Best Windows 10 photo editing apps 2022

Photoshop on Surface
Photoshop on Surface (Image credit: Windows Central)

While phones and other devices have gotten better at taking and editing photos, sometimes you still need a PC to get some proper photo editing done. Whether you're looking for a lightweight app to recolor an image or a professional-grade app that you can use in the creative industry, this list has you covered with the best Windows 10 photo editing apps.

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Adobe Photoshop (opens in new tab)

Industry standard

Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard for creative professionals. It can handle extremely complex multi-layer editing and can make all the edits and manipulations you need to make to your images. Additionally, Adobe Photoshop works seamlessly with the Adobe Suite of apps, including Lightroom, After Effects, and Premiere Pro.

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Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)

No subscription

Affinity Photo is powerful photo editing software with a similar layout to Adobe Photoshop. It can perform multi-layer editing and supports the vast majority of professional and casual file formats. It has unique features such as an undo history/timeline feature that lets you scrub through any part of your edit. It also doesn't require a subscription but can still meet the demands of many professionals.

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GIMP (opens in new tab)

Open source

GIMP is a powerful open-source photo editor. It has a wide variety of built-in tools and can be further enhanced by third-party plug-ins. And best of all? It's free.

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Polarr (opens in new tab)

Touch-friendly

Polarr allows you to do several distortions and edits without having to break out your mouse and keyboard. You can make edits easily with touch or a stylus on your device. You can also use Polarr with your mouse to do everything from global adjustments to refining touches. Polarr is free, but Polarr Pro features require a subscription that's either $2.49 per month or $23.99 per year.

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Microsoft Photos (opens in new tab)

Built-in

The Photos app that's built into Windows 10 isn't as powerful as the other apps on this list, but it's extremely easy to use, and it's convenient. You can use it for basic filters, cropping and rotating images, and other light edits.

Get to editing

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Picking from the best Windows 10 photo editing apps depends largely on your workflow. In many jobs in the creative sphere, you have to use Adobe Photoshop for file compatibility. It's robust, feature-packed, and it's easy to find classes on how to use it to complete your work.

If you don't want to purchase a subscription, Affinity Photo is an excellent photo editor. It's powerful, has real-time previews of edits, and has a vast library of editing features. It works with a wide range of file formats and has some compatibility with industry-standard formats from the Adobe Suite.

Luckily, all of these apps have free trials or are free themselves, so you can try out each to find out which best meets your workflow.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).