The debate over free and paid products never stopped, past, now and future. Both free photo editing software and paid photo editing software have their advantages and disadvantages. Generally, most of us may bear the concept that paid ones always offer more advanced features than free ones. That may be true in the past, but with the flourishing of photo editing market, more and more free photo editing software start to pack in much advanced editing features more than ever before. Here in this article, we’ve rounded up top 7 best free downloadable photo editing software products for your reference, there should be one that can meet your standard perfectly.

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DVDFab Photo Enhancer AI

Section 1. Free or Paid, It’s all your choice

To most common users who just want to make their food photos, travelling photos, pet photos or selfies look better when sharing on social network platforms, then most of the free photo editing software should be enough for this kind of basic photo editing demands. However, if you are a professional designer or photographer who have to polish the photos in great detail for the company or the clients, then going with paid products can better help you with more sophisticated photo editing tasks. Thus, choose your right tool according your own photo editing skill or your final purpose is your saftest approach. 

Section 2. Top 6 free downloadable photo editing software

In this section, we will introduce you the 6 best free downloadable photo editing software designed for PCs running either Windows macOS or even Linux. You may choose one of them or several if you don’t mind jumping from one to another every once for a while.

2.1 GIMP

GIMP is an open-source cross-platform free photo editing software available on multiple operating systems including Windows, macOS, Linux and more. This free photo editor is extremely popular among graphic designers, photographers, illustrators and even scientists.

Top 7 Best Free Downloadable Photo Editing Software

Key Features:

  • Offers an array of sophisticated photo editing tools, from retouching to restoring to creative composites
  • Gives artists the power and flexibility to transform photos into truly unique creations
  • Gives professional designers the ability to produce icons and design graphical elements, user interface components and mockups
  • Provides top-notch color management features to ensure high-fidelity color reproduction across digital and printed media
  • Provides extensibility through integration with many programming languages including Scheme, Python, Perl, and more
  • Supports a great many 3rd party plugins to extend its capacity

Availability: on Windows, macOS and Linux platforms

2.2 PhotoScape

As a free downloadable photo editing software, PhotoScape is fun, easy and powerful and it allows users to fix problematic photos or enhance photos for better quality. The features of this photo editor is also quite rich, including raw conversion, photo splitting and merging, animated GIF creation, and many more.

Top 7 Best Free Downloadable Photo Editing Software

Key Features:

  • Photo viewing and editing: View photos on your HDD, create a slideshow, or edit them with the features of resizing, brightness and color adjustment, white balance, backlight correction, frames, balloons, mosaic mode, adding text, drawing pictures, cropping, filters, red eye removal, blooming, paint brush, clone stamp, effect brush
  • Batch editing: Batch edit multiple photos to save your valuable time
  • Photo collage: Attach multiple photos vertically or horizontally to create one final photo
  • Create animated GIF: Use multiple photos to create a final animated GIF image
  • Photo split: Split a larger photo into multiple small photos
  • Capture screen: Capture whatever is showing on your display and save as image file
  • Color picker: Zoom in on images, search and pick a color
  • Raw Converter: Convert RAW images to much smaller JPG format

Availability: on both Windows and macOS platforms

2.3 inPixio Free Photo Editor

Although only compatible with Windows operating system, inPixio Free Photo Editor is super user-friendly and easily understandable for both novices and experienced photo editors. Feature-wise, it offers users quite many impressive photo editing tools, including over 90 amazing filters and more than 100 effects.

Top 7 Best Free Downloadable Photo Editing Software

Key features:

  • Share photos: share photos on Facebook or send them as postcards to friends and family with InstaCards
  • Retouch photos: change photo color, brightness and more for better quality
  • Trim and crop photos: change the photo focus and size like a pro
  • Filters and effects: add wonderful effects to quickly and easily transform photos into artworks
  • Add frames: enhance photos by adding more frames and overlays
  • Remove undesired objects: completely remove unwanted objects from photos
  • Cut out unwanted parts: Crop any detail, person, objects or landscape from photos
  • Sharpen photos: increase or correct photo sharpness to make them look more professional.

Availability: only on Windows platform

2.4 PhotoPad Photo Editor

As one of the most stable, easy-to-use, and comprehensive free downloadable photo editing software, PhotoPad Photo Editor offers quite an array of high-end photo editing features.

Top 7 Best Free Downloadable Photo Editing Software

Key Features:

  • Crop, rotate, resize and flip photos
  • Touch up photos to remove blemishes and fix color imperfections
  • Improve photo quality and focus with blur, sharpening and noise reduction tools
  • Adjust the color balance, exposure, levels, brightness, contrast and more
  • Merge multiple exposures to create stunning HDR photos
  • Change photo aspect ratio without distorting key features using the liquid resize effect
  • Easily undo, re-order and edit existing effects on the layers list using non-destructive editing
  • Toggle layer visibility to review an edit
  • Take and edit screenshots of your computer

Availability: on both Windows and macOS platforms

2.5 Darktable

Darktable software is a free open source raw editor for non-destructible image enhancement. It allows beginners make basic photo editing, apply filters, and do color correction.

Top 7 Best Free Downloadable Photo Editing Software

Key Features:

  • Non-destructive editing throughout the complete workflow
  • GPU accelerated photo processing: many photo editing operations are lightning fast with OpenCL support
  • Professional color management: Darktable is fully color managed, supporting automatic display profile detection on most systems, including built-in ICC profile support for sRGB, Adobe RGB, XYZ and linear RGB color spaces.
  • Cross-Platform: Darktable runs on Windows, macOS and Linux
  • Filtering and sorting: search photos by tags, rating (stars), color labels and many more
  • Zero-latency, zoomable user interface: through multi-level software caches Darktable provides a fluid experience
  • Tethered shooting: support for instrumentation of your camera with live view
  • Allows to export to low dynamic range (JPEG, PNG, TIFF), 16-bit (PPM, TIFF), or linear high dynamic range (PFM, EXR) images

Availability: on Windows, macOS and Linux platforms

2.6 IrfanView

Don’t consider IrfanView simply as a photo viewer, which a lot of people do, actually, it features abundant remarkable photo editing, managing, organizing, converting and retouching capabilities.

Top 7 Best Free Downloadable Photo Editing Software

Key Features:

  • Paint option: draw lines, circles, arrows, straighten image etc.
  • Lossless JPG rotation, crop and EXIF date change (also in batch mode)
  • Batch conversion: advanced image processing of all loaded files
  • Change color depth, scan/cut/crop photos, add overlay texts/images (watermark)
  • IPTC editing, Effects including Sharpen, Blur, Adobe 8BF, and more
  • Screen capturing, extract icons from EXE/DLL/ICLs and support 3rd party plugins

Availability: on both Windows and macOS platforms

Section 3. Best AI-powered Photo Editing Software

Like mentioned previously, in most cases, free photo editing software can meet 80% of your common photo editing requirements, but if you are editing photos for a company or your clients as a designer or photographer, then it’s better to go with paid photo editing software.

The one we recommend today is the AI-assisted photo editing software, DVDFab Photo Enhancer AI, which can automatically perform all the photo polishing tasks for you in a matter of seconds, including enlarging photo resolution by up to 40 times without quality loss, reducing all types of noise, and removing all the blurs, even optimizing your photos for DSLR level only by one click.

Photo Enhancer AI — AI-powered photo editing software to save your time tweaking photos one by one

Key Feature:

*Optimize your photos as though they were shot using a DSLR camera

*Enlarge photos by up to 40x and enjoy unprecedented image quality

*Reduce noise, let your photos look more life-like than ever

*Decrease motion/out-of-focus blurs for sharper, clearer photos

OS Compatibility:

Windows 10/8.1/8/7 (32/64 bit)

Price: 79.99/year or 129.99/lifetime

More Info:

Despite not a free photo editor software, it still allows you to use it totally free for 30 days so that you can decide whether it is worth your money, before making a purchase at its online store. And to download it is totally free, even without asking for an email address like some of the free downloadable photo editing software out there.

Top 7 Best Free Downloadable Photo Editing Software

Availability: only on Windows platform as of now

Section 4. Final Thought

After reviewing all the free downloadable photo editing software above, how do I choose the one right for me exactly? Well, it’s easy and it’s not easy as well. If you know exactly what photo editing features you are after and your own photo editing skill, then it’s quite easy. Otherwise, it can be difficult for you.

That being said, in terms of free downloadable photo editing software for Windows platform, our top recommendation goes to GIMP thanks to its extensibility with 3rd party plugins. And for macOS users or Linux fans, our final pick goes to Darktable. However, this does not mean that others do not deserve your attention, after all, it’s only our pick. The final decision is still in your own hands.

As for professional designers and photographers, we really recommend DVDFab Photo Enhancer AI, because as a designer or photographer, you might need to edit photos on a daily basis, then an AI-powered photo editing software can save you much of your valuable time and energy.

Section 5. Related FAQs

Q: Which free downloadable photo editing software is best for common Windows users?

A: We believe GIMP is more than enough for most of the common users with very basic photo editing demands. And also those less skilled novice users as well.

Q: Which free downloadable photo editing software is best for common macOS users?

A: Darktable is best recommended for macOS for its macOS friendly interface.

Q: What about web designers and experienced photographers?

A: Well, to this group of users, we recommend DVDFab Enhancer AI, because they have a lot of photo editing jobs to do every day, so an AI-powered tool can win them much time and still get things done perfectly.