There are enough free online photo editors in the market to make you cringe at the thought of trying all of them out. Who has time these days when we are spoilt with so many choices but couldn’t bear to test all of them. Thus, we took the liberty of helping you out by test-driving almost all of them and recommend to you which is hot and which is not.
Below is the list of most recommended free online photo editors in random order. We tried to keep the list short but sweet by splitting the list between non-Flash based online editors and those that require the plugin since it will no longer be supported by Adobe from 2020 onwards. Furthermore, Chrome, the world’s most used web browser, isn’t a fan of that vulnerable plugin.
Recommended (non-Flash based)
We start with this because it is the easiest to use and chances are you already have it. No sign-up required if you already have a Google account and almost everyone nowadays has a Google account, especially when you use an Android phone. If you do, you could just go to https://photos.google.com or via the mobile app to experience this remarkably simple photo editor. It comes with the popular vignette (hotspot look) and pop (sharp contrast, crispy look) effects plus you could crop your photos into different aspect ratios (square, 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, landscape to portrait) with a tap of a button. A convenient photo editor for everyday use, even in your business.
Don’t let the unimpressive UI (user interface) discourage you from checking out this compelling tool. I personally use it extensively to edit my photos especially when I want to create a circular profile photo in less than 30 seconds, via the simple crop tool. It has an endless list of editing tools such as background transparent tool, watermark tool, speech bubble, caption, motivational poster template tool and did I mention plastic surgery tool? Yes, you can artificially cut your face online (check out my nose job above). It also includes GIF animation feature to quickly produce cool animation with a click. No registration necessary, whatsoever.
We always think that goods from China aren’t any good. Well, before we judge too quickly, take a look at this remarkable online photo editor that is made in Chengdu, China. It’s a 3-in-1 graphics editing platform that boasts an image designer, photo editor and collage maker. This photo editor is one of the most powerful software that you could find online with features like beauty touch-up, countless effects, stickers, frames and more. It supports various languages like English, Spanish, Russian, French, Japanese and of course their native Chinese. The only downfall is the cluttering of ads on the right and bottom sections. And you have to sign-up to download your finished photos.
Almost similar to Fotor and it also comes with its own designer, photo editing tool and collage maker. Although it lacks the array of functions that Fotor has (no beauty effect and sticker) it still offers enough value for anyone to want to easily edit your photo online. The best part is, you absolutely don’t have to sign-up to use it or to download your work. It also has fewer ads than Fotor.
Notable Mentions (Flash-based)
Here are some alternatives to the ones listed above that you might want to consider. They require the Flash plugin to operate.
Other than being a Flash-based photo editor, we must admit that this is one of the best editors we tested. It comes with all the bells and whistles that you find on any photo editing tool and fortified with painting tool plus you can add different layers ala PhotoShop. This layering lets you superimpose another image on top of another and also text and special stickers. It grants unrestricted use of never-ending effects and filters. A bonus function is that it lets you compare your edited work with the original before you commit your changes. Ads are kept at the minimum at the footer while signing-up is purely optional. You could also check out their own image designing tool and collage maker.
One of the more complete photo editors we tested. It has more features than your average photo editor, plus it includes the layering mechanism. You even have the option to save your photos on Google Drive or Dropbox and share them directly on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Tumblr. No registration is required whatsoever. It also comes with its own collage maker and graphics designer tool with ads. However, all of these come with a price as a most of the templates and effects are only available for the paid plus plan ($2.91 per month, billed yearly).
This is not your everyday photo editor because it behaves more like an online Photoshop. It comes with the typical editing toolbox that you find on Photoshop with tools such as marquee, wand, blur, dodge, gradient, stamp and a lot more. Also included is the image layer manipulation, photo adjustments and numerous filters. It boasts dozens of supported languages from English to Korean. However, it doesn’t open a PSD file. For that, you need to consider Gimp.
Not the best of all editors, in fact, the least performing ones on our list. However, we can’t help but notice its ease to design an Internet meme. Piczap also comes with some painting and drawing functions such as those you found on MS Paint. Overall, it’s geared towards creating something youthful, fun and comical.
In our next installment, we shall bring you the best free photo editing apps for your Android and iOS devices. To learn about more free tools and see them in action, you could check out our online course on exactly that.