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 March 12, 2014 June 26, 2014 June 23, 2014 July 23, 2014 December 02, 2013
Editor's Rating
Average User Rating
Review Date October 03, 2012 January 29, 2010 April 17, 2014 November 09, 2009 August 06, 2013
Summary Despite its name, FastStone Image Viewer is more than just a program for viewing images. It's also capable of performing a fairly significant number ... Read more Picasa Web Albums is Google's Web photo-hosting service. Users get 1GB of free hosting, and images can be uploaded and manipulated using Picasa, Google'... 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 If all you want is a quick image retouch, Photoshop is overkill. Paint.NET, on the other hand, is an open-source freeware editor with all ... 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 23855 2340 81301 8781 4582
Total Downloads 11588393 5190630 73071553 7243342 3817727
File Size 5.36MB 14.27MB 1.81MB 5.98MB 86.2MB
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