Skip to main content

5 of the best free photo editing apps

Digital cameras have gained better lenses and increased pixel resolutions over the years, but that doesn't mean that every photo you snap will be a gem. Overexposure, underexposure, random blemishes, red-eye problems, white balance issues, and other visual mishaps will occur, so it's incredibly handy to have a good photo editing application on your PC to make corrections. Fortunately, there are plenty of photo editing applications that can get the job done – for free!

Most folks don’t need the raw image editing power of an expensive heavyweight such as Adobe Photoshop, and you can actually do a lot with your pics for absolutely no cost. So let’s dive in and have a look at the best free photo editors available today.

Top of the list at the high-end of the photo editor freebies is Gimp, which is available for Linux, Mac, and PC, and delivers quite an incredible set of features given that it costs nada. The downside, however, is that Gimp is a bit of a beast for the uninitiated, but those who take their time to learn the application’s intricacies will find that there's a lot to like.

Next up, there’s Paint.NET, which goes a lot easier on the user than Gimp in terms of the learning curve. It features an easy-to-use interface, yet still offers an array of effects, being very solid on all the image editing basics. This is a great all-round option.

That old favourite Picasa remains a terrific, easy, and free way to edit and organise your images, with plenty of cool features and tools. And if you’re after a free web-based option then check out Fotoflexer, which has both casual and prosumer appeal.

And of course, there’s always Windows Photo Gallery, which boasts a smart and clear interface. It will easily handle the needs of Windows-using shutterbugs, with simple editing and sharing, face recognition, and other gee-whiz tools.