“A picture is worth a thousand words”, and more in the digital world. It does not matter if it is images to display in the gallery of your photography website, to improve the appearance of an online store, or to support a public relations campaign. Whatever your goal, the chosen images must look incredible, and for this, this list of the Best Free Photo Editor for Windows 10 users will be essential for you.
What many ignore is the long list of photo editing software that you can find online and that is also totally free, regardless of your skills, needs, and goals.
Best Free Photo Editor For Windows 10
These tools will allow you to take your images to the next level and achieve a professional look with minimal effort. These free alternatives to Photoshop and Lightroom.
Ready to start editing your images like a pro? These are some of the Best Free Photo Editors For Windows 10.
Darktable is image editing software that specializes in processing “raw” photos, that is, raw data from the camera sensor.
It has the particularity of being non-destructive, that is, it never modifies the files in which it works since it manages a set of transformations to apply to the flat file and Darktable allows the result to be exported, in conventional image formats.
Darktable is open source and free and honestly it has nothing to envy of all the paid programs out there. It has an interface very similar to almost all the most popular editing and development programs on the market and that will make you comfortable when migrating from the program.
Darktable supports working with RAW images and provides a large selection of modules to perform various operations in photo processing. As in Adobe Lightroom, you can create a library with your photos and from there create albums to later classify and edit your captures called a light table.
In the Darktable the row on the lower screen where photos are developed is said to be ‘darkrooms’ and it is nothing other than where we are going to develop our photos. In addition, the application allows visual browsing through existing images and, if necessary, carry out distortion correction and quality improvement operations, while maintaining the original image and the entire history of operations.
Although Darktable primarily focuses on RAW development, recent releases have introduced features generally reserved for pixel-oriented editors, such as GIMP, such as the liquefaction module. Darktable 3.0 is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The program is completely free for all users.
- It has an interactive UI
- Support for 3D RGB LUT.
- Optimized for 4K and 5K displays
- Tags can be made private
- Color picker added to various modules
- Support to export to Google Photos.
|Advanced editing tools||No support for mobile devices|
|Minimalist interface||You will need some time to learn using the tools as there a lot of them|
|Faster image processing|
Although you can use Canva as a powerful photo editor, it is primarily intended to transform simple snapshots into something more, such as a poster, invitation, logo, or social media post, making it a bit more like desktop publishing software.
Canva relies primarily on templates. Choose a category (such as social media, Instagram, or poster) and you will be presented with a variety of options to choose from, divided into themes.
You will notice that even if you have selected “personal”, many of the templates have a business angle, but don’t let this put you off; You can edit the text and graphics to your heart’s content, so just pick something that appeals to you. It’s not immediately apparent which templates are available to free members and which are premium only; you will need to move the mouse pointer over your preferred design and look for the “Free” label at the bottom right of the thumbnail.
It’s a shame because similar tools like Fotor make the distinction much more obvious. Any feature marked with a crown icon or dollar sign is exclusive to premium account holders.
All templates are editable, and you can customize or personalize them by editing all elements of any layout provided. A recent feature is the option to create gif images, who would have imagined that creating gifs would become a one-click task?
Users, however, can create and upload their photos and images with some edits and adjustments. For example, if you want to have a custom social post instead of using the template as is, you have the option to edit the template. Canva users can include elements (doodles, graphics, illustrations) and texts (with pre-made designs), different backgrounds, or their images and photos. All of these actions can be done with a simple drag and drop with Canva.
Canva allows users to integrate various third-party websites like WordPress and social media sites. You can upload photos from your Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Giphy, among many other platforms.
You can also post images on various sites other than the third-party websites. Canva lets you avoid the agony of saving, downloading, and then uploading separately to social media sites.
Canva is intuitive to use, and its social media templates are particularly impressive, and its drag-and-drop functionality makes the design process absolutely easy, and the ready-made templates are quite eye-catching. Overall makes a pretty good tool to use for editing on the go.
- Free stock images
- Accurate color picker
- Website badges and stickers
- Templates for all kinds of marketing requirements, from business cards to social media posts
|Easy to use||Pre-set Image Sizes Sometimes are too Large|
|Excellent varieties of templates||No ruler|
|Stores photos for future use|
Fotor offers a long list of basic tools and functions, ranging from simple edits like brightness and saturation to more complex concepts like wrinkle remover and teeth whitening. Fotor also has a large selection of effects, frames, stickers, and text options designed mainly for sharing images on social networks.
Besides its photo editor, Fotor also includes collage and layout sections. In these segments, users can choose from various pre-made templates to build their creations. These templates are categorized by usages, such as schools, social media posts, marketing resources, documentation, and announcements.
This allows novice users to easily create high-quality content for all their needs, without having to worry about anything other than visual appearance. Some of the high-end templates and more tools are only available in the paid version of the software.
Thanks to the processing tools, you can apply the same changes to a large number of images at the same time, a feature that most free photo editing programs lack.
In general, Fotor could be defined as an “image enhancer” rather than photo editing software. However, the program covers all the needs of a small business to boost its online presence. It is not an editor that gives us so many quality options. But still, it is very efficient. We can add filters, create collages, and make basic tweaks.
For users who do not require heavy or complex editing programs, Fotor is a good alternative. Simple, you can download or use it from the browser, and it allows you to do the basic retouching in your photos.
The only minor issue I found in this online tool is that it contains ads which cover almost 1/4th of the screen. However, you can block ads easily by using an ad-block extension on your browser or using the Brave browser instead.
- Easy to access via browser
- Creative composition tools
- Batch image processing
- Wide variety of creative templates
|Easy to get started with||Lots of ads|
|A RAW file converter||Not suitable for making images from scratch|
|Easy access to effects and filters|
ShareX is a free photo editor for Windows 10 and is one of the best open-source software that allows you to capture or record any area of the screen and share it with a single keystroke. It also supports many URL shortening and sharing services. It contains tools like a screen color picker, an image editor, a ruler, a DNS changer, a QR code generator, a directory indexer, and more.
But that’s just not all, you will be surprised to know that this tool has a screen recorder and video converter as well. But as our focus here is image editor, let’s talk about what it offers you. It is one of the Best Free Photo Editor for Windows 10 users.
You can create high-quality images right from the scratch. Just take a screenshot, right-click on the captured, and choose the editor. You will have access to a large number of options in the photo editor to make it look amazing.
There’s this tool called the smart fill option which is a combination of color picker and color fill. Using this, once you define a portion, it will pick its color, and then you can easily fill that color on other parts of your image. It also allows you to upload images, text, and other types of files to more than 80 supported destinations that you can choose from, such as Imgur, FTP, Dropbox, etc.
Once the images are captured we can customize them with annotations, add effects, watermarks, and other actions. Any file can be uploaded using –configurable- hotkeys, loaded to the clipboard, drag, and drop or from the Windows Explorer context menu.
- A lot of options in the image editor
- Add watermarks to images
- Easy to capture images
- Customizable keys
|Easy to use UI in the image editor||Many features are buried deep which are hard to find|
|Option to upload images natively|
|Image blur, smart fill, and a lot of features|
The similarities to Photoshop go beyond aesthetics – if you’re used to Photoshop, you’ll feel right at home with Photopea. You’ll find the same essential tools and workspace layout. It supports most of the file formats you will need, from JPG and GIF to actual PSD files. And yes, Photopea supports layers, so you’ll be able to do some pretty complex editing in-app if needed.
Photopea has often been called online Photoshop due to its practical features. Designed more for users who have had experience editing photos, Photopea can be overwhelming for beginners.
It is compatible with different image formats. It works directly with .psd, but of course, it can with the classic jpeg and tiff ones. And it can only work with raw DNG files, so it avoids having to be compatible with all the RAWs on the market.
It’s processing speed depends a lot on the internet connection. In my case, it has taken more than five minutes to open a DNG file to process it. So if you are someone with a slow internet connection, then it might be difficult for you to use.
It comes in handy for more or less basic settings, and you can even achieve great things but limited to 8-bit and sRGB. It’s perfect for people who just want to add a splash to their photos for social media.
The best thing about Photopea is that it doesn’t bother with a sleek and artistic user interface to attract users. Instead, it relies on its powerful tools and features to keep users coming back for more.
The peculiarity of Photopea is nothing more than that it looks a lot like Photoshop. It does everything that the great classics allow just by connecting to the internet. So if you are someone who prefers a clean application with highly effective tools to work with, then you should consider using Photopea.
- Advanced layering
- Lots of filters
- PSD file compatibility
|Simple interface||Contains a lot of ads|
|Based on HTML 5||Slow processing time|
|Quick response and load times|
|Supports Multiple Formats|
The Photos app which is built into your Windows 10 PC isn’t as powerful as the other apps I mentioned above, but it’s extremely convenient and easy to use. You can use it for basic edits like applying filters, cropping, rotating images, and other light edits like saturation, contrast, etc.
There are a lot of other options too like the photo viewer, video viewer, video editor, slideshows, and more.
I found out that it usually bumps up saturation and contrast, fixes white balance, and makes a better-looking image overall. However, if you want to play with the images a little bit, you can adjust the strength of the Enhance tool’s effects with a slider.
There are 15+ filters and effects to tweak your images with, and the strength of each is adjustable as well. Included has four black-and-white options, with different levels of sharpness and saturation. Applying any one of these and then tweaking its strength lets you have amazing looking photos within a few seconds.
I am happy to see that the Microsoft Photos lets users adjust not only contrast and exposure but also shadows as well as highlights in the images. Color editing is presented here and I often use the Clarity slider (similar to that in Adobe Lightroom), which black points and controls sharpness in the images.
It no longer has selective-focus (also known as tilt-shift) or color-pop tools feature as it had in the previous versions of the app. Neither does it offer the option of noise and chromatic-aberration-reduction tools that you see in Adobe Photoshop Elements.
There are, however, simple and effective red-eye and blemish removal tools, and a vignette slider is available in the Adjust option. Once you are done editing your images, you can either save a copy or overwrite the original image. When just viewing, rather than editing an image, however, there’s no option to save the picture as a different file type or to a different location.
All these features make it one of the Best Free Photo Editor For Windows 10. This application is available on Microsoft store so you can download and try out the app for free.
- Basic editing options
- 15+ filters and effects
- Video edits and photo view
|Fast and seamless||No option to save the image in the desired location|
|Easy to use||Lacks many editing features|
|Slider in color editing|
|Create and edit photo albums|
GIMP is considered the best free photo editor available on the market. The software includes a wide range of tools, from basic actions to professional quality functions. Today, there are compatible versions for Windows, OS X, or Linux and it is totally free.
Although it may lack a tool compared to its competitors, it is still a very efficient program, offering a wide variety of editing options, and most importantly, it is free.
Beginners can greatly benefit from its selection and mounting, cropping, color adjustment, and automatic image enhancement tools. It uses a style very similar to that of Photoshop layers, so you know how to use it without a problem from the beginning (in case you are familiar with the Adobe photo editor).
On the other hand, advanced users will find a number of tools ideal for them, such as resizing, face swapping, animated gifs, layer masks, curves, and customizable brushes.
GIMP comes with impressive selection and mounting features, various ways to retouch your images, cropping tools, noise reduction and color adjustment, customizable brushes, gradients, and much more. There’s plenty for the more advanced user too, including layer masks, bezier curves, filters, and even an animation pack.
The interface is highly customizable, and the GIMP community has produced a ton of great plugins that are free to download. The program is loaded with tutorials and there is a lot of active and helpful community support, so don’t worry if you get stuck, help is always at hand.
It offers specialized and dedicated tools for scientists, professional photographers, illustrators, etc. It is a freely distributed program for tasks such as photo retouching, image composition, and image creation.
All of these features make GIMP an amazing free Photoshop alternative for those who are already familiar with Adobe. In addition, its interface is fully customizable and there are numerous add-ons that can be added for free.
Although GIMP is an extremely versatile and professional software and it tends to have a high learning curve and is not very suitable for the average computer user.
GIMP is open-source software with a large active community behind it. This means that the platform is constantly updated and improved. Its active community of contributors means that it is constantly developing, and any bugs are quickly removed. It all adds up to make a truly remarkable free photo editor that is superior to many commercial programs.
This photo editor can be installed on desktop computers or downloaded to a USB key for greater flexibility of use.
- Advanced features and options
- Free software
- Regular updates
- Similar interface to Adobe Photoshop
|Professional tools||Cluttered interface|
|Customizable UI||No mobile version|
|Open source program|
If you are looking for a free photo editor for Windows 10 then this might be for you. Picsart is something that is considered Photoshop for mobile, mainly because of its advanced features and tools.
PicsArt has been around for a long time and has been downloaded more than 250 million times to date. But very few people know that it has a desktop version as well, which you can install for free on the Microsoft store.
Picsart is also quite an interesting tool. However, it’s much more similar to the social network of images than to where you can check out other’s images. You will also have access to a social network where you can post and share with other users all our creativity when it comes to enhancing images. You simply have to log in using a Google+, Facebook, Twitter, or Microsoft account.
So that’s great to feed our eyes with loads of amazing photos. But if you look at it from a creative point of view, it can help you to find inspiration on the work carried out by other users, can’t it?
The application is fully adapted to Modern UI and is quite intuitive, mainly intended for touch screens. The developer constantly updates the application, adding new modern editing capabilities. PicsArt – Photo Studio is free and it really is much more than a photo editor, it allows you to create collages and it has a drawing tool. It is arguably one of the best editors for Windows 10 right now.
You will find many classic tools, including color editing, adding text, stickers, and collages. The application has more than 100 editing tools, in addition to its own social network where you can share your work. The application has the ability to create GIFs and draw on photos. It is a powerful tool with many features.
PicsArt for Windows will impress you with its features and design. Think of PicsArt as a cross between Photoshop and Paint. You can edit your photos, but you can also use a wide variety of brush tools: you can add a bit of glitter, decorate with text, adjust color, or create any image you can imagine of.
It boasts of tons of useful tools and many customization effects and filters. What you will love about this application is its simple interface. Like Fotor, it is straightforward and easy to understand.
With PicsArt, you can also cut an object from one photo and superimpose it on another. While PicsArt’s standout feature is remixing (and the community for re-mixing inspiration), you might not even need a separate app with cloning and cropping tools.
In addition to presets, there are hundreds of tools aimed at adding an artistic touch to your photos. From Lens flare to Double exposure, you can try the ones that suit your use. Being a modern photo editor, PicsArt also allows you to add text, make collages, and insert shapes.
And although it includes in-app purchases, the latter is totally optional. You can use the editor for free without any trouble, and with all its greatest functions. However, those purchases will allow you to expand the range of effects, filters, and other tools available.
Finally, to take full advantage of the main features of this tool, you’ve got the chance to resort to guides or tutorials that explain how to enhance photos, adjusting certain lighting parameters, or creating photo compositions just like any professional would do.
- Curves tool
- Support for layers
- Shares to social sites
- Huge variety of filters and effects
- Easy to understand tools and features
|Intuitive user interface||The cutout tool isn’t very useful as it leaves rough edges|
|Huge variety of editing tools||Can’t share images to multiple social networks at once|
|Social media sharing|
Best Free Photo Editor For Windows 10 FAQ
What is the best free photo editing software for windows 10?
If you are a beginner, then Darktable and Photopea are the one for you. However, Adobe Photoshop is the option if you want some professional level editing.
Does Windows 10 have a photo editor?
Technically, yes. Windows 10 comes with pre-installed Microsoft Photos which can also be used for basic photo editing.
What is the best free alternative to Photoshop?
Currently, GIMP is the best alternative to Adobe Photoshop mainly because it has almost all the advanced features you might look for in an editor.
How to edit photos in windows 10?
Once you open any image with the Microsoft photos app, begin by selecting Edit & Create at the top of your screen and then select. Now you will have access to a lot of adjustments and editing options right on your screen.
One of the most common mistakes made by photography enthusiasts is ignoring the importance of post-processing. In most cases, this last step of the process is skipped due to difficult access to photo editing programs.
For beginners and amateur photographers, tools like Photoshop and Lightroom can be quite daunting, not to mention the cost. Which is why I researched and found some easy to use and free tools to make your life easier.
I hope that my curated list might have been some help for you in choosing the photo editing tools. You can comment if you still have some doubts regarding them.