Between people taking pics and sharing them online and a booming field of photographers, some of us see hundreds or even thousands of photos every single day.
But because they’re everywhere, it’s easy to get disorganized.
Photo management software can help those of us who are more challenged in the area of organization.
But before we get into what our top picks are for the best picture organizing software, let’s go over what it is, what you should look for, and what to expect.
What is Photo Organizing Software?
For photographers, businesses, and even individuals who take a lot of photos, being able to store them in an organized way should be a major priority.
The quality of the pictures people take today is incredible.
When you have high quality and high quantity, you have a need for photo management software that:
Allows people to save and quickly organize and access their pictures.
Integrates with other apps and software programs.
Allows people to edit, resize and export their photos.
Syncs with graphic design software.
Stores video files and comes complete with video editing tools.
And if you can find FREE photo management software that works well and gets the job done, that’s a HUGE bonus.
What Should You Look for in Image Management Software?
Thanks to modern technology, we have access to all kinds of great features in our photo editing software.
But there are a few that we think are the most important:
The right photo editing features - Maybe what you really want is photo tagging software or photo sorting software. Make sure what you choose has what you’re looking for.
The ability to search - This is critical if you’re someone who likes to take a lot of photos, like a photographer.
A mobile app - Today’s cell phones take amazing pics. If your photo editing software is accessible on your phone, you can get a lot of work done on your photos right from there.
Artificial intelligence - You might be someone who likes to manually tinker with your pictures. Even so, a healthy dose of AI never hurt anybody. It’s kind of nice to have things like facial recognition and easier search functions.
RAW support - You should be able to store RAW images with your software. Also, make sure you can store larger photos without having to go through your laptop to do it. That’s just annoying.
Wireless support - Sometimes we just assume that everything will be wireless, but that’s not the case all the time. For ease of use, look for photo management software that lets you use your WiFi connection so you can cut out the wires.
What are the Different Types of Photo Manager Apps and Software?
There are four main types of image management software on the market today.
It’s not uncommon for you to find two of these rolled into one.
Many of today’s photo organization programs offer some incredible features. Even the free versions are something to consider.
How Much Does Picture Organizing Software Cost?
There are lots of options available to you, but there are some awesome free ones you need to check out.
You may do well by choosing a free photo management software, or you might need extra features that cost more.
In the end, it’s all about you and what you need.
Who Should Use Photo Management Software or Apps?
Just about everybody.
But it can be really helpful for businesses and photographers who need to manage a lot of photos at one time.
But that doesn’t stop individuals from using them too, and lots of people do.
You’ve seen Snapchat filters, right? We’re not big on giving everybody bunny ears, but regular folks have been using their software for years to get their pics looking just right.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about our top picks for the best free photo management software on the planet.
What is the Best Free Photo Organizing Software?
As long as it’s good, we like free stuff.
There are some great options for free picture management software. Here are our top picks.
Key Features: Apple Photos is available on every Apple device. iPhone and iPad users have access to a great, streamlined editing experience that lets them fine-tune and enhance their photos. Most of those tools can also be used with videos as well. RAW photo editing is available through Apple Photos, and their intelligent search feature can’t be beaten.
It’s easy to sync across devices.
Photos are easily accessible anywhere.
Users can edit from any device they choose.
Apple offers optimized storage with low-res images. But high-res is available by downloading the photo.
All photos are backed up.
It can take some time to get used to iCloud and how Apple backs up photos.
There is a cost for more storage space, but it’s minimal.
You can’t pick and choose which images to sync. They ALL get synced.
You’re kind of stuck with Apple unless you export your images out.
Key Features: Some say that digiKam is the best free and open-source photo management software there is. It can handle more than 100,000 images, so if you have a big library. This might be one to consider. DigiKam allows you to import, manage, edit and share RAW files or photos, and it works with videos too. You can import them right from your camera or an external storage device. Photos are then sorted into albums that you organize yourself. You can add metadata, comments, and tags to your heart’s content.
The light table is a great benefit, and it can help you sort through pics that are pretty similar to each other.
It has great file browser integration.
It has an auto color correction feature that AI fans love.
It might not be as good at handling RAW photos as other software.
There isn’t a doc to access, which means you have to go through the menu to get the tools you want. That can be a bit cumbersome.
It’s lacking a selection tool, which is available with other apps and programs.
Key Features: Flickr allows people to share their photos and videos with others anywhere in the world. Not only that, but it also lets them comment, tag themselves and each other, and much more. It includes a user profile, so you can show off your photography skills if you choose. It also has albums, galleries, and groups that you can join.
They use image recognition that automatically categorizes your pics.
You get 1TB of free storage.
Their software preserves the sizes of your images.
You can use tagging and keywords.
All photos can be edited online.
If you’re into watching your stats, you can do that easily.
If you’re using the free version, you’re going to have to deal with ads.
You won’t have any control over how your profile page is laid out.
Some users say that their search feature leaves a lot to be desired.
It’s much too easy to download people’s photos without having to pay anything for them.
Key Features: Gihosoft is a free photo recovery software for Windows and Mac computers. You can recover your lost photos from an SD card, digital camera, hard drive and computer. It also works with video and music files too. So this software might not be great for editing your pics, but if you’re someone who tends to lose them, it’s a great tool to have at your disposal.
Their photo recovery process is only three steps.
You can also recover documents, including PDFs and other types of files.
Your computer won’t be harmed at all during the recovery process.
You won’t be able to do a whole lot of managing with Gihosoft. That’s not what it’s used for.
It can take a while for your photos to be recovered.
It can also take a long time to search for photos on your hard drive.
Key Features: Google Photos is great for beginners and people who have small businesses. Their software allows you to backup and access all of your photos and videos from any device. It has a great search feature, and you can search based on locations, people, and events. Sharing is easy with Google Photos, and it has a lot of editing tools and different types of filters.
You can create metadata and process your photos in bulk.
You can search for pictures using the names of objects.
You can easily adjust the color, exposure, and brightness of your images.
It uses AI to create slide shows and animations.
Setup is quick and easy.
If you think you accidentally deleted an image or video, it’ll be waiting in your trash for you for 30 days.
Google Photos’ search feature may have some kinks.
You only get 1 TB of free storage, which often isn’t enough for most people.
On top of that, their paid storage can get pretty pricey, so tread lightly.
Google doesn’t offer a video editing or fixing feature as other programs do.
Key Features: Imgur is a photo management and sharing platform that allows its users to interact with each other. It has some really interesting features that other programs don’t have, such as a meme generator and a GIF editor. They also have an advanced image editor that is a lot better than other free photo editing software programs have.
Their picture transferring feature only uses a link, which is convenient.
Imgur allows other users to leave feedback on pictures.
They have excellent privacy policies.
Their sharing features are very easy to use.
It can take a while to upload pictures onto their platform.
Some users don’t like the fact that there is a way to downvote pictures.
Key Features: Lychee is a free, open-source photo management tool that can run on your server or your webspace. It is very easy to search for and upload your photos. Finding everything you need is simple with their search feature. It’s great software for people who aren’t very computer savvy. It has an attractive interface that is easy to navigate.
Their cloud storage feature is excellent and gives you a lot of space.
It’s very easy to install and use.
Because it uses PHP, you don’t need a high-end server to run Lychee.
Their search feature is among the best in the industry.
You can password protect your photos if you choose to.
It doesn’t integrate with Gmail and Chrome, which many users say is its biggest downfall.
It doesn’t have a user management system because it is such a simple design.
Key Features: Magix Photo Manager boasts a simple and clean UI. It’s great for basic photo management and has some great features like batch processing, automatic sorting, and many types of shortcuts. It can easily help you get rid of any unwanted duplicate images, and you can also filter and create a selection of your best pictures.
It’s a great timesaver for people as they are editing their photos. Doing so is quick and easy.
Its batch processor can update the metadata for multiple pictures at one time.
Importing, organizing, optimizing, archiving and presenting all have easy-to-access shortcuts.
It is very intuitive and offers optional folders for those who want to use them.
There have been some complaints that they do not offer a very good support system for troubleshooting.
It doesn’t allow users to share slideshows on YouTube.
It may lack some more advanced organizing and sharing tools.
It doesn’t have the photo-enhancing tools that some other types of software have.
Key Features: Nero is a company that offers applications and software platforms for their customers’ videos, photos and music. You can edit and share all kinds of digital content across multiple platforms, including tablets, social media channels, smartphones, and PCs. Nero offers some great features, including photo tagging, HDR video, and AI enhancements.
Nero has a very intuitive interface.
They make it easy to create data CDs to share with others.
They have great storage capabilities for all media, including music.
Installation is very easy.
Some users report errors when converting videos.
It may have a slow launch time due to the size of the program.
Some users complain that it is not as user-friendly as other software programs.
Key Features: Photobucket has been around for a long time, and people all over the world use their software to edit, host, and share their photos. They also have printing capabilities so that you can create calendars, cards, or wall art. Their privacy feature is great, so you only share what you want to share with others. Photos are stored at their best quality.
Photobucket is very well-integrated with social media.
Their privacy policies are top-notch.
They offer lots of great editing features that aren’t always found in free photo management software programs.
They also have automatic syncing capabilities between your phone and computer.
The free version only has minimal photo storage.
The free version also has a lot of ads, which can slow the program down substantially.
Download speeds can be slow.
Some users say that the website is hard to navigate.
Key Features: PicBackMan is a video and photo uploader that can help you keep your media safe in many different places, such as DropBox, Facebook, and SmugMug. They make it easy to keep your photos backed up automatically, and they are always available for quick download or transfer. Their interface makes it easy to get rid of duplicates too.
If you have an extensive photo collection, you’ll get plenty of storage space.
The interface is very user-friendly.
They make it easy to connect your other accounts.
They have a very responsive support team.
There are minimal functions available in the free version.
The free version can be slow.
It doesn’t connect with many of the newer social media networks.
If you ask PicBackMan to do too much at one time, it may freeze and quit.
Key Features: ShootProof might just be a photographer’s new best friend. You’ll need to find another platform to edit your photos, but ShootProof offers everything you need to store them, display them and even sell them. You can create beautiful galleries for your clients that are built around your personal brand. They even have features to help you manage your business.
Their menus are super user-friendly. Every feature is available all in one place.
They offer a lot of storage at a reasonable price.
Uploading images and moving them into new albums is very easy.
They have a great mobile app, which makes it easy to work on the go.
While they do have an email feature, emails must be sent right away. They can’t be scheduled.
They make it possible to set up discounts for customers, but the process could be simplified.
There is a 5-day waiting period for customer payments.
This software only works with photos and not with videos.
Key Features: Zoner Photo Studio X is marketed as an alternative to Lightroom and Photoshop. This software has some great AI capabilities. It recognizes the photos in your camera and it automatically sorts them for you into folders. You can even set it up to tag them, rename them and back them up. Their Catalog feature makes organization super easy, and you can search and find your photos quickly.
You get the PhotoShop tools without the confusing interface.
If you can’t remember if a flash was fired when the picture was taken, this software will tell you.
It has a batch editing feature that can save you a lot of time.
It even provides automatic editing, saving you the hassle of adjusting brightness, contrast, and saturation manually.
Navigation could be a little more user-friendly.
It requires a larger amount of memory to be available.
Some users have complained of their screens freezing and losing their work.
This software might be a bit too basic for advanced users, but it can work well for beginners.
What About Paid Photo Organizing and Management Software?
There are a lot of great paid photo management software options out there too.
In fact, many of the ones we listed above have paid versions that we highly recommend.
But if you’re in the market for something else, check these out: