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  • January 07, 2021
  • 30 min to read

Photo Editing Software for PC in 2021 - Free Download

Photo Editing Software for PC in 2021 - Free Download

It has become general truth that almost every Internet user who has an account on social networks edits their photos. For this reason, today we will be looking at Top 18 best photo editing software for PC that you will make good use of. Let’s get it started!  

(Shortlist) Top 10 Photo Editing Software for PC with a Free/ Trial Versions to Download

  1.  Microsoft Windows 10 Photos
  2. Luminar
  3. GIMP
  4. Lightzone
  5. Paint.NET
  6. Aurora HDR
  7. Photos Pos Pro
  8. PhotoScape X
  9. Lightroom
  10. Photolemur

1. Microsoft Windows 10 Photos (Windows 10's Built-In App)

This app replaced its predecessor, Windows Photo Gallery. Although the software lost some of the features and tools, it still offers all the basic and essential means of editing your photographs and videos.

The first thing you notice when getting acquainted with Microsoft Windows 10 Photos is the minimalistic interface that is easy to interact with. The photostream is horizontal, which some users may find a bit unusual, but this feature actually contributes to the convenience of the app. You can rest assured that no extra icons will get in your way!

The key tools include Enhance, Contrast, Brightness, Shadow, Tint, Warmth and Filters. With videos, you will be able to add some music as a background, create clips and projects. The software is free so don’t hesitate to give it a go!

2. Luminar (7 days fully free)

A great solution for those who are ready to buy editing software and use it regularly, Luminar is also available for a 7-day free trial. It’s considered one of the leading software of its category on the market.

Luminar can fix minor drawbacks in your pictures automatically, or you can take control over it and turn to the following tools: brushes, filters, Enhance, Curves and others. The software loses out on some up-to-date features like adding location or face recognition, but the stability and convenience balance up.

You can store your pictures in catalogs or easily import them to the PC files or elsewhere. Luminar supports numerous photo formats, including RAW. Edit your pictures with the help of filters or adjust the colors separately for the best result.


Another decent competitor is GIMP, a true pioneer of photo editing founded back in 2002 and developed to a great extent now. The design has undergone changes – all the tools you will now find in one window! In addition to that, you can choose the background color of the software that will suit your taste the most.

GIMP now operates GEGL, which enhanced its efficiency and work speed. You can process formats like PNG, TIF, JPG, RAW and some others. Take advantage of the split feature that enables you to compare the before and after of your picture and keep your eye on each detail. 

Apart from the basic tools, GIMP now can boast with the variety of Transform Tool options, which allow you to work with the scale and perspective within one tool.

4. Lightzone

For a free photo editing software, Lightzone offers a vast range of great tools and ways to transform images at ease. The list includes sharpening, managing colors, getting rid of the noise, changing brightness, eliminating red eyes, adding glow to the skin and many more.

One of the best features of Lightzone is the ability to undo changes or track them, which enables you to choose what way you like your pictures more. Another quite appealing feature is the quick and smooth processing of RAW format files that allow you to work with the highest quality of your images.

Don’t wait around and try this free photo editing software right now!

5. Paint.NET

If you search for a free photo editor to process images on your PC, Paint.Net is a viable solution! The software interface is smartly designed, so you can easily navigate the program. Here you will find numerous tools, such as pen, crop tool, text adding and others. Even the newbies in the world of editing will learn how to handle the app in a split minute.

Another upside of Paint.NET is a rather fresh feature – translucent pallets that don’t get in your way while you’re editing. However, those of you who disapprove of this feature can just turn it off.

All the necessary means of editing an image you will find in the Adjustment section, where you will be able to work with the color and brightness. Removing red eyes is also one of the key elements of the section. Although Paint.NET hasn’t provided some extra tools like adjustment layers, it is great for simple photo manipulations.

6. Aurora HDR

This software meets all the standards of an up-to-date editing app – Aurora HDR offers an impressive number of tools and features, including Curves, Enhance, Dodge & Burn, Color Adjustment and a lot of opportunities with the HDR effect.

Aurora HDR operation is based on AI and transforms your average pictures into highly detailed images with a variety of layers to them due to the emphasis on HDR. The results look clear and sharp, the key objects stay in the foreground.

Use creative filters for a change in the mood of the picture. The software has plug-in options with Apple Photos, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom; the users can process RAW files and maintain the highest quality of their works. You can get Aurora HDR for a free trial.

7. Photos Pos Pro

Produced by Power of Software, Photos Pos Pro appears to be a powerful program for editing and retouch. It offers an abundance of features and useful tools, both basic and out-of-the-ordinary; the app also enables you to create collages and even web pages, so that you can show all your creativity and bring your ideas to life.

The strongest side of Photos Pos Pro is the convenience and simplicity of the interface; the navigation will be no problem even for kids. Professional photographers will take advantage of its compatibility with the RAW format. If this is the first time you work within Photo Pos Pro, don’t hesitate and watch the step-by-step tutorials offered by developers.

All the outstanding features are only available in a paid version, although you can get a free trial.

8. PhotoScape X

Do you like to apply filters and presets instead of adjusting each detail separately? Then PhotoScape is a great option for you, since it offers numerous effects from film to bokeh, from HDR to Surrealistic effect. The list of filters makes PhotoScape stand out in the crowd of competitors.

Nevertheless, there are tools for photo processing that allow you to work on each aspect in depth. Change the size, brightness, contrast and other settings in a picture. Another upside of PhotoScare is that it enables you to create GIFs, a feature that many other photo editing software won’t offer.

Windows 10 and macOS users can download PhotoScape for free; still, if you want to appreciate all the best tools PhotoScape has come up with, you can enjoy the paid version.

9. Lightroom

Most of us have heard of this photo editing giant – made by Adobe, Lightroom makes one of the most convenient and rich-in-tools software for editing and retouching.

Lightroom operates as cloud storage, which implies that you can keep your images within the app. Take control over all the basic settings: brightness, contrast, shadows, whites and blacks, color adjustment, clarity, sharpness and much more. Change the size and rotate the picture, add presets and frames. Also, be sure to try to create your own presets and share them with others! The variety of features will impress you.

Import images directly from your digital camera or SD card and get to work straight away. Save edited photos in any format you like.

10. Photolemur

This is one of the best photo editing software for PC with free a download option. Photolemur is rather new on the market compared to the above-mentioned apps. However, this software is not inferior, for it offers you a quick automatic edit with the help of the Enhance tool. You can also smoothen the skin with Enhance Face and make a portrait look more appealing.

Photolemur has a secret – it operates based on AI that conducts an analysis of a photo and creates a unique way to improve its quality.

The users can process many photos at once, which saves time and effort. Just use the Enhance tool and the work is done! The software is available for free download, but not without a watermark in your picture.

11. Pixlr (Web or Mobile Versions)

This photo editor runs in the browser, which has both its pros and cons. The good thing about it is that you don’t depend on any device or OS, the bad one – the app won’t operate without Flash and you’ll have to get used to the advertisement.

You can import photos from your PC or from Facebook, which may save you some time if you’re in a hurry. Another remarkable advantage of Pixlr is the customizability of the interface, which implies that the program will meet your unique demands and preferences in terms of design.

Pixlr can offer many advanced features for transforming your photos. For example, within Pixlr users can apply layers, use brushes, adjust light settings or manage colors. Quite a bargain for a free editor!

12. RawTherapee

As you can see from the name of the software, its main goal is to process RAW files in the most efficient and sophisticated way, so that the photos could maintain their quality and look even better after editing.

RawTherapee is perfect if you want to modify the exposure, shadows, color settings, temperature, contrast and some other aspects. You can also manipulate the format and resize the photo.

Those of you who prefer to complete several tasks at once may be disappointed that RawTherapee allows you to process only one file at a time. Nonetheless, the well-thought design makes you enjoy the process and dive into it fully.

RawTherapee enables you to make presets and save the needed settings to apply them to another file. This is a nice free option if you don’t feel like buying a photo editor program.

13. DarkTable

This software takes the leading position as far as the number of tools is concerned – here you will be able to crop, rotate, work with curves, adjust white balance and much more. In each separate section, the users will find the corresponding tools. 

Process RAW files at ease – bring out new layers and angles in a picture. With DarkTable you can make the colors pop out or emphasize sharpness and natural beauty.

This is a decent opponent to Lightroom, although you don’t have to pay in order to use DarkTable. It’s powerful and simple at the same time, and that is a fact.

14. InPixio

Bring your pictures to a new level with InPixio – smartly designed and useful photo editor. You will be able to apply filters and designs, as well as create frames or just crop your images. Needless to say, such basic features as brightness, contrast and color managing are all here.

The app has numerous versions and updates, which lets you pick the best one with the most suitable interface and tools. The customers can choose between InPixio Photo Clip 8 and InPixio Photo Clip 8 Professional, the second offering 100+ effects, a handle of frames and text adding features.

One of the high points is the change of background – the software can automatically wipe it or you can paint it on your own. Bring the most important details into focus with the focus tool. Feel sure about InPixio? Don’t wait and purchase it now.

15. Picktorial

Another famous photo editor for PC is definitely worth your attention – you will take advantage of the minimalistic design and all the necessary tools for better image processing. Create a masterpiece by working on clarity, white balance, saturation, curves and so on. For portrait photographers, Picktorial offers a variety of features to improve the skin or make it smooth.

Brushes and gradients make up a great basis for your adjustments and creative deeds. The interface may appear similar to the Lightroom’s, but it is more of an advantage. Choose the visibility for each tool.

The most attention developers paid to color adjustments – you will make great use of the Color Mask tool and other opportunities to render this aspect of your picture.

16. Polarr

Do you like your images out-of-the-ordinary and bizarre? Want to stand out on Instagram? Well, then Polarr is the best software you will find. It’s popular for its impressive effects that have no equivalent on the market.

Creating your own filters and using editing tools for face makes the basis, while unusual effects like light leaks and flares spice up the software. Brushes, color masks, enhance, vignette, curves – all of them allow you to process your pictures the best way and get the needed results.

Users can customize the interface, change dark or white mode or create a new colorful design. There is only paid subscription available, although very affordable -- $2,49 a month for quality photo retouch and editing.

17. ON1

ON1 photo editing software aims at providing the best services for those who want to make a change with their photography. If you need time to make acquaintances with ON1 – take advantage of a 30-day free trial.

The app is great to manage RAW files, it adds depth and sharpness to a picture to an extent suitable for each user. You can organize photos the way you find it convenient and pick those that you would like to work with.

Mac and Windows users can purchase the software and enjoy the whole range of features and tools. Want to make the grass look greener? No problem! Irritated by those red eyes? There will be no more! Change the contrast, blur the background, manage colors and never stop creating with ON1.

18. Photopea (Online app)

We close our list with this advanced photo editing software that is in no way worse than all the previous options. The design resembles that of Photoshop and boasts with its simplicity and minimalism. Every tool is kept in its own place and can be reached easily, so you don’t have to worry about losing the essential brushes or settings.

You can manage photos with the help of layers, brushes, filters, crop-and-rotate tools and many others. Save your settings to apply them as a preset later. Erase whatever you dislike in your image or add new elements or even text.

Photopea is a decent solution for those of you who need a cheaper alternative to Lightroom or Photoshop. Here it is, waiting for you to download it and get down to creating beautiful pictures!

We hope these variants of editing software will bring out your creativity and imagination!

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