5 Best Photo Glitch Effect Makers in 2024 [Windows, Mac]

Last Updated on Mar. 8, 2024 – by Jayed Miah
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Adding Glitch Effects to Your Photos

Applying filters and effects to your photos is a fun way to make them more visually appealing to your social media followers. If you’re looking for a unique, eye-catching effect to add to your images, the glitch effect may be your perfect solution. This effect can make your photo look like it has experienced a software malfunction, giving it a retro, whimsical appearance that will catch your followers’ attention.

Read on to learn the five best programs for Windows and Mac that can help you apply the glitch effect to your pictures.

Top 3 Glitch Effect Photo Editing Software

PhotoDirector Logo

1. PhotoDirector - Best Overall Glitch Effects

Create glitch effects in seconds with the guided glitch tool in PhotoDirector. Choose a glitch template, adjust its settings, and remove the effect from any part of your image you want. More Info >

ImageGlitcher Logo

2. ImageGlitcher - Best for Random Glitch Generation

ImageGlitcher is an image editing tool for adding unique glitch effects to photos. Upload your image and manually adjust the glitch settings or let the software apply random settings to create a glitch. More Info >

Glitch Fx Logo

3. Glitch Fx - Best for Pixel Sorting

Create unique, beautiful glitch effects with pixel sorting and RGB color displacement. Use the masking tool to apply your glitch effect to specific image areas. More Info >

What Is a Glitch Effect?

If you were alive before the 2000s, you probably remember the days when videos and images would “glitch,” making them look distorted. VHS movies and broadcast TV being two of the main causes of these glitches.

However, the glitch has recently reappeared as a fun visual effect to apply to photos and videos. The glitch photo effect can distort the colors in your images, create a doubled overlay appearance, and add faint horizontal lines to the image, producing a retro artistic appearance.

Some photographers take the glitch effect a step further to enhance the old-school styles of their photos. These artists apply a simple glitch effect, then add fun elements such as the words “PLAY,” giving the image a VHS glitch effect. Sometimes, photographers add neon elements to their glitched photos as well.

Thankfully, you don’t need any editing experience or expertise to add a glitch effect to an image. Instead, you can use software to apply this effect to your image within minutes.

5 Best Glitch Effect Software for Photos on Mac and Windows

1. PhotoDirector - Best Overall Glitch Effects

PhotoDirector Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 10/10

Glitch Effects: 10/10

Key Features

  • Glitch effect with split layers
  • Object detection for glitches
  • A large variety of photo and light effects
  • Multiple animation effects

When applying a glitch effect, no software makes it easier than PhotoDirector. All you have to do is select from one of its glitch templates and adjust its settings. Then you can use the rectangular marquee tool to confine your glitch effects to small areas of your photo, making a more precisely edited appearance. Or use object detection to automatically select your image's main subject to add a glitch to just it or everything around it.

Along with its selection of glitch effects and filters, PhotoDirector also includes numerous other professional-level tools that you can use to enhance your photo. For example, the program features AI editing tools, blending options, intelligent filters, and other artistic effects that you can apply with a few clicks of a button.

Overall, PhotoDirector is the best glitch photo editor.

2. ImageGlitcher - Best for Random Glitch Generation


Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 9/10

Glitch Effects: 9/10

Key Features

  • Random glitch generation
  • Manual glitch controls
  • Export to PNG

ImageGlitcher allows you to add unique glitch effects to any image from your desktop or laptop computer. It is easy to use even if you have no editing experience. You can click the Random Settings button, and the software will auto-generate a glitch for you. 

If you want to take manual control, you can choose between Chromatic Aberration, Image Stuttering, Horizontal Slide, and Row Shift to alter your image.

Once you finish editing with ImageGlitcher, you can export your image in PNG file format with a single click. Unfortunately, the software doesn't include any other photo editing tools.

3. Glitch Fx - Best for Pixel Sorting

Glitch Fx

Compatibility: Mac

Overall Rating: 9/10

Glitch Effects: 8/10

Key Features

  • One-step glitch effect
  • Pixel sorting
  • Chromatic Aberration

Glitch Fx is an editing program available through the Mac App Store. The program allows you to create glitch art effects through pixel sorting, which selectively orders the pixels in your image to create a trippy effect. You can adjust your pixel sort's shape, range, strength, and angle. 

You can also use this app to apply RGB color displacement effects to your images, which alter the colors slightly to create a dramatic visual appeal. You can confine the glitch effects to specific areas using a masking tool or apply them to the entire photo.

Overall, if you're looking for an app only for glitch editing, Glitch Fx should suit your needs.

4. ImageGlitch - Best to Destroy Images


Compatibility: Mac

Overall Rating: 7/10

Glitch Effects: 7/10

Key Features

  • Digitally destroy images to create glitches
  • Create glitch via text editor

ImageGlitch is a unique program that allows you to digitally destroy your images, creating actual glitches rather than simple overlays and filters. When you import a photo into this app, the program will open the picture in a text editor, showing you the code that makes up your image. You can then delete lines of text to glitch the photo.

Removing text from your image will take out sections of the photo and replace them with lines or other alterations. With every change you make to the image text, you can see a real-time preview of your image, allowing you to customize your glitched effect to suit your needs.

If you’re looking for a program to alter the elements that make up your photo, ImageGlitch is a unique program to try. However, its only use is to destroy images.

5. Adobe Photoshop - Best for Professional Designers

Photoshop Interface

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Overall Rating: 9/10

Glitch Effects: 6/10

Key Features

  • Filters for glitch effects
  • Manual glitch creation

Photoshop is one of the most popular editing programs on the market. You can use this program to create glitch effects by adding layers to your photo or applying specific edits to particular layers. You can also use Photoshop’s preset filters to create glitch-like effects.

If you’re only looking to apply simple photo effects to your image, Photoshop may be overwhelming for your needs. This program is also more expensive than the other software on our list.

However, if you intend to use the program for all of your future editing projects, Photoshop may be worth the cost. However, there is a very steep learning curve for the program.

Best Photo Glitch Effect Makers Comparison Chart

Software PhotoDirector ImageGlitcher Glitch Fx ImageGlitch Adobe Photoshop
OS Windows, Mac Windows, Mac Mac Windows, Mac Windows, Mac
Beginner-friendly Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Cost Free to download Free to download $9.99 $0.99 $20.99/mo
Automatic Glitch Creation Yes Yes Yes No No
Manual Glitch Creation Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Secure Download
Download Download Download Download

PhotoDirector vs


Windows, Mac






Free to download


Automatic Glitch Creation



Manual Glitch Creation



How to Make a Glitch Image

You can follow these steps to add an image glitch effect using our top pick, PhotoDirector:

  1. Import your desired photo into the photo library.
  2. Click the Guided tab.
  3. Select Photo Effects, then Glitch Effect.
  4. PhotoDirector - Before Glitch Effect
  5. Choose the effect you would like to apply. Feel free to try out several effects and preview them in the preview window.
  6. Use the sliders to adjust the effect's settings or the brush tool to remove the effect from parts of the image. 
  7. PhotoDirector - After Glitch effect applied

Best Photo Glitch Effect Maker Free Download

If you’re looking to add glitch effects to your photos, you have several options. The best of all of these is PhotoDirector. 

This easy-to-use software includes several high-quality effects that you can use to distort your image and create a retro appearance. In addition, PhotoDirector features a complete set of editing tools, perfect for any future editing needs.

Download PhotoDirector today to begin applying eye-catching photo glitch effects to your images.

Photo Glitch Effects FAQs

1. What Is Glitch Art?

Glitch art is a digital art form that uses software or analog errors to create visual distortions in photos and videos. While intentional glitches date back to films from the early 1930s, this art form became more popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

2. How Do I Make Glitch Art?

You can create glitch art in a few different ways. For example, some artists create glitch effects by digitally destroying their images using programs like ImageGlitch. However, the easiest way to create glitch art is to use a photo editing program like PowerDirector to apply glitch-like overlays to your images.

3. Are There Different Types of Glitch Effects? What Are They?

Photo editing programs typically include different filters and effects that fall into the “glitch effects” category. Some of these effects alter the colors within the photo, others change the curves and shapes in the image, and some add elements, such as horizontal or vertical lines.

Many effects use a combination of these changes to create trippy, visually appealing effects.

4. What Are the Best Video Glitch Effect Makers?

Along with applying glitch effects to photos, you can also add glitches to videos. Animated glitch effects can draw viewers’ attention to specific elements within the video or create an old-fashioned appearance that aligns with the video’s setting or content.

Here are our top choices for Mac and Windows:

  1. PowerDirector
  2. Veed.IO
  3. Photo Mosh
  4. Shotcut
  5. VSDC

5. How Do I Add a Glitch Effect to a Video?

If you’d like to create a glitch effect in a video, we recommend using the PowerDirector desktop program. Just follow these steps:

  1. Download PowerDirector for free.

  2. Add your video to the timeline.
  3. Open the Effects Room.
  4. Find a glitch effect you like, then drag and drop it onto your video clip on the timeline.

6. What Features Should I Look For in a Glitch Effect Maker?

The best photo glitch effect makers include the following features:

  1. Glitch filters and overlays
  2. Dozens of high-quality effects and tools
  3. Crop, rotate and resize tools
  4. AI smart photo effects
  5. Easy-to-navigate interfaces
  6. Several supported file formats
  7. LUTs color presets
  8. Continual updates and improvements

If you’re looking for a glitch effect app that checks all of these boxes, we recommend PhotoDirector.

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