Windows 11 is in full force, and now many users, including photo editing enthusiasts, are facing a choice – stay with the now old but still reliable Windows 10 or venture into the unknown and try new stuff. In case you belong to the latter, you’ll have to answer another question – which photo editors for Windows 11 could you use?
Best 5 Photo Editors for Windows 11
To make a choice less troublesome, read this review of the best photo editing software for Windows 11 available at the moment. Options range from easy-to-use tools for casual image processing to feature-rich software with a steep learning curve. Despite being young, Windows 11 already has something for everyone!
Paint is a name known to any Windows user. Paint.NET was designed as a substitute for Microsoft Paint but has evolved into a standalone photo editor for Windows 11 and older. Although less versatile than, for example, Photoshop and its peers, Paint.NET is much easier to install and use. It is also completely free of charge.
Among other features, Paint.NET offers photo retouching tools, layer editing, and a customizable interface. The capabilities of this app can also be expanded with external plugins. Also, many “how-to” guides and an active online community will help you master every tool Paint.NET offers.
- Completely free to use
- Customizable and intuitive interface
- External plugins integration
- Lack of advanced features
GIMP is an open-source tool accessible for nearly any operating system, including Windows 11. It features all the tools for basic photo editing and more advanced functions. From cropping, color grading, noise reduction, and image overlay to batch processing, layer editing, and more. Furthermore, GIMP has everything you may need for drawing original art from scratch. GIMP can satisfy any editing need you might have if you find your way around it, especially with an abundance of available external plugins.
However, GIMP has its drawbacks. The UI is overburdened. Getting used to it may take some time. Second, because it is open-source software, its code needs to be refined, resulting in occasional performance difficulties.
- Support of almost any format
- Batch processing feature
- External plugin support
- Advanced layer editing
- The interface is rather cluttered
- Steep learning curve
If you need an easy-to-use Windows 11 photo editor with a toolkit to rival pro-tier products, PhotoWorks is your photo processor. It features cropping, exposure, and color balance adjustment, as well as other essential tools and a significant effect library.
PhotoWorks has AI-powered tools for automatic enhancement, removing unwanted objects, and erasing or swapping image backgrounds. Tone Mapping, Curves, and a plethora of 3D LUT profiles are also part of the package. And a batch editing function allows you to process numerous photographs while previewing the changes in real time.
The most significant drawback of PhotoWorks is the need for full-fledged layer editing. You can overlay a pair of images with some tweaking, but that is as far as it goes.
- Clear and intuitive interface
- AI-powered retouching tools
- 200+ effects and filters
- Support of over 450 RAW files
- Very lenient system requirements
- Layer editing lacks complexity
One thing available for Windows 11, as well as any other operating system, is cloud-based editing which grows in popularity and effectiveness daily. One such web tool you could try is Pixlr. It has many features typical for the big players, like Photoshop or GIMP, and at the same time, has no price tag. You can use it to alter your photographs’ colors, dynamic range, sharpness, and other aspects. Brushes for basic graphic design are included, as are portrait retouching tools and a stunning selection of built-in effects.
However, the software has its challenges. Since Pixlr is a web-based service, you must submit your photographs to the Internet and keep it in mind if you are concerned with privacy. And you’ll have to endure tons of ads – this is the cost of free usage.
- Advanced layer editing
- Extensive effects library
- Customizable interface
- It depends on a stable internet connection
- Overburdened with annoying ads
Skylum Luminar allows you to enhance images with an advanced AI engine for photo processing. It has a rich toolkit for deep color correction and basic retouching, a customizable interface, and a vast collection of filters and effects. On top of that, Luminar is non-destructive, meaning your original images remain unchanged – you are free to play around with no risk to the source files. If you are willing to get a subscription, you’ll have access to upscale AI, Supersharp AI, Focus Stacking, Background Removal AI, Noiseless AI, and other premium features. Luminar is also available as a plugin for third-party software.
The most significant disadvantage of Luminar is its slow performance. Applying some changes takes a significantly long time, even on faster PCs.
- Comprehensive and adaptable interface
- Lots of adjustment tools, filters, and effects
- Works as a plugin for other programs
- Processing can get slow on occasions
There are many photo editing software for Windows 11, although this OS is relatively new. We have gathered some of the best options for you in this article, but if you like to explore further, you can check out this list of the best photo editors for Windows 11.
If you still need help deciding what photo editors for Windows 11 are best, we have a few final words for you. Do you know your way around mid- and high-end editing software? Check out GIMP, which has all sorts of handy tools in its shed. Are you looking for something to do basic and quick photo correction? Then Paint.NET should be your first port of calm, since it is user-friendly and accessible. And if you need a feature-rich and sophisticated editor that will only demand a little from your skills and wallet, PhotoWorks is the way to go.