advertising is very annoying. Every fifteen minutes the image editor asks and recommends upgrading to the pro version. You can’t deactivate advertising.
Polarr is the best free online photo editor 2017. It is convenient and very fast. The main advantage is the completely free content and excellent color correction.
Polarr is a nice photo editor, which slightly resembles Lightroom. The interface is not cluttered, it looks simple and clear. On the left, there is the image import/export panel and color filters. On the right, you’ll see the toolbar (histogram, crop buttons, undo and show the original option, basic settings, color and sharpness settings, distortion correction, and more). The panel at the top displays information about the file size, zoom, rotate, and full screen buttons. And finally, in the bottom panel, you can select and delete photos that are uploaded to the photo editor.
The speed of work is worth additional attention. Apply the effect, change the curve, add shadows or unscrew the exposure – Polarr simply does not feel these “loads” and performs any action in a matter of seconds. Of the useful features of this best online photo editor free, I would like to note the possibility to save custom styles (presets) for photos. Let's say you retouched a snapshot, adjusting the exposure and increasing the contrast. Now, in order not to repeat the same actions again, you can save these settings with one click and then apply them to the following images.
So, what is Polarr? There are cases when you need to quickly edit an image (crop, resize, lighten, etc.) without using cumbersome programs like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Online photo editors free turn out to be very useful. They help when you don't have graphic editors on your computer or when you don't need them so often to install them. Polarr is just one of these services, which contains the most necessary tools for photo editing.
Aviary is a stylish free photo editor that skillfully combines advanced image editing and retouching features with fashionable decorative options.
The photo editor impressed with a very simple but rather an interesting and catchy design. Aviary is an online Adobe editor free and these guys know how to do everything top-notch. The functions of the photo editor are unimaginable: remove skin imperfections, whiten your teeth, adjust the size, and make color correction equal to the one you do in Photoshop. All this is available in Aviary completely free. In addition, there is a special bonus – an access to the Cloud Storage. Although it is paid, which I think is a disadvantage, but for several US dollars per month, you can get a few TB of memory to store your photos.
I think another flaw is additional function settings. As for me, one slider for every element isn’t enough if you want to achieve the most accurate work of each tool.
PiZap free online photo editor closes the rating of top ten image editing apps. The editor is focused on social networks. Having retouched photos, you can share your works in all the largest social networks.
PiZap is the first free online editor that offers to open a page, selecting HTML5 or Flash, which makes it suitable for any device. You can upload the pictures from your hard drive, using social networks, cloud storage or catalog of stock images. Having opened an image editor, I saw a pleasant interface. PiZap interface has a dark, modern design that allows you to use sliders for quick setup – a system that works much better than complex icons and drop-down menus if you use a touchscreen device. But it is definitely all about its strong points.
The biggest minus is the poor color corrections, though it is an important part of picture retouching. The settings are maximally limited with only one slider. Besides, there are no curves. I would also like to mention the advertising in this free photo editing software. The annoying ad that appears every 15 seconds makes it a bit more difficult to work because it takes about 10-15% of the workplace. In addition to the limited toolkit, PiZap also has 50% of its content paid.
Generally speaking, PiZap isn’t the best free photo editor.
In this article, I gave a few excellent examples of free online image editors that can easily provide the initial photo editing and great color correction. Each photo editor has its own advantages and disadvantages. You will only have to decide what types of photo editing features you need and choose the most suitable functional variant.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.