5 Trending Adobe Photoshop Alternatives that are Either Low Cost or Free

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Adobe Photoshop is and has been the gold standard for photo editing. Adobe Photoshop is undoubtedly the best for photo editing due to its best-in-class offerings and premium features. However, it still costs a lot despite wanting to use the premium features. The $9.99 monthly subscription can add up, especially in an era of numerous digital money subscriptions many cannot afford. Some also have problems with Adobe’s terms and conditions, specifically regarding the content saved to the cloud being used to train AI, and many users are looking for alternatives.

Here are 5 Top-Notch Photoshop Alternatives that are Either Free or Less Expensive and Offer Powerful Features without the Subscription Headache


GIMP is a powerful, free, open-source image editor that’s been around since 1995. It offers extensive features and plug-ins, and its interface is similar to Photoshop’s, making switching easier for users.

GIMP supports layers and layer masks and includes advanced tools such as fuzzy select and gradient fill. The program is backed by a strong community of developers and users, ensuring it remains a viable option for professional photo editing.


Photopea is a web-based app with Photoshop’s functionality and interface. It includes tools for brushes, shapes, text, retouching, and support for layers and layer masks. Photopea also supports PSD files and integrates with cloud storage services.

While it’s free to use, a $5 monthly subscription removes ads, provides more undo steps, and adds AI imagery features, making it an attractive and affordable alternative to Photoshop.


Paint.net is a free image editor for Windows that started as a computer science project in 2004. It offers many of the same features as Photoshop, including filters, effects, and layer manipulation, while remaining accessible to beginners.

The interface is intuitive, with easily accessible options for colors, zoom levels, and object alignment. You can customize the editing interface to suit your personal preferences, making Paint.net a flexible tool for different image editing needs.

Pixlr Editor:

Pixlr Editor is another web-based photo editor that operates smoothly in a browser tab. It includes features like layer management, advanced selections, image healing and retouching, and different filters.

The user-friendly interface allows for easy undo of changes and quick access to key tools. Pixlr offers premium subscriptions starting at $0.99 per month, which remove ads and provide additional features like AI image generation.

Affinity Photo:

Affinity Photo stands out with its one-time fee of $34.99, avoiding the subscription model entirely. Although it lacks a free trial, it compensates with a rich set of features.

The software offers comprehensive layer support, custom brushes, and extensive RAW format handling. It’s designed for advanced users and professionals seeking to move away from Adobe, offering powerful tools for creating any digital photo effect.

In Conclusion:

Several excellent alternatives are available for those looking to move away from Adobe Photoshop, which provides powerful features at either no cost or a lower price. GIMP, Photopea, Paint.net, Pixlr Editor, and Affinity Photo each offer unique strengths, ensuring that there’s an option to meet the needs of every user, from beginners to professionals. You can try these alternatives to find a photo editor that suits your requirements without the concerns tied to Adobe’s subscriptions and privacy policies.


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