13 Best Free Photo Editing Software in 2022

Ben Jacklin Edited by Ben Jacklin

Try Movavi Photo Editor:

  • Image restoration with neural networks
  • Effective object and background removal
  • Automatic photo enhancement in one click
  • User-friendly interface with tips

By clicking the download button, you're downloading a free version of the program.*

In this article, we’re running you through 13 candidates for the title of the best free photo editor for a PC. Some apps have a free trial, others are totally free or even open-source. We show you the features and functions so you can review and decide which is best for you.

Program

Best for

Download

Customizable interface

AI effects such as cartoonizing, painting, sketching

Show more

Best free photo editors for a PC

Best for: Automatic effects

OS: Windows and Mac

Price: Free trial, $69.95 for a lifetime version

Probably one of the best free photo editors for Windows 10 a beginner can find on the Internet. Movavi will help you to understand all the basic editing tools and learn how to use them. Even if you’ve never cropped a single pic, don’t know what exposure means and have no clue how to remove an unwanted object version on the photo, you still can create a nice image with this app. The interface has in-built hints on almost every button, so you’ll soon find out how to make your photos more beautiful.

You can download the trial version of the editor for free. It will be enough to crop photos, straighten the horizon, and do a lot more. The app is available not only for Windows but also for Mac.

Key features:

  • Lots of automatic effects that improve and enhance images using AI

  • Light and color correction

  • Easy to remove unwanted background images

  • Supports high-quality RAW files

Pros:

  • Lots of the functions are easy for beginners

  • AI image enhancement

  • Simple interface

Cons:

  • Not totally free for the full version

GIMP

Best for: Customizable interface

OS: Windows, Linux, and Mac

Price: Free

G2 rating: 4.2 out of 5, 1,364 reviews

GIMP is an open-source software that started working on Unix platforms and now is available on all popular operating systems.

The editor is one of the best photo editing software for a PC with free download and provides an impressive range of features. You can easily find all the basic tools, like brushes, color adjustment, and cropping. Even if you’ve never edited a photo before, GIMP will make it easy. On the other hand, advanced users won’t be bored using this program either as it has a lot of tools catered to them – layer masks, curves, animated GIFs, and so on. The interface of the app is customizable. You can make it look like either an easy-to-use program that will help you to edit your pics in a couple of clicks or a more professional app for more complicated tasks.

Key features:

  • Customizable interface lets you choose the layout that suits you

  • Advanced features modeled on Photoshop®

  • Great for those used to working with layer masks

  • Available for most OS versions

Pros:

  • Suitable interfaces for beginners and pros

  • There is a lot of free info and tutorials for the software online

  • Lots of advanced features

  • Freeware

Cons:

  • Advanced layouts and features are not very beginner-friendly

  • Selection tool isn’t as accurate as some free picture editing software

Download GIMP

Colorcinch

Best for: AI effects such as cartoonizing, painting, sketching

OS: Any (web-based)

Price: Free version; Plus version from $4.99/month

Colorcinch is a must-have tool for any creatives out there. It’s a feature-rich photo and text editor that houses an incredible collection of hand-picked creative assets and amazing AI-powered photo effects. You can turn any photo into a cartoon, painting, and sketch with just a single click.

You can crop and resize, remove and change the background of your photos, replace color, add vignettes, apply blend modes, and craft collages in a breeze. You can compress and convert your images to and from PNG, JPG, and PDF formats. With Colorcinch, you can add creative touches to your dull photos and make their colors pop.

Key features:

  • Simple and intuitive interface

  • Cloud-based image and project management

  • AI-powered effects such as cartoonizer, sketcher, painting

  • Incredible collection of vector graphics, stock photos, masks, and overlays

Pros:

  • Cloud storage – access your projects and resume editing from anywhere online and offline

  • Instant social sharing

  • Photo editing is made simple, intuitive, and productive

Cons:

  • Limited features for free users – you need to upgrade to its premium plan to access all its amazing features.

  • Doesn’t work on mobiles

Visit the Colorcinch website

Canva

Best for: Web-based editing

OS: Any (web-based)

Price: Free with paid upgrades

Capterra rating: 4.7 out of 5, 9,574 reviews

If you need to quickly make a nice picture with a quote or infographics for your Facebook or Instagram page and don’t have much time to learn how to use complicated tools, then Canva is probably the best choice for you. It’s a perfect web-based editing software for digital marketers as it has tons of unique templates made especially for different social networks. With Canva, you can also create blog post headers, book covers, and many other types of visual content. Once your image is ready, you can directly share it on any popular social media or download it on your PC.

Key features:

  • Loads of fantastic graphic design templates

  • User-friendly for beginners

  • No need to download software

  • Includes a lot of free stock images

Pros:

  • Beginners can make professional graphics easily

  • All editing is within your web browser

  • Simple layout

Cons:

  • Some paid upgrades including a PRO model

  • Not the best for editing high res images

Visit the Canva website

Paint.NET

Best for: Free special effects

OS: Windows

Price: Free

TechRadar rating: 4 out of 5

At first, Paint.NET was created as a drawing program, like Microsoft Paint. But as it developed it has become multifunctional editing software.

Now it’s one of the best free photo editing software for Windows 10. This easy-to-use tool helps to create nice pictures with minimum effort. At first sight, its interface reminds professional software, like, say, Photoshop®. But once you start working with it, you see that it’s much more simple and user-friendly. Paint.NET has all the features a beginner or amateur may need, such as perspective change, moving pixels, duplicating objects, etc.

Key features:

  • Lots of free effects, including 3D rotation, red-eye removal, sharpening, and blurring

  • Simple layout for those used to Photoshop®

  • Supports third-party plugins

  • Keeps history so you can undo errors

Pros:

  • Lots of free special effects and even some added plugins

  • Totally free to use with no paid upgrades

  • Relatively simple to get started

Cons:

  • Only available on Windows

  • Advanced features can be difficult to get to grips with

Download Paint.NET

Fotor

Best for: Photo editing on-the-go

OS: Any (web-based)

Price: Free with paid “Pro” upgrades

TechRadar rating: 4.5 out of 5

Another editor aimed to make a beginning photo creator’s life easier. Fotor includes all the basic tools and it also offers some of the more complicated features like wrinkle remover or teeth brightening. On top of that, there is a huge variety of effects that will come in handy when you need to quickly create an original picture for social media, such as frames, stickers, or titles.

The great thing about Fotor is that there are both an online version of it and a desktop program for PC. The mobile app is also available, so you can edit your pictures anytime and anywhere you want.

Key features:

  • Presets for many photo editing styles and effects

  • Free plan for limited features and to enable quick projects

  • Fotor Cloud storage

  • Mobile app as well as Mac and Windows editing

Pros:

  • Edit anywhere, using Cloud storage and the mobile application

  • Really simple interface with a lot of presets

  • Stock images and graphics included in the Pro plan

Cons:

  • You need to pay to get the full features

  • Not as good for some advanced photo editing

Visit the Fotor website

PhotoScape

Best for: Included photo viewer and slideshow maker

OS: Windows

Price: Free

TechRadar rating: 4.5 out of 5

How to edit a photo in just two clicks and make it look professional? Use PhotoScape, a program that provides you with dozens of filters, brushes, stickers, frames, and other tools and features that will help you to bring your ideas to life. For photo makers who are ready for some more time on creating pictures, there are many more options like collage, brushes, and merging. You can get this one of the best free photo editing apps for a PC for free.

Key features:

  • Editing features, including cropping, filters, red-eye removal, blooming, paint brush, clone stamp, and effect brush

  • Free upgrades

  • Simple layout

  • Includes a viewer, RAW converter, and slideshow maker

Pros:

  • Totally free photo editing software

  • One of the best free photo editors for Windows 10 as well as older versions

Cons:

  • Presets are limited so it is harder to get great results

  • Not as simple for beginners as some other options

Download PhotoScape

Photo Pos Pro

Best for: Best free image editor for background removal

OS: Windows

Price: Free with a premium upgrade

TechRadar rating: 4 out of 5

This software will be useful for both beginners and advanced users. You can choose from two interfaces according to your needs. If you want to get a beautiful picture almost automatically, choose the one for novices. Here you’ll find all the basic editing tools and also some nice filters and other effects that will make your photo look better immediately. And if you’re ready to deal with all those gradients, textures, masks, layers, etc. then choose the interface for professionals.

Key features:

  • Different layouts to suit pros and beginners

  • Text effects, frames, and collage settings

  • Lots of online support

  • Included filters, layers, masks, curves, scripts, effects, and brushes can help you to tweak photos

Pros:

  • Easy to simplify the program so you can understand it

  • Good for those who are used to using masks and layers to edit photos and graphics

  • Excellent background removal

Cons:

  • Some effects aren’t as high quality as other best free photo editing apps for a PC

  • Some features are hidden behind a premium upgrade

Download Photo Pos Pro

Pixlr

Best for: Browser-based Photoshop® “clone”

OS: Any (web-based)

Price: Free with a monthly premium upgrade

G2 rating: 4.4 out of 5, 638 reviews

A free online editor that is quite similar to Adobe® Photoshop® by its functionality. This is a good tool for advanced users and those who want to develop their editing skills. Pixlr provides creators with a variety of features no other free software has. Among these, there are exposure, levels, automatic enhancement tools, etc. So if you want not only to make a nice pic but also to learn more about editing, you should definitely try Pixlr!

Key features:

  • Collage maker

  • Free graphic design and photo editing tools including Pixlr X and E

  • Overlays, templates, and stickers

  • A basic set of crop and other editing features

Pros:

  • Simple to use the included presets

  • Browser-based with no need for any downloads

Cons:

  • Expensive if you pay for the premium upgrade

  • Image resolution is limited on the free version

Visit the Pixlr website

Ashampoo Photo Optimizer

Best for: Photo auto-optimizing

OS: Windows

Price: Free trial

TechRadar rating: 3.5 out of 5

This free image editing software may be limited when it comes to graphic design, and it doesn’t include any free templates, but its editing options make it a great choice for those who want to perfect their images.

Features and effects make it really easy to get rid of any imperfections, such as blemishes on the skin or on the image. It also allows you to straighten and fix lens or perspective distortion that can sometimes happen in photography.

Though it is only a free trial, this is a good option for budding photographers who want an affordable piece of software to help them edit.

Key features:

  • Image auto-optimizing feature

  • Straighten and fix perspective issues

  • Simple and easy layout

  • Easy color temperature adjustments

Pros:

  • Excellent for simple image editing

  • Lightweight yet effective software

Cons:

  • Not completely free but has a free trial

  • No real graphic design functions included

Download Ashampoo Photo Optimizer

PiZap

Best for: Basic graphic design

OS: Any (web-based)

Price: Free with paid upgrades

TechRadar rating: 3.5 out of 5

PiZap has grown quickly and it is easy to see why. It has millions of downloads and users, as you can either log in and use it inside your browser, or you can download it to a mobile device.

PiZap has an inbuilt meme maker with lots of stickers, many excellent fonts, and effects within the software. It has lots of photo editing options including filters, which means it is good for people who want to edit their photos, but also use them to create other things such as posters or graphics.

Key features:

  • Use in your browser or in a mobile app

  • Includes thousands of fonts, stickers, and presets

  • Easy to add text to your images

  • Some simple retouching tools for photographers

Pros:

  • Simple interface on both the mobile app and web-based app

  • Easy to get to grips with the editing software

  • Make memes and graphics with a few simple clicks

Cons:

  • Resolution limited unless you pay for the pro upgrade

  • Not as many photo editing features as some options, such as layers and masks

Visit the PiZap website

Darktable

Best for: Batch processing and RAW conversion

OS: Windows and Mac

Price: Free

It is amazing the options we all have for downloading photo editing software free of charge, and Darktable is an example of powerful batch-processing without any cost attached.

This is not necessarily the best free image editor overall, but it is a powerful tool and can even be used for pre-processing your images. It is a RAW processor much like Lightroom, and it allows you to batch process lots of RAW files from your camera, making tweaks to things like the exposure. There are also a lot of features for tagging, such as geotagging.

If you’re able to code, you can even download and tweak the source code of this totally free software.

Key features:

  • Batch processing

  • Powerful image tagging

  • RAW to JPG conversion

  • Always retains high quality by using RAW files

Pros:

  • Keep all of your image quality without degrading the pictures

  • Label and organize your photos easily

Cons:

  • Not as beginner-friendly as some options

  • No templates

Download Darktable

BeFunky

Best for: Fun overlays and textures

OS: Any (web-based)

Price: Free with a paid Plus plan

G2 rating: 4.2 out of 5, 71 reviews

BeFunky is another browser-based editor that has a surprising level of power, and though it has a lot of photo editing features (retouching, color correction) it is known for being a powerful graphics tool with lots of presets and inbuilt frames and filters.

BeFunky is not the most “pro” feeling but it is a lot of fun as you can add lots of fun graphics and overlays.

Though it has a free plan, the paid plan is needed to access some of the more advanced functions including an AI image editor and background remover.

Key features:

  • Lots of fun frames, filters, and presets

  • Works within your browser

  • Includes touch-up features for portraits

  • Collage presets included

  • Extended font library even on the free version

Pros:

  • A lot of the great features are included, even on the free version

  • Fun to use as a creative tool with fun effects

  • Simple layout which you can get to grips with in no time

Cons:

  • Not the most “professional” feeling

  • No mobile app like some other browser-based editing software

Visit the BeFunky website

Summary: How to choose free image editing software

You should now be equipped with numerous options, but finding the best free photo editor for PC is about getting something that suits your needs and making the correct decision for you. Consider the following when making your decision:

  • Features. Will the free picture editing software have all of the features you need to edit your photos or start to create graphics using your pictures?

  • Compatibility. Check that the app actually works with your version of Windows and whether there will be updates in the future.

  • Paid upgrades. Do you need to pay for an upgrade to the plan if you want to access the full features? Some free editing software is just available as a trial rather than being totally free.

  • Support. What support is out there? If you are looking for the best free photo editor for Windows you may be relying largely on forums for support rather than a live chat or email support system.

Movavi Photo Editor

Easily enhance images and get professional-grade results in a snap.

*The free version of Movavi Photo Editor has the following restrictions: you can save up to 10 images with added watermark, screenshots are disabled.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best photo editor that's free?

Here’s a list of the best editors:

  • Movavi Photo Editor

  • GIMP

  • Canva

  • Paint.NET

  • Fotor

  • PhotoScape

  • Photo Pos Pro

  • Pixlr

  • Ashampoo Photo Optimizer

  • PiZap

  • Darktable

  • BeFunky

What is the best free photo editing software for Windows 10?

These are our top five recommended options along with what they are best for:

  • Movavi Photo Editor – Best automatic effects

  • GIMP – Best customizable interface

  • Canva – Best web-based editing

  • Paint.NET – Best free special effects

  • Fotor – Best photo editing on-the-go

Does Windows 10 have photo editing software?

Windows 10 does include Microsoft Photos, which has basic editing and storing features, but we recommend Movavi Photo Editor for more advanced editing and photo organizing.

Have questions?

If you can’t find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact our Support Team.

Sign up for news and special offers