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 February 22, 2017 October 12, 2015 December 20, 2016 July 21, 2017 May 15, 2017
Editor's Rating
Average User Rating
Review Date July 29, 2015 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 2120 5842 30314 4288 1915
Total Downloads 13692269 5561258 79844640 8198962 4344657
File Size 6.38MB 14.27MB 2.06MB 6.87MB 85.43MB
Operating Systems Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 2000
Windows 10
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 10
Windows XP
Windows
Windows 2003
Windows Vista
Windows 98
Windows Server 2008
Windows Me
Windows NT
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 8.1
Windows 10
Windows
Windows 7
Windows XP
Windows
Windows Vista
Additional Requirements No additional requirements No additional requirements No additional requirements .NET Framework 4.6.1, Windows 7 SP1 No additional requirements
Publisher FastStone Soft Google Irfan Skiljan dotPDN Gimp