5 Best Adobe Lightroom Alternatives For Photo Editing

Adobe’s Lightroom software is probably the most popular software when it comes to professional photo editing. It’s a much easier way to organize your photos and can be your most important companion if you’re a professional photographer. However, there are many reasons why people want alternatives to this software. 

Some want it because it’s not free, but has monthly subscription plans. Others might not like it because of the interface. But whatever may be your reasons, thankfully we have hundreds of different alternatives to it. In this article, I am going to tell you about 5 of the best alternative available. So, without wasting any more time, let’s check them out.

1. Darktable

darktable interface

Darktable is an amazing software that has been believed to be the best alternative to Lightroom for so many years. I personally love it because it’s open-source, which means it’s completely customizable, free, and has no ads. But one of its greatest strengths of it is its cross-platform support, available for multiple operating systems. 

The software is designed to edit photos in layers, meaning if you edit RAW format images, it is possible to undo every modification you did. It has many advanced tools and touchups which makes things easier for professional editors. The interface isn’t much overwhelming either. Overall, it is an amazing software for every kind of user. 

Operating systems supported: Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, and multiple GNU / Linux versions.

Try Darktable


gimp interface

GIMP, another open-source photo editor in the list, was originally made for Linux. But over the years, due to increasing popularity, it’s now available for multiple operating systems. GIMP is originally seen as an alternative to Photoshop, it even has .PSD format. But due to its advanced options for image editing, I would rate it as an alternative for Lightroom as well. 

GIMP offers just everything on the table for you, and sometimes that can be a little overwhelming, especially for new users. Unfortunately, there are no options for photo organization. You’ll have to do that manually. But the software doesn’t disappoint you when it comes to features. It comes very close to both Photoshop and Lightroom, it’s really that good.

Operating systems supported: Windows, macOS, and Linux 

Try Gimp

3. Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe Photoshop

 If you just don’t want to leave the Adobe ecosystem, then here’s something for you. The Photoshop Express is another amazing tool from Adobe is basically a free and more simplified version of lightroom. It’s really far when we directly compare it to the original Lightroom, however, it can be a great option for people looking for more of a basic and easy-to-use application. 

You can still all the basic things in your photos with just a few clicks and touches. You still have all the features like color manipulation, cropping, resizing, filters, and more. All you need is an Adobe account and you’re good to go. I love this application because of how easy it is to use, and is best suitable for beginners. Overall, a really amazing application and worth a try. 

Operating systems supported: Windows, Android, and iOS 

Try Adobe Photoshop Express

4. RawTherapee 

rawtherapee interface

RawTherapee is another amazing alternative to Adobe Lightroom. It is built on open-source and it greatly resembles Lightroom and GIMP into one. I best thing about it is that you can edit photos in a nondestructive way, meaning you can undo all the changes any time you want. And since it’s open-source, it’s completely free and with no ads. 

It packs many advanced features like noise adjustments, color manipulation, and much more. And just like there is an array of presets and you can create your own. Its multi-core support system enables it to use the hardware of your PC more efficiently and allows smooth working on even systems with low specifications.  Overall, really powerful software that you must try.

Operating systems supported: Windows, macOS, and Linux 

Try RawTherapee

5. LightZone 

LightZone interface

LightZone is another free application on the list, but it’s a little different from others. Rather than using traditional layers, it stalks tools over each other and these can be edited and deleted at any time. It’s a non-destructive editor which can instantly improve your images in just a few seconds. It’s fast, easy, and just does the work for you. 

It may not be the most good-looking and most organized platform, but it’s certainly capable of replacing lightroom for many users. It may lack some advanced features, but that’s what makes it a solid option for every novice photographer. It’s really easy to learn and use. If you’re new to photography and editing, I recommend trying this one out. 

Operating systems supported: Windows, macOS, and Linux 

Try LightZone


Can I use Lightroom for free on PC?

No, there is no legit way of using Lightroom for free. But you can use free trials though.

Is GIMP as good as Lightroom?

GIMP is really powerful software, but I won’t say it’s as good as Lightroom. But you can use GIMP as an alternative to it.

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Satish Shah

Satish Shah

Satish is a programmer and technology enthusiast. He writes comprehensive guides on a variety of technology topics.

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