Favorite free image tools for Windows

Jessica Dolcourt Jessica Dolcourt, Senior Editor September 3, 2009

We won't deny that professional photo software and fancy multimedia suites are worth the investment for those who need powerful advanced tuning tools, or who need a cohesive feature set to turn photos into photo books or movies. But pricey pro software like Photoshop or Corel Digital Studio 2010 could be a waste of your greenbacks if you never intend to prime your pixels beyond the basics. Sometimes a quick crop or touch-up is all you really need.


With that in mind, we've gathered five longtime favorites for your management needs. There's FastStone Image Viewer, a full-screen editor with unique controls, and Google's Picasa, which organizes photos into albums and quickly shares them online. We've also included IrfanView, a classic editor that sports batch conversion (as does FastStone's) in addition to easy-access tools, and Paint.NET, a heftier editor with Photoshop-like support for layers. We wrap it up with Gimp, which also sports layers and is perhaps the most similar of the bunch to Photoshop.

Product Name FastStone Image Viewer Picasa IrfanView Paint.NET GIMP
Date Added October 26, 2014 August 18, 2014 June 23, 2014 December 08, 2014 August 27, 2014
Editor's Rating
Average User Rating
Review Date October 06, 2014 September 15, 2014 April 17, 2014 August 31, 2014 August 06, 2013
Summary Though it's lightweight and completely free, FastStone Image Viewer has the power and features to be the primary image editor for most users and ... Read more Picasa is a photo editing and management program that also lets you take advantage of Google+ integration to back up your photos automatically. With a ... Read more Irfan View is a compact and powerful photo editing program that gives you the tools to touch up and add effects to your photos. You ... Read more Paint.NET is a full-featured image editing program that gives you tons of tools to work with through an intuitive and streamlined interface. Whether you ... Read more GIMP began life in the 1990s as the GNU Image Manipulation Program, and the free, open-source image editing tool has evolved in both complexity and ... Read more
License Free Free Free Free Free
Limitations No limitations No limitations No limitations No limitations No limitations
Downloads Last Week 26408 2171 66942 8679 5817
Total Downloads 12175821 5240482 74633059 7427841 3943988
File Size 5.54MB 14.27MB 1.81MB 6.23MB 87.42MB
Operating Systems Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Windows
Windows Vista
Windows 98
Windows Server 2008
Windows Me
Windows 7
Windows XP
Windows
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Windows
Windows 2003
Windows Vista
Windows 98
Windows Server 2008
Windows Me
Windows NT
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 8.1
Windows
Windows 7
Windows XP
Windows
Windows Vista
Additional Requirements No additional requirements No additional requirements No additional requirements .NET Framework 4.5, Windows 7 SP1 No additional requirements
Publisher FastStone Soft Google Irfan Skiljan dotPDN Gimp