The Most Powerful Free Photoshop Alternatives

July 28, 2023 • Zachary Amos


Does a free Photoshop alternative even exist? You may think it impossible, considering how in-depth the original is, but there are plenty of fantastic options floating around online — you just have to know how to find them.


The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is arguably the best option on this list. This free Photoshop alternative is one of the most robust tools available online — some tech blogs have even called it “the Photoshop killer” because it’s simply that good. 

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Strengths: It has open-source code, meaning you can adjust it to your preferences if you know how. There are also many third-party plugins for maximum customization.

Honestly, GIMP is a great tool. It’s similar to Adobe Photoshop but provides incredible customization to suit your specific needs. Simply head to the website to download and begin using it.

2. Raw Therapee

The benefit of downloading this free Photoshop alternative is that you won’t have to remember to cancel your trial after seven days. Raw Therapee offers a range of editing options and has extra customizable extensions if you want to tailor your experience.  

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Strengths: You can use Raw Therapee to edit RAW files — a rare find for free photo editing tools. Additionally, it has its source code available to you. 
  • Weaknesses: Even though you can tailor the platform to your needs, the user interface is complex — meaning the learning curve is enormous. 

Raw Therapee is a powerful photo editing tool. It goes beyond providing the basics, so you never have to switch between apps to find what you want. You can download it by going directly to the website.

3. Inkscape

What’s a free Photoshop alternative that’s similar to the original version? Inkscape has a nearly identical user interface in comparison to Adobe, so you’ll have an easy time switching to it. It offers object manipulation, rendering and operations on paths. 

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Strengths: It has all the standard photo editing tools — you can crop, extract subjects, make color adjustments, blend and change the background from white to transparent. 
  • Weaknesses: Inkscape can’t edit some types of popular files. Additionally, some people find the user interface to be too cluttered. 

Inkscape is primarily a drawing platform, so it might be tricky to get the hang of if you’re used to traditional photo editing software. Still, it offers most of the standard tools. If that interests you, you can go directly to the website and click the “download now” option to start using it.

4. Adobe Express

As of June 2022, Adobe Express has been online as a free Photoshop alternative. While it’s still in Beta as of July 2023, most people can use it. You don’t have to get your eyes checked — Adobe actually offers a free service. 

It might seem odd, considering its high cost is likely what led you here in the first place. Once you get over the shock, you may be surprised to realize it’s a decent tool. 

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Strengths: Adobe Express has lots of unique features you won’t find elsewhere. For example, it has a generative artificial intelligence tool that can create graphics or text styles — the only limit is your creativity. 
  • Weaknesses: The main weakness of the platform is that it’s still in Beta, so it isn’t available in some countries. You may also experience lag or glitches.

Be mindful that you must be 18 or older to use Adobe Express. If you are, you simply go to the sign-up page and enter your information to begin. You can input your email, Apple ID or Facebook to create an account. Once you’re done, you can get started — no download is necessary since it’s a web version. 

5. Photopea

Where can you find a free Photoshop alternative online? Photopea is web-based, so you don’t need to download anything. It has a comprehensive set of tools and an in-depth user interface. 

It’s very similar to Photoshop — the layout even looks the same. For instance, the column on the left side of the page holds everything from a spot-healing brush to a dodge tool. 

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Strengths: It comes with a lot of unique features. For example, it has various size presets for Instagram stories, Facebook events and Youtube headers, to name a few.
  • Weaknesses: The platform’s support system is barebones and lacks a dedicated page. Instead, Photopea directs users to Reddit. This may be an issue, considering some reviewers have experienced glitches and slow responses while editing.  

Overall, it’s an excellent free Photoshop alternative if you don’t mind the ads or occasional technical hiccups. It’s pretty intuitive, despite the initial learning curve. To use it, you simply need to go directly to the website — there’s no need to sign up with your email.

6. Krita

Krita is a vector-based digital art tool, so you can feel comfortable editing and resizing everything without worrying about blur or distortion. It has transformation, composite mode, clipping masks and layers — all the standard features.

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Strengths: You can use brush engines, color palettes, blending modes, vector assistants and filter pallets to enhance your editing skills. Most free alternatives don’t offer tools like these.  
  • Weaknesses: It lacks some basic Photoshop features because it’s primarily meant to be a digital art platform.

Krita is intuitive and useful — the perfect combination in photo editing software. Head to the website and download the Windows, MacOS or Linux version to use it.

7. Photo POS PRO

Photo POS PRO is a popular free photo editing tool. You can color correct, create collages, retouch, filter or use effects. Basically, it has all of the standard tools. 

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Strengths: Its customizable interface lets you tailor your experience. It also has 24/7 customer support.

You can download Photo POS PRO on the official website — no need to sign up. The site has options to download the latest or previous versions.

8. Paint.NET

Paint.NET is a spinoff of Microsoft Paint that has evolved into a robust editing tool over the years. It boasts plenty of useful tools, community guides and helpful plugins. 

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Strengths: It’s intuitive and straightforward — just like the classic it’s based on.
  • Weaknesses: It lacks many of the more complex Photoshop features.

You can click this heading or search for “ download” online to get the tool. The 5.0.7 version is the latest as of July 2023. The website looks a bit sketchy, but it’s safe to use. Alternatively, you could install it via GitHub. 

9. Fotor

The basic version of Fotor is entirely free. It has all the standard photo editing options on its web, desktop and mobile versions. You can adjust lighting, apply effects and edit multiple photos simultaneously. 

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Strengths: Fotor is one of the few free tools that can open RAW file formats. Keep in mind that the desktop version is the only one with this feature as of July 2023.
  • Weaknesses: Fotor can take a while to get used to because of its complex user interface.

Fotor has an impressive host of photo editing features. If it sounds like something you’d like, you sign up with your email on the official website to get started. 

10. Canva

Canva is a simple yet effective tool. It’s extremely user-friendly, so it’s excellent for beginners. It offers color adjustment, effects, filters, section replacement and a text tool. While there’s a paid version, you can get it for free. 

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Strengths: Despite the simple look of the platform, it has an impressive set of tools for those in the free tier. 

The company behind Canva is large, so you can access customer support and get regular updates. You can sign up on the official website to use the web version or download the desktop app. 

Edit Away With a Free Photoshop Alternative

Adobe charges hundreds of dollars per year for its platform. If you’re like most people, you want a change. Each free alternative offers unique and powerful photo editing features, so you’re bound to like one.