Replace expensive professional software like Capture ONE or On1 Photo RAW with these free photo editors for PC.
Apply basic changes to portrait photos and use Frequency Separation, Dodge and Burn image editing techniques in GIMP. Experiment with different presets in batch mode using RawTheRapee or edit the background in Photoshop Online Editor. You can also take advantage of the automatic face editing tools in BeFunky if you’re an Instagram blogger.
Top 10 Free Photo Editors in 2020
Improve colors, remove acne, flyaway hairs, whiten teeth, and perfect eyes, replace the background and crop your photo using the semi-automatic tools built into one of these easy photo editors.
1. Photoshop Online Editor
Suitable for: beginner image retouchers
Photoshop Online Editor is a lightweight, fully automated online alternative to Adobe Photoshop. The photo editor supports +1400 digital cameras, which allows you to work even with the latest RAW files.
Among the tools, you will find customizable layers, masks for selective correction, brushes, selection tools to help you cut out an object, 3 types of curves, 15+ filters, instruments to remove red-eye effect and acne, adjust exposure, temperature, sharpness, noise and more.
Most tools are automatic, so you need to select the desired brush, and click on the area that requires correction. If the functionality of this online photo editor isn’t sufficient for you, you can install Photoshop plug-ins, brushes, textures, fonts, overlays.
Suitable for: performing Frequency Separation, Dodge and Burn techniques
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, Linux
GIMP is a widely-used and very efficient free photo editing software https://fixthephoto.com/best-free-photo-editor.html, for Linux, Mac OS, and Windows users. It has the interface resembling Adobe Photoshop CC, as well as a huge database of training lessons and user forums.
GIMP often updates the supported RAW files database, so you will find advanced customizable layers, masks, and brushes, which allow you to perform such complex photo editing techniques as Frequency Separation, and Dodge and Burn.
There are also 30+ useful filters and effects, curves, and some other basic sliders for color correction. Unlike most image editors, here you can not only install third-party plug-ins but also record and save your own brushes or actions.
Suitable for: batch color correction
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, Linux
RawTherapee is fairly universal software for deep color correction, organizing your photos, and basic portrait editing. The program is built on open-source code, so you can always expand its functionality by changing the lines of code.
Similar to Lightroom, RawTheRapee supports non-destructive photo editing. All changes will not be applied until you export the edited RAW photo. The image editor offers advanced color processing, histogram matching, and high dynamic range (HDR) tone mapping.
You can download and apply third-party presets for one or hundreds of photos at once in batch mode. It also provides many tools for tone correction, noise reduction, image rotation, exposure control, changing shadows/light sources, tonality, and white balance settings.
Suitable for: advanced portrait editing
Pixlr can be called the best photo editor for PC in the online mode with the ability to use third-party plug-ins. Although support for Flash Player will soon be stopped, this version is still in demand among beginner retouchers.
A long list of professional features included in the program has no analogs in other free photo editors available on the market. Among them, you will find exposure and levels adjustment, auto-editing tools, sophisticated color pickers, customizable brushes, layers, and masks.
The mobile version of the program belongs to the group of the best free apps for photo editing https://fixthephoto.com/best-photo-editing-apps-for-android.html and isn’t functionally inferior to the desktop edition.
Suitable for: color correction and drawing
Platforms: online, Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android
Polarr is a simple but effective tool for editing JPEG and RAW photos. Due to the well-developed start-up training, this program is the best free photo editor for PC for beginners.
The application allows you to save the history of image editing, perform color correction on a professional level, including full HSL settings and 3 curves. You can work with light, photo details, add watermarks, remove noise, apply effects, etc. The comparison mode allows examining the original and the edited image.
The unique feature of Polarr is a separate mode for drawing. You can use a completely redesigned interface with dozens of built-in brushes and several palettes, shapes, and tools for filling.
Suitable for: applying effects/overlays
Due to a simple interface and semi-automatic tools, Fotor is one of the best free photo editing software for beginners https://fixthephoto.com/best-photo-editing-software-for-beginners.html.
Here you will find a huge variety of basic instruments and features such as adjusting brightness and saturation, removing wrinkles, and yellowish tint from the teeth. The collection of effects, stickers, frames, and captions is truly mind-blowing and allows creating really attention-grabbing social media posts.
The text editor deserves additional mentioning. It is equipped with dozens of built-in fonts, from the classic Calibri to Arial or Bodoni which is often used for advertising. You can also adjust the size, location, color, and transparency of the text.
Suitable for: photo organizing
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, Linux
Darktable is an open-source cross-platform image editor that supports non-destructive photo post-processing. It contains a number of creative filters and allows you to perform deep color correction.
You can smoothly shift the tones of individual parts, add cinematic effects or grain. Adjust dark and light segments of the image, HSL, sharpness, levels, etc.
In addition to amazing photo editing functions, you can also organize your photo library by various tags and ratings. There is even a separate menu with a map to add geo-info.
Suitable for: Instagram bloggers
BeFunky can’t be called the best online photo editor for PC but it is still a good program with a bit limited free functionality. The program operates on separate modules for combining collages and art designs.
BeFunky offers all the functions needed for basic image retouching: cropping, color correction, application of multiple filters and effects.
Instagram bloggers will find the Beautify section especially helpful. It contains the auto settings for adjusting the face. You can whiten teeth, improve eyes, remove acne and wrinkles, and even resize individual parts such as a nose, ear, etc.
The image editor has a lot of effects but most of them are accompanied by an asterisk, which means that they are available by a paid subscription which costs $5 per month.
Suitable for: beginners-photographers and people using weak PCs
Paint.Net is the best free photo editor for PC for beginners. It has a clear and simple interface that supports hotkey commands. Low system requirements allow you to run the program even on the weakest and oldest PCs.
You will find support for custom layers but the variety of functions and tools is not very wide. Nevertheless, you can perform basic photo retouching, eliminate redness on the skin, remove the background, and get rid of the red-eye effect.
In addition, the software supports plug-ins. They can expand the functionality and add the tools of 3D-rotation, scaling, etc.
Suitable for: portrait editing
PiZap free online photo editor is available in HTML5 and Flash versions, making it suitable for any device. You can choose to work with pictures from your hard drive, social networks, cloud drive, or even the built-in photo catalog.
Built-in tools allow you to perform color correction using HSL, curves, and basic editing with the help of the healing brushes and smart semi-automatic instruments. There is a variety of “decorating” filters for selfies (allow you to whiten your teeth, fix spots and apply “blush”), as well as a huge selection of stickers.
However, note that you can only work with JPEG photos. Another disadvantage of this image editor is the limited functionality for the free version.