Best Photoshop Free Alternatives for Photo Editing in 2024

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best photoshop free alternatives for photo editing in 2024

Tired of shelling out monthly fees for Adobe Photoshop? Need to make a quick edit and don’t want to go through the hassle of downloading bulky software?

Trust me, you’re not alone. As someone who’s been in the photography and digital art space for years, I totally get the frustration. Adobe Photoshop is the go-to for professionals, but let’s be real—it’s not the most wallet-friendly or user-friendly option out there.

That’s why I’ve spent countless hours testing and re-testing free photo editing software to find the ones that are actually worth your time.

So, if you’re looking for a Photoshop free alternative that doesn’t skimp on features, you’re in the right place.

Table of content

Pixlr: The Browser-Based Marvel

Pixlr photo editing

Ever been in a situation where you needed to make a quick edit but didn’t have your go-to software handy? Pixlr is the answer to those urgent editing needs. It’s a browser-based tool that’s so feature-rich, you’ll forget it’s a Photoshop free alternative.

With Pixlr X for quick fixes and Pixlr E for more complex tasks, this platform has got you covered, whether you’re a newbie or a pro.


  • No Installation Required: Just open your browser and start editing.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Designed to make your editing experience as smooth as possible.
  • Extensive Library: Filters, overlays, and effects galore.


  • Limited Offline Capabilities: You’ll need a stable internet connection.
  • Ads: Free version comes with ads, but they’re not too intrusive.


Freemium model with optional in-app purchases.

Adobe Express: Quick and Easy Edits

best photoshop free alternatives for photo editing in 2024
Adobe express photo editing

If you’re always on the move and need a quick touch-up for your photos, Adobe Express is your best bet.

This mobile and web-friendly tool is like the younger sibling of Adobe Photoshop—simpler but still powerful. It’s perfect for those social media posts that need to look just right.


  • Simplified UI: No clutter, just the tools you need for quick edits.
  • Adobe Integration: Syncs effortlessly with other Adobe products.
  • Social Media Ready: One-click sharing options to your favorite platforms.


  • Limited Advanced Features: Not your go-to for heavy-duty editing.
  • Watermark: Free version leaves a watermark, but it’s removable with a small fee.


Free with optional in-app purchases.

Affinity Photo: A Professional's Choice

affinity photo editing
Affinity photo editing

For those who are serious about their photo editing and want a tool that’s as robust as Photoshop but without the monthly fees, Affinity Photo is a game-changer.

This desktop software is like the luxury car of free photo editing software—high performance, sleek, and a one-time payment for lifetime access.


  • High-Performance Engine: Built for those who need speed and efficiency.
  • Advanced Features: Everything from layer styles to blending modes.
  • No Subscription: One payment and you’re set for life.


  • Steep Learning Curve: Takes some time to master, but it’s worth it.
  • Higher Initial Cost: A one-time payment that’s higher than free but pays off in the long run.


Free version or $49.99 one-time purchase.

GIMP: The Open-Source Powerhouse

gimp photo editing
Gimp photo editing

If you’re the type who likes to tinker and customize your tools, then GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is your playground.

This open-source software has been around for ages and has a community of developers and users who are as passionate about photo editing as you are.


  • Extensive Customization: Make the software truly yours with endless customization options.
  • Strong Community Support: A wealth of tutorials and forums to help you out.
  • Cross-Platform: Works on Windows, macOS, and Linux.


  • Complex Interface: Not the easiest to navigate, but highly rewarding once you get the hang of it.
  • Limited Official Support: Community-driven support means you’re reliant on forums and user guides.


Absolutely free, no strings attached.

Luminar: AI-Powered Excellence

luminar photo editing
Luminar photo editing

In a world where artificial intelligence is revolutionizing industries, why should photo editing be left behind? yes, it is not totally free, but much more affordable then photoshop.

Luminar brings AI into the editing suite, automating tasks that would take hours to do manually. It’s like having a personal assistant that knows exactly how you like your photos to look.


  • AI Tools: Features like AI Sky Replacement and AI Structure save you time and effort.
  • Intuitive Interface: Designed to make complex tasks simple.
  • Plugin Compatibility: Works well with other software, enhancing your editing capabilities.


  • Limited Free Version: The free version is good, but the paid version is where the magic happens.
  • Resource-Intensive: You’ll need a decent computer to make the most of it.


Starts at $67 for a one-time purchase.


So there you have it—five Photoshop free alternatives that are more than just backups; they’re strong contenders in their own right. Whether you’re editing a quick selfie or working on a professional portfolio, these free photo editing software options have got you covered. Happy editing!


Pixlr, Adobe Express, Affinity Photo, GIMP, and Luminar are excellent choices.

Absolutely, Pixlr offers a comprehensive suite of editing tools accessible right from your browser.

Adobe Express is designed for quick

Absolutely, it offers advanced features and a high-performance engine.

Yes, GIMP is open-source and completely free to use.

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