Best Photo Editing Software for Mac Users

There are many photo editing software, some are paid, and some can edit images on Mac for free. However, they all have different features and capabilities. This article will look at some of the best photo editing software for Mac in 2022 so that you can find one that perfectly meets your needs.

Photo Editing Software Price Free Version Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee Last Update
1. Apple Photos Free Yes macOS 10.14 or later versions Yes October 2019
2. Adobe Photoshop $20.99/month or billed upfront at $239.88/year Yes (7-day free trial) Mac OS X 10+ No October 2022
3. Luminar Starts at $79 Yes (7-day free trial) macOS Mojave (10), High Sierra (10) or Sierra (10) 30-day money-back guarantee July 27, 2021
4. PhotoDirector $14.99/month or $54.99/year Yes macOS 10.14.0 or later 30 days from the original purchase date October 2022
5. Affinity Photo $54.99 one-time fee Yes (30-day free trial) macOS Mavericks or later 14 day period after receipt of your product August 5, 2021
6. Photolemur 3 Starts at $9.95/month Yes Mac OS X 30-day money-back guarantee Jul 15, 2022
7. inPixio Photo Studio $49.99 for one-year subscription Yes macOS 11 (Big Sur), macOS 10.15 (Catalina), macOS 10.14 (Mojave), macOS 10.13 (High Sierra), macOS 10.12 (Sierra), Macintosh® OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) 30-day money-back guarantee 2022
8. GIMP Free Yes macOS/OSX N/A June 12, 2022,
9. Pixelmator Free Yes macOS 11.0 or later Yes October 24, 2022
10. Aurora HDR $99 for a lifetime license No free trial macOS 10.10 or later 30 days after making a purchase 2017
11. Fotor Free Yes macOS 10.13 or later N/A October 24, 2022
12. PhotoScape X Free Yes macOS 10.12 or later N/A Version 4.2.1 (Jan 21, 2022)
13. Movavi Picverse Free Yes macOS 10.13 or later N/A March 22, 2022

How to Choose the Best Photo Editing Software for Mac?

There are many photo editing software available in the market. It’s important to know first what features of photo editing software you need before purchasing it. The following are some tips that will help you make a decision:

  • Check the features of the editing software. Take time to research the kind of editing options or tools that each software has and if the features are something that will be useful to you.
    Make sure that it has a user-friendly interface. It should be easy enough so anyone can use it successfully without having problems finding their way around everyday tasks like basic adjustments of brightness/shade levels.
  • Check if customer support provides help when needed. If they have any tutorials available online, you can learn how the program works and get started quickly.
  • Check out a trial version. Make sure that the trial version of their product has most of its features available for free, so you can try them out before committing your money to buy it in full version form at some point down the road.
If you are not sure if that particular photo editing software will be useful for your business or personal life, check out their website and see what other people are saying about it. Do they have testimonials from real users who found success with the program? If so, that is a good sign that you should give it a try.

13 Photo Editing Software for Mac

1. Apple Photos

ℹ️ Best for: Quick photo editing

💡 Free Version: Yes | Editing Features: Resizing, Cropping, Rotating, Adjusting Colors, Contrast | Effects: Exposure, Contrast, Saturation, Tint | Technical Support: Yes

apple photos

Apple Photos is a free photo editing software for Mac that’s available on the App Store. It’s a simple and easy-to-use photo editor, so you can get started right away with your photos without spending hours learning how to use them.

Pros:
  • It’s completely free
  • Its UI is easy to navigate
  • You can now zoom in when editing
Cons:
  • Limited cloud storage
Pricing plans:
  • Free
Free Download

2. Adobe Photoshop

ℹ️ Best for: Graphic designing and photo manipulation

💡 Free Version: No | Editing Features: Layers, Selection Tools, Vector Mask, Slice Tool, Retouching Tool, Photoshop 3D | Effects: Glitch Photo FX, Shimmer Photoshop Action, Bokeh and Light Leaks Photo Overlays, Paints Photoshop Action, Matte Pastels Photoshop Action| Technical Support: Yes

adobe photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a popular photo editing software that professionals use because it offers high-quality results and can be used to create some beautiful images.

Adobe Photoshop has a steep learning curve and may not be suitable for beginners unless they have some experience with other image editing programs or are willing to spend months learning how to use it properly.

Pros:
  • Versatile tool for photo editing
  • Has a lot of features compared to other software
  • Free photoshop app for Mac (free trial)
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Overwhelming features for beginners
Pricing plans:
  • 7-day free trial
  • Monthly rate starts at $20.99/month
  • Annual rate starts at $239.88/year
Free Download

3. Luminar

ℹ️ Best for: Editing RAW files

💡 Free Version: No | Editing Features: AI-Powered Tools, Automatic AI Masking, Virtual flashlight, Background Remover | Effects: Highlights, Contrast, Fade, Color Enhancement, Vignette | Technical Support: Yes

luminar

Luminar is a photo editing software that allows you to create stunning photos and graphics. It’s available for most OS, including Mac. Luminar’s wide range of features for editing photos makes it easy to adjust the brightness, contrast, or color balance of your images. Plus, the program has an intuitive interface that makes it easy for anyone who’s never used image editing software before.

Pros:
  • The AI features let you edit photos automatically
  • It offers a lot of high-quality and ready-made templates
  • Clean and modern interface
Cons:
  • The price is expensive
  • You need to use other software like Photoshop to correct some mistakes of the automatic editing of its AI feature
Pricing plans:
  • 7-day free trial
  • One-time purchase at $79 to $207
Free Download

4. PhotoDirector

ℹ️ Best for: Amateur and professional photo editors

💡 Free Version: Yes | Editing Features: AI Sky Replacement, Glitch Art, Multiple Exposure Effect, Content-Aware Features, People Beautifier, AI Style Transfer, Photo Animation, AI Blur Fixing, Express Layer Templates | Effects: Black &White, Sepia, Tint, Blur | Technical Support: Yes

photodirector

PhotoDirector is a photo editing software that supports RAW files, layers, and masks. It also has filters, effects, and text tools.

PhotoDirector has a wide range of presets that can help you create professional-looking photos in no time. The stickers are also very useful when adding fun elements to your images without spending hours creating them yourself. If you need help selecting an appropriate frame for your subject, then this program offers several options, including a library containing over 500 frames from different genres, along with collections consisting exclusively of black & white images.

Pros:
  • User-friendly interface
  • Affordable subscription fee
  • Has a lot of powerful and cool effects
Cons:
  • Finding a tutorial for this software is hard
  • Occasionally, there’s a lag or bug when layering photos
Pricing plans:
  • $54.99 yearly subscription
  • $14.99 monthly subscription
Free Download

5. Affinity Photo

ℹ️ Best for: If you want a more affordable alternative to Photoshop

💡 Free Version: No | Editing Features: Real-Time Image Rendering, Skin Retouching, Tone Mapping | Effects: Exposure, Contrast, Clarity, Saturation, Vibrance, White Balance, Shadows, Highlights | Technical Support: Yes

affinity photo

Affinity Photo is a professional photo editor for Mac. It comes with a lot of features, and it’s easy to use. You can also try out the free version before you buy the full version if you are on a budget.

Affinity Photo can also be suitable for people who have basic knowledge of Photoshop and want to take their photos up a notch without having to pay too much money or spend hours learning how things work in popular photo editors like Photoshop or Lightroom.

Pros:
  • More affordable than the other photo editing software
  • Effective way to edit RAW files
  • The interface is easy to learn
Cons:
  • Some of its features are a bit outdated compared to the other editing software
Pricing plans:
  • 30-day free trial
  • $54.99 one-time purchase
Free Download

6. Photolemur 3

ℹ️ Best for: Hassle-free photo editing

💡 Free Version: Yes | Editing Features: Face and Skin Enhancer, Eyes Enlargement, AI tools, Background Removal | Effects: Filters, Temperature, Saturation, Contrast, Bokeh | Technical Support: Yes

photolemur

Photolemur 3 is a photo editor that can be used on Mac as an application and a plugin. The software allows you to edit your photos in layers, which makes it easy for users to create complex designs with just one click. Users can also choose from thousands of filters, like mosaic and vintage effects.

Pros:
  • Has an affordable price considering its features
  • Automatic face enhancements
  • Batch processing
Cons:
  • Free version has limited functionality
  • No zoom tools
Pricing plans:
  • $9.95 per month
  • $119 per year
Free Download

7. inPixio Photo Studio

ℹ️ Best for: Hobbyist photographers and editors

💡 Free Version: Yes | Editing Features: Intelligent Erase, Background Remover, Photomontage | Effects: Filters, Frame, Texture, Vignette | Technical Support: Yes

inpixio

inPixio Photo Studio has a user-friendly interface and can help you edit your photos in a simple way without having to go through the process of learning how to use any other program. You can access all the filters and effects you want, including vintage effects, black & white, coloristic corrections, sharpening, etc., making it easy to get the perfect image every time.

Pros:
  • Comes in different languages such as English, Spanish, French, German, GermanDutch, etc.
  • Easy to install and use
Cons:
  • In photos with small details, it is very difficult to use the eraser tool
  • Object detection could be more accurate
Pricing plans:
  • $49.99 yearly subscription
Free Download

8. GIMP

ℹ️ Best for: People who don’t want to pay to avail a photo editing software

💡 Free Version: Yes | Editing Features: Painting, Layers and Channels, Editable Text Layers, Animation | Effects: Blur, Enhance, Distorts, Light, Shadow | Technical Support: Yes

gimp

GIMP is a free, open-source image editor. It has been used by millions of people worldwide and is considered one of the most powerful photo manipulation tools available on Mac because of its features, such as photo retouching, image composition, and image authoring, that help its users make small adjustments to their photos.

Pros:
  • It is completely free
  • An all-in-one tool that can do everything from simple photo fixes to complex photo processing tasks with ease
Cons:
  • The user interface might not be at its best and might be hard to understand for beginners
  • It takes time for you to learn its features
Pricing plans:
  • Free
Free Download

9. Pixelmator

ℹ️ Best for: Anyone who wants to take advantage of the robust tools for editing their images

💡 Free Version: Yes| Editing Features: Background Remover, Photo Enhancer, Camera Noise Remover, Crop, Rotate | Effects: Blur, Distortion, Sharpen, Color Adjustments, Stylize, Halftone, Tile | Technical Support: Yes

pixelmator

Pixelmator is a fast, easy-to-use image editor that’s been designed for Mac from the ground up. It’s packed with powerful features like retouching, a new and intuitive way to make precise adjustments to your photos.

Pixelmator provides everything you need in one package—a full suite of tools for editing images on your desktop or laptop computer. With the paid version Pixelmator Pro, you can access additional filters and effects that help enhance every aspect of your images, such as color correction, photo retouching, cropping, resizing, adding text or watermarks, and applying stickers like emojis and logos.

Pros:
  • Has a lot of features compared to other photo editing software
  • Developers are continually adding new features
Cons:
  • Missing key features such as importing vector size
Pricing plans:
  • Free
Free Download

10. Aurora HDR

ℹ️ Best for: Editing high-dynamic-range images

💡 Free Version: No | Editing Features: Presets, Selective Light Adjustments, Multiple Layers, Tone Curve Control, Smart Tone | Effects: Vibrance and Warmth, Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows | Technical Support: Yes

aurora

Aurora HDR is a photo editor that brings together the best features of most popular image editing software including Lightroom, Photoshop, or Bridge into one powerful tool. It is a powerful and easy-to-use HDR photo editor that allows you to create stunning HDR photos with just a few clicks.

Pros:
  • It provides a wide range of tools to help you create stunning images
  • It’s simple enough for beginners but also packed with advanced features
Cons:
  • No free trial
  • Limited retouching features
Pricing plans:
  • $99 for a lifetime license
Free Download

11. Fotor

ℹ️ Best for: Editing graphics for social media posts

💡 Free Version: Yes | Editing Features: Text Insertion, Basic HDR Tech, Collage Templates, Advanced Beauty Features, Custom Designed Stickers | Effects: Vintage, Black and White, Polaroid, Blur, Painting | Technical Support: Yes

fotor

Fotor is a photo editing software that makes your photo look professional. It has over 100 million users, making it one of the most popular photo editing tools on the market today.

Fotor has a free and paid version available for purchase. The free version comes with some basic tools such as crop tool and filter effects, while the paid version gives you access to more advanced features like resizing photos or adding text.

If you want to get started quickly but don’t want to pay for an upgrade yet, then we recommend getting the free version because it allows users access to the basic features without having any extra charges associated with each aspect of their interface.

Pros:
  • It is an easy-to-use photo editor software
  • There is a good amount of features offered
  • Comes with a mobile app
Cons:
  • Some features may take time to master
  • Limited fonts available
Pricing plans:
  • Free
Free Download

12. PhotoScape X

ℹ️ Best for: Creating animated GIFs and removing blemishes from images

💡 Free Version: Yes | Editing Features: Cut Out, Batch, Collage, Combine, Create GIF, Color Picker, Screen Capture | Effects: Film Effect & Light Leak | Technical Support: Yes

photoscape

PhotoScape X is a photo editing software that works well on Macbook Pro or Macbook Air. It’s one of the best-rated editing apps on the market right now and has won thousands of awards for its ease of use and high-quality results.

The app helps you edit your photos with ease by giving you access to all sorts of effects, including color correction, softening/blur effects (like Gaussian blur), and textures (such as vignettes). You’ll also find basic tools like crop mode and remove red eyes in this app.

Pros:
  • The editing tools are easy to locate and easy to understand
  • It is good for quick photo edits
Cons:
  • Because there are lots of features on this software, it’s hard to find some tools, especially during quick edits
  • It doesn’t support all languages
Pricing plans:
  • Free
Free Download

13. Movavi Picverse

ℹ️ Best for: Quick image enhancements

💡 Free Version: Yes | Editing Features: AI auto enhance, Quick image background removal, AI restoration of old photos | Effects: sharpness, Hues, White Balance, | Technical Support: Yes

movavi

Movavi Picverse is another free photo editing software on this list. It has a user-friendly interface and you can use it to edit your photos and create collages. You can use the app’s tools to make the image look better, and add text or effects. The program offers a wide range of effects that you can use on your images such as basic color correction, crop tool, red eye removal, and many others.

Pros:
  • It has value for money
  • Tutorials on how to use the program are available on the app
Cons:
  • You have to manually update the software as automatic updates are not available
  • You need to use other software like Photoshop to be more precise with the results
Pricing plans:
  • Free
Free Download

How to Use Photo Editing Software on a Mac

Some photo editing software tools are easy to learn, including GIMP. Here is a simple step-by-step process to download and use GIMP.

  1. Go to the website and click the Download button.
    download gimp
  2. On the Download page, choose between downloading it via BitTorrent or directly from the website. Click the Orange button to download it directly.
    gimp download choices
  3. Go to Finder and click Downloads.
  4. Once Gimp is downloaded, look for the gimp.dmg file in the Downloads folder. Then, drag the icon to the Applications folder.
    gimp downloaded file
  5. Once that’s complete, go to the Applications folder and find the Gimp application. Double-click the Gimp icon, then click the Open button.
    gimp application folder
  6. Now that the software has been installed, you can start editing images on Mac for free. Open an image and check out the editing tools of GIMP on the left side panel.
    start editing in gimp

Conclusion

We hope this list of the best photo editing apps for Mac has helped you decide which one is right for your needs. Whether you’re a professional photographer, hobbyist, or just someone who wants to edit their photos in a simple way, there’s something on this list that will suit your tastes.

FAQ

Yes, Mac has a photo editing software. There are a lot of different photo editing tools available for Mac users. From the basics like Photoshop and Affinity Photo up to more advanced options like Gimp and Pixelmator, there’s something for everyone who wants to edit their photos on their computer.
The best photo editor for Mac are the following:

  • Apple Photos
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Luminar
  • Photo Director
  • Affinity Photo
  • Photolemur 3
  • inPixio Photo Studio
  • GIMP
  • Pixelmator
  • Aurora HDR
  • Fotor
  • PhotoScape X
  • Movavi Pictures
Apple has a free photo editor on the Photos app. However, it only offers basic photo editing like cropping, straightening your photos, adding filters, and adjusting the brightness/contrast of the image.
The most popular photo editing software options for Mac users are Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. However, if you want to try something new and exciting, there are other programs that could be just as powerful such as Affinity Photo. It’s a great alternative to Photoshop and Lightroom.
The reason why Macs are better for photo editing is that they come with an impressive built-in hardware and a fast processor. Macs are also known for their high-quality displays, making them an excellent option for creative output, especially photo editing.
Mako Young is a writer for all things tech. He's been writing about Macs for years and has been using Macs for more than a decade. When he isn't reading about the latest news on Apple, he's busy studying cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, cloud computing, and other IT-related sectors.

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