The Best Photo Organizing Software

Edited by Jon Martindale

April 29, 2021

Higher quality camera phones and the grand scale of popular social media mean that in 2021, everyone is taking more photos than ever before. The downside to that is that keeping track of them all can be extremely difficult: that's where the best photo organizing software comes in.

The best photo management software can help you categorize your pictures, sort them by date, place, or who's in them, as well as organize them into albums. You don't even have to pay for the privilege, as some of the best free photo organizing software can do all that and a whole lot more.

Software

OS and price

Key features

Rating

Movavi Photo Manager

$40

Windows, macOS

Facial recognition

Photo tagging

Basic image editing

4 out of 5
Adobe Bridge

Free (included with CC Subscription)

Windows, macOS

Strong labelling and metadata options

Batch renaming and export functions

Easy to make photo portfolios

5 out of 5
Magix Photo Manager

$50

Windows

Photo touch up options

Cloud import from various services

Wide image format support

3.5 out of 5
Apple Photos

Free (more storage costs extra)

iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, macOS, watchOS

Integrated with other Apple devices and services

Intelligent search

Comes with some free iCloud storage

4 out of 5
Google Photos

Free (more storage costs extra)

Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Chrome OS

Integrated with other Google services

Robust security for library

Compatibility across many devices and operating systems

4.5 out of 5
Digikam

Free

Windows, macOS, Linux

Supports in-depth metadata

Support many file formats

Publish directly to social media

5 out of 5
Nikon ViewNX-i

Free with Nikon Cameras

Windows, macOS

Easily edit RAW files in the organizer

Import directly from your Nikon camera

Freely available with all

Nikon DSLR Cameras

3 out of 5
Apowersoft Photo Viewer

Free

Windows

Native support for HEIC and PDF files

Lightweight app uses minimal system resources

Batch image processing

3.5 out of 5
PicaJet

Free

Windows

Import from cameras, folders, CD, or DVD

GPU acceleration for intensive tasks

Automated categorization

2.5 out of 5
Smart Pix Manager

$50

Windows, macOS

Automatic keyword generation

Encrypted photo storage and password protection

Robust search function

3 out of 5

The Best Free Photo-Organizing Software

Compatibility: Windows 10, 8, 7 or Mac OS X 10.10 or higher

Hard drive space: 500 MB

RAM: 4 GB

Min. Resolution: 1280 × 768

Price: Full version costs $39.95, free trial available

Key feature: Automatically selects similar photos

Pros

  • Detailed tagging and photo categorization tools
  • Basic image editing options

Cons

  • Limited free trial period

Movavi Photo Manager is one of the best photo organizers for Windows and macOS, offering a robust set of categorization tools to better organize your photo collection. With a combination of facial recognition, geolocation support, and manual tagging, you can easily manage your digital photo library into a collection that is easier to navigate and find the precise photo or album you're looking for.

The user-friendly interface makes it easier than ever to archive your photos on your computer, with the ability to create new and descriptive albums. If you're planning on sorting out your expansive catalog of pictures in the near future, consider giving Movavi Photo Manager a try.

Not convinced it's worth the full price? Give the free trial a go on your Mac or Windows PC, and see if it's the best photo organizer for you.

You can find a number of reviews of Movavi Photo Manager at the link below.

Reviews by G2

Compatibility: Windows 10, 8, 7 or Mac OS X 10.13 or higher

Hard drive space: 2.1 GB

RAM: 2 GB

Min. Resolution: 1280 × 768

Price: Included in any Adobe Creative Cloud plan, starting at $9.99

Key feature: Advanced publishing tools

Pros

  • Batch editing
  • Intelligent picture search function

Cons

  • Paid cloud storage can be expensive

For existing Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers, Adobe Bridge is one of the best photo management software options you have, because you already have access. It has robust tools for organizing and categorizing photos, with the option of manual and automated labelling and metadata tweaking. You can also perform batch renames of image files, which can further aid the sorting process.

This is especially great image management software if you're looking to build a photo portfolio, as the export functions are excellent, even compared with some of the other best photo organization software.

Check out some reviews of Adobe Bridge at the link below.

Reviews by G2

Compatibility: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista

Hard drive space: 600 MB

RAM: 512 MB

Min. Resolution: 1024 × 600

Price: $49.99 for a Deluxe version

Key feature: Facial recognition

Pros

  • Excellent touch-up tools for older photos
  • Simple interface

Cons

  • Limited sharing options

The Magix Photo Manager Deluxe is the more expensive picture organizer applications, but it has one of the strongest feature sets to match. It supports an enormous range of different file types, making it a cinch to import pictures from all sorts of cameras and devices, as well as the cloud. You can download directly from a variety of services straight to this album management app.

It's only available on Windows, so it's not as versatile as some of the best photo library software, and its sharing options are a little limited, but it has a simple and intuitive interface, and its built-in photo touch up features can be great if you're working with older pictures.

There are a number of Magix Photo Manager Deluxe reviews at the link below.

Reviews by G2

Compatibility: iOS 8 or higher, iPadOS, OS X Yosemite or higher, watchOS, tvOS 10 or higher

Price: Free

Key feature: Allows to edit RAW images

Pros

  • Synchronizes your photos through iCloud
  • Simple and effective

Cons

  • Available only on Apple products

If you're using any sort of Apple device, then chances are you already have access to Apple Photos, which can make it one of the best free photo organizing software options you have. It enjoys fantastic integration with all sorts of Apple devices and services, which is perfect if you want to access your archive on different platforms. It's also great if you want to take and tag pictures on different devices and upload them to the same, central database.

It is exclusive to Apple devices, and you'll have to pay a little more if you start to fill up your free iCloud allocation, but it's only a few dollars a month for hundreds of gigabytes of space, so it's not costly. Whether you pay extra or just enjoy the free version though, the file tagging and editing options on Mac and iOS devices are excellent.

Apple Photos was given an in-depth review at PC Mag at the link below.

Review by PC Mag

Compatibility: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android

Price: Free up to 15 GB storage space

Key feature: Automatic backup

Pros

  • Easy sharing
  • Photos are available on any device

Cons

  • Only basic photo editing tools

You don't need to worry much about what platform you're on with Google Photos. If you can access one of the most popular web browsers, you'll be able to use it. Google account owners can enjoy up to 15GB of free storage space in the cloud, and the automatic backup functions mean you'll never lose your most precious files.

One of the best photo library software choices for Android users, Google Photos has a fantastic search system for finding pictures in specific albums, from certain years, or based on what's in the picture. It's also a great way to use your photo gallery in different Google services, as they're always within easy reach.

Check out some Google Photo reviews at the link below.

Reviews by G2

Compatibility: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP; Mac OS X 10.6 or higher, Linux

Hard drive space: 2 GB

Price: Free

Key feature: Can handle over 100,000 photos

Pros

  • Supports RAW files
  • Open-source software

Cons

  • Image export is complicated

Arguably the best free photo organizing software out there, Digikam Photo Manager is beloved by its community for being open source, intuitive, and available on Windows PCs and macOS systems. It gives you complete control to make nested albums and databases for expertly curated libraries of images, pictures, and videos in a way that most other applications just can't.

With the ability to handle over 100,000 images at once, it's a powerful piece of software, and despite being one of the longest running photo organizing apps out there, it enjoys modern features, like publishing directly to all the most popular social media sites.

Here are some reviews of Digikam if you need more information.

Reviews by AlternativeTo

Compatibility: Windows 10, 8; macOS Sierra or higher

Hard drive space: 1 GB

RAM: 4 GB

Min. Resolution: 1366 × 768

Price: Free

Key feature: Powerful image processing

Pros

  • RAW image processing
  • Quick image alteration tools

Cons

  • Only supports Nikon cameras
  • Not the most expansive range of metadata options

Nikon makes some of the best cameras in the world, so it makes sense that it also has one of the best photo library software applications you can use. It's entirely free for Nikon camera owners and supports RAW images for both organizing and simple tweaks and edits.

Available on both Windows PCs and macOS systems, Nikon ViewNX-i includes basic image processing of colors and shadow effects, even letting you edit the RAW files straight from your Nikon camera.

It doesn't support other camera brands, though, and its photo organizational tools are no way near as robust as the competition.

Here's a detailed look at Nikon ViewNX-i for more information.

Review by Softpedia

Compatibility: Windows 10, 8, 7

Price: Free

Key feature: Screenshot tool

Pros

  • Low lag photo viewing
  • Supports HEIC images

Cons

  • Doesn’t include a photo management feature

One of the few photo organization apps that supports the HEIC file type, Apowersoft Photo Viewer is a fantastic replacement for the default photo viewer on Windows PCs and is a great tool for integrating your Apple devices that take the pictures, with your Windows PC that stores them.

Although once requiring a costly license, Apowersoft Photo Viewer is now entirely free, making it much more accessible than ever before. Its image editing tools are quite basic, however, making it better for organizing photos in a standard album than some of its robust photo categorization rivals.

For more information, check out this review of Apowersoft Photo Viewer.

Review by TechRadar

Compatibility: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP

Price: $59.95 for a full version

Key feature: Advanced categorizing of photos

Pros

  • A lot of sharing options
  • Imports photos directly from the camera

Cons

  • The interface is dated

The PicaJet looks and feels like it's straight out of the Windows XP era of computing, and that's no accident. It's been one of the best photo organizing apps available since the mid-'00s and though it's showing its age, it's still a simple and intuitive tool to help categorize your image gallery. The paid-up version isn't worth its asking price, but the free option gives you plenty of tools to use to put together a comprehensive database of all your photos and videos.

It offers a number of automated and manual organizational tools to help put your collection together, and when you're done, there are a few basic search options to help find your favorites.

Here's a review of PicaJet, with a more detailed look at the software.

Review by TopTenReviews

Compatibility: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP

Disc space: 10 MB

Price: $49.50

Key feature: Batch conversion tool

Pros

  • Many ways to organize photos
  • Wide range of print templates

Cons

  • Not the most intuitive interface
  • Limited sharing options

Another popular, if a little dated, photo management application, Smart Pix Manager still has a solid set of tools to help you organize your photo library into something more manageable. It has powerful search tools for finding the pictures that you're looking for, and supports a wide range of file formats.

With a dated interface, however, it's not the most intuitive, and can take a little bit longer to get to grips with than some of the other best photo management software options. There are some wizards and tooltips to help explain some of the more opaque functions, though, so if you're willing to give it some time, Smart Pix Manager can still be a great way to organize your photo library.

You can find a great review of Smart Pix Manager at the link below.

Review by TopTenReviews

Best Ways to Organize Photos

Printed Photos

You can easily organize printed photos, by following instructions below:

  • Buy a set of photo albums and photo boxes.
  • Sort photos by date or any other identifying feature.
  • Get rid of low-quality photos.
  • Put the sorted photos to photo albums.
  • Digitize photos and organize them on your PC or Mac.

Digital Photos

In addition to photo organizing software, you can manage your photos like this:

  • Create custom folders in your camera’s storage and name them according to the date or event to which the photos are related.
  • If your camera doesn’t allow you to create such folders, do it on your favorite device.
  • Sort your photos appropriately and put them in categorized folders.

Jon Martindale

Jon Martindale is a writer and author from the United Kingdom. He's written how-to guides and in-depth features for some of the largest digital publications in the world, including Digital Trends, ITProPortal, and Forbes. He's been building and working with computers all his life.

Frequently Asked Questions

💸 What Is the Best Free Photo Organizing Software?

It’s hard to choose the best photo organizing software that will be suitable for everyone. However, if you want to find the photo organizing program that is best for you, choose from the list below.

📂 What Is the Best Way to Organize Photos?

Digitize printed photos. If you have printed photos you want to save, use a scanner to sort and preserve them in digital format.

Use a single device to store the photos. Choose a device where you want to store all of your digital photos. You can also use cloud storage to access the photos from any device and create additional backups.

Divide your photos into folders to organize them. Division can be based on events, dates, people that are present on the photos, etc.

Make backup copies of your photos. Local backup options like external hard drives are great, but cloud backups guarantee your photos will remain safe for years to come.

💻 What Is the Best Photo Manager for Windows?

You can choose a Windows-compatible photo manager that is the most convenient for you, from the list below.