10 Best Free Photo Printing Software Programs | HP® Tech Takes (2022)

One of the odd realities of digital technology is that we carry around high-end, megapixel cameras, take hundreds of photos a week, and end up printing and displaying very few of them.

It’s very convenient to capture many moments, but most of us don’t take the step to bring them out of the digital realm and into the real world. Social media streams and image curation sites can be virtual repositories for our memories, but sometimes, for special ones, “virtual” is not good enough.

We have good news. Software for editing and printing some of these images can be convenient, relatively easy, and free.

We’ve put together a list of 10 of the best free photo printing for software Windows 10 and smartphones to let you move the memories off your screen and into the real world. Print photos, photo books, invitations, posters, collages, postcards, calendars, keepsakes, and more (printed with your HP printer of choice, of course).

1. HP Smart

For 10 years, the free and easy solution bundled with HP equipment was HP Photo Creations. It was retired on November 30, 2019. But not to worry; it has been replaced by a robust and free app that you can use either on your computer, or directly from the same smartphone that you took the pictures with. Meet HP Smart.

Android or iPhone

Available on either Android or Apple iOS 11 or higher, HP Smart is a powerful printing solution, directly in the palm of your hand that integrates with all your stored images, on your phone, or in the cloud.

Print Facebook photos

Facebook is an amazing storehouse of your images throughout the years, but getting those photos into a usable form, beyond the Facebook app, has always been a problem. The HP Smart app solves that problem, with a “Print Facebook Photos” section that leads you quickly into bringing them from the internet to your HP printer, wirelessly.

Print scanned documents

What’s more is that it has a smart editing feature called “Scan to Email,” for sending photos of documents or flyers that uses built-in editing and artificial intelligence (AI) to figure out the angle of the paper, and flatten it perfectly, at the correct angle, for attaching and sending via email.

Free to download:

Mobile apps:

Desktop:

HP printers for your photos: Spotlight on HP Sprocket

A petite, affordable, Bluetooth photo printer, the HP Sprocket turns your smartphone into a Polaroid camera. This palm-sized micro-printer produces finished photos from your images. Starting at $79.

(Video) BEST FREE Photo Editing Software for PC

2. Google Photos

Google’s previous image editing and storage solution, Picasa, has become Google Photos. You can still download and use the last available Picasa software package to use its desktop photo-editing features, just bear in mind that it will never be updated.

The fact of the matter is that you really will not need the desktop tools, since Google Photos, like HP Smart, offers all the same functionality from your mobile device, either on Android or iOS.

Google Photos took the best part of Google’s unsuccessful attempt at a Facebook-killer in Google+ and made it its own service and app, dedicated to image storage and editing.

Unlimited storage

The best part of Google Photos? The fact that it offers genuinely unlimited storage, with the slight caveat that each photo saved must be less than 16 megapixels. Since even the newest iPhone takes only 12-megapixel photos, this shouldn’t present too much of a problem.

Curating your photos

Editing, sorting, and searching your pictures in Google Photos is easy and intuitive. Cropping, adjusting tone or color, and adding vignettes are all available with a few swipes and presses. A great feature is the ability to apply a set of editing choices to multiple photos with a single keystroke, after selecting them.

Printing is easy

When it comes to printing options, while you can print directly from Chrome, you can actually set up your HP Smart app to print your Google Photos at home for more control over the final print. Or you can outsource it entirely if you’re willing to pay per print. Google Photos can send the pictures you want to print to your local CVS or Walmart, for .25 cents a print, on photo paper.

Download for free

Mobile apps:

Desktop:

3. Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe’s name is synonymous with photo editing; “Photoshopping” has become a generic word to describe any edits or manipulations to a photograph. For many years, Adobe Photoshop was a high-end, professionals-only, toolset software package that needed a powerful computer setup to run.

And while the full Photoshop program is still a powerful professional tool, Adobe has opened up its tools, offering a smaller subset for simple image editing and collage building, called Adobe Photoshop Express.

Basic tools for free

Photoshop Express pares down the toolset of its flagship product for this free print program into a few basic, but essential and useful, tools. These include “Auto Fix,” a one-click solution that adjusts for the best brightness, exposure, and shadow settings on photos, and a selection of 20 free image filters.

Standard cropping, resizing, and retouching are simple tasks with the uncluttered, easy-to-use interface.

(Video) Top 5 Best FREE PHOTO EDITING Software

Straightforward printing

Printing your saved Photoshop Express retouched images is a matter of getting them back to your computer (either via Bluetooth, or emailing them to yourself and opening them with your email client) and printing as normal, or from your free HP Smart app. Like the others on our list, it is available as a mobile application on either Android or Apple phones, and also as a Windows 10 app on the Microsoft Windows App Store.

Free to download:

Mobile apps:

Desktop:

HP printers for your photos: Spotlight on HP ENVY Photo 7855 All-in-One printer

With the HP ENVY Photo 7855 All-in-One printer, you can print photos, fax, scan, copy, and print from the web, your phone, or computer. Combined with HP Instant Ink, ink cartridges are delivered to your door and your printed photos cost less than five cents per print. Starting at $129.

4. Fotor Photo Editor

Fotor Photo Editor is an online, web application that gives you a powerful suite of image editing and photo retouching tools. Using Fotor, you can easily import and edit photos from your computer, your cloud-based storage service like Dropbox, or from a social media platform.

Filters and retouching

It offers a fun array of templates and stickers, along with enhancements like "beauty" filters that serve as a kind of digital Botox. Much of the site and application functionality is free, but a pay-to-use “pro” feature unlocks more filters and templates.

Fotor's site bills the online tool as "fundamentally Photoshop, online." For the purposes of photo retouching and adding effects and collage creation, they're not too off base in that description. It is a very "Photoshop-like" interface, accessible from any web browser or as a mobile app.

Templates

Where Fotor really comes in handy is in its extensive array of templates that integrate your photos. It offers a free invitation maker, free flyer maker, free poster maker, and a Christmas photo editor for your holiday greeting cards. Plus you can print business cards and menus. In only a few clicks and tweaks, you’ll have some truly impressive and professional designs print-ready.

Free to download

Mobile apps:

Desktop:

5. PhotoScape

PhotoScape is a free-to-download image editing software suite that offers a wide but sometimes confusing array of features beyond simple photo retouching. Its interface is a little daunting and requires you to kind of follow your nose and tinker around a bit. But doing so pays off.

Worth getting to know

Within this surprisingly robust bit of freeware, there's an image viewer, built-in screen capture tool, and a batch editing function that allows you to apply effects to multiple files. All this, plus a wide range of filters, effects, stickers, and icons to quickly spice up your photos. It even has an animated GIF creation and editing tool.

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Great tool for beginners

PhotoScape is an image editing program for beginners more so than image-editing professionals. It presents its options in a kind of fun, "game-like" interface that encourages users to poke around and try different things. While PhotoScape is primarily a photo editor, this label doesn't really do it justice, there is much more to it than basic retouching.

Free to download

HP printers for your photos: Spotlight on HP OfficeJet 3830 All-in-One Printer

The HP OfficeJet 3830 All-in-One printer is an ultra-affordable wireless network printer that offers copying, scanning, and printing full-size paper or photo prints. Starting at just $59.

6. IrfanView

IrfanView is named after its creator, a software programmer from Bosnia-Herzegovina named Irfan Škiljan. A refugee from the Bosnian War in the 1990s who fled to Austria, Irfan developed a “one man band” style photo-editing software package in 1996 as a freeware distribution, with a voluntary pay option for professional use.

A free alternative to pricey pro software

From a time when Adobe Photoshop was an $800 piece of software, IrfanView provided a surprisingly agile, efficient, fast, and lean piece of software, offering many of the same features as the Adobe commercial product, for free.

Still a great solution

All these years later, it has been updated to version 4.54 for Windows 10 and remained true to its roots: a small, elegantly programmed tool that still sees 1 million downloads per month from all across the globe. IrfanView’s export features, file format output support, and image optimization often outperform the $4-billion-dollar revenue-generating Photoshop.

20+ years, still a community of loyal users

IrfanView is a scrappy, can-do little program that does a lot of what the others do. But it is more of a homebrew enthusiast’s tool, for DIY computer users who are familiar with getting in and tweaking the controls and settings of their machine, as it sports a wide variety of plug-in and “skin” customization options. This single program and its dedicated user base and fans have supported Škiljan through voluntary donations since its first release.

Free to download

7. Paint.NET

Paint.NET began its life as a student project in 2004 by Washington State University computer science major Rick Brewster. It started as a “dot NET” replacement/upgrade to Microsoft’s barebones “MS Paint” program that comes bundled with Windows installations.

Grassroots developer community

As a freeware alternative to Photoshop, Paint.NET offers a lot of what the pro-tool has: layers, unlimited undo’s, effects, and plug-ins. What's more, it is supported by a lot of smart and friendly computer-science enthusiasts who are constantly developing new tools and tutorials for the free package.

Download for Windows:

  • Paint.NET

8. GIMP

GIMP (an acronym for Graphic Image Manipulation Program) was the original hacker-freeware image editing tool. Initially only released on Linux, a freeware operating system for do-it-yourself computer enthusiasts, it was also a college project. This was a semester-long one, by a team of students in 1995 at the University of California, Berkeley, in their “eXperimental Computing Facility.”

Open source and going strong

Since its first Linux release, a community of open-source programmers have kept GIMP going and expanded it across many platforms; it is now available for both Windows and Mac. While it offers a very robust toolset for image creation and manipulation, be forewarned: it is a computer-science enthusiast’s tool as much as it is an image editor.

Being free and open source is as much of a draw in its popularity among its proponents as anything else about it; so don’t expect a user-friendly install process or an immediate, intuitive experience with the interface.

Download for free:

HP printers for your photos: Spotlight on HP LaserJet Pro M404n printer

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For high-quality laser printing, check out the HP LaserJet Pro M404n printer. An all-purpose printer for work or photos, it offers wireless network printing via WiFi connection to phones. Starting at $199.

9. Photo Pos Pro

The oddly named Photo Pos Pro is another freeware image editor program, available for download on Windows. It began as a commercial product as a budget alternative to Adobe Photoshop but has since moved to the freeware/upgrade model.

While its interface and toolset look a little dated (it feels like a program from some time in the early 2000s in terms of its menus and windows) it does yeoman’s work in all the basic categories. And it is more than capable of editing and printing out photos on your PC.

Download Photo Pos Pro:

10. FastStone Image Viewer

FastStone Image Viewer is more of an image organizer and viewing program with a small set of editing tools than it is an image editing program. It rapidly generates and displays thumbnails and helps the user sort and organize folders with thousands of images in them. Its usefulness is mitigated a bit by modern operating systems, which have many native features that provide similar functionality.

Download free

HP printers for your photos: Spotlight on HP DeskJet 2655 All-in-One Printer

The HP DeskJet 2655 All-in-One printer provides affordable wireless printing from your phone or computer. Prints, copies and scans. Starting at $49.

Recommendation

While we’ve presented 10 of the best photo printing software programs that are available for free and easy download, we’re recommending two specifically as good all-around free programs. Both HP Smart and Fotor are ideal for a number of reasons.

HP Smart, in particular, is a must-have tool because you can edit, retouch, and print directly from the same smartphone that you took your pictures on. And Fotor is a free cloud-based app that offers the most Photoshop-like toolset out of all the image-editing programs we’ve explored.

About the Author

Jolene Dobbin is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Jolene is an East Coast-based writer with experience creating strategic messaging, marketing, and sales content for companies in the high-tech industry.

(Video) Top 5 Best FREE Photo Editing Software

FAQs

What app lets you print pictures for free? ›

FreePrints® is the free app that gets all those photos off your phone and into your hands in just days! Get 1000 FREE 4x6 prints a year. No subscriptions. No commitments.

Which software is used for printer? ›

In computers, a printer driver or a print processor is a piece of software on a computer that converts the data to be printed to a format that a printer can understand. The purpose of printer drivers is to allow applications to do printing without being aware of the technical details of each printer model.

Is there a free version of Photoshop? ›

Is there a free version of Photoshop? Yes, you can download a 7-day free trial of Photoshop. The free trial is the official, full version of the app. It includes all the features and updates in the latest version of Photoshop.

How can I make my pictures look professional for free? ›

What is the best free online photo editor?
  1. Taler.
  2. GIMP.
  3. Canva.
  4. Fotor.
  5. Photo POS Pro.
  6. Pixlr X.
  7. Photoshop Express.
17 May 2022

Does Windows 10 have a photo program? ›

Whether you're the hands-on type or like improvements that work automagically, the Photos app in Windows 10 gives you all kinds of options for getting your photos and videos looking their best.

How do I print photos without Photoshop? ›

You don't need Photoshop to print passport size photos – you can prepare them in Gimp, CorelDraw, or any other easy-to-use graphic design software. You can also opt for Passport Photo Online and be sure to get expert-verified photos with a guarantee of acceptance.

Is there an app better than Shutterfly? ›

Top 3 ShutterFly Alternatives:

Our choice: MyCanvas. Quickly create photobooks: Mixbook. Extensive collection of templates: Picaboo.

How many free prints do you get with free prints? ›

You can order up to 45 FREE individual 6x4 (15x10cm) photo prints per calendar month, which means you can order up to 500 6x4 prints per year! You can even earn up to 17 bonus prints per month by inviting friends or family, and by sharing on Twitter.

How does free prints app work? ›

FreePrints is an app which allows you to print photos from you smartphone. You merely upload your desired photos, and your prints will arrive in the mail shortly thereafter. You get up to 85 4×6 prints per month, and you can only print 1 copy of each photo. You only pay is shipping, which ranges from about $2 to $10.

What is the cheapest way to print photos? ›

The 10 Most Affordable Sites for Printing Digital Photos Online
  1. Shutterfly.
  2. FreePrints.
  3. MailPix.
  4. Walgreens Photo.
  5. Snapfish.
  6. CVS Photo.
  7. Walmart Photo.
  8. Printique.
6 Sept 2022

How do I print a photo from my computer? ›

To do this, right-click the image and select "Open image in a new tab" or "Open image." Once the image is displayed by itself, press Ctrl + P on a PC or Command + P on an Apple computer to start the print process.

Which software are used in publishing and printing media? ›

Professional page layout software is dominated by Adobe InDesign, which is available for Windows and macOS computers. Other page layout software includes QuarkXPress for PCs and Macs, along with Serif PagePlus and Microsoft Publisher for Windows PCs.

How do I edit photos to print? ›

There are only a few simple steps we need to follow:
  1. #1 Calibrate the monitor. When did you last calibrate your monitor? ...
  2. #2 Save your print file in sRGB or Adobe RGB. ...
  3. #3 Save images as 8-bit. ...
  4. #4 Choose the correct dpi. ...
  5. #5 Resize your images. ...
  6. #6 Crop the images. ...
  7. #7 Sharpen the image. ...
  8. #8 Soft proofing.

What is the closest thing to Photoshop that's free? ›

Top free Photoshop alternatives
  • Darktable.
  • Gimp.
  • Pixlr x.
  • Paint.NET.
  • Krita.
  • Photopea.
  • Photo Pos Pro.
  • Sumopaint.

What is a cheaper substitute for Photoshop? ›

8 Free or Cheap Alternatives For Photoshop
  • GIMP.
  • Affinity Photo.
  • Pixlr.
  • Sketch.
  • Sumo Paint.
  • paint.NET.
  • Canva.
  • Photoshop Express.

Is Adobe free now? ›

Adobe offers you a free Creative Cloud membership, which comes with a host of benefits. Even if you have not subscribed to a Creative Cloud plan, you can take advantage of the free Creative Cloud membership.

What program makes photos look professional? ›

Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom remains the gold standard in pro photo workflow software. It's a complete package, with top-notch organization tools, state-of-the-art adjustments, and all the output and printing options you could want.

Which app do professional photographers use? ›

Adobe Lightroom is one of the best photo editing app for professional photographers as it's the only photography app that can allow viewing, editing, and organizing a large number of images.

What is a good photo program for Windows 10? ›

Below are some of the best Photo Editor apps & software for PC: Adobe Photoshop Express Editor. Canva. Lightroom.

Is Windows 10 photo app free? ›

Microsoft Photos, the free photo viewer and editor included with Windows 10, offers competent image editing and photo enhancements along with tools for organizing and editing videos, all in a touch-friendly interface.

Does Epson have photo software? ›

Epson Photo + is an application that allows you to easily arrange and print photos. By clicking the function buttons on the screen, you can view a preview of the finished print image, and print easily without having to make any complicated settings.

Does HP have a photo program? ›

HP Photosmart Essential - Free photo editing, organizing, printing and sharing software.

Who competes with Shutterfly? ›

Here is an in-depth analysis of top Shutterfly's competitors and alternatives:
  • Zazzle. Year founded: 2005. ...
  • Vistaprint. Year founded: 1995. ...
  • Mixbook. Year founded: 2006. ...
  • Picaboo. Year founded: 2002. ...
  • PhotoBox. Year founded: 2000. ...
  • Moo. Year founded: 2006. ...
  • PS Print. Year founded: 1990. ...
  • Walmart Photo. Year founded: 1969.

Is mixbook better than Shutterfly? ›

Mixbook also offers better value for money. The print quality is just as good as Shutterfly. But you can have a high-quality book of pictures at a lower price. Mixbook makes fantastic photo books for a reasonable price.

How much does the Shutterfly app cost? ›

Comparing cost, Freeprints is the least expensive at less than $6. Shutterfly is the most expensive at more than $12.

How do I print a photo from my computer? ›

To do this, right-click the image and select "Open image in a new tab" or "Open image." Once the image is displayed by itself, press Ctrl + P on a PC or Command + P on an Apple computer to start the print process.

Is the HP print app free? ›

Free HP app to keep you productive

HP Smart for iOS connects to Hewlett Packard printers and allows you to use your HP printer from your mobile device.

How do I print photos at home on my HP printer? ›

Right-click the photo you want to print, click Open with, and then click Photos. Right-click the photo, and then click Print. Select your printer from the printer list. Change any print job settings.

How do I print multiple pictures on my computer? ›

Using Windows. Open the folder that contains the photos you wish to print. Select the photos you want to print. To select multiple photos, hold the Ctrl key as you click each file.

How do I print pictures with Windows 10? ›

Open File Explorer. Browse to the folder with the image you want to print. Right-click the image and select the Print option.

How do you print multiple pictures on your computer? ›

Select multiple images and take right click on one of the selected pictures. Once selection is done, now take right click on any of the selected images and choose Print option from the popup menu. A special print dialog box of Windows Photo Viewer will open up. Print dialog box and selecting collage type.

Is there a charge for HP Smart? ›

HP SmartFriend is a subscription service with a monthly fee that covers your tech devices.

How much does an HP account cost? ›

FAQs
Monthly feePages per monthAdditional pages per month
$3.9950Each additional set of 10 pages for just $1
$5.99100Each additional set of 10 pages for just $1
$11.99300Each additional set of 10 pages for just $1
$24.99700Each additional set of 15 pages for just $1
1 more row

What is HP Smart printing? ›

An HP Smart account allows you to print and scan from the HP Smart app, as well as access to premium features such as mobile fax. You can also use HP Smart to remotely manage, share access, and print from anywhere with a compatible HP printer.

What app can i use to put multiple pictures in one? ›

Use Pic Stitch to create a before-and-after sequence, combine great photos into a collage, or produce a photographic series. Quickly combine multiple photos and videos into one beautifully framed picture. Then share your masterpiece on your favorite social media networks including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

How do I print multiple pictures on photo paper? ›

How to print multiple pictures on one page Windows 10 the easy way

How do I print the same thing 4 times on one page? ›

Click File > Print. In the Printer list, select the printer you want to use. Under Settings, in the Pages drop-down list, select Multiple pages per sheet and the number in Copies of each page. Click Print.

What is the best way to print photos at home? ›

The most important thing you can do when printing photos at home is to use high-quality paper. Inkjet printers can produce great-looking pictures, so don't feel the need to invest in a laser printer. Always make sure to edit your photo before you print it. This saves time, ink, and paper.

Does HP have a photo editing program? ›

HP Photosmart Essential. Free photo editing, organizing, printing and sharing software.

How do I print glossy photos on HP printer? ›

Print Photos from Windows 10, 11 | HP Printers | @HPSupport - YouTube

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