Top 24 Free Photo Editing Programs

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Green Screens, Photography Tips

Although digital cameras (including the little ones we carry just about everywhere embedded in our phones) have improved immensely in their capabilities for capturing and auto-correcting images, there are still times where photo-editing software can save a scarred image, or enhance an already excellent one.

Digital Photography
Although the obvious, professional-level tool is the not-so-budget-friendly Adobe Photoshop®, users who don’t have the funds for this can utilize any of these easy-to-use, free photo-editing in-browser or downloadable software to solve this problem. Note that most, though not all, of these software programs perform tasks including photo cropping, resizing, touch-ups, eye removal, photo book creations, border additions, slideshows and watermarks. Many are impressive and comparable to programs found in stores, and since open-source software tends to be user-created, there is usually a plethora of helpful information and bug repairs for these software. These benefits are part of the reason why users choose free photo-editing, rather than purchasing expensive software.

Backdrop Express is not a photo-editing service provider, however, we do carry Digital Backgrounds as well as a number of Photoshop Templates. For consumers without software such as Adobe Photoshop or Green Screen Wizard, many of the programs listed below will remove an existing background and allow for use of our digital background images.

1. GIMP  GIMP photo editor

With powerful retouching tools and image enhancements, this product is often dubbed the “free Photoshop”. As they say themselves, “in the free software world, there is generally no distinction between users and developers,” and so oftentimes there are bugs. However, because of the user-generated code, the bugs are often quickly repaired, and the amount of photo-editing power users have for free makes overlooking small glitches pretty simple.

2. Picasa  picasa photo editor

Google’s answer to Photoshop, Picasa allows users to apply general color-adjustments as well as archive and “tag” via Google+. There aren’t any pixel-level editing capabilities, however for simple color enhancements and archiving, Picasa is a good option.

3. Instagram  instagram photo editor

Facebook’s version of Picasa, and one of the most famous and widely-used photo-editing softwares, Instagram is not capable of any pixel-oriented corrections. Instagram is associated with iPhones, however it does also function on Android or other smart phones. Although the edits are simple color-corrections, the provided filters make for quirky photos.

4. FotoFlexer  FotoFlexer photo editor

With some advanced Photoshop-mimicking features, such as the ability to use curves to edit images or wrinkle-removal, this online photo-editing application is a great option for those not looking to spend on professional-grade software. FotoFlexer also has a plug in that gives users access to Facebook, Flickr, Myspace and other photo-sharing sites. This means that if users connect to their Facebook, users have access to all of their images, as well as all of their friends’ images.

5. Paint.NET photo editor

Although called, the actual URL is A well-decorated online software, Paint.Net was originally developed as an Undergraduate project. Similar to GIMP, this is in many ways a user-controlled program, and there are plenty of forums and tutorials provided “for the people by the people” for users to enjoy. The Magic Wand, Curves, and Clone stamp are all available here, as well as an unlimited number of Undos—an option even Photoshop fails to incorporate.

6. Photoscape  photoscape photo editor

A software available for download, users can add text, apply general adjustments, composite images, and even convert camera RAW files to JPGs.

7. SerifPhotoPlus  

Serif offers two versions of their photo-editing software, one for about $80, and a free “starter addition”. Although the $80 is significantly less than the price tag stuck on Photoshop, the free version is not a bad option either. Red-eye removal, tonal adjustments, and cropping can all be accomplished without having to reach for your credit card.

8. Windows Photo Gallery  Windows photo Gallery photo editor

For Windows users, the default Windows software isn’t as bad as one might initially anticipate. Basic tasks such as cropping, rotating, removing red eye, and adjusting exposure are all easily accomplished in a user-friendly interface. Leave the video-editing to another software though.

9. Photo POS Pro  Photo POS Pro photo editor

Although their homepage looks a bit like an illegal downloads website, Photo POS Pro is a good, free option for those looking for photo-editing software. Selections, Layers and Masks, and tools that can be used for graphic design are all available.

10. Pixia  pixia photo editor

For those into Manga or Anime, Pixia may already be a familiar name. Pixia is a photo-editing and drawing program that was originally designed for the Manga/Anime community, however its popularity has spread to users more interested in photo-editing or illustration.

11. VCW VicMan’s Photo Editor

Built to look like a Photoshop, VicMan’s Photo Editor provides users with basic tools such as the magic wand, color selection and correction and cropping. However, for $30, users gain access to essential tools such as the cloning  tool and the ability to have more than one image open at a time.

12. PhotoFiltre  photofiltre photo editor

This image-editing software provides users with all the basic tools, however it lacks the ability to work on layers, something very important for the semi-serious photographer.

13. IrfanView  irfanview photo editor

Users seeking a program allowing PhotoShop plug-ins should chose Irfanview. This free program provides a plethora of features including cropping and adjusting colors.

14. Pixlr  pixlr photo editor

Much of the tools provided by Pixlr are similar to Photoshop not only in the program’s appearance and interface. Perform adjustments, including layers and curves, in this free, user-friendly application.

15. Virtual Studio  virtual studio photo editor

VirtualStudio by OptikVerveLabs is a full-featured system running virtual Photographer, which are both stand-alone programs. Easily enhance digital photos and retouch images quickly.

16. FlauntR  flauntr photo editor

Allows users to move files from one tool to another without losing changes. This photo-editing product is part of a larger collection.

17. LunaPic   lunapic photo editor

Users without Flash installed benefit from using this free software program. Turn photos into something unique using special effects, including reflective rippling water!

18. Picture2Life  picture2life photo editor

Users comfortable with windows and the usability of desktop applications will work with the Floating windows easily. Flash installation is not required.

19. Pixer  pixer photo editor

For those prone to forgetfulness, Pixer will remember the details of which images users opened last. A wide range of filters and special effects are provided.

20. Pixenate  pixenate photo editor

Users can enhance photos using tools such as teeth whitening with just a couple button clicks. Flash installation is not required.

21. SplashUp  splashup photo editor

It’s not exactly like the PhotoShop interface, but there are many similarities. Enjoy tools including a fantastic handling of layers.

22. Phixr   phixr photo editor

Images are not saved on this free to use photo-editing website for long, so users can work privately without worrying about the safety of their copyright. Users without Flash can work with this program.

23. SumoPaint  sumopaint photo editor

This photo-editing option has a free online version, as well as one for download for $20. It has an interface highly influenced by Photoshop, and also allows users to “paint” and create graphics.

24. Inkscape   inkscape photo editor

Okay, Inkscape is more of a vector-drawing tool, but for those interested in editing or graphic work, it is still a valuable tool to at the very least be aware of, and like the other programs listed here, it is free, in comparison to Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.  

What free photo editing software do YOU use?

-Backdrop Express Photography Team

Interested in Digital Photography? Check out our large selection of green screen kits and digital backgrounds!

Disclaimer: The information provided here comes without any warranty. Please download or use the programs at your own risk. We are not endorsing or approving all of these programs or any of its contents. All the other standard disclaimers also apply.

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Comments (16)

  • photo correction


    i used instagram and pixlr in my mobile or pc its good photo editing program helping mi a lot..thanks for sharing


  • G Attard


    Hi,I have used the auto fix facility contained in Photostory to enhance a pile of very old black and white photos, The results are the great! Problem is I can’t get the pictures back out of photostory. Is therea way to get them out or another program as good? Thanks


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  • Bev


    Thanks very interesting blog!


  • Andra


    Nice post. It’s always helpful to read content from other authors and use a little something from other web sites.


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  • Poulami


    Thanks for publishing such helpful list of photo editing programs.It will really help a newbie editor to take a help from this list.Nice collections.Keep updating.


  • toolman


    what is the best but reasonable price Green Screen Software with lots of digital backgrounds. I have a green screen but I need the software to pull my subject out and put them on the Moon or my hand or things like that. Any help would be nice Thank you


    • Backdrop Express Photography Team


      Hello! Thank you for your inquiry. We would recommend our Green Screen Software Kit ( This kit comes with the Green Screen Wizard software featuring 720 digital backgrounds to easily swap out your green screen backdrop for a unique background.


  • Margene


    Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Thanks


    • Backdrop Express Photography Team


      Feel free to share our content!
      -Backdrop Express Photography Team


  • Domingo Traeger


    Users who don’t have the funds for Adobe Photoshop can utilize any of these easy-to-use free photo-editing in-browser or downloadable software!


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  • kamran


    Thanks a lot for listing photo editing programs, there’s one which is unlike desktop based, it’s online tool.
    Thanks again


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