Best Free Photo Editor

By Ann Young 7 days ago Software Reviews

Edit your photos fast and free with one of these photo editors

best free photo editor

Top 11 Best Free Photo Editors

$10\month subscribing to Adobe softwares is not a huge price, however, if you are starting out your photo retouching career, or you do not need all this number of tools, or you can’t understand how to use them, one of the following free photo editors will work for you.

1. GIMP Photo Editor

The best free photo editor like Photoshop

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Editors' Rating (4/5)
Mac / Win / Linux | Read GIMP review
Pros+
  • Free
  • Ability to change functionality
  • Packed with features and tools
  • Works with different file types
  • Developer support
  • User-friendly interface
  • No ads
Cons-
  • Functional packed to a minimum
  • Awful online and mobile version

GIMP is the most powerful free photo editor that can completely replace Photoshop. It has an open source code. You can change the program yourself, fix various bugs and errors that you noticed, as well as add your own tools.

photoshop logo   Download Photoshop Free before paying for a monthly subscription.

One of the main advantages, except all of the above mentioned, is that the program supports RAW files. However, to open all the formats, you need to prepare this free photo editor in advance by downloading all the necessary updates.

GIMP has layers, customizable brushes, filters and automatic actions to improve an image quality faster.

What I really like is the possibility to open PSD files and edit them. You have access to a lot of lessons and training videos.

2. Pixlr Photo Editor

The best photo editor for eCommerce

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Editors' Rating (3.5/5)
Mac / Win / Linux | Read Pixlr review
Pros+
  • Portable/Mobile
  • Supports layers and masks
  • Customizable interface
  • Opens photos from desktop or URLs
Cons-
  • Requires Flash
  • Distracting ads

Pixlr has several versions: Pro, Editor, and Express. Pixlr Pro has a number of advantages and almost does not differ from Photoshop with tools.

Pixlr Editor is a simplified version of Pro. This version has a quite large space for advertising which occupies about 20% of the entire working space. Editor version does not support RAW, like most of all web free photo editors.

Pixlr Express is some kind of Lightroom analog. There are several main effects that work pretty well, but I'd like to have a bit more. You can save files only in JPEG.

lightroom logo   Download Lightroom Free to test this photo editing software.

Pixlr is a good choice for beginner retouchers, as you get two absolutely free photo editors to do all the necessary actions.

3. Paint.Net

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Editors' Rating (3.5/5)
Win | Read Paint.Net review
Pros+
  • Easy and convenient to use
  • Many useful functions and effects
  • Clear and well-ordered user interface
  • Online consulting and “how-to” tutorials
Cons-
  • Limited brush work
  • No Burn and Dodge
  • No text correction after applying other effects

If you don’t need to perform the complicated actions related to the image editing but are interested in the small changes, most likely your choice will fall on PaintNet.

You can use layers and a large selection of tools, but their functions are not as comprehensive as I would like. PaintNet reminds me of the earlier versions of Photoshop where the interface was very simple.

However, simplicity does not mean the lack of opportunities - you can do basic image editing: remove skin imperfections, red eyes, and improve background.

4. Fotor

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Editors' Rating (3.5/5)
Mac / Win / Linux | Read Fotor review
Pros+
  • Smart filters and effects
  • A convenient collage maker
  • RAW file converter
  • Fotor social network
Cons-
  • Lots of ads in the mobile and web apps
  • Very few possibilities for deep image editing
  • Insufficient amount of functions to replace Lightroom
  • Not suitable for creating an image from scratch

Fotor Edit is a simple photo editor for basic image enhancement but with some limitations. Previously, this program was a bit more convenient, but now they have added much advertising on both sides of the workspace.

  • View more about 20 free programs like Photoshop.

Also, 60% of the available functions, such as effects and portrait editing tools, will be closed for you until you purchase the full version of the program.

The web version of this free photo editor is not suitable for editing RAW files, but it is quite good for JPG and PNG.

Fotor Desktop Photo Editor is an offline free photo editing software with RAW support. However, only the desktop version provides the possibility of RAW conversion. I really like this free photo editor - almost no ads, a lot of great effects and scenes similar to the presets in Lightroom.

5. Canva

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Editors' Rating (3.5/5)
Mac / Win / Linux | Read Canva review
Pros+
  • Works with designing
  • The Drag & Drop format
  • Stock photos, templates and tools for design
Cons-
  • Not for photographers
  • Works only with JPEG files

Canva is a photo editor software for graphic design of Drag & Drop format and hundreds of ready-made layouts. Canva is appreciated for the simple work with design, but the guys have also created the separate program – Canva Photo Editor, that’s why they got into this list.

If we treat Canva as a photo editor program, it is an openly weak program with a minimum of functions. So if you need a photo editor with extensive color correction functions, Canva is not for you.

This program has only three characteristics - Brightness, Contrast, and Saturation, as well as 15 effects which, frankly speaking, are bad. 

However, Canva is bad only if we talk about photo editing. If it comes to design, Canva is the best free online program for these purposes.

6. iPiccy

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Editors' Rating (3.5/5)
Mac / Win / Linux | Read iPiccy review
Pros+
  • Practically all tools are free
  • Dodge and Burn, Clone tool
  • Many tools for color correction
Cons-
  • Too long work
  • Many lags

iPiccy is a simple and free photo editing software that is considered to be one of the most popular on the web. IPiccy has a basic set - Editor, Collage, and Designer.

Despite simple and slightly outdated interface design, iPiccy free photo editor has a really wide range of image editing tools.

Here you can use all of them absolutely free of charge, and it is not only about the exposure, saturation, and sharpness, but about the Dodge and Burn, Clone Tool, Erase Background tools as well. 

Color correction is a little annoying with its slow performance, and you will have to wait a few seconds until something is done, but the portrait editing is absolutely great.

7. Photoscape

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Editors' Rating (3.5/5)
Mac / Win | Read Photoscape review
Pros+
  • Free
  • Good optimization
  • Supports various file formats
  • Screen capture
Cons-
  • Weak functionality
  • Lags
  • Loss of quality while maintaining

Photoscape PC photo editor is a vivid example when an excellent program just requires a little more advertising among photographers and Insta bloggers. The first thing that surprises about this free photo editor is that it supports opening RAW files without any additional plug-ins.

This is the only program which opens the folder with RAW photos within a couple of seconds. The color correction menu is even more attractive – there is a considerable number of various settings that remind Lightroom rather than other similar programs.

There is no advertising and the only thing that can somehow irritate you is “closed” tools, but this does not interfere with the work.

8. Photo Pos Pro

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Editors' Rating (3.5/5)
Win | Read Photo Pos Pro review
Pros+
  • Customizable interface
  • Fast help and many educational tutorials
  • Functionality
  • Supports various file formats
Cons-
  • Monthly subscription
  • Difficult to start photo editing

This photo editor software is, probably, everything that you may need to perform the tasks related to image editing on Windows. It includes a really large set of color correction tools, supports creating Actions, layers, effects, and even the supports RAW and PSD.

You can save your images in JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, or formats that are rarely used, such as EMF or WMF. I also admire that you can choose an interface for beginners, advanced and for pros, which will help you understand how to use all the functions much faster.

Photo Pos Pro is a rather impressive photo editor, even though you might not find this out because it appears a little too complicated at a first glance and requires quite a bit of learning on your part. Its most recent version has a completely different and updated interface, some new selection tools, auto-correction, recovery brushes, etc.

You have an option to select between ‘pro’ and ‘novice’ interfaces and when it comes to the former, I feel like it is a little too chaotic. Don’t get me wrong, the tools themselves are amazing and really efficient, but I don’t get the principle behind the way the toolbar is organized. It will take you a while to get comfortable with using it.

However, the ‘novice’ mode is the complete opposite. Every single tool has its perfect spot, it’s very easy to find where things are and what they are.

To sum this all up, the program is efficient but with a little adjusting period that may slow you down at the beginning.

9. BeFunky

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Editors' Rating (3.5/5)
Mac / Win / Linux | Read BeFunky review
Pros+
  • Download photos from the stocks in the program
  • You can save the work and continue it later
  • Many useful tools for image edit
Cons-
  • A lot of advertising
  • Most of the tools are paid
  • Effects and Designer are 90% closed for free use

The program is equipped with a lot of functions for basic photo editing, so you can perform such general actions as cropping, adjusting exposure, enhancing colors and so on.

The problem is that 70% of the functions are available only for money. There's a lot of advertising too, similar Fotor – the right and bottom lines are occupied with the banners about purchasing BeFunky Plus.

There are many effects but you cannot use them as usual, because they are all marked with an asterisk, which literally asks you to pay for the full version. The photo editing work is also completely restricted, and is, actually, very inconvenient.

10. InPixio

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Editors' Rating (2/5)
Win | Read InPixio review
Pros+
  • It is compatible with JPG, PNG, BMP, etc.
  • Easy to use
Cons-
  • InPixio Photo Suite trial version is available with watermarks
  • InPixio Photo Clip does not work
  • 6 out of 7 programs are useless for photo retouchers
  • No trial for Mac
  • Not all programs are available on Mac

InPixio is a desktop photo editor that includes seven free programs: InPixio Photo Editor - for basic color correction, Photo Focus - to artificially blur the background, Photo Maximizer - for zooming in, Photo Cutter – for cropping photos, Photo Suite – for broader image editing and Photo Erazer – to remove the unwanted objects in the photo. As for Photo Clip, it is a paid program for image editing without a Trial version.

InPixio wants too much money for its programs. Each of them costs from $20 to $100, and you will need at least 2-3 programs for proper work so that it will cost you $150 on average.

You will get the full-fledged versions forever, but comparatively speaking, it's more than a year of using Photoshop and Lightroom with an additional cloud storage. The difference is that using these programs, you will do more than you can do with all InPixio programs.

11. PhotoWorks

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Editors' Rating (3.5/5)
Win
Pros+
  • Small price for the full program version
  • Excellent base filters
  • Smooth work, the ability to return actions
  • Good opportunities for basic photo editing
  • Convenient work with curves
Cons-
  • Opening RAW files takes more than 20 seconds
  • Annoying pop-ups
  • No change history
  • You can't save the edited photo in the free version

PhotoWorks is a really powerful and easy-to-learn image editor suitable for both new and advanced users. It has three versions: Standard, Deluxe and PRO. The choice depends on how complex your work is.

You will be able to do almost anything. Fine-tune the tones and colors, replace image background, remove unwanted objects like spots or wrinkles, fix a tilted horizon and improve the overall composition.

If you are a newbie, you will definitely like the ability to search for tools and features. Now there is no need to waste time digging in the menus and lists - just type into the field a key word or two and here you go.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more