Now, it’s easier than ever to take pictures and save memories. Most phones now have cameras that are very good and small enough to fit in a pocket. But no matter how good these cameras are, there’s always something you might want to change, crop, or tweak, and photo editing apps let you do just that. Even though there are apps for that on phones, computers are usually better for that kind of thing. Here are some of the best apps you can use to edit photos on Windows.
You’re sure to find something you like here, whether you’re a pro photographer or just want to make a quick change. Some of these apps may cost money, so it depends on what you want and how much money you have.
1. Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop and Lightroom)
Did you really think that a different app would be at the top of this list? Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes Photoshop, is the standard way to edit photos, regardless of whether you use a PC or a Mac. Photoshop is one of the most advanced tools for editing photos. It can do everything from simple changes to advanced things like layered images and composition.
It also has smart features like smart object selection that are powered by Adobe Sensei. There are even AI-driven features in Photoshop called Firefly Generative AI that are still in beta. With this feature, you can use AI to add or remove elements, make an image wider or taller, or even get rid of the background.
You can buy just Photoshop, but it is usually sold as part of Adobe Creative Cloud, which means you have to pay a monthly fee to use it. But it also means that you often get big updates with new features and capabilities. Events like Adobe MAX usually bring a lot of news.
Photoshop may be great, but what if you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars per year to edit your photos? That’s where GIMP comes in since it’s one of the most popular free tools for editing photos. GIMP gives you a lot of tools to work with, just like Photoshop, and the interface is very similar to Photoshop’s.
It’s free to download because it’s open-source, and it’s made to work well with other open-source desktop publishing software like Inkscape, SwatchBooker, and Scribus.
GIMP is also made so that third-party plug-ins can make it better, so if there’s a feature you want but can’t find, you might be able to add it for free. And if you don’t know how to use it, there’s a page full of GIMP tutorials to help you get started. GIMP works on all of the same platforms as Photoshop and a few more. It works on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
Photo editing apps use a lot of resources, so if you have an ARM-based Windows PC, you may find that most of these dedicated apps run much slower. Even though Photoshop has been made to work better with Windows on Arm, the performance might not be as good as it is on a traditional PC. That doesn’t have to be the case, though.
Paint.NET is another free app for editing photos. It has a lot of tools, like the ability to use layers, filters, and different effects on images. Most importantly, Paint.NET has been recompiled for ARM processors, so it will run at full speed on devices like the Surface Pro X and the Samsung Galaxy Book Go.
Even though these are all great apps for the typical Windows desktop or laptop with a keyboard and mouse, there are also many touchscreen devices that can be used for smaller changes. You can change the colors, crop, rotate, add text or effects, and do a lot more with this easier way to enter information.
5. Luminar Neo
Photoshop might be one of the most well-known programs for editing photos, but Luminar Neo by Skylum is also a good choice. This app is all about letting out your creative side. It has a very easy-to-use interface and is powered by AI, so it can help you with common photo editing tasks like replacing skies and making landscapes and portraits look better.
It has a lot of editing tools like Photoshop, like an eraser, structure tools, color tools, and development tools. There are even multiple presets, so you can get results like a pro with less work.
Which App for Editing Photos is the Best?
These are what we think are the best photo editing apps for Windows right now, whether you’re looking for advanced features or simpler ones. If you want the easiest way to edit an image, you can use the tools that come with Windows.
For example, the Photos app has some editing tools built in. If you want to know more about the Windows 11 Photos app, we took a deep dive into it. You can also use Paint if all you want to do is crop or resize an image.