Forget Photoshop: Edit Images With These Top Free Photo Editors (2024)

These free photoeditors are the best of the best and will get you just as good results as Adobe Photoshop.

Among these options are tons of features and tools that you let you change or enhance your photos in just about any way you can imagine. You can also customize the interface of many of them to build the perfect working environment for you.

This list includes apps that you have probably heard of as well as some hidden gems that for sure are worth checking out. I've used each of these programs and can say with confidence that nearly all of your image editing needs can be accomplished between these tools, without every having to pay something.

If you're looking for more options, maybe afree online editorwill have what you need; you can use one in your browser without having to download the software. To edit on your phone or tablet, try afree photo editing app. If you only want to resize some photos,there are resources for that, too.


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Forget Photoshop: Edit Images With These Top Free Photo Editors (1)

What We Like

  • Similar to Photoshop in interface and capabilities.

  • Add-ons, including those created for Photoshop, add great functionality.

  • Generate files in all common image formats.

What We Don't Like

  • Interface not as sleek or pleasing as Photoshop.

  • Can be a bit buggy.

  • Lacks layer grouping, adjustment layers, and some other common Photoshop elements.

GIMP is likely the most popular free, open source image editor. It's full of professional features and provides a very friendly and flexibleinterface.

Its toolbox, layers, and brushes panes are separated from the main canvas sothat you can truly adjust how you want to work without losing any of the features you need access to.

Various input devices are supported, add-ons can be installed to extend the software's functionality, and file formats like TIFF, PSD, PNG, JPEG, and GIF are supported.

There are tutorials on the GIMP website that I've found super helpful. If you require help along the way, I recommend reading through that list to learn about layer masks, asset folders, brushes, and more.

Supported operating systems include Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7, as well as Linux and Mac.


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Icecream Photo Editor

Forget Photoshop: Edit Images With These Top Free Photo Editors (2)

What We Like

  • Supports hotkeys.

  • Includes collage maker.

  • Start with a blank canvas or your own image.

  • Built-in folder viewer for finding your pictures.

What We Don't Like

  • Can't easily duplicate layers.

  • Maximum font size.

  • No eraser.

This program does a great job at being easy to use while still squeezing in lots of awesome features. It supports layers, so you can juggle multiple images, stickers, and shapes on a single canvas. There's a selection tool, pencil, text tool, shapes, blur brush, and an auto enhancer. You can also resize, crop, and apply filters.

I love that there are zero ads and zero upsell attempts (there isn't even a paid version of this app). Everything you see is free to use. A handful of image formats are supported, and when you're ready to save, you can overwrite the original file or save to JPG, BMP, or PNG.

This program runs on Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7.


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Forget Photoshop: Edit Images With These Top Free Photo Editors (3)

What We Like

  • Lots of plug-ins available.

  • Clean, easy-to-use interface.

  • Good choice for intermediate users.

What We Don't Like

  • It's for Windows only.

  • Lacks some advanced and commonly used features, such as burn and dodge.

Similar to GIMP,Paint.NET provides the ability to move its window panes around to customize the interface to your liking. It also provides plug-ins to support new file formats and add new effects.

I like this program because it supports layers, effects, and a whole host of basic and advanced things like a clone stamp, pencil, text maker, and paintbrush tool.

Several image file formats like BMP, JPEG, TGA, and DDS are supported.

Starting with v4.4, only 64-bit versions of Windows 11 and Windows 10 are supported. There's also a portable version available if you'd rather not install it to your PC.


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Forget Photoshop: Edit Images With These Top Free Photo Editors (4)

What We Like

  • Cross-platform compatibility.

  • Large, active community; lots of help and tutorials available.

  • Excels at detailed drawing and line-specific editing.

What We Don't Like

  • No PMS or CMYK color support.

  • Sizeable learning curve.

  • Rendering can take a while.

Inkscape is a vector graphicseditor, more akin to Adobe Illustrator as opposed to a photomanipulation package, but still has a lot of useful features. This is my go-to when I need to edit SVG files.

The interface can be a bit cluttered, but that's only evidence of the vast number of tools it includes.Nearly all the tools you'll often be using are planted along both sides of Inkscape for easy access.

Circles, arcs, 3D boxes, ellipses, stars, spirals, and polygons can be created. You can also draw straight or freehand lines.

Tons of file types are supported, both when opening and saving. Among many other useful features, you can work with layers, apply a huge number of filters to a picture, and use spell check along with the text tool.

Like most photo editing programs, Inkscape supports extensions.

This software is filled with features, so it will take some time to learn the ins and outs. We have some guides here on Lifewire if you need some guidance, otherwise check out Learning Inkscape for some tutorials.

It works withWindows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. The latest version requires at least Windows 7.


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Adobe Photoshop Express

Forget Photoshop: Edit Images With These Top Free Photo Editors (5)

What We Like

  • Familiar interface for Photoshop users.

  • Control intensity of tool effects.

What We Don't Like

  • Limited format support.

Adobe has the free Photoshop Express program that you can use as a Photoshop alternative if you don't want to pay for their full software. Of course, it is missing some of Photoshop's features, so it's not as functional, but it still does a lot.

When you first open this image editor, you can load a picture from your computer or take a new one directly from your webcam. Once a photo is imported, the menus make it really easy to access all the one-click options like filters, crop tools, image corrections, the red eye remover tool, and more.

I like that some of the features feel similar to what's possible with Photoshop. There are borders, a spot healing brush for one-click touch-ups, effects like grain and fade, and a noise reducer. There's also a button you can click to quickly see the original photo for comparison with your edits.

Something really great about this image editor that you won't find in some similar programs is that with nearly every tool, you have full control over the intensity. This means you can slide a bar left or right to decrease or increase a tool's effect to get it just right.

Windows 11 and Windows 10 users can install Photoshop Express.

How to Get a Free Trial of Photoshop


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Forget Photoshop: Edit Images With These Top Free Photo Editors (6)

What We Like

  • Quick access to full-screen mode.

  • Particularly well-suited for comics and manga.

  • Lots of well-designed tools and brushes.

What We Don't Like

  • Cluttered interface.

  • Tool settings not easily accessible.

  • Lacks some features of other programs.

Krita vs GIMP: Which One Should You Use?

Krita is certainly an advanced image editor, but I don't feel like it's too difficult to work with. Like some of these other programs, you can use layers in addition to many other tools located in a floating toolbox off to the side of the program.

There are plenty of other features available as well, such asbrushes and blending modes, advanced selection, and masking tools, drawing aids, filters, symmetry tools,and effects.

One tip I think is worth a mention involves the Tabkey.You can maximize the canvas to fit your entire screen, getting rid of all the menus and tools so that you can have a huge space for working without any distractions.

Krita works with Windows 11, 10, and 8; there's also a portable version. It runs on Linux and macOS 10.12 or higher as well.


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InPixio Photo Editor

Forget Photoshop: Edit Images With These Top Free Photo Editors (7)

What We Like

  • Broad format compatibility.

  • User-friendly interface.

What We Don't Like

  • Desktop app is for Windows only.

  • Slow installation.

This free photo editor from InPixio is designed for simplicity, but that doesn't mean it's void of helpful features. The program itself is easy to understand and navigate, and you can do everything from add frames and designs to crop, change the brightness, and more.

I like the one-click presets and frames, and easy-to-access editing tools that let me finish editing in no time and share my photos directly to Twitter or Flickr.

Lots of image file types can be opened in this program, and if saving to your computer, you can pick from JPG, PNG, and TIFF.

Some features are only available in the premium version; those are marked off in the program with a large "Premium" banner.

InPixio Photo Editor runs on Windows computers. If you need help using this photo editor, you can refer to their online tutorials.


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Artweaver Free

Forget Photoshop: Edit Images With These Top Free Photo Editors (8)

What We Like

  • Full-featured and easy to use.

  • Supports layers.

  • Good variety of brushes and effects.

What We Don't Like

  • Detailed brush control and higher performance aren't free.

  • No Mac or Linux version.

Artweaver manages to include tons of useful imageediting tools in an easy-to-use program. It has a tabbed interface to avoid clutter, supports using pen tablets, and works with some of the most popular image file formats, such as JPEG and PSD.

Standard editing tools like a crop, text, paint bucket, and gradient tool, among others, are included. But Artweaver goes beyond your basic editor and alsolets you save and replay events, use brushes, create and work with layers, customize the layout of the palettes, and import images directly from a scanner or camera, among other things.

The screen mode can be changed from regular to fullscreen to have even more room to edit images. I love this ability because sometimes I'm working from a smaller screen, and I need all the space I can get.

The website lists the minimum OS requirements as Windows 11, 10, 8, or 7.


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Forget Photoshop: Edit Images With These Top Free Photo Editors (9)

What We Like

  • Compatibile with common file formats.

  • Open files directly from clipboard, camera, and scanner.

  • Rich enough in features to satisfy advanced artists.

What We Don't Like

  • Interface is outdated.

  • Windows only.

I don't like Pixia's outdated and unappealing interface, but I have to say, the functions and tools aren't at all undesirable for a free photo editor.

Layers and layer masks are supported, as well as creating shapes, selecting objects, andcommon photo editing tasks like changing the color adjustment and tone balance, color filling,and selecting from different paint brushes.

All the standard image file formats can be opened with Pixia, and photos can even be imported directly from the clipboard, a camera, or a scanner.

The latest 64-bit version was built for Windows 11, 10, and 8. There's a 32-bit version that works on Windows 7.


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Forget Photoshop: Edit Images With These Top Free Photo Editors (10)

What We Like

  • Easy to use.

  • Compatible with both Windows and macOS.

What We Don't Like

  • Lacks functionality typical of other programs.

  • Can be slow.

  • Only PhotoScape X still gets updated.

  • Another program attempts to install during setup.

Our Review of PhotoScape

PhotoScape has severalsections at the top of the program where you can open different tools to perform different actions.Viewer, Editor, Combine, andCreate GIF are a few.

The editing feature has dozens of frames to choose from, each with the option to round the corners and adjust the margin and frame line settings of the frame.

You can also add objects and text andcrop an image freely or useone of numerous presets (e.g., 16:9, Legal Ratio, and US business card ratio).

Some more tools include a red-eye remover, spot remover, paintbrush,and, among others, aneffect brush (like grayscale, blur, darken, and brighten). There's also a clone stamp tool, something I've always loved about Photoshop, that's totally free in this program.

PhotoScape is available for Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP, while PhotoScape X is for Windows 11/10 and macOS.

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Forget Photoshop: Edit Images With These Top Free Photo Editors (2024)


Are there any completely free photo editing apps for iPhone? ›

Pixlr (formerly Pixlr Express) is one of the best free photo editing apps available for both iOS and Android. It offers a wide range of features, including an auto lighting controller and blur tool. The app can provide quick and easy editing results while also preserving image quality.

How can I edit photos without Photoshop for free? ›

The GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP, is one of the best-known free alternatives to Photoshop on the market. As a very feature-rich solution for photographers, GIMP can do almost anything that Photoshop can. However, GIMP isn't without its issues. For instance, many of the pre-set brushes have the same settings.

Is there a free version of Photoshop? ›

Is there a free version of Photoshop? Yes, you can download a 7-day free trial of Photoshop. The free trial is the official, full version of the app. It includes all the features and updates in the latest version of Photoshop.

Which editing program lets you edit photos for free? ›

GIMP. Among the most well known best free photo editing software programs is GIMP. Like Paint.Net, GIMP also has extensions you can download to access additional editing options and new file formats. Many of these extensions are created by GIMP users that know exactly which features their fellow users want.

Does iPhone have built in photo editor? ›

After you take a photo or video, use the tools in the Photos app to edit it on your iPhone. You can adjust the light and color, crop, rotate, add a filter, and more. If you don't like how your changes look, tap Cancel to revert back to the original.

Can you edit Photoshop files without Photoshop? ›

GIMP should be your first stop when trying to open and edit a PSD file for free. Not only is it the best free alternative to Photoshop, but it's available across Windows, Mac, and Linux, so you can learn it once and use it on all of your systems. And if it wasn't clear, yes, PSD support is built right into the app.

How can I download Photoshop without buying it? ›

After the trial period ends, you'll need to purchase a subscription to continue using Photoshop. Adobe does not offer a free version of Photoshop beyond the trial period. Any sites claiming to provide a full, free version are likely illegal and potentially harmful to your device.

Can I get Photoshop for free lifetime? ›

No. Photoshop is available only through a Creative Cloud subscription that you pay for either monthly or annually.

How much does it cost to get Photoshop? ›

There are three Adobe Photoshop plans to choose from. You can get the monthly Photoshop Plan billed at US$31.49/mo, yearly (billed monthly) at US$20.99, and yearly (billed upfront) at US$239.88/yr, or you can get Photography or Creative Cloud All Apps that come with Photoshop plus additional apps.

What is the cheapest way to get Photoshop? ›

You can buy Photoshop by subscribing to one of the following Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plans: RECOMMENDED: Photography Plan – US$19.99/mo – Includes Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, Photoshop on desktop and iPad, and 1TB of cloud storage – this is the lowest Adobe Photoshop price you'll find – get it here >>

How can I edit photos easily for free? ›

Fotor is a free photo editor like Photoshop online. With a variety of photo editing features, Fotor can help you quickly edit and enhance photos. Whether you want to adjust brightness and contrast, beautify portraits, add text and overlays, or create stunning collages, Fotor has it all.

Which is the No 1 free photo editing app in the world? ›

1. PicsArt (Android, iOS) PicsArt is our top pick of the best photo editing apps, because it's fun, easy to use, yet covers just about all the bases for consumer mobile photography. It provides lots of creative control, excellent image-editing tools and a large variety of attractive filters.

Does Google have a free photo editor? ›

Add filters, crop photos, and more on your mobile device or computer. To edit photos on your mobile device, use the Google Photos app. Some features aren't available on mobile web. Tip: If you have backup turned on, your edits will sync to your Google Photos Account.

Is Lightroom free on iPhone? ›

Lightroom for mobile and tablets is a free app that gives you a powerful, yet simple solution for capturing, editing and sharing your photos. And you can upgrade for premium features that give you precise control with seamless access across all your devices – mobile, desktop and web.

How can I edit my iPhone for free? ›

  1. 13 Best Free Video Editing Apps.
  2. PowerDirector – Google Editors' Choice. ...
  3. Promeo - Best App for Social Media. ...
  4. iMovie - Video Editor App for Beginners. ...
  5. Splice - Free Video Editor for Trimming and Cropping. ...
  6. Quik - Best Video Editor for Montages. ...
  7. KineMaster - Video Editing App For Experienced Editors.

Can you get Lightroom for free on iPhone? ›

Lightroom for mobile is a free photo editing app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

How can I edit objects from photos on my iPhone for free? ›

How Can I Remove Unwanted Objects from Photos for Free? To remove objects from photos for free, you can download PhotoDirector — free of charge — and use its tools to select the area of the image you want to be taken out. The app then removes it for you automatically and replaces it with a natural-looking background.


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