Free Photo Editor For The Mac


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  • Thanks to our photo editing tools anyone can now create professional looking photos in seconds. The Free Photo Editor from inPixio lets you add a wide range of impressive effects to your photo with features that go beyond a standard online photo editor. Editing a photo.
  • Free photo editor mac free download - PhotoPad Free Photo Editor for Mac, MovieMator Free Mac Video Editor, VideoPad Free Video Editor for Mac, and many more programs.

Free photo editing software for Mac: 11 of our favorites 1. Why we love it: We thought we’d start with the OG of Mac photo editors. Photos made its first. Why we love it: Luminar boasts 60-plus filters for maximum results with minimum time and tinkering.

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Everyday we make or view hundreds of pictures. In this brief article we take a look at several free photo editors for Mac (macOS). We’ve selected 5 applications that are easy to use on a casual basis. Professional photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom will not be listed as each would require a separate article.

In order to grasp app capabilities quickly, we need verification criteria. We have decided on several basic functions that are key to the image editing process. These include crop tools, color filters, text tools (fonts, resize, etc.), no watermark, file formats, saturation, contrast, red-eye, etc. We also consider the difficulty in mastering basic tasks and a general impression.

Photoscape X

Size: 244 MB MacOS: 10.12 or later RAM: ~300 MB License: Free / $39.99

Main advantage of this photo editing tool for macOS is the unlimited free version. There’s no shortage of tools to explore and apply. Photoscape interface may seem overwhelming at first sight, but in fact all the tools are logically and correctly distributed. The top line of tabs represents various options: creating animated GIFs, color adjustment, screen capturing, etc. The main workspace for editing is the Editor tab.

Beside the basics, the app has automatic image settings, such as auto-contrast, auto-levels, auto-color, sharpen, blur, noise, grain. Quick menu allows to configure frequently used parameters. And of course, you can insert and edit text, change font and size. Photoscape supports .jpeg, .gif, .png, .bmp, .tiff.

When saving the file, users will have to select the image quality setting – with calculation of output image size, select the format, directory. Overall, this tool could be of use to all users, from simple Facebook cover editing to quick processing of photo shoots.


  • Pro-level application
  • No time limits for free version
  • Modern interface, Quick menu

Photo Image Editor Pixelstyle

Size: 34 MB MacOS: 10.9 or later RAM: ~100 MB License: Free

Visually Pixelstyle very much looks like Adobe Photoshop: similar location of tools, similar order of menus. Therefore, Photoshop devotees will comprehend this app right away. The interface is universal and intuitive anyway. Tools on the left: transform tool, slope, crop, brush, red-eye remover, text. Settings and processing options sit in the top menu.

In the File tab one will import, export, or save a project / image. Pixelstyle for Mac allows adjusting saturation, gamma, white point, hue, brightness, contrast and other parameters (Image tab – Adjustment). It is also convenient to work with image layers (Layers). For filters there’s no templates like on Instagram, yet enough options to create your own.

Image file formats: .png, .jpg, .raw, .gif, .bmp, .pdf, .tiff, .jpeg. Resemblance to Adobe Photoshop indicates the intention of Pixelstyle developers to place it among professional photo editors for Mac. The great advantage is a free basis, without ads and obligations. We have noticed that throughout the program use the load on working memory (RAM) did not exceed 100-110 Mb.


  • Familiar interface
  • Light on RAM
  • Totally free editor

Polarr Photo Editor

Size: 56 MB MacOS: 10.13 or later RAM: ~100 MB License: Free / $19.99

Welcoming users with a brief video tutorial, which is handy, Polarr has a fashionable minimalist interface. It fits into the whole macOS design nicely. Despite the fact that there is no display of tool names, it’s not a problem – iIcons in one common style.

Polarr application has special tools for processing human faces in pictures. First of all – automatic detection, then also resizing of different facial parts and other options, clearly made with social networks in mind. Certain settings are not available unless you buy a subscription, e.g. spot color change, selective blur, partial lightening.

At the moment, work is underway to provide support for .raw files, for an ability to convert to .jpg then. A file saving window contains a set of functions: file format, quality, watermark (which, by the way, is probably the smartest placement of this feature among photo editors for Mac, namely at the post-production stage). You can save the exact user settings as a template for further use.


  • User-friendly interface
  • Extensive saving options
  • Batch image processing

Read also:5 free screen capture apps for Mac.

Fotor Photo Editor Mac

Size: 227 MB MacOS: 10.13 or later RAM: ~150 MB License: Free / $19.99

When you start Fotor, the program immediately prompts to choose 1 of 5 actions. This proves to be a convenient way to quickly determine the direction of editing. Users can create collages, edit selfies, as well as work with HDR files, and perform batch photo processing. The latter is quite convenient – choose a folder with files (Source), select format, quality, watermark, filters, etc., and apply it all to multiple images simultaneously.

As for a free photo editing software for Mac, Fotor offers enough features for basic tasks (roughly ⅓ of full functionality). Touch Up feature is designed to edit selfies – use the assistant to delete black dots, brush for smoothing, or copy certain areas. Different brushes for makeup effects are available in the Make Up tab.

To save the image, click on the Export button and select one of the options, or also immediately share the image on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr. Overall impression of Fotor is positive, it has a user-friendly interface, and most functions are available. Popular file formats are surely supported: .tiff, .jpeg, .png, .raw, .gif.


  • Touch Up tool for selfies
  • Batch photo processing
  • HRD files editing


Size: 473 MB MacOS: 10.9 or later RAM: ~200 MB License: Free

GIMP is a default image editor of GNU – a free Unix-type operating system. GIMP is available for Linux, macOS, Windows as well. This is a free open-source software, meaning users can modify the code and distribute their versions. File formats: .bmp, .gif, .jpeg, .mng, .pcx, .pdf, .png, .svg, .tiff, .tga, .xpm, and more.

The interface is pretty stuffed, and somehow it resembles Adobe Photoshop. The program has a huge number of color settings, filter adjustments, tools, layers – everything you might need, and keeping our initial criteria for photo editors for Mac in mind.

GIMP goes beyond basics, with it we can create graphic elements, icons, interfaces, design projects. It is a fully professional tool for image processing, in other words. Full potential is time-consuming, GIMP is not a tool you’d use to crop or saturate an image once.


  • Free and open-source software
  • Professional editor with numerous tools
  • A variety of supported file formats


  • Too complex for casual users
  • No light theme
Best mac photo editing software

Photos & Preview

Size: 56 MB MacOS: all RAM: ~250 MB License: Free

Perhaps not many people know that the default Photos application on macOS which is ment to view pictures, is also capable of configuring image parameters. In order to open it as the editor, click the Edit button in the upper right corner. It will switch from view to edit mode.

In this mode, adjusting many parameters is possible: saturation, amount of light, brightness levels, sharpness, noise, red-eye, vignette. Or alternatively, the automatic mode to save time. There are 10 color filters and a huge number of other settings. The Crop tab is responsible for image alignment, cropping, display, etc.

Unfortunately, in this application, there is no way to add elements or text, although another default Mac application – Preview, may help. Basically, Photos and Preview is a complementary option, or a simple alternative to mentioned photo editors for Mac. The most user-friendly interface with clear settings and no need to install new programs will be a dealbreaker for many.


  • Default maOS application
  • Basic editing options, filter templates


As a brief summary to these photo editor Mac apps, we will create a table with the key values of each of them.

ProductSize (Mb)RAM (Mb)LanguagesFormatsLicenceCompatibility
Photoscape X24430010jpeg, gif, png, bmp, tiffFree / $4010.12 or later
Pixelstyle341004png, jpg, raw, gif, bmp, pdf, tiff, jpegFree10.9 or later
Polarr5561001jpeg, png, cr2, raf, nef, rawFree / $2010.13 or later
Fotor2271501tiff, jpeg, png, raw, gifFree / $2010.13 or later
GIMP47321555bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, ps, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpmFree10.9 or later
Photos & Preview56.5250jpeg, tiff, pngFreemacOS

Read next: Best video editing software.


In category

Free Photo Editor For Mac

  • January 02, 2020
  • 18 min to read

Most free photo editors available on the App Store are quite basic, offering just a limited number of filters and allowing you to easily and quickly liven up your photos before posting them on social media.

But if you’re an aspiring or professional photographer, you probably need a more powerful app with a broader set of tools to use your creativity to the fullest. Besides, you probably use your Mac for photo editing because working on a large screen makes it possible to adjust the slightest details.

1. Apple’s Photos (Built-in app)

Apple’s Photos app is included for free on all recently released Macs. It does a good job at organizing your photos, but its collection of photo enhancement tools leaves much to be desired. Hopefully, our selection of the best free programs for photo editing on Mac will help you choose the right app to suit all your creative needs.

2. Luminar (7 days trial)


Luminar is another full-featured photo editor that’s popular with both Mac and Windows users. It can work as a standalone app as well as a plugin for such popular programs as Apple Photos.

Luminar uses Artificial Intelligence to enable sophisticated yet quick photo enhancements. Among these AI features are Sky Enhancer, which adds more depth and detail to the sky in your photos while leaving other areas untouched; Accent AI, which analyzes a photo and automatically applies the best combination of different effects to enhance your image; and Sun Rays, which allows you to place an artificial sun and adjust the lighting to your liking or make the sun rays already in your photo look even more incredible.

Luminar has over 60 filters you can apply to your photos to enhance them in a moment. Luminar also provides a set of powerful tools for cropping, transforming, cloning, erasing, and stamping, along with layers, brushes, and many more incredible features. Luminar supports the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro, making photo editing even more effortless and pleasing.

3. Photolemur 3 (Free Version with watermark)

Photolemur is a relative newcomer on the photo editing market but it has all the chances to win the favor of beginner photographers and hobbyists. Running on Artificial Intelligence, Photolemur is a completely automatic photo enhancer, meaning that it does all the editing for you in no time. It has the simplest interface, with only a few buttons and sliders to adjust the enhancement to your liking and view the before and after results.

All you need to do is choose a photo (or a few) that you want to improve, drag and drop or import them using the Import button, and let the program make enhancements. After it’s done, you can compare the edited version with the original image by using the before–after slider and, if you want, adjust the skin tone or even enlarge the eyes using additional sliders. Pretty easy, huh?

Photolemur also offers a number of impressive styles to touch up your photos and give them a sophisticated and professional look. With this app, you don’t need to stuff your head with photo editing nuances and terms. Just run Photolemur and watch the magic happen!

4. Aurora HDR (14 days trial)

As you probably can tell from the name, Aurora HDR is designed to help photographers enhance their HDR photos, making them even more detailed and beautiful. It’s an ideal tool for editing your photos, with an extensive collection of more than 20 tools including details, tone, mapping, color, glow, and vignette. Each tool has its unique selection of controls to adjust its effects.

Aurora HDR enables you to work with brushes, layers, and masks, and provides a number of automatic AI tools for recognizing and removing noise, enhancing colors, lighting, and details, improving clarity, and adding contrast to dull areas while leaving other areas untouched.

Aurora HDR does a great job dealing with difficult lighting situations and creating full-of-life images while being easy to use.

5. Pixelmator (Trial 30 Days)

Pixelmator is a photo enhancer beloved by many Mac users, as it offers a good combination of a modern and simple interface, the ability to work on multiple layers, and powerful features that take photo editing to a whole new level. With so many editing tools, brushes, and effects, you can enhance your photos to your liking. You can choose between two versions of Pixelmator – standard and pro – depending on your needs. The standard version is great for basic photo editing with its selection of essential tools and filters, while the pro version is packed with extra brushes, tools, and effects that let you push your creativity to new boundaries. You can decide which version is suitable for you according to what features you’re looking for in a photo editing app.

6. Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020 (Trial link)

Free Photo Editor For Macbook

Photoshop Elements isn’t as affordable as other photo enhancers for beginner photographers. But luckily there’s a trial version available, so you can check it out before deciding whether this app is worthy of your money. Photoshop Elements acquired many powerful features from Photoshop, only Elements is simplified for amateur photographers and enthusiasts. It includes a good number of effects and filters, plus automated editing options for improving lighting, color balance, and exposure, and even opening closed eyes and reducing the effects of camera shake.

In addition to all of these awesome features, Photoshop also offers editing modes for beginners, intermediate users, and experts. Beginners will probably prefer Quick mode, as it focuses on essential tools to quickly enhance your photos by improving color, lighting, and other basic settings. Guided mode provides intermediate users with step-by-step guidance with more professional features like artistic effects, skin tone correction, and background replacement. Expert mode gives you full access to the app’s really powerful editing features and is ideal for creating stunning images.

7. Affinity Photo (Free Trial)

Affinity Photo’s interface may seem overwhelming at first, especially for novices, but when you come to grips with it you’ll find that the app is just what you’ve been looking for. Its numerous professional tools, effects, and filters encourage you to get creative with your photos. Among the coolest features Affinity Photo has to offer is a before and after view to compare the original photo with its edited version.

Affinity Photo works with 15 file types, including common ones like PDF, PSD, JPG, and GIF as well as some less popular ones. The app amazes with its abundance of basic and top-notch editing tools, allowing you to tweak your photos using all possible kinds of instruments. Affinity Photo allows you to edit HDR photos, apply artistic filters and effects, play with masks and layers, and create breathtaking compositions by combining several images in one. If you find its interface a bit much and are afraid of getting lost in all those advanced tools, you should probably look for something more suitable for your level. But Affinity Photo is worth mastering.

8. Google Photos

Google Photos is a popular cloud storage service for photos and videos. It can’t boast countless masterly tools like other photo enhancers that we review in this article, but it includes some fundamental features like filters, color adjustment sliders, and transformation tools.

Although Google Photos may not be that helpful when it comes to editing photos, it does a pretty good job at storing high-resolution images and videos with 15GB of free online storage, compared to iCloud’s mere 5GB (which you can upgrade to 50GB for a monthly fee). If you’re planning to go on a trip and take plenty of photos, then it might be smart to sign up for Google Photos to use that extra storage space when you come back.

9. PhotoScape X (Free)

A relatively new photo editing app, PhotoScape X has been gaining popularity with many Mac and PC users since its release in 2008. Its interface is simple but unconventional, with a number of tabs running along the top of the window. Each is responsible for a specific stage of editing. The Viewer tab allows you to browse and organize your photos. After you pick a photo, you can switch to the Editor tab, which includes a broad set of instruments, filters, and effects and a useful feature that enables you to compare the adjusted photo with the original.

The next tabs, including the Batch tab, mainly concentrate on editing and renaming multiple photos at once. The GIF tab allows you to easily create an animated GIF from a group of selected photos.

The downside of PhotoScape X is a lack of selection tools, so all changes are applied to the whole image rather than to a selected part.

Free photo editor for mac 10.11

10. Gimp (Free)

Gimp is a free open-source photo editing app that has been on the market for over 22 years and is available for Windows, Mac, and even Linux. Unlike many free apps, Gimp doesn’t have any ads or in-app purchases. Its grey interface might seem a little old-fashioned and it may be a bit sluggish when it comes to complex effects, though.

Free Photo Editor For The Mac Download

Gimp offers a vast collection of advanced tools that hardly any free photo editor can boast. It has numerous enhancement options such as clone and heal brushes, layers and channels, accurate selection tools, a number of transformation instruments, and, of course, color adjustment controls. Gimp is one of the most powerful tools for enhancing photos and is beloved by so many users for its price (free) and versatility. But if you can’t come to grips with Gimp’s interface, it may be worth paying some cash for a more user-friendly program.

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