Best Free Photo Editing Software in 2024


Photo Editing

With the rise of social media and image-sharing platforms, the bar that was set for quality pictures has moved up significantly. Thankfully, editing apps can help make your average photos look like the masterpiece you intended them to be.

I checked out more than a dozen photo editing apps to find some of the best ones. In this article, I’ll talk about some of them.

Best Free Photo Editing Apps in 2024

Here are my picks for the best free photo editing software for 2024.


  • Tone mapping feature to improve dynamic range
  • Digital painting and illustration tools to create original artwork
  • Graphic design elements like textures and shapes

GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP, is a free photo editing app that has a surprising amount of features compared to other paid programs.

It has a lot of advanced features, like layer editing, color management, masking, and effects. The software also has features that can be used to make original artwork like Airbrush, Pencil, Paintbrush, MyPaint, and Ink brushes that you can get from GitHub.

So, whether you’re an editor, illustrator or a graphic designer, GIMP has tools that will fit your workflow. However, GIMP isn’t as user-friendly as other software.

Several Adjustable BrushesNot Beginner Friendly
Advanced FeaturesSome Functionality Locked Behind Paywall
Layer Support
Customizable UI


  • Pens, brushes, path selection, and other useful tools
  • Great healing and spot brushes to remove imperfections
  • The free version has all the features

Photopea is a free photo editor for people looking to find a Photoshop alternate. The software is great for people on a budget. It supports files from Photoshop and has a similar feature set.

The best part about this image editor is that it has all the tools in the free version without limits. However, the interface is a bit janky and also features ads that might annoy users. The paid tier doesn’t have extra features. Instead, it improves the experience by removing ads, adding additional storage, and step-tracking.

Photopea can be a great tool for people who want a free Photoshop alternative but don’t mind looking at ads in the interface.

Supports Most File FormatsFree Version Has Ads
Photoshop and GIMP Files Can Be OpenedWorks in Web Browser Only
All Tools Are FreeNeeds a Strong Internet Connection


  • Powerful gradient tools for added depth
  • The clone stamp tool allows you to copy and paste pixels
  • Very well-optimized user experience

Paint.NET is a free photo editor for people looking for a convenient editor with a beginner-friendly user interface. 

Layer editing is a feature that is usually available in paid software, but Paint.NET offers it for free. The changes are tracked, which means that you can go back and edit them at any time. Besides the other general features found in most editors, you can also apply blur or sharpen images and add perspective changes using 3D Rotate and Zoom effects.

While Paint.NET isn’t a replacement for professional image editors, it is one of the best free editors for beginners, and it can run on even low-end PCs.

Great for BeginnersNot the best for professionals
Active CommunityLimited Text Editor
Simplified Versions of Advanced Tools


  • Skin retouch tools to improve portrait images
  • Helps generate product mockups
  • Premade social media-friendly templates that can help create amazing designs 

Pixlr is a free photo editor that can be used entirely online. This is great for people who don’t want to download free programs on their PCs.

The image editor uses HTML 5, so you don’t have to download any other additional software on your computer. Pixlr is a great tool for people who have low-end computers or Chromebooks. The interface is similar to Photoshop and offers some of the same features.

The free version of the app is filled with ads, which might be annoying for some users. However, some features like generative AI are available with the free version but have daily export limits.

Free Stock Images Available to DownloadFree Version Has Ads
Accessible to Many Skill LevelsCan Slow Down While Rendering
Entirely Online


  • Beautiful pre-made templates
  • Elements are editable with easy-to-use tools
  • Add text and graphics to your pictures easily.

Canva is a great tool to use for beginners. It comes with templates for all platforms in landscape and portrait, with apt social media resolutions as well.

The photo editor is ideal for social media posts as it has a drag-and-drop interface, which makes it easy to add textures, fonts, text, stickers, and badges. It also has a lot of other photo editing features like photo blur, vignettes, transparency tools, and photo grids.

Canva also has a mobile app that is equally as capable as the web version. I recommend using this tool if you’re a beginner and want a capable photo editor for your social media posts.

Professionally Designed TemplatesAI Content Is Only Available for Paid Users
Easy to Use InterfaceLimited Photo Editing Tolls in Free Version
Free Plan Is Great

How to Choose the Best Photo Editing Software

It can get difficult to navigate through a plethora of choices. So, here are some of the things to consider when looking for a photo editor.

  • Platform Preference: Most people use editing apps on their computers or phones. So, before you choose the perfect editing app for your needs, consider the platforms you will be using it on. For example, Canva also has a mobile app where you can save and continue your progress using the cloud.
  • Connectivity: Some of the image editors like Canva, Pixlr, and Photopea are online only. If you opt to use them, make sure you have fast and reliable internet. We recommend Xfinity Internet plans as they offer more than 300Mbps speed, which is more than enough for photo editing apps.
  • User Interface: This is one of the most important facts to consider when looking for an image editor. If you’re a beginner, then a simple interface would be something you prefer. However, advanced users would need an interface that has all the tools they need.
  • Skill Level: Make sure you keep your skill level in mind when choosing the right service. Beginners probably won’t like using GIMP, whereas Paint.NET isn’t something professionals would use.
  • Editing Needs: Your editing needs will influence your choice of editing app. For people with basic needs, Canva should be fine. However, for people looking for advanced features, try using GIMP.

Wrapping Up

While there are a lot of free photo editing software you can find on the internet, I found most of them to be nothing less than stellar. After testing out a lot of options, I found these five photo editing apps to be great for use.

So, do you agree with my list? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments below.

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