Best Free Photo and Video Editing Programs

When it comes to photo and video editing, certainly the Adobe, Corel, Sony and FinalCut are the most popular software options around for both amateur and professional editors worldwide. However, any these programs will cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a single license, which might not be worth the expense if you want to get started or are on a shoestring budget.

Fortunately, there are currently many different free and open-source software alternatives you can choose from that will substitute most, if not, all of the apps mentioned above. Read below in this article to see some of the best free options out there.

Free Photo Editing Software

Pixlr Editor

This one is a browser-based easy to use photo editing application as powerful as their paid counterparts on the market. Created by AutoDesk, the company behind AutoCad and Fusion 360, it comes with many useful tools, such as curve, level, sharpen and blur adjustments. Also, there’s brushes, stamp and healing tools like Photoshop has.


Also known as the GNU Image Manipulation Program, this is one of the best-known free alternatives to Photoshop out there. It comes with virtually everything Adobe’s program has to offer. Unfortunately, it has its limitations, such as the lack of brushes settings, RAW filters or even drawing capabilities.

Developed with photography in mind, Krita is a great free photo editing software for beginners. One of the best things about it is that its layout is almost the same as Photoshop’s. So, if you plan on moving to its paid equivalent, it won’t be too hard to adapt. It has pen and drawing tablet support, comes with dozens of pre-installed templates and has guides and rulers too. However, it does not support RAW filters.

Free Video Editing Software

DaVinci Resolve

Perhaps the most popular and best option for free video editing is DaVinci Resolve. It comes with different editing workspaces, video effects, sound mixing and color grading tools, with professional editing kits in each workspace. There’s a vast effects library, but the learning curve can be a bit steep considering it’s node based, but there are many video tutorials and an active online community ready to help beginners.


This is a lightweight and straightforward editing program that has a quick startup and makes editing easy and smooth on most computers. Lightworks is the ideal program for those looking to apply basic effects and edit their videos. Also, it comes with grading and color correction tools if you need those.


Available exclusively for macOS devices, iMovie is a free video editing software targeted towards amateur editors that has been around since 1999, usually pre-installed on Apple computers. It supports enhanced tools, such as cropping, image stabilization, chroma key and dedicated audio enhancement options. Alternatively, you can use the included templates to create your films just by dragging the clips and pictures you want to use with your music, then adding titles and credits afterwards. This is perfect for those wanting to create a trailer for their family trip or share the highlights of their gaming livestreams.

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