Free Photo Editor: Popular Choices of 2021

Free Photo EditorThere are plenty of reasons to use a free photo editor. Maybe you want to create a social media post, add text to photos as part of a work project, or clean up vacation pictures for your family. However, premium photo editing software can be spendy, or it may just be more complicated than what you need.

We’re happy to help you discover options that won’t break the bank. You don’t need to sacrifice image quality or your favorite tools, either. Keep reading for a range of free photo editors to suit beginners and professionals alike.

1. Fotor – popular online photo editor

Fotor free photo editor

Fotor is a browser-based application to edit photos online that’s perfect for beginners. Check out our review of the best browsers to use this free photo editor with. It has a clean layout that’s easy to navigate and enough features to satisfy your editing needs. If you’re brand new to photo editing, you’ll benefit from the library of free tutorials and collection of templates that this free photo editor offers. This includes over 80 collage templates, which are common for family and marketing use.

The free online photo editor included with Fotor allow you to adjust colors, straighten photos, minimize blur, and add text. Batch photo editing allows you to feed a collection of photos into the service. You can add color filters, touch-up effects, and borders to all the pictures in one click. Saving is simple with five possible formats: normal and high-res JPG, normal and high-res PDF, and high-res PNG.

OS: Web-based
Level of expertise needed: Beginner
Our Rating: 10 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Edit large batches of photos in one click
  • Library of easy tutorials for beginner education
  • Online photo editor that saves in five file formats
  • Adding text to images has limited fonts and layouts

2. Canva – photo editor offering advanced tools and options

Canva photo editor

Canva is a comprehensive photo editing platform that’s geared toward intermediate users. Beginners are welcome to explore this free photo editor as well, but you may find an overwhelming number of editing options. The templates available in this online photo editor cover a wide range of projects and make it suitable for business use. When you sign up for a free account, you’ll be given 1GB of cloud storage. Thus, there is no need to use cloud storages such as WeTransfer and its alternatives to store and access your images.

The free photo editing tools on Canva let you control the effects on each image as a whole. You can tilt, crop, sharpen, and filter photos. Vignette, brightness, and contrast effects are also available. The drag and drop text feature makes it easy to add captions precisely where you want them. When you’re finished photo editing, you can crop and save pictures for a variety of uses, such as a square image for Instagram posts.

OS: Web-based; Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Level of expertise needed: Intermediate
Our Rating: 10 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Free photo editor with mobile app
  • Free cloud storage for projects
  • Variety of editing tools for each photo
  • Cannot freehand or spot-edit

3. Photo POS Pro — Windows based free photo editor

Photo Pos PRO

Photo POS Pro is a photo editing software that’s available for free download on Windows. It’s a flexible service with two layout options. You can select “novice” view for access to quick, simple features. This includes cropping tools and a library of filter effects that’s ideal for social media use. Much more advanced features of this photo editor are available when you switch to “expert” view.

Advanced tools allow you to edit photos on a pixel level. You can color correct, remove background objects, or manually adjust curves and levels. Photo POS Pro is ideal for editing layers and applying masks, thus being a popular choice for professional editors. You can save your creations in any format file, include PSD and GIF, but at a max of 1024 x 1024 pixels. If you’re interested in more information about image files formats, check our comparisons of PNG and JPG and JPG and JPEG.

OS: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP
Level of expertise needed: Any
Our Rating: 9 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Photo editor that exports in all file formats
  • Pixel-level photo editing tools available
  • Novice option for beginners
  • Can only save in 1024 x 1024 size
  • Only Windows version of this free photo editor exists

4. BeFunky – free online photo editor

BeFunky online photo editor

BeFunky is a browser-based photo editor that’s largely used by social media influencers and gurus. The interface is user-friendly, even with the multiple tools available. There are templates to choose from, but you can also create your own. This online photo editor is ideal if you want to create and save a signature style for your projects.

Photo editing features allow you to apply photo-level effects and filters. There’s also a manual tool for simple enhancements and corrections on a small scale. Text can be added to your pictures, and backgrounds can be removed or made transparent. Finally, BeFunky is a great choice for batch processing with enhancement tools to clean up and brighten your photos.

OS: Web-based
Level of expertise needed: Intermediate
Our Rating: 9 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Create and save templates for future projects
  • Manual tool to color correct specific areas
  • Fun tools to edit photos like the Cartoonizer
  • No erasing tool

5. Pixlr X – free photo editor with built-in template designer tool

Pixlr

Pixlr X is a new version of the original Pixlr Editor that ran on Flash. This update relies on HTML5 for widespread compatibility. Pixlr X is a free photo editor that rivals Adobe Photoshop. There are a range of features included to suit anyone working in commercial editing. However, intermediate users can also find value through photo editing tools like sharpening and brightening, as well as high-quality filters.

Advanced users of this photo editor can enjoy comprehensive layer editing. You can cut, replicate, remove, and merge images between layers. There are finer editing tools for color correction and the like. However, the advanced freehand tools for drawing and painting are the star of the show. You can create and customize brushes, adjust angles and aspect ratios, and so on.

OS: Web-based
Level of expertise needed: Intermediate or Expert
Our Rating: 9 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Advanced freehand drawing tools
  • Free photo editor that runs on HTLM5 for easy compatibility
  • Variety of advanced photo editing tools
  • Only exports in PNG and JPG

No matter what you need to accomplish, there are plenty of free photo editors available. You don’t have to spend any money to access anything from simple filters to highly advanced layer tools. We encourage you to explore each option and see what layouts and combination of features suits you best.

At some point you may wish to purchase photo editing software for even more options. If that’s the case, all the programs listed above also offer a premium upgrade. For now, enough the amazing range of options at your fingertips without spending a dime.

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