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13 Best Free Photo Editing Software for Windows PC in 2023 [Updated]

Last Updated on Jan. 6, 2023 – by David Morgan
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Thanks to social media, it feels like everyone is becoming a proficient photo editor these days. And it makes sense. Anyone posting photos for all the world to see wants them to look the very best! But what if you want to keep up and have little photography experience or photo editing know-how?

What you need is the best free photo editing software that will help you edit pictures without wasting money on an expensive software that is too hard to use. The right software will allow you to edit pictures to look like they were taken by a professional photographer. 

Share your memories on social media with confidence by choosing the optimal photo editor for your needs. We’ve compiled a list of the best free photo editing software available today to help you in your quest. So let’s dive right in!

Top 3 Free Photo Editing Software Snapshot

PhotoDirector Logo

1. PhotoDirector Essential - Best Overall

PhotoDirector Essential is an all-in-one free photo editing software and organizer with an incredible mix of tools and unique features. There are hundreds of filters, stickers, frames, and overlays to edit pictures that look unique and professional. It includes powerful AI tools, photo effects, advanced color controls, intuitive layer editing, and templates; making it a great choice for users of all skill levels. Detailed Review >

Photoscape X Logo

2. Photoscape X - Best for Batch Editing Photos

Photoscape X is a free photo editing software with multiple functionalities, including a RAW image converter, photo viewer, screen capture device, and more. It comes with a range of ways for batch editing photos and color adjustment tools. Detailed Review >

Fotor Logo

3. Fotor - Best for Color Adjustment

Fotor is a free photo editor found online, or as downloadable software. It has a variety of color adjustments and color effects and is simple enough for first-time users to edit pictures with ease. Detailed Review >

How to Choose the Best Free Photo Editing Software

We’ve narrowed the field of suitable programs you can use to edit pictures, but how do you choose the very best free photo editing software for your needs? Below we have listed a few things to look out for in a free photo editor:

Overall Features

More is not always better. If you simply need free photo editing software to rotate and crop images, robust software with thousands of tools and design assets would be unnecessary. On the flip side, if you like to experiment with different filters and effects, you want free photo editing software that comes with those capabilities. The programs on our list cover every type of need when it comes to editing photos, whether you need social-media-friendly templates, layer editing, text tools, or only the most basic tools. Explore the features for each to make sure the one you choose covers your specific needs for editing photos.

Free Features

Of the free photo editing software on our list, some are completely free, some offer slightly pared-back free versions, and others are intended more as “try before you buy.” If you need a free photo editor, make sure the tools and features you use the most are available in the free version. If you are testing different software with the intention of purchasing in the future, make sure the premium version is within your budget before you spend time learning the free version. 

Skill Level

It’s important to choose the best free photo editing software for your skill level. Even if you have aspirations of using professional software to edit pictures, you need to start out with a tool that is beginner-friendly. Otherwise, you could spend months trying to become familiar with a program and give up on your dreams in frustration. And if you are a more experienced photo editor, don’t settle for a program that only offers easy, one-click solutions that allow little creative control when editing photos. 

How We Test the Photo Editing Software on our List

Why trust our opinion on the best free photo editing software? Below we discuss how we tested and ranked software to find the 13 best free photo editors. 

Test Key Features

We edit pictures using all the key features of the software we review. We test the basic features found in every free photo editing software, so we can do a direct comparison. Then we test the tools that make the software unique. 

Compare Versions

When we test free photo editing software, we compare the free and premium versions to see what is included and what is reserved for only paid subscribers. 

Analyze Reviews

We read as many critic reviews and user reviews as we can to get a good idea of how others view the free photo editing software. This helps us verify our tests. We use reviews from trusted sites to compile our rankings of the best free photo editing software. 

13 Best Free Photo Editing Software for Windows PC in 2023 [Updated]

1. PhotoDirector Essential - Best Overall

PhotoDirector interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

TechRadar Rating: 5/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 5/5

Price: Free
*Premium subscription available for $3.33/month  

Key Features

PhotoDirector Essential empowers creators of all experience levels to edit pictures into studio-quality masterpieces. It combines Lightroom's photo processing and organization functions with Photoshop's powerful editing, enhancement, and altering tools. Guided modules lower the learning curve which in turn will help you produce high-quality photo effects in just a few clicks. 

This free photo editing software allows you to batch sort and order tag names, locations, and other metadata. Its AI-powered facial recognition technology will also help streamline your organizational process, making it the best photo organizer for beginners. You can combine photos using the automatic slideshow creator and even add background music. 

PhotoDirector also features an abundance of photo adjustment options and tools for editing photos. Apply masks, layer filtering, experiment with blur effects, adjust alignment, or transform 360° photos into panorama shots. It is also a great choice for basic edits, such as adding text or cropping, rotating, or flipping photos.

PhotoDirector Essential is the best free photo editing software on this list. It is very beginner-friendly but also has all the advanced editing tools for more experienced editors. Not to mention, it’s always at the forefront of the latest photo trends and technology because of regular updates.

Pros
  • Video-to-Photo tools
  • Excellent photo management tools
  • Beginner-Friendly
Cons
  • Stock libraries are only available in Premium version

Download the best free photo editing software now and see why PCMag said it gives, “Adobe a run for its money…”

2. Photoscape X - Best for Batch Editing Photos

Photoscape X interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

G2 Rating: 4.6/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4.5/5

Price: Free
*Pro version available for $39.99

Key Features:

  1. Panorama tool 
  2. Spot healing brush 
  3. Filters and effects
  4. Light leaks

We think Photoscape X is the best free photo editing software for anyone who needs to edit multiple images at once. While you can batch edit pictures using any of Photoscape’s tools, it comes with dedicated tools for the most common batch tools, such as Batch Resize, Batch Rename, and Batch Format Change. 

And this is not just a free photo editor, but also a photo viewer, GIF creator, screen capture device, RAW image converter, and more. It comes with several automatic color effects such as a color splash tool, selective color adjustments, and a color replacement effect. 

In our research, we found most users choose Photoscape X because it is so quick to use. However, the confusing layout makes it difficult to find the tools you need, adding extra time when editing photos. We also found it lacking in format support, and it froze when handling RAW files. That being said, this is very robust for free photo editing software, and beginner-friendly, as long as you put in the time to learn the layout.

Pros
  • Lots of tools in free version
  • Beginner-Friendly
Cons
  • Freezes if handling multiple RAW files
  • Few manual options for experienced editors

3. Fotor - Best for Color Adjustment

Fotor Interface

Image from Fotor.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Web Browser

TechRadar Rating: 4.5/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4.5/5

Price: Free
*Premium subscriptions available for $8.99/month for Pro and $19.99/month for Pro+

Key Features

  • RAW file converter
  • 1-Tap skin retouch 
  • Batch processing
  • Blur Tools

We found Fotor to be one of the best free photo editing software for its range of color adjustment tools. Most of the color adjustment tools are available for free, including adjustments for shadows, temperature, tint, brightness, and even a few color splash effects. All of these tools are easy to use and offer adjustment sliders for precise edits. For those who prefer a one-click solution, many of Fotor’s preset filters are also available for free. 

This free photo editing software is easy to navigate, and a first-time user would have no problem finding the features they need. Every tool you click on has an informative box that pops up and explains what the tool is, and how to use it. 

We like that you can easily see which tools are free and which are Premium. You can also try out all of the paid features, you just can’t download the image when you are done. In our test of all the features, we were disappointed with the image cutout and object removal tools. While many of the free photo editing software on our list, such as PhotoDirector, offer automatic versions of these tools, Fotor requires you to manually select the object, which ends in patchy results.  

Pros
  • User-Friendly interface
  • Batch edit pictures
Cons
  • Object selection is not automatic
  • Free version contains watermark and ads

4. Pixlr - Best for Beginners

Pixlr Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Web Browser

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4/5

Price: Free
*Premium subscriptions available for $4.91/month

Key Features

  • Design templates
  • Picture collage maker
  • Filters and effects
  • Skin retouch tools

Pixlr's free, lightweight free photo editing software works well for beginners and more experienced editors in need of a quick solution for editing photos. Without a fully-loaded editing suite to search through, you can easily locate tools like spot-healing brushes and stamps, or make minor adjustments to the photo's color and lighting. Pixlr's streamlined layout and minimalistic array of tools help simplify the process of editing photos for beginners. 

The software supports layers and masks and features several essential tools for editing photos such as customizable brushes and visual effects. Advanced users familiar with Photoshop will find the software’s toolbars familiar.

Though the program rarely crashes, ad-heavy banners and poorly navigable pages reduce the functionality and aesthetic appeal of the platform. You may also notice that the program renders slowly, resulting in frustrating, inconsistent movements of your mouse or touchpad. 

Casual users may enjoy making small tweaks to their pictures or creating collages within Pixlr's software, but if you need user-friendly free photo editing software with a more comprehensive array of tools, try PhotoDirector. 

Pros
  • No need to download software
  • Different level editor options
Cons
  • Lacks advanced features found in other software
  • Slow rendering

5. BeFunky - Best for Quick, Simple Edits

BeFunky interface

Compatibility: Web browser

G2 Rating: 4.2/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4/5

Price: Free
*Premium subscription available for $4.99/month

Key Features

  • Collage making
  • Graphic design workflow
  • Unique filters
  • 1 million+ free stock images

When considering the best free photo editing software, Windows users can't forget BeFunky. With ten photo editing modules, you can quickly browse through the software's editing interface to alter template layouts, upload images, and make minor tweaks.

The free photo editor offers many of the tools, features, and functions beginners need to enhance photos, manually adjust color and lighting, and create customizable collages or graphics. While the free version will only allow you to edit pictures with about one-third of the platform's tools, novice users may enjoy the simplified functionality. 

Proficient editors will likely wish for more options – and far fewer advertisements. Upgrading to BeFunky's premium subscription will unlock more tools to edit pictures such as cutout tools, background replacement, color replacement, and other highly impactful editing functions.

Pros
  • Batch edit photos
  • Customizable design templates
Cons
  • Lacks many useful features
  • Free version has ads

6. Darktable - Best for Professional Photographers

Darktable Interface

Image from Darktable.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Shotkit Rating: 4.2/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4/5 

Price: Free

Key Features

  • Retouching
  • Geotagging support
  • Support for 21 languages
  • Denoise

Darktable is an open-source and completely free photo editor. We think it’s the best free photo editing software for professional photographers because it offers support for tethered shooting and RAW image processing for over 400 cameras. It also has some photo management tools and handles up to 10,000 images. 

This free photo editing software has professional-level color adjustment tools, hot pixel fixes, masking, and blending. Darktable allows you to edit pictures with precise control over all tools and effects. We also found it to be extremely fast, thanks to GPU-accelerated image processing and OpenCL support. 

While Darktable offers many learning tools like user forums, video tutorials, and instructional posts, it will take time for beginners to get familiar with the software. And even those familiar with Lightroom and other paid software will find the layout and groupings of some of the features confusing. Although BeFunky and Darktable have the same overall rating, we placed BeFunky on top because it is more beginner-friendly.   

Pros
  • A free photo editor professionals can use as an alternative to expensive software
  • Good quality RAW processing
Cons
  • Learning curve for beginners
  • Confusing groupings of features

7. PhotoPad - Best for Resizing Images

PhotoPad Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

G2 Rating: 4.1/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4/5

Price: Free
*Premium versions available for $60 for Home, $70 for Pro, or $3.88/month for unlimited updates

Key Features

  • Colorize tool for black-and-white images
  • Blemish remover
  • Selection of clipart and fonts
  • Passport photo tool

We found PhotoPad to be one of the best free photo editing software thanks to its image resizing and upscaling tools. PhotoPad uses AI-powered tools to resize images without loss of quality. It comes with a liquid resize effect that will change the aspect ratio of your image with no distortion, and a Super Resolution tool to upscale images losslessly. 

PhotoPad has all the tools you’d expect from free photo editing software, including frames, color correction, crop, and rotation. It also has some you would only expect in premium software, such as a blur tool, drawing tools, and creative effects such as warp, paint, and embroidery.

PhotoPad is very beginner-friendly and comes with lots of learning tools such as a help manual, video tutorials, user forums, and technical support reps. However, it has only very basic tools for editing photos and is not meant for experienced editors or photographers. We prefer our choice for the best free photo editing software, PhotoDirector, because it offers beginner-friendly tools, lots of learning tools, and advanced features.

Pros
  • Lots of beginner support
  • User-Friendly interface
Cons
  • Some tools require a lot of tweaking to get right
  • Light on advanced features

8. Paint.NET - Best for Layer Editing

Paint.Net Interface

Image from Paint.net.

Compatibility: Windows

TechRadar Rating: 4/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4/5

Price: Free

Key Features

  • Supports user-created plug-ins
  • Clone stamp 
  • Drawing tools for Bezier curves
  • Powerful gradient tool

Paint.NET is one of the best free photo editing software for its multi-level image editing. Editable layers are typically reserved for paid software, but Paint.net offers this functionality for free. Even better, every edit to a layer is recorded, and you can go back and undo any change. 

This free photo editing software also has adjustment tools so you can tweak brightness, contrast, saturation, hue, and curves. You can make an image sepia-toned or black-and-white, apply blur, or sharpen images. You can also edit pictures with perspective and tilting with the unique 3D Rotate/Zoom effect. 

This is not a replacement for more professional editing software like Photoshop, but Paint.NET is a good practice tool for beginners who want to learn more advanced editing techniques. Our one major complaint when testing this free photo editing software was with the text tools. You can’t make changes to the text once it is added - something that almost every other free photo editor will allow. 

Pros
  • Active community for tutorials, forums, and plug-ins
  • Simplified advanced editing tools for beginners
Cons
  • Not for professionals to edit pictures
  • Limited control over text

9. Photo Pos Pro - Best for Text

Photo Pos Pro interface

Image from fixthephoto.

Compatibility: Windows

TechRadar Rating: 4/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 4/5

Price: Free
*Premium version available for $49.90

Key Features

  • Background remover
  • RAW file support
  • Frame and collage templates
  • Red eye remover

Photo Pos Pro is one of the best free photo editing software for its stunning text effects. It comes with an array of font styles and effects, including text over path effects, and textures such as gel, chrome, metal, etc. Photo Pos Pro isn’t just a free photo editor, but a free graphic design tool as well, with painting and drawing tools in addition to text. 

This free photo editing software has 2 modes - Novice and Expert. Beginners can choose the Novice mode for easy one-click solutions, while experts can enjoy manual editing tools. It comes with some fun special effects, such as dispersion, pencil sketch, motion effects, and a unique “pop-out of picture” effect. 

We like that Photo Pos Pro has options to edit pictures for any skill level. However, the Novice mode lacks many important features for editing photos such as layer editing, and the Expert mode has a steep learning curve. They are also very different in layout, so you can’t switch back and forth easily between the two. We prefer the functionality of PhotoDirector, where there is one easy-to-use mode, and every tool has both automatic and manual options. 

Pros
  • Excellent graphic design and text tools
  • Feature-Rich free version
Cons
  • Difficult to switch between one-click and manual options
  • Steep learning curve

10. Movavi Picverse - Best for Object Removal

Movavi Picverse interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Google Play Rating: 4.4/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 3.5/5

Price: Free
*Premium version available for $49.95/year or $69.95 for a lifetime license

Key Features

  • Crop/Rotate
  • AI restoration
  • Effects and filters
  • Sharpness adjustment

Movavi Picverse has built its reputation on one key function: quickly and easily removing unwanted objects from your pictures. With this free photo editing software, you will get quality results with no editing residue. The software also offers a simplified alternative to AI-powered background removal: users can upload images into the platform and then clip and insert elements from one photo onto another.

Movavi also provides users with a few photo adjustment options. It allows you to manually edit pictures by tweaking the color, brightness, contrast, and saturation of your photo. You can also apply Magic Enhance for one-click edits, or add text, titles, and captions for fully customized photos.

While beginners can cut distracting or disruptive elements from their photos, even the most inexperienced users may feel that Movavi's actual editing features fall short of expectations. The free photo editing software features limited sorting and organizational tools that don't match free photo editors using AI-powered processing technology. You can upgrade to the Photo Studio package for more options, but that requires a monthly subscription. 

Pros
  • AI background removal
  • Light and color correction
Cons
  • Erase and stamp lacking in functionality
  • Only contains basic effects

11. InPixio Photo Studio - Best for Frames

inPixio Interface

Image from inPixio Blog.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

TrustPilot Rating: 4.2/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 3.5/5

Price: Free
*Premium subscriptions available for $49.99/year for Studio, $59.99/year for Studio Pro, and $99.99/year for Studio Ultimate

Key Features

  • AI sky and background replacement
  • Denoise tool
  • Photomontage tools
  • Object removal

InPixio is a free photo editor known for its one-click AI editing solutions. It is one of the best free photo editing software for its collection of over 100 beautifully-designed frames. There are frames for any number of occasions and holidays, and the frames can be customized by color and size. 

The frames are included in the program’s limited free version, along with filters, textures, and vignettes. All of InPixio’s tools are automatic, but you can edit pictures in manual mode for more precise control. Crop, adjust brightness and contrast, and add text with this free photo editor. 

InPixio Photo Studio reserves most of its tools for the paid versions, but if you simply need to edit pictures by cropping, adjusting, or adding a frame or filter, then the free version will work for you. InPixio’s premium versions still pale in comparison to many of the free photo editors on our list. It just doesn’t have many tools.  

Pros
  • Manual and automatic options
  • Large selection of customizable frames
Cons
  • Small selection of tools
  • Free version not available on Mac

12. GIMP - Best for Advanced Users

GIMP interface

Image from Gimp Workshop on YouTube.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

G2 Rating: 4.2/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 3/5

Price: Free  

Key Features

  • Tone mapping 
  • Original artwork creation 
  • Graphic design elements
  • Parametric brushes

GIMP – also known as the GNU Image Manipulation Program – is a free photo editor that features a surprisingly well-rounded amassing of complex and basic tools to edit pictures that rival those of Photoshop and similar paid programs. The base software comes well-stocked with advanced features like layer editing functions, masking, color management features, and effects. 

For even more functionality, you can download free plugins created by other GIMP users. Further, the software's customizable layout and ongoing developments ensure that it stays on pace with other free photo editors. 

While you can access the platform's wide array of tools, GIMP falls short in one significant area: user optimization. The loaded interface often feels overwhelming, and beginners and intermediate editors may struggle to find solutions for complicated editing techniques. Additionally, GIMP offers little help for its users outside of the community discussion panels.

Pros
  • Adjustable brushes
  • Custom color adjustment and gradient tools
Cons
  • Hard to learn
  • Clunky interface

13. Canva - Best for Graphic Design

Canva Interface

Image from Canva.

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Web Browser

PCMag Rating: 4/5

Beginner-Friendly Tools: 3/5

Price: Free
*Premium version available for $119.99/year

Key Features

  • Free cloud storage
  • Meme creator
  • Brand kits
  • Background remover

Canva is the best free photo editing software for making graphic design projects for social media. It comes with customizable templates for every popular platform. You can also create photo projects such as calendars, invites, flyers, and memes. If you have no graphic design experience but need to create marketing materials or social media posts for your brand or company, this is the free photo editor for you. 

Start with a photo, then browse Canva’s thousands of filters, frames, graphics, stickers, and text options to add some flair. This free photo editing software also has an image enhancement tool that can brighten and sharpen images in one click, or you can fix individual elements with adjustment sliders. 

There are millions of design assets available in the free version, although Canva saves the best stuff for premium subscribers. While it’s a great tool for graphic design, it has very limited tools for editing photos. If you need a program to edit pictures and graphic design tools, try PhotoDirector. It has millions of design assets including social media templates and tons of pro-level tools to edit pictures in every way imaginable. 

Pros
  • Professionally designed templates
  • Easy to use for those with no design experience
Cons
  • Limited tools for editing photos
  • Team collaboration tools and brand kits only in paid version

Best Free Photo Editing Software Comparison Chart

Software OS Beginner-Friendly Advanced Features AI Tools Organizational Tools Free Download
PhotoDirector Essential Windows, Mac Yes Tons of advanced effects and tools like layer editing, color adjustments, blur tools, chroma key, 360-degree editing, animation effects, panorama stitching, and more Yes Yes
Free Download
Secure Download
Photoscape X Windows, Mac Yes Blur tools, brushes, photo stacking, special effects, masks, panorama stitching No No Download
Fotor Windows, Web Browser Yes Tilt-shift, blur tools No No Download
Pixlr Windows, Web Browser Yes Advanced color tools, dispersion/liquefy effects, layer editing, masks Yes No Download
BeFunky Web Browser Yes No No No Download
Darktable Windows, Mac, Linux No Advanced color adjustment tools, hot pixel fixes, masking, and blending. No Yes Download
PhotoPad Windows, Mac Yes No Yes No Download
Paint.NET Windows Yes Layer editing, special effects No No Download
Photo Pos Pro Windows Yes Yes - In Expert Mode only (Special effects, motion effects, path text effects, layer editing) No No Download
Movavi Picverse Windows, Mac Yes No Yes Yes Download
InPixio Photo Studio Windows, Mac Yes No No No Download
GIMP Windows, Mac, Linux No Layer editing, masks, advanced color adjustments, brushes and drawing tools Yes No Download
Canva Windows, Mac, Web Browser Yes No No Yes Download

PhotoDirector Essential vs

OS

Windows, Mac

-

Beginner-Friendly

Yes

-

Advanced Features

Tons of advanced effects and tools like layer editing, color adjustments, blur tools, chroma key, 360-degree editing, animation effects, panorama stitching, and more

-

AI Tools

Yes

-

Organizational Tools

Yes

-

How to Edit a Photo

Here’s how to edit a photo’s colors using PhotoDirector. Download it below and follow along:


  1. Click Import in the bottom left of the screen, then click Photos.
  2. PhotoDirector interface - Import
  3. Choose the photo you would like to edit and click Open
  4. Click on Adjustment from the top menu to bring up color adjustment tools. 
  5. From here you can change your photo from color to Black and White, or adjust white balance, tone, shadows, sharpness, saturation, and more.

  6. When you are done editing your photo, click Create in the bottom left. 
  7. PhotoDirector interface - Edit

Using PhotoDirector’s Guided Tools makes advanced photo edits and adding visual effects effortless and straightforward. Anyone can master them in a matter of minutes.

Here’s how to edit pictures with effects using PhotoDirector’s Guided Tools:


  1. Click Import in the bottom left of the screen, then click Photos.
  2. Choose the photo you would like to edit and click Open
  3. Click on Guided from the top menu. 
  4. This will bring up the collection of guide modules designed to make advanced photo editing and creating spectacular effects a snap. 

    PhotoDirector - Sky Replacement
  5. Scroll through all the categories and decide how you would like to edit your photo. For this example, we will choose Sky Replacement.
  6. Select which sky template you would like to use to replace your photo’s sky. It will automatically replace it for you.
  7. PhotoDirector - Sky Replacement Settings
  8. Use the Sky Replacement Settings to make any adjustments.
  9. Save as a New Photo File or New Video/GIF File if you used an animated sky.
Sky Replacement Before
Sky Replacement After

For more information on editing photos with PhotoDirector, go to the full tutorial here. 

Download the Best Photo Editing Software for Free

Whether you enjoy snapping photos on your phone or have built a career as a professional photographer, you should demand the best from your free photo editing software. Creating extraordinary Photoshop-like effects doesn't rely on having the most expensive, complex photo editing software around.

PhotoDirector is the best free photo editor that allows you to animate photos, remove unwanted objects, change backgrounds, and edit with amazing special effects. There are even beautification tools like body-slimming, skin smoothing, and teeth whitening. With so many editing tools and effects, PhotoDirector is surprisingly easy to use, with guided edits and tutorials when you need them. 

No matter how much experience you have, PhotoDirector makes it easy to edit pictures with basic tools or advanced visual effects. From one-click corrections to AI-powered sky replacement and more, PhotoDirector guarantees an unmatched editing experience.

Download PhotoDirector by clicking the link below and get started for free today!

Free Photo Editing Software FAQ

1. What Features Should I Look For in Free Photo Editing Software?

The top ten features you should look out for in the best free photo editor are:

  1. User-friendly
  2. Organizational tools
  3. Color correction and filters
  4. Layer editing
  5. AI-powered tools
  6. Content-aware editing
  7. Photo animation
  8. Beautifying tools
  9. Color effects
  10. Light effects

For a free photo editor that checks all of these boxes, try PhotoDirector. 

2. Should I Pay For Photo Editing Software?

Whether you pay for editing software or stick with a free photo editor is completely dependent on your needs and what kind of edits you want to make. If you’re making simple adjustments like cropping, rotating, or flipping, then a basic free photo editor should be fine. 

If you want to add photo effects or layer photos, you will benefit from paying for quality software. Some free photo editors like PhotoDirector offer advanced features, but it is an exception to the rule. There is also a paid version of PhotoDirector that includes a 4,000,000+ stock library and lots of extra creative assets.

3. What Is the Best Paid Photo Editing Software for Windows PC?

  1. PhotoDirector 365 (paid version)
  2. Adobe Photoshop
  3. Adobe Lightroom
  4. PaintShop Pro
  5. DxO PhotoLab

If you want to edit pictures with pad software, check out our article about the Best Paid Photo Editing Software on Windows for an in-depth look at each.

4. How Much Does Photo Editing Software Cost?

Prices can vary quite a bit. Some editing software are purchased with a one-time fee, while others offer subscriptions that are charged monthly or annually. We included a comparison chart with prices in our The 5 Best Photo Editing Software for 2023 article to help you better understand the cost.

5. What Is the Best Photo Editor for Free?

PhotoDirector Essential is the best free photo editing software available. You can use it for free as long as you want, and even have access to the premium features found in PhotoDirector 365 for 30 days. This free photo editor has advanced features with plenty of manual tools to make precise edits. It is also beginner-friendly with automatic, AI-powered options for those with less experience editing photos.

6. What Is the Easiest Free Photo Editor?

PhotoDirector Essential is the easiest free photo editor. It has a clean, intuitive user interface, guided edits, and lots of tutorials and blogs on the website with step-by-step instructions for every feature.

7. Is There a Free Version of Photoshop?

No, Photoshop has a 7-day free trial, but after that, it is $20.99 per month.

8. What Is the Easiest Free Photo Editor?

PhotoDirector Essential is the closest thing to a free version of Photoshop you can find. Check out our blog 13 Best Free Photoshop Alternatives With Similar Features for more information.  

9. What Is the Best Photo Editor for Beginners?

PhotoDirector is the best way to edit pictures for beginners. It comes with AI-powered tools that let beginners make professional-looking edits with one click. Its tools and features are easy to find and very user-friendly.

10. Does Windows Have a Free Photo Editor?

Yes, Microsoft Photos is a free photo editing software that comes pre-installed on Windows 10 and 11 devices. Similar to Apple Photos, it has basic tools to edit pictures, such as crop, rotate, a handful of filters, and HSL adjustments. You can also draw on images.  

But if you need free photo editing software with cool special effects, and the ability to make photo projects such as slideshows and collages, we recommend trying third-party software, such as PhotoDirector. 

11. What Are the 5 Basics of Photo Editing?

The 5 basics of editing photos are:

  1. Cropping - Cropping an image can help your subject stand out, improve the composition, and cut out unnecessary or distracting parts of your photo. 
  2. Color Balance - Color Balance can be used to fix an image and make it appear more natural, or as a way to change the mood of an image (for instance, to make it warmer or cooler). 
  3. Brightness and Contrast - Adjusting the brightness and contrast of your images will fix lighting that is too low or too bright, and increase or decrease shadows. 
  4. Filters - Adding instant presets to your images can turn them into a work of art, or make them look vintage. They are also an instant way to change color, balance, brightness, and contrast!
  5. Re-sizing - If you plan to print your images, then keep them full-size. If you plan to upload them to a blog or social media page, you need to resize your images. Saving every photo full-size will cause you to run out of storage space very quickly. 

12. Is Editing Photos Hard?

Editing photos isn’t hard if you have the right tools. A user-friendly free photo editor with one-click tools and handy adjustment sliders will allow you to look like a professional with little effort!

13. How Do I Get Better at Editing?

Get better at editing photos by downloading PhotoDirector for free and practicing. PhotoDirector has online tutorials for every feature with simple step-by-step instructions.

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