How would you like it if your photos never disappear, get lost, burned, or damaged? 1.4 trillion photos as estimated to be taken in 2023, and I am sure that a small part of that is yours!
Before the digital age, organizing photos was not cumbersome. After all, people rarely took and printed images. But today? Our smartphones made it possible to take special moments in our lives no matter where we are.
There is a catch, however. The more photos we take, the more disorganized they are in a storage device. I have more than 10,000 photos, and it was a pain to organize them. Nevertheless, it is the reason I set out to embark on searching for the best photo management software.
So, why do you need one? Here are some immediate things that come to mind:
- Your photos will not get lost
- You can edit on the go
- You can save on external storage costs
I tried many of them, but I will only share the 9 Best Photo Management Software of 2023. Let us get started!
Why should you even bother? Here are some good reasons to organize your photos with the best photo management software:
Photos that belong to the same theme should belong to the same folder. For example, you can put all “food” photos in one folder and organize them into sub-categories. It is easier to find photos this way if you need them.
If you can locate a photo quickly, it is also easier to share them online. Sharing with ease comes in handy if you are a photographer submitting a portfolio to clients.
Should you find the time to decide to either delete or keep photos, you know where to look. You can even tag folders where or not each one has gone through a thorough check-up.
Now, let us move on and look at the 9 Best Photo Management Software.
Available for: PC, Mac, Mobile
Installation Size: 428 to 505 MB
Adobe Lightroom is cloud-based photo storage. It is compatible with Windows. It is also a photo management software program.
You can edit photos and share them across multiple devices that you own. You have the option to do the editing. You can also manage photos on either a desktop or mobile device.
As a subscriber, you have the option to pay for different storage limits. From your device, you can also pick presets to edit your photos.
This feature of the photo organizing software makes it faster to turn your photos into Instagram-worthy ones.
From skin tone to vintage portraiture, you have it all. What makes Adobe Lightroom the best photo management software is its features.
Here are some things you can do with it:
- Edit your photos anywhere
- Use presets to edit images on the go
- Make adjustments to make resolution better
- Smarter organization
- Make use of collaborative editing
- Take advantage of photo editing tutorials from an app
Take note that Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are not the same things. Lightroom is a simple version. It focuses more on the day-to-day grind of photography enthusiasts.
Lightroom is ideal for amateur photographers. These are people who need access to their photos no matter where they are.
What’s most recent about the app is the new profile feature. It allows photographers to get unique treatment options for their raw camera files. These Profiles, as Adobe calls them, are similar to Instagram’s filters.
As the best photo organizing software, you will appreciate that Lightroom’s features are ready for use on different image files. This image type includes JPEGs.
The Lightroom also got a recent upgrade. As it is now, the Lightroom has almost every vital photo-editing capability of the Lightroom Classic at a much affordable cost.
Overall, I can say that this deal is a steal. It offers a photographer everything he needs. The features are advanced.
- Adobe Photoshop Lightroom – it is a new app version of Photoshop for mobile devices. Use it to edit and organize your photos.
- Lightroom Classic – the app you use for your Pc or Mac.
- Adobe Spark –is an app to make simple videos and social media graphics.
- Adobe Portfolio – it is a web-building tool where you can build a portfolio for your photography.
- Cloud photo storage – choose between 20 GB and 1TB of storage capacity. This capacity translates to about 4,000 and 200,000 JPEG images.
- Has a built-in file management system
- You can organize your photos in galleries and collections
- Provides an easy way to sync your photos between devices
- Use high-end editing image management tool that is typically only found in photoshop
- Photography – costs $13.14 per month; get 20GB of storage space.
- Lightroom – costs $13.14 per month; get 1TB of storage space. Unfortunately, this one has no Photoshop and Lightroom for desktop.
- Photography 1TB – costs $26.30 per month; get 1TB of photo storage plus all the software features.
Adobe Lightroom offers a free trial. Check it out and decide which plan best suits your needs.
Available for: Windows and macOS
Installation size: 2GB storage for PC
The CyberLink PhotoDirector software is often overlooked. In my experience, it does have the power to rival photography suites in the market, including Adobe.
Today, I can say that the photo organizer software has the features that both amateurs and professionals are looking for.
It is compatible with Windows. What I love about the software is its artificial intelligence. The creators behind it indeed took into account the most important thing a software like this should have. For example, with PhotoDirector, you could tag images, and it will remember who is who.
Facial recognition is just a starter. The main course is the seemingly endless list of features.
Here are some things that I find interesting:
- Animation effects
- Slideshows with soundtracks
- Photo merging
- Video-to-photo effects
I have used other CyberLink products before. However, I noticed that their old products tend to cram so many things in the user interface. This approach to user experience confuses customers.
However, this best photo organizing software, PhotoDirector, has taken a different turn. I was blown away when I used it for the first time. The user interface is now friendly. Even a beginner will not get intimidated by it. The interface has different divisions now, and new users can quickly figure things out on their own.
Here are the things you will see on the interface:
- Guided Edit
Print is for printing. The Library is your storage where you can organize your photos. The Adjustment section is for processing raw files. Guided Edit is for users who need instructions on how to use the features.
The Create section is where you make your slideshows and photo collage projects. You can even use animated GIFs or create motion stills.
Here are the key features of this photo management software:
- Facial recognition – tag a photo with a face, and then the system will learn who that person is. Eventually, the system can show you all images with that face if you search for that tag.
- AI transformation – the system has a robust algorithm that stylises your photos according to their aspects. So the edited picture will look like it was painted and not photographed.
- Fix blurry spots – sometimes, cameras produce blurry images, which is the only copy we have. The photo organizer software can fix that.
- Offers advanced image management tool even for the low-tier plans
- The interface is easy to use
- Has AI styling algorithm
- Can remove blur and create a complex collage of images
- Allows you to produce slideshows with music tracks
- PhotoDirector 12 Ultra – costs a one-time payment of $74.99. This plan does not give you access to many features, but you will get the PhotoDirector 12 Ultra app and 25 GB of storage per year.
- PowerDirector 19 Ultimate + PhotoDirector 12 Ultra – costs a one-time payment of $169.99, and you will get the same features as the 12 Ultra. In addition, you will also get access to the PowerDirector 19 Ultimate plus 50 GB of storage per year.
- PhotoDirector 365 – costs $14.99 per month; you will get access to the CyberLink premium plug-ins & effects.
- Director Suite 365 – costs 29.99; get everything from the other plans plus AudioDirector 11 and ColorDirector 9.
CyberLink offers a free download or trial for both Windows and Mac.
Available for: Mac and Windows; mobile
Installation size: 2 GB
ACDSee is not a new company. It is one of the pioneers in photography software. The 2023 version offers new features, which give you more bang for your buck. For one, it now has a facial detection AI. Assign tags to these faces so you can find them quickly.
What I like about the 2022 update are the new brush capabilities. Now, you can use the brush to make colour adjustments to photos. Usually, you would need different software for this.
As far as the interface is concerned, I like the new version better than the old one. It is friendlier, and I can say that new users will not have a hard time navigating it. The panel has three divisions, but the viewing area is huge.
The Manage mode is my favourite in this software. It allows you to organize your photos and rename them too. There are also options to enter tags and metadata.
Unlike other photo management software programs, you do not need to import an image from one folder to another. You just have to open the photo from where it sits, then edit it.
The best photo organizing software also offers maps. With this feature, you will be able to encode photos then show them on a map grid. If you want, you can drag the images and create pins on a map. Doing this will easily allow you to pinpoint the locations of where you took the photos.
Here are some features that will make you consider this best photo organizer software.
- New Develop Mode UI and Panes – the software has new panes and photo management tools to edit your photos with ease. For example, you could create and categorize your photo libraries using these presets.
- Improved Watermark – you can add watermarks to your images. There is no need to get new software for this. You can also add watermarks in batches.
- Improved Crop – you can crop images with relative positioning. You can also crop multiple images at the same time in a matter of seconds.
- Keyboard Shortcut – you can now use key controls to execute actions.
- Mobile Sync – upload your photos wirelessly. Use your device to send photos from your mobile device.
Pros of ACDSee Photo Studio Professional
- Get a full set of tools that you can use for editing photos
- Has face tagging, facial recognition, and also geotagging features
- Fast and responsive photo organizing software performance
- Integrated cloud storage
- It has useful features like pixel deletion, skin tune, and smart brushing
- Home Plan – pay $8.9 per month or $89 per year. This photo organizing software gives you access to 50 GB of cloud storage. You also get a maximum of 5 users for one account.
- Lifetime License – pay a lifetime fee of $49.95 and get access to the Photo Studio Professional 2023 suite. In addition, the package comes with one year of free upgrades.
- Home Pack 2023 – costs a one-time payment of $74.95. With this package, you can download the app to three devices. The package is inclusive of Photo Studio Ultimate 2023 and Photo Studio Professional 2023.
If you want to try ACDSee, head on to their website and choose a product. All of them have free trial versions.
Available for: Mac, Linux, and Windows
Installation Size: 400 MB
The AfterShot Pro 3 is a great tool for organizing your photos. It is compatible with Windows. Once the import from your device is complete, you can begin editing the images. What I particularly like is the non-destructive editing capability. I can edit my photos without changing the original one.
The Corel AfterShot Pro 3 is an upgraded version from the previous ones. Here are some things available in the photo organizing software now that were not in the previous versions:
- Watermarking for images and texts
- A tool that can help you remove blemishes
- You can now add borders or frames
The primary function of the software is to tag and sort images. However, that is as far as it can go. Currently, it does not support face recognition.
The editor works, but you cannot create complex manipulations with it. If photo editing is your primary goal, you are better off with Photoshop.
What you can do here is to edit your photos before you process them. There is a brush photo management program that can help you do some minor touch-ups.
You can also remove unwanted objects. Finally, if you want to make the image more vibrant, it does have provisions to do so.
Here are some of the things that I tried:
- White balance
- Color balance
- Clarity and contrast
While you can boost the quality of your photo, you cannot use it to make significant alterations. It is also missing some components like slideshows with audio tracks. If you are looking for a full suite of photo editing, you need either PaintShop or PhotoShop.
For support, the website offers tutorials. There is also phone and email support. If these things do not work for you, you can use the chat option.
Corel is great for people whose primary intention is to store photos. However, it is something I would recommend for professional photographers who need heavy lifting in editing.
- Photo Organization – the photo organizing software allows you to import photos directly from several sources. It is also compatible with RAW files from many cameras.
- Editing Capabilities – it has non-destructive editing software. It means that you can edit an image without altering the source.
- Integration – you can edit photos with other programs like Adobe, even if the image is stored in Corel.
- Has great interface for organizing photos
- The photo editor is good enough for a photographer
- Has several watermarking options
- Capable of creating HDR images
- Has improved highlight recovery
There is only one price for the Corel Aftershot Pro photo organizing software. The cost is $63.99, and this gives you the full version of the software. Those who already have the first and second versions can upgrade for $47.99.
You can try the software for free and then upgrade later to get the full version.
Available for: Windows and Mac; mobile
Installation size: 600 MB
If you want the best photo organizer, then Magix is the one you need to consider. It is a basic suite of editing, photo manager, and photo organization tools.
The user interface is easy to understand. It does not have the complications of other paid software programs.
Despite its simplicity, Magix Photo Manager can provide most of what you need. However, what blew me away was the facial recognition AI. You get this feature that would normally cost you an arm and a leg with other programs for a small price.
You can also create slideshows, edit photos, and import images from your camera. In addition, you can choose some highlight options. Then, you can share the edited image on social media channels.
The photo organizing software is promising. It can make blurry images sharper with a few clicks. If red-eye is a problem, you can make it go away with the red-eye correction tool.
The software also has provisions for effects, filters, and levelling horizons.
- Cloud Import – import photos from different cloud storage systems; combine the imported images with your local files.
- Wireless Import – use the mobile app to upload photos instantly; no need to transfer the images to your computer.
- Free Update – for one year, you will get free updates from the photo manager. Once that provision is over, you have to pay for an upgrade.
- Editing – the new system makes it easier to edit your photos on mobile.
- Easily sort photos with the organizer
- Has facial recognition
- Supports multiple file formats
- Has cloud storage for export and import
Magix Photo Manager offers a free trial. Should you decide to buy the software, it has a one-time cost of $49.99. Those who purchased the software before the updated version can choose to upgrade for only $29.99.
Magix has a free trial, after which you can choose to upgrade to the full suite of the photo manager later on.
Available for: Windows only
Installation size: 480 MB
Zoner Photo Studio X is one of the best and most affordable alternatives to Lightroom.
It has been around since 1993, so I can say that Zoner knows what it is doing. It is compatible with Windows only.
What I love about it is that it is a full suite of tools for photographers. The company also keeps up to date with current technological trends.
As far as the interface of the photo manager goes, the photo management software uses a tab approach. However, it does allow you to make annotations, and the editing features provide decent outputs. The software also provides you with online storage. The maximum is 20 GB.
For performance, do not expect this software to perform at the same level as Adobe products. It is a little slow if you use Adobe as a standard.
I am not saying that it is terrible; it just cannot keep up with Adobe. This slowness is not a big issue, considering the software’s price.
With Zoner Photo Studio X, you can edit your images with the drag-and-drop editing functions.
The software also has templates for photo books, which you can use to make photo collages for your projects.
One of the things you may like in this photo organizing software is the service print option. They will print your project and mail it to somebody on your behalf.
Zoner charges half of what Adobe Lightroom costs. Yet, you get a ton of editing features that should be enough for your photography needs. Of course, the exception here is if you are a professional photographer, in which case, Adobe has to be your premier option.
Generally, I like Zoner’s interface and features. If you subscribe to the photo manager, you get access to galleries, the best photo organizer with cloud storage, and great editing tools that will enhance your photograph.
- No Import – there is no need to import your photos. With Zoner, you can open any file directly from the application. However, those who are used to importation should not be unhappy. There is still an import functionality.
- Organize Photos – tag your photos accordingly and use the search box to find images. You can organize your photos according to format, color label, and even GPS coordinates.
- Image Adjustments – adjust white balance using sliders and use the Color Shift tool to help you change colors in some areas. The image editing tools include de-hazing, clarity functions, and even grain adjustments.
- Layers and Adjustments – make use of several brushes to make your photos come alive. Some examples are retouching brush, smoothing brush, and filter brush.
Pros of Zoner Photo Studio
- Affordable monthly price
- It has great photo organizer features
- Offers excellent support for tutorials
- The interface is easy to use
Zoner is available for free. The paid version costs $49 a year, or $4.99 per month if you do not want to pay annually.
Try Zoner for free here today to test it!
Available for: iOS, Android, and browser
Installation Size: 4 MB
Google has its tentacles on everything, including photo organization applications.
If anything, Google Photos is the best thing that happened to photography enthusiasts who have no budget to spare. It is 100% free, yet there are many features that you can use for storage.
One thing I love about Google Photos is that it is always available. Unlike other systems, you need to install them on your PC or Mac.
This software is in the cloud, and it is accessible from your mobile device. If you are offline, you can still access the images.
If you love taking photos yet your phone’s storage is full, Google Photos is your ally. Once the upload to the cloud photo manager is complete, you can delete the images from your device and go on a photo spree once again.
Google Photos will also organize your photos by date. This process happens automatically. Once you access the app, you can choose from the timeline which ones you want to see. You also have the option to use the search bar.
- Photo printing – print your images with templates from Google Photos. Choose an album to create photo books, and use the canvas prints from Google. In this feature, Google photos will print the images for you, and you pick them up. The pick-up locations are either Walmart or CVS. The print cost starts from $0.25.
- Automatic backup – Google automatically uploads images and videos from your mobile device to the cloud. There is no need to import them to the photo manager manually. This feature works for as long as you have Google Photos on your device.
- Recognition – the photo organizing software recognizes faces, places, and things. There is an “explore” function where you can see presets. All you have to do is click each preset, and the software will show you every image in your albums related to that image or place.
- Easy to use
- Integrated with all your Google activities and devices
- Has AI assistance to help you search for images
- Reliable systems
- Processes data in bulk
Google is free to use. There is no limit to your storage capacity. However, be aware that freeware also means that there is a limit to its performance. The system only saves images with 16 MP of resolution. Videos are compressed into 1080p.
If you want the system to save your files in their original state, you have to pay a subscription fee of $1.99 per month with a limit of 100 GB for retaining your original file resolution.
It is likely that you already have Google Photos on your Android device now. If not, or if you are not using Android, you can download the app for free.
Available for: Web-only
Installation size: None
The DAM in its name stands for digital asset management. This photo software management system is best for professionals who operate something like a news site.
For example, the software makes it easy to source images from a database for a news or magazine article. It is also an excellent option for professional photographers.
At its core, Canto provides a way for companies to manage assets that employees can access seamlessly. Instead of wasting time sorting folders and searching for images, the writer simply has to use the photo organizing software.
It does have a reliable search function that removes a lot of legwork.
The Canto software also has a sharing feature. Those who have no time to access the source can rely on other team members. A member simply has to share an asset URL, and the recipient can use it immediately. This function also eliminates the need to attach images.
You will also love the tagging capabilities of this software.
You can add keywords, metadata, and tags to photos and libraries. It even has a tagging structure where it identifies the “author” of the images. You will know who took the photo or who uploaded it.
- Organize – create albums and folders the way you like them. You can also sort your assets according to your preferences. The default settings are alphabetical, by date, or file type.
- Keywords and Smart Tags – you can add a label to each photo and do the same for a library. The Smart Tag feature is automatic, which means it uses AI to tag similar images.
- Search – the search function has easy and advanced options. For the advanced search, you could search by description, metadata, comments, and more.
- Facial recognition – Photo management software systems like Canto use Amazon’s “Rekognition” software. You can easily find images of people that you are looking for. It is up to you to enable or disable this feature.
Consistently offers software updates according to the latest standards of photo management software systems.
- Easy to use
- It has a robust support system that is great for business
- No limitation to the size of images you can upload
The Canto DAM photo manager system has no price matrix. You need to contact them and tell them what you need. They will respond to you and give you a price according to your specifications.
Try Canto for free while there is a trial period. After that, upgrade to a package only if you think this photo organizing software meets your needs.
Available for: Windows and Mac
Installation size: 400 MB
Movavi is not a single program. Instead, it is a suite of different programs. You only pay for what program you want. For example, you do not have to pay for photo editing tools if you only need an organizer.
Movavi is excellent for individuals who love taking photos from their phones. It has a wide range of features that you can choose from, making photo organization a breeze.
- Organize Images – this system has a facial recognition AI. It can detect faces in photographs, even if the picture has several images. This feature is automatic, which means you do not have to tell it who is who.
- Duplicates Finder – sometimes, we tend to upload images twice. In some scenarios, the images are different in the sense that you took a photo twice. In this case, the software can help you find duplicates not by file name but by what is on the images. You can delete those that you do not need.
- Backup Copies – make copies of your photos in the cloud. Then, if your local hard drive crashes, your photos are still intact online.
- Edit Photos – you can flip, crop, and rotate photos. It is up to you to edit images one by one or in bulk.
- Multiple products to choose from; you only pay for what you need for your business.
- Has special effects and filters for editing images
- Allows you to record audio files and append them to your images or slideshows
- You can tag photos for easy searching
- Photo Manager – costs $33; you can create albums, tag the source files, and edit images simultaneously.
- Photo Manager + Photo Editor – costs $47; has the added features of the photo editor. You can add or remove backgrounds and retouch the portraits and add texts to the source images.
- Photo Manager + Photo Editor + Slideshow Maker – costs $63; this is the complete management software for your photos. You can also record voiceovers with this plan and share your slideshows directly to YouTube.
The free trial of Movavi is only for three days. Try it to test its capabilities and decide if it is the right fit for your photography needs.
A photo management software is a program. It allows you to do the following:
- Store photos
- Edit or modify photos
- Add ALT Tags to photos
- Classify photos
- Share photos
A publication company typically needs photo management software. They need to manage their image database.
However, things changed. Ordinary individuals like us have access to smartphones.
For photographers, photo management software makes your life easier. Here are the things you can do with it:
- Manage staff assignments
- Keep track of images in a database
- Create a request process for your team
- Add metadata to each photo
Today, you and I need photo management software. We do, even if we are not professional photojournalists.
For one, we take a lot of images every day. And once we take these photos, we do not want to delete them. It is natural for us to hold on to them.
A photo management software not only allows us to store the images. In addition, they give us the power to edit, share, and keep them handy at all times.
These programs are not free. But you will do well knowing that your photos are safely stored somewhere. You do not have to worry about accidentally deleting them.
Software providers today store your photos in the cloud. They also offer automatic backups. As such, there is a guarantee that your images will stay safe forever.
Photo management software programs have different features. Before you subscribe to one, take the time to review it.
Here is a guide to choosing the best one:
It does not make sense to get a software program that has an app. All people use mobile devices. We take images from mobile devices. We should be able to access the software from a phone, not just a laptop.
Over time, you will have thousands of images. It would help if you had something efficient. Otherwise, you will waste time looking for old photos.
The software you buy must allow you to do these searches:
- Common tags
Do not buy photo management software that only offers storage and photo editing. You will realize later on that you are not getting the best bang for your buck.
The usual process is to transfer images from a camera to a laptop. Then, we move the images from the computer to the software. This process is cumbersome. If you could, get a software program that allows you to transfer photos over the air.
WiFi transfer makes the process accessible no matter where you are. The only downside to this is you may pay for airtime fees from your ISP. If not, then this is one of the best things you can have from photo software.
While no free photo management software can beat Photoshop, it still makes sense to have editing features. This feature is helpful for on-the-fly image publication. You can add captions, arrows, headings, and all that.
A feature like this also allows you to make adjustments. Examples of this are editing the contrast and the brightness of the image.
Pick a free photo management software that has face recognition. You may also want object recognition to come along with it. This feature makes it easier for you to sort images. Also, it is easier to find them.
It is possible that you cannot find software like this. Especially so if you are on a tight budget. If this is the case, prioritize what you need. Then, select the software that has these features.
Organizing stuff is complicated. It is so tricky that there are even courses and professions for it. You do not need any of that, though. Instead, I will share with you three tips on how you could organize your photos.
The first thing you want to do is to create folders and name them. There is no standard rule to do this, but make sure you understand each label correctly.
Here are some examples:
Next, you need to create sub-folders that will help you organize the photos better. For example, under vacations, I can make the following folders:
Under each folder, you can also add more folders; for example, under Hawaii, you can add:
- Hawaii John Smith Wedding 2022
- Hawaii Cara Ross Birthday 2019
There is no limit to the number of folders that you can make. What matters is you know where to find the photos. However, I will caution you not to duplicate the images or folders.
For example, you may have taken photos of food during your Hawaii trip. Do not put that food photo in the “food” and “Hawaii” folders. Instead, put it in the Hawaii folder.
My next tip is to delete bad images. When we take digital photos, some are blurry, and some look like duplicates. Delete those that you do not need.
Delete them now, or this will become a tedious nightmare later. Take my advice on it. There were times I did not delete bad images immediately. After some years, my storage got full. It took me a long time to delete the photos I did not need.
Tags and metadata are labels that you can “attach” to a photo. No, you will not change the file name of the image. The tag or metadata is an identifier from the backend.
For example, you can tag photos of dogs with the dog’s name. You can also add another tag for the dog’s behaviour, like “growling” or “running.” Later on, you can type this tag word on your photo management software.
After typing the word “growling,” your free photo management software will only show you images of dos tagged with the word “growling.” Adding tags and metadata makes it easier to search for images.
Take the time to create these standards as you go along. If you have the time now, make this list even before subscribing to a photo management tool.
What is the best software to organize photos on a PC?
The best software to use on a PC is Adobe Lightroom. It has a complete suite of what you need for managing photos, editing, and organizing your photos.
What is the best software to organize photos on a mac?
Movavi is one that I would recommend for mac. Those who use Mac would certainly want photo organiser software where they can choose what program they want. I love Movavi because it has a different installer for mac, which means that it took time to make it compatible with Apple devices.
What is the best Linux photo management software?
Corel Aftershot Pro 3 is your best option for Linux as a photo management tool. The company made a program specific for Linux users. What this means is that the programming is specifically designed to work with this operating system.
What is the best way to manage photos for free?
If photo management is the only thing you need, my suggestion is Google Photos. It is 100% free with some photo editing tools, and it does have the capabilities of many paid photo organizer software systems.
Just take note that it compresses your photos, so it is not the best choice for photographers who take images to convert them onto billboards.
Nothing is better than to use their photo management software with Photoshop.
However, those who are merely looking for a storage device should use Google. It is free and has editing tools and features that should be enough to make your photos look better.