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16 Best Free Photo Editor for Windows and Mac

Have you ever used a photo editor to edit pictures? Find out about the top compatible free photo editors for both Windows and Mac in this article.

Max Wales
Max Wales
Originally published Apr 06, 22, updated Jun 21, 24

There are various photo editors on the market that you can use to enhance your picture by removing irregularities. People also use different filters to make the image beautiful with few retouches. Also, if some unwanted object is in the background, editors can remove it by cropping and resizing the image. Surprised, right?

However, not every photo editor is compatible with Windows and Mac, and you may waste time searching for incompatible tools. This article will solve your problems by mentioning free photo editors for Windows and Mac users. Let’s get started!

Product Price Download Link
Pixlr 7-day Free Trial; $1.99/month Windows, Web Browser (Android)
Canva Free version; $43.41/year Windows, Mac, Web Browser (Android, iOS)
Inkscape Free Windows, Mac, Linux
PhotoDirector Essential Free Windows, Mac
Fotor Free version; $3.99/month Windows, Mac, Web Browser (Android, iOS)
PhotoPad Free version; $34.99 (one time) Windows, Mac, Android
Picsart 7-day free trial; $5/month Windows, Mac
Photoscape X Free Windows, Mac
Darktable Free Windows, Mac
GIMP Free Windows, Mac, Linux
InPixio Photo Studio Free version; $49.99/year Windows, Mac
Movavi Photo Editor 30-day free trial; $49.95/year Windows, Mac
Ashampoo Photo Optimizer Free Windows
Photo Pos Pro Free Windows
Photofiltre Studio Free Windows
RawTherapee Free Windows, Mac, Linux

Part 1. 16 Free Photo Editing Software on Windows and Mac

1.Pixlr

pixlr free photo editor

Compatibility:Windows, Web Browser, Android

G2 Rating: 4.4/5

Price: 7-day Free Trial; starts at $1.99/month

Pixlr is a versatile free photo editor for PC that allows you to create graphic designs, edit pictures, make product mockups, and generate AI images from text. Pixlr now features an AI-powered collage creator called Photo Grid Maker, elevating its photo collage capabilities. It automatically arranges images into various grid layouts, allowing customization of aspect ratio, grid lines, background color, and corner shapes.

Key Features

  • Pixlr is a lightweight option for beginners and experienced editors seeking quick image editing solutions.

  • It supports layers, masks, customizable brushes, and visual effects.

  • The software offers over 10,000 templates for various needs, including Facebook covers, Twitch banners, YouTube thumbnails, and TikTok videos.

  • Easily create product mockups.

  • Enhance portraits using a variety of skin-retouching tools.

Pros

  • Access beautiful stock images for free.

  • Suitable for users of various skill levels due to its simple interface.

Cons

  • The free version has limited downloads and contains banner ads.

  • It may run slowly, particularly during rendering.

2.Canva

canva free photo editor

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Web Browser, Android, iOS

G2 Rating: 4.7/5

Price: Has a free version; price starts at $43.41/year

If you lack graphic design experience but need to generate marketing materials or social media posts for your brand or company, Canva, a free photo editor for PC, is perfect for you. It offers customizable templates for various platforms, allowing you to start with a photo or template. Users can also explore Canva's extensive collection of filters, frames, graphics, stickers, and text options to add creativity.

Key Features

  • This software includes an image enhancement tool for brightening and sharpening images with one click and adjustment sliders for fixing individual elements.

  • Canva provides millions of design assets, but the best features are reserved for premium subscribers.

  • Its new Magic Studio feature offers AI editing and generative tools, including AI-generated content for designs, presentations, images, videos, and scripts.

  • Canva has a Magic Edit feature, which allows free users to add AI-generated elements to their images.

  • Create mockups or logos using the transparent image background tool.

Pros

  • Professionally designed templates ensure great results with ease.

  • User-friendly interface accessible for beginners.

Cons

  • The best photo editing features, such as Magic Switch, Magic Animate, and Magic Morph, are only available in the Pro version.

  • Team collaboration tools, brand kits, and AI content are exclusive to the paid version.

3.Inkscape

inkscape free photo editor

Compatibility:Windows, Mac, Linux 

G2 Rating:4.4/5

Price: Free

Inkscape is a vector graphics editor rather than a photo manipulation tool, offering numerous useful features. It's the best choice for editing SVG files. Though its interface may seem cluttered, it reflects the abundance of tools it offers, conveniently positioned along both sides of the software for easy access.

Key Features

  • Inkscape allows the creation of circles, arcs, 3D boxes, ellipses, stars, spirals, and polygons, as well as the drawing of straight or freehand lines.

  • It supports many file types for both opening and saving.

  • Inkscape includes features such as layer management, a variety of filters, spell check, and a text tool.

  • This photo editor utilizes all installed outline fonts, including those for right-to-left scripts. Users can adjust kerning, letterspacing, and line spacing throughout the photos.

  • Generate and edit SVG format files with full compliance. It exports formats including PNG, OpenDocument Drawing, DXF, Sk1, PDF, EPS, and PostScript, among others.

Pros

  • Works across different platforms.

  • Active community with abundant help and tutorials.

  • Excellent for detailed drawing and precise line editing.

Cons

  • Lacks support for PMS or CMYK colors.

  • Rendering may be time-consuming.

4.PhotoDirector Essential

photodirector essential free photo editor

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

G2 Rating:4.3/5

Price: Free

PhotoDirector Essential is the top free photo editor for both PC and Mac by merging Lightroom's organization features with Photoshop's robust editing tools. It's AI-powered features and Guided modules simplify the editing process, ensuring high-quality effects with minimal effort. It's beginner-friendly yet offers advanced editing capabilities. Whether you're a photographer, graphic designer, or e-shop owner, PhotoDirector Essential caters to your diverse needs.

Key Features

  • With AI object removal and content-aware fill, you can effortlessly remove unwanted elements and restore old photos.

  • Users can enhance images, whiten teeth, blur backgrounds, create panoramas, and access millions of stock images.

  • It's constantly updated to apply the latest trends and technologies. For example, the AI Scenes feature transforms images based on text prompts.

  • Utilize AI for instant photo enhancement or generate new content with text-to-image tools.

  • Reshape, repair, and enhance complexion, figure, and overall appearance with retouching tools.

  • Effortlessly animate photos with anchor points and create your GIFs.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly features make editing intuitive and effortless.

  • Great photo management and organizational tools.

  • Offers advanced features and manual adjustments for users seeking more creative control.

Cons

  • Stock libraries are restricted to the premium version.

5.Fotor

fotor free photo editor

Compatibility:Windows, Mac, Web Browser, Android, iOS

G2 Rating:4.2/5

Price:Has a free version; price starts at $3.99/month

Fotor is a leading free photo editing software known for its AI effects. It can transform profile pictures into cartoons, anime, Disney princesses, and more while converting landscapes into sketches, paintings, and abstract art. Additionally, it offers features like Color Splash filters to create unique images. It's available for PC, Mac, and online, making it accessible for all skill levels.

Key Features

  • Improve photo quality in one click. Automatically adjust lighting, unblur images, and enhance details to transform blurry photos into clear ones.

  • Remove image backgrounds in 3 seconds and change backgrounds with a new one.

  • It's fast and easy to remove unwanted objects from photos. Remove photobombers, text, stamps, and other distractions without leaving a trace.

  • Generate stunning AI art instantly from text.

  • Add filters to your photos to give them a new tone and mood, including vintage, black & white, sepia, bokeh blur, and more.

  • Decorate your photos with millions of stickers, icons, backgrounds, and illustrations. Easily add flair and personality to your images.

  • Save time by editing multiple photos simultaneously with the batch photo editor.

Pros

  • User-friendly interface suitable for all skill levels.

  • Abundance of AI-generation tools, with a designated folder for storing and managing AI content.

Cons

  • High system requirements may slow down your computer.

  • Constant pop-ups urging you to upgrade and annoying ads in the free version.

6.PhotoPad

photopad free photo editor

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Android

G2 Rating:4.2/5

Price:Has a free version; purchase for $34.99 (one time)

PhotoPad is one of the top free photo editing software options, especially for its image resizing and upscaling capabilities. It utilizes AI-powered tools to resize images without sacrificing quality, featuring a liquid resize effect to adjust aspect ratios without distortion and a Super Resolution tool for lossless image upscaling, making it ideal for printing purposes.

Key Features

  • PhotoPad offers a comprehensive set of editing tools typically found in premium software, including frames, color correction, cropping, rotation, blur, drawing tools, and creative effects like warp, paint, and embroidery.

  • Add color to black-and-white images, revitalizing old photos.

  • Easily remove blemishes, spots, and other imperfections.

  • Select from a variety of clipart and fonts to enhance your photos creatively.

  • With its user-friendly interface and abundance of learning resources such as help manuals, video tutorials, forums, and technical support, PhotoPad caters to beginners and advanced users.

Pros

  • Provides ample support for beginners with video tutorials and a help manual.

  • Features a user-friendly interface, making image editing accessible to all.

Cons

  • Some tools may require significant tweaking to achieve desired results.

  • Lacks advanced features for experienced users seeking greater control.

7.Picsart

picsart free photo editor

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

G2 Rating:4.5/5

Price:7-day free trial; price starts at $5/month

Picsart stands out as one of the top free photo editing software options for Mac. It offers professional and playful enhancements to your photos. It prioritizes creative features, including frames, templates, and graphical elements, perfect for social media. Picsart enables you to create creative photos effortlessly. Simply upload your image and start editing with Picsart's top-notch photo editor.

Key Features

  • Picsart features a built-in social network where users can explore, follow, and share artwork. That’s why it is trusted by over 150 million creators and businesses worldwide.

  • Simply describe the image you want, and the photo editor’s powerful AI image generator will bring it to life.

  • Design for fashion and beauty, real estate, food and drink, interior design, health and wellness, education, and entertainment purposes.

  • Speed up your creative projects and workflows. Picsart AI makes editing photos, removing backgrounds, and creating new ones quicker and easier.

  • Generate images or explore numerous ready-to-use design templates you won't find anywhere else.

Pros

  • Regular updates ensure it stays up-to-date with the latest technology trends.

  • Offers thousands of assets, such as stickers, frames, and templates.

Cons

  • Some advanced features like the background remover, animation maker, and premium stock images require a subscription.

  • It lacks professional features such as RAW image support.

8.Photoscape X

photoscape free photo editor

Compatibility:Windows, Mac

G2 Rating:4.6/5

Price: Free

you frequently need to edit multiple photos quickly at once, Photoscape X is the ideal free photo editing software for you. It offers various batch editing tabs, such as Batch Resize, Batch Rename, and Batch Format Change. You can merge, crop, combine, and resize photos, then enhance them with stickers, filters, or text.

Key Features

  • It features impressive color tools such as Point, Selective, and Replace Color. Photoscape X has a unique, beginner-friendly interface.

  • Offers over 100 light leaks/effects.

  • Utilize the photo splitter tool to slice a photo into several pieces.

  • Includes a spot-healing brush for fixing small imperfections.

Pros

  • Extensive selection of free tools

  • Highly user-friendly

Cons

  • It falls behind due to limited format support, export quality, and lacks HDR and EXIF information support.

  • It may freeze when editing multiple RAW files.

9.Darktable

darktable free photo editor

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

G2 Rating: 3.7/5

Price: Free

Darktable is known as a free and open-source photo editor. Darktable is also a raw developer application, serving as a virtual light table and darkroom for many photographers. It assesses your digital negatives in a database, allows you to view them through a zoomable light table, and enables you to develop and enhance raw images.

Key Features

  • It supports tethered shooting and RAW image processing for over 400 cameras and offers photo management tools like geotags, stars, and color labels for handling up to 10,000 images./p>

  • Darktable excels in image editing with professional-level color adjustment AI tools, hot pixel fixes, masking, and blending.

  • This tool provides options like adding grain for an analog film look or creating monochrome images.

  • Darktable adds specific location data to your photos with geotagging support.

  • Improve image quality by reducing noise with denoise tools.

Pros

  • Offers good quality RAW processing.

  • It has advanced professional-level color adjustment AI tools.

Cons

  • This tool may not be ideal for beginners.

  • Confusing feature groupings make it difficult to find tools.

10.GIMP

gimp free photo editor

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

G2 Rating:4.3/5

Price: Free

GIMP is an image editor that works across different platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, Windows, and more. It's free software, allowing you to modify its source code and share your changes. Whether you're a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, or scientist, GIMP offers advanced tools to help you accomplish your tasks. You can boost your efficiency with GIMP by taking advantage of its various customization options and third-party plugins.

Key Features

  • GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) offers advanced features like layer editing, masking, color management, and effects.

  • It caters to artists with tools like Paintbrush, Pencil, Airbrush, and Ink brushes.

  • Users can expand functionality with free plugins and enjoy ongoing developments, resulting in a customizable experience that is similar to that of other open-source software, such as Scribus and Inkscape.

  • It improves photo dynamic range with tone mapping.

  • Enhance designs using various graphic design elements such as shapes and textures.

  • Create original artwork with the tool’s digital painting and illustration tools.

Pros

  • Access a wide range of adjustable brushes.

  • Utilize custom color adjustment and gradient tools.

Cons

  • It is less user-friendly than free photo editing software due to its steep learning curve and lack of precision tools like AI-powered selection.

  • The interface can feel overwhelming, and beginners may struggle with complex editing techniques without much external support beyond community discussions.

11.InPixio Photo Studio

inpixio photo studio free photo editor

Compatibility:Windows, Mac

G2 Rating:3.9/5

Price: Free

InPixio is a free photo editor popular for its one-click AI editing solutions. It is one of the best free photo editing software for its wide collection of over 100 beautifully designed frames, suitable for various occasions and holidays, all customizable by color and size.

Key Features

  • While most of InPixio's tools are reserved for paid versions, its free photo editing software offers automatic tools with the option for manual editing for precise control.

  • Users can crop, adjust brightness and contrast, and add text using this free photo editor.

  • InPixio Photo Studio effortlessly replaces skies and backgrounds for great photos.

  • Enhance image quality by eliminating noise and grain.

  • Eliminate unwanted people or objects from your photos easily.

Pros

  • Choose between manual and automatic options for desired results.

  • Access a vast library of editable frames and textures.

Cons

  • The program's limited free version includes filters, textures, and vignettes.

  • Not available for free on Mac.

12.Movavi Photo Editor

movavi free photo editor

Compatibility:Windows, Mac

G2 Rating:4.5/5

Price:30-day free trial; price starts at $49.95/year

Movavi Photo Editor is a free photo editor that automatically removes objects and uses AI to generate a natural-looking replacement background. It also offers an adjustable brush for added precision. Most of Movavi's tools are automatic, accompanied by sliders for easy and accurate editing. It is a user-friendly software designed for beginners.

Key Features

  • Users edit pictures by adjusting color, brightness, contrast, and saturation or use Magic Enhance for automatic lighting improvements.

  • This free photo editing software provides fun graphical elements for fully customized photos, such as stickers, overlays, text, titles, and captions.

  • New tools include AI retouching for portraits, natural colorization of black and white images, and 34 additional color presets.

  • Improve clarity and detail with sharpness adjustments.

Pros

  • Great restoration tools for repairing old or damaged photos.

  • Automatic tools with sliders for precise adjustments.

Cons

  • While it offers many AI-powered features, some results may not meet expectations. Movavi does not have a free-forever version, and the 10 photos you can edit free of charge will be watermarked.

13.Ashampoo Photo Optimizer

ashampoo free photo editor

Compatibility: Windows

G2 Rating:4.1/5

Price:free

Ashampoo Photo Optimizer stands out for its ability to correct perspective distortions in landscape or architectural photos. It efficiently fixes vertical and horizontal distortions and straightens horizons with few taps. The clean UI of Ashampoo Photo Optimizer ensures that no tool is more than 2 clicks away, simplifying the navigation process. Version 10 introduces a unique feature of 30 built-in LUTs and supports downloading LUTs from the internet, setting it apart from other photo editing software.

Key Features

  • Users can enhance images by simultaneously adjusting colors, contrasts, and exposure times for single or multiple photos.

  • Manual adjustments are available for precise editing.

  • Enhance photos with implosion/explosion effects for added drama.

  • Crop and rotate photos effortlessly for optimal composition.

Pros

  • Experience quick and smooth editing, even on older or less powerful devices.

  • Enjoy a user-friendly interface and easy-to-use features.

Cons

  • Lacks layer editing capabilities.

  • Automatic tools may not always produce desired results, necessitating manual adjustments.

14.Photo Pos Pro

photo pos free photo editor

Compatibility: Windows

G2 Rating:3.2/5

Price:free

Photo Pos Pro offers stunning text effects with various font styles, effects, and textures like gel, chrome, and metal, making it one of the best free photo editing software. It provides two modes catering to different skill levels: Novice mode for easy one-click solutions and Expert mode for manual editing tools.

Key Features

  • This free photo editor for PC includes fun special effects such as dispersion, pencil sketches, motion effects, and a unique “pop-out of picture” effect.

  • It provides professional editing tools like Layers, Masks, Curves, Scripts, Effects, Brushes, and photo templates for greeting cards, collages, and montages.

  • Replace unwanted backgrounds effortlessly.

  • Select from various frame and collage templates.

  • Swiftly remove red-eye from your portraits.

Pros

  • Robust graphic design and text tools tailored for social media.

  • Feature-rich free version offering substantial value.

Cons

  • While Photo Pos Pro offers modes for all skill levels, Novice mode lacks essential features like layer editing, and Expert mode has a steep learning curve.

15.Photofiltre Studio

photofiltre editor

Compatibility: Windows

G2 Rating:4.7/5

Price:free

Photofiltre is a lesser-known free photo editing program with useful features for casual editors. Named for its extensive range of filters and tools, Photofiltre offers options for adjusting brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpening, and blurring. Photofiltre Studio offers layering capabilities, which cannot be found in the free version but can be used for 30 days as a trial.

Key Features

  • The Edit menu lets users undo or fade any Applied filter to easily adjust the intensity of effects.

  • It includes artistic filters like textures, watercolor, pastels, sepia, black and white, night and sunlight effects, embossing, and a puzzle effect.

  • The program features an Image Explorer accessed via the Tools menu, enabling you to open and edit images directly from your hard drive.

  • Users can perform batch processing on multiple photos, specifying source and output folders, file formats, image sizes, and the option to add frames with customizable size and color.

  • Batch processing includes adjustments for brightness, contrast, saturation, gamma correction, filters like sharpening and scanlines, and image rotation or flipping.

Pros

  • Supports a wide range of image formats

  • Rapid batch conversion/processing capabilities

  • Allows optimization of color palette

  • Quick access buttons for contrast, hue, and saturation adjustments

Cons

  • The interface feels cluttered and lacks customization options.

  • Lack of layer support.

16.RawTherapee

rawtherapee free photo editor

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

G2 Rating:4.1/5

Price:free

Rawtherapee is a free, open-source image editing software that offers many tools for handling RAW files. With Rawtherapee, you can manage your images, adjust basic values like exposure, contrast, and saturation, and apply color corrections. Additionally, this free software provides advanced features such as batch editing, tonal correction, and RAW adjustments commonly used by professional photographers.

Key Features

  • Rawtherapee offers many photo editing options like exposure, detail, color, and more.

  • This tool offers advanced color correction tools. Users can adjust white balance, vibrance, and RGB curves.

  • Various RAW adjustments, including demosaicing, are available.

  • Exporting images is done through the Queue page. Users can export images in different formats and set preferences.

  • Templates can be applied to speed up the workflow.

  • Batch processing is available in the File Browser tab.

Pros

  • Advanced tools for RAW image processing

  • Rapid batch conversion/processing capabilities

  • Extensive customization options

Cons

  • Rawtherapee's user interface may not be intuitive for beginners.

  • Limited support for non-RAW image formats.

  • Some features may require technical knowledge.

How To Choose the Best Free Photo Software?

To choose the best free photo software, consider the following steps:

  • Determine what features are essential for your photo editing tasks. Consider factors like ease of use, available tools, compatibility with your device, and the type of editing you'll be doing.

  • Explore different free photo editing software available. Look for reviews, user feedback, and ratings to understand their capabilities and limitations.

  • Compare the features offered by each software against your requirements. Look for tools like cropping, resizing, color adjustment, filters, effects, and retouching options.

  • Choose software with an intuitive interface that aligns with your skill level. Some programs offer tutorials, guides, or tooltips to help beginners get started.

  • Ensure that the chosen software is compatible with your operating system (Windows, Mac, or Linux) and supports the file formats you commonly work with.

  • Select software that receives regular updates and provides adequate customer support. This ensures that you have access to new features and assistance when needed.

  • Many free photo editing software offer trial versions or limited free plans. Before deciding, take advantage of these to verify the software and see if it meets your needs.

Conclusion

Finding the best free photo editing software can significantly improve your images without costly tools or extensive training. With many options for Windows and Mac users, it's now easier to enhance your photos. Whether you're a beginner or a professional, there's suitable software for everyone. You can discover the perfect editing tool by considering factors like compatibility and ease of use. So, why wait? Start exploring free photo editing now and unleash your creativity.

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