3 best photo-editing software for Windows 10 [2020 UPDATE]

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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photo-editing software for PC

If you’re looking to make easy adjustments or more elaborate changes to your photo albums, it might be a good time to check out some of the latest Windows photo-editing software for this year.

Some photographers will no doubt have an extensive archive of 2017 (for instance) and 2020 snapshots that now need refining with an image editor.

You could utilize web-based photo-editing software to enhance your pics, but desktop applications get more regular updates to make the most of the latest photo-editing techniques.

It’s all thanks to publishers who release new versions of their flagship photo editors every one or two years to give them new tools and features.

The latest image editors include vector graphics tools, RAW converters, extensive filter effects, paint and drawing options, lens distortion correction, shadow, and highlight adjustment options, photo management features, layer masks, and lots more advanced editing tools.

These are some of the best PC photo-editing applications for 2020.

Top PC photo-editing tools for 2020

Photoshop Elements image optimization software

Photoshop has long been the industry standard photo-editing software and a benchmark for all other photo editors.

The Elements software solution is the slightly stripped down alternative to Photoshop CC, but it’s also a more economical and straightforward application to utilize for photo editing than CC.

Adobe has designed Photoshop Elements as a more user-friendly alternative to CC. As such, the software includes a Guided mode that provides tutorials and templates for editing pictures.

Photographers will also appreciate the Quick Edit mode with which you can apply quick fix edits with the application‘s more basic editing tools.

For more advanced editing, the software has an Expert mode. Element’s Expert mode includes more than 90 creative filters for images and the software‘s full gamut of editing tools.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Generous range of selection tools, adjustment layers, masks, paint options
  • Lens distortion correction option, a clone tool, vector graphic tools, and more
  • Elements Organizer for cataloging images
  • Advanced image search options
  • New guided effects, new dynamic slideshows, and a panorama tool for merging photos together

So, Photoshop Elements is certainly one of the must-have image editors in 2020.

Get Photoshop Elements

adobe-photoshop-express-free-app-for-windows-8 (2)

Photoshop Express is the Adobe Photoshop app for Windows 10 and 8 phones, iOS, and Android platforms.

Although this app has fewer photo-editing tools than Elements, it’s a quick and easy image editor for mobile photographers who need to edit snapshots during 2020.

Photoshop Express includes most of the more essential photo-editing tools for photographers.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Crop & Rotate, Resize, Exposure, Red Eye, Saturation, White Balance, Soft Focus, Sharpen, and Fill Light editing tools
  • Auto fix and enhance option (provides a handy quick fix for photographs‘ contrast and exposure)
  • 15 frames and more than 15 effects (plus the Adobe Looks Pack further expands the number of filters for the app)
  • Advanced sharing options(Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, in emails, or save them to the CC Library)

Get Photoshop Express

Skylum Luminar

Luminar from Skylum (ex. Macphun) is one of the hottest new Windows photo-editors for 2020.

This was previously an exclusive Apple Mac editor, but Macphun has released a Luminar version for Windows as well (64-bit platforms only).

The image editing software tool has massive discounts for current and new Luminar users. And, if you want to get stunning results, you can combine it with Aurora HDR.

Skylum Luminar is an all-in-one photo editor that packs in color toning, layers, sharpness, B&W processing, contrast, dehaze, luminosity mask, masking, object removal, and layer photo enhancement tools.

The real beauty of Luminar lies in its presets that you can apply to outdoor, travel, dramatic, portrait, and other photo categories.  For example, you could select the 60’s Black and White preset to give your photo a retro feel.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • More than 40 filters, such as soft focus, tone, grain, vignette, radiance, clarity and more besides
  • RAW-processing filter so that you can apply filters to RAW images
  • New Library and image management tools
  • AI-powered filters, signatures looks, and much more

The Luminar library is a highly customizable image catalog that makes browsing, rating, and organizing a joy. Users can easily see a beautiful image wall that works with existing folders on their hard drive, connected devices, and synced cloud storage.

There’s no need to re-import images, simply selecting a folder adds it to Luminar where pictures can be viewed, color labeled, rated, and edited.

Get Skylum Luminar 

Get Aurora HDR

photo-editing software NCH PhotoPad
PhotoPad is one of the best and simplest photo editors from the famous NCH Software. This tool has lots of features to offer so you could easily edit all your photos.

This is possible because it supports all popular image formats. In addition, the PhotoPad has a free version.

It edits RAW images, has many great features, and lets you edit photos like a pro without having too much experience with image editing tools.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Access to every basic image manipulation tool such as cropping, resizing, rotating, color fixing, light and color balancing
  • Merge multiple exposures to create amazing HDR images
  • Multiple layers (so you can apply and change different effects without literally destructing a photo)
  • Perfect for photo collages, effects (oil paint, cartoon, vignette, various filters), photo books, and many more
  • Background replacement process that can be easily made, even if you are not an infographics pro

Get NCH PhotoPad

Restore old photos with the best tools to save amazing memories!

Those are three of the best photo editors to check out in 2020. The decision that’s the best photo-editing software really depends on what exactly you need from it.

Speaking of your editing needs, there are plenty of specialized photo-editing tools available on the market. Some are very lightweight which is perfect for low-end PCs and very basic editing needs.

Other tools offer advanced editing options suitable for professionals. What’s it going to be? Share your choice via the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about photo editors

  • What is the best photo editing software for beginners?

Photoshop is the industry leader when it comes to photo editing software. A more user-friendly alternative, perfectly suited for beginners is Photoshop Elements which also includes great tutorials and templates for editing pictures.

  • What programs can edit RAW files?

Skylum Luminar has an integrated RAW-processing filter so that you can apply filters to RAW images, and also Adobe Photoshop allows you to edit .raw files and basically all kinds of file formats.

  • Which software is best for photo editing in free download?

NCH PhotoPad is a solid contender for photo editing that you can install for free and still enjoy professional-like options.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.