These days, everyone and their grandma is carrying around a powerful camera in their pocket in the form of a smartphone. For this reason, good picture organizing software has never been in higher demand.
There’s a whole lot of choice out there and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re new to photo management.
Luckily for you, we’re huge photography nerds. We love everything about the craft and that includes photo organizing software! We’ve trawled through reviews online in an attempt to reach a consensus.
This article contains our recommendations for the best picture organizing software available.
Read on to find the best solution for you.
Best Picture Organizing Software – Our Favorites
The list below contains our top picks for the best photo organizer in 2021. We’ve considered feature sets, performance and price to find options to suit a broad range of requirements.
If you’re still unsure after reading through, be sure to check out our buyer’s guide towards the end of this page.
It’s packed full of tips and tricks to help take the hassle out of finding a good photo organizer.
Magix Photo Manager Deluxe
Supported OS: Windows
First up is the convenient Magix Photo Manager Deluxe. At around $50, this photo organizer is more expensive than some casual photographers will be used to. That said, it comes with a ton of features that begin to justify the price tag.
Super Smart Selection Wizard
If you’re a professional photographer, you’ll know firsthand how frustrating it can be to import your files from multiple devices. The intelligent import wizard that comes with Magix Photo Manager does a great job of knowing how to filter your files.
Dud shots and duplicates will be automatically avoided.
Tons of Supported File Formats
When it comes to good photo organizing software, one of your main considerations should be how many file types a program can support. Magix Photo Manager accepts RAW files, AVCHD videos as well as all conventional formats. It can take practically anything you throw at it!
Killer Editing Tools
This photo organizing software comes with a set of excellent tools to help you perfect your images. Not only will your photos be well organized, but they’ll look great too. Choose from tons of filters, tweaks and templates to perfect your collection.
- Makes importing your shots easy
- Loads of file formats supported
- Strong editing tools
- Great privacy protections
Magix Photo Manager – Who It’s Good For
This photo organizer is a great fit for hobbyists looking to turn their memories into something a little more magical. The animations, editing tools and other features that come with this option are loads of fun. This one is also a great fit for photographers who regularly import from multiple devices.
The import wizard removes a lot of the headache involved with photo management.
Supported OS: Website, Android, iOS
Price: Free, Optional paid storage and direct photo printing
We’re huge fans of Google’s online photo organizing software. Even if you’re not an Android user, the platform offers a ton of features that are just as useful to Apple users. This is a photo organizer that feels perfect for our modern smartphone-driven lives.
Create Albums, Collages and More
Photo management couldn’t be easier with Google Photos. It’s super simple to group your images in any way you’d like. The free smartphone app can automatically categorize your images based on location, date, and much more.
Users can also manually organize their shots as they see fit.
Affordable Cloud Storage
For better or worse, Google has become a cloud storage king over the past several years. The Google Photos platform is built to push their affordable online storage options. If you’re a professional with tons of footage that needs a secure home, the price plans here may appeal to you.
If you’re a Google Pixel user, you may be able to access unlimited storage for photos of a certain resolution. This offer won’t be around forever, so make sure you grab it while you can.
Gorgeous Printed Photo Books
Not everyone who uses photo organizing software will need this option, but those who do will fall in love with it. Google Photos makes it easy to create and print custom photo books of your favorite shots. They’re a fantastic way to elevate your most treasured memories.
- Free to use with affordable storage options
- Excellent direct-print photo books
- Great photo management options
- Cross-platform availability
- The photo editing tools are nice but limited
Google Photos – Who It’s Good For
If you have a decent smartphone and love taking photos on-the-go, this photo organizer is definitely worth checking out. It’s designed to work around your behavior and automatically categorize your shots for you. If you prefer a more hands-on approach, don’t worry.
You’ll still have plenty of ways to organize your photos manually.
Faststone Image Viewer
Supported OS: Windows
Price: Basic viewer is free. Optional upgrades ranging from $20 – $40
The intuitive suite of tools that comes with the Faststone Image Viewer makes it easy to edit, share and organize your photos. While the UI isn’t the slickest in the world, this photo organizer can achieve some excellent results in the right hands.
A surprising amount of photo organizing software on the market fails to include a robust fullscreen viewer when editing or managing your photos. The Faststone Image Viewer gives you the screen real estate you need to take in your shots in all their glory.
It can be much easier to edit and make decisions about your photos when you’re not restricted to a small window view.
Great Printing Features
If you need photo organizing software that can help with your printing needs, this image viewer might just be your best option. The layouts, UI and tools geared towards printing on this photo organizer are remarkably easy to navigate.
In just a few clicks, your shots will be printed and looking their best!
If you have a lot of photos to categorize, this feature will come in handy. The batch processing options that come with the Faststone Image Viewer do a great job of chewing through work quickly. Just choose the files you want to manage and let this powerful photo organizer do the rest.
- Accepts most file formats
- A good option if printing matters to you
- Convenient batch processing
- The fullscreen image viewer works great
- The UI feels a little clunky
Faststone Image Viewer – Who Should Use it
If you need photo organizer software that also takes some of the hassle out of printing, this one is worth considering. The printer-friendly options, fullscreen image viewer and speedy batch processing make this a solid option for professionals and hobbyists alike.
Zoner Photo Studio X
Supported OS: Windows
Price: $4.99 a month or $49 a year.
Zoner Photo Studio X is marketed as an alternative to Adobe’s Lightroom/ Photoshop suite of tools. Overall, we think this is a pretty fair assessment. This photo organizing software and editor comes with a ton of features that some people will find indispensable.
With a lot of photo organizing software, consistent developer support can be hard to come by. Not so with Zoner Photo Studio X. The development team pumps out updates on a near constant basis. At the time of writing, the most recent update was March 2021.
This will no doubt be surpassed by further updates very soon.
Catalog Like a Pro
Within the context of this review, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that Zoner Photo Studio makes it super easy to organize your photos. Images can be “cataloged” and viewed by date, keyword, folder, and more.
If you have hundreds, or even thousands, of images, this organizing software can make them much easier to navigate.
Image Editor With Layer Support
Photo editing is another thing that this organizing software does very well. The number of filters, presets and retouching tools available caught our eye almost immediately. As if that wasn’t enough, the Zoner editor comes with built-in layer support.
This makes it possible to handle masking, clones and similar tasks all in one place.
- Killer photo editing features
- The catalog options make this a great photo organizer
- The dev team seems dedicated to near constant updates
- Seems very well optimized
- Only available for Windows
- The subscription model will turn some people off
Supported OS: Windows, Mac
Price: Free trial. Adobe Creative Cloud License required thereafter.
If you already subscribe to some of Adobe’s other services, it’s worth considering Adobe Bridge. While Adobe’s paid subscription model can be a tough pill to swallow, bridge is a fantastic piece of photo organizing software that comes with a robust set of pro-level photo management tools.
Excellent Adobe Integration
Adobe Bridge serves as an excellent “spring board” into the company’s other services. Need to edit an image in more detail? Jump into Photoshop with one click. Looking for enhanced video support? Bridge lets users rely on Adobe’s stellar video solutions.
If you’re already paying for an app like Photoshop, you’ll be able to access Bridge for free. Considering how well Adobe Bridge integrates with this other software, it’s probably worth checking out.
In-Depth Photo Management
Adobe Bridge can make other photo organizing software look like toys. You’ll be able to label files with ratings, keywords, advanced metadata and much more. The batch renaming options stand out to us in particular as head and shoulders above much of the competition.
If you’re a professional with more in-depth requirements, Adobe Bridge is probably the best photo organizing software out there in our opinion.
The new “export panel” used by Bridge makes it much easier to work with your files. For example, presets can now be rearranged with a simple “drag and drop” action. This kind of intuitive UI consideration can be found throughout Adobe Bridge.
This option gets top marks from us for ease of use.
- Integrates very well with Adobe’s other software
- Easy to use
- Does a fantastic job of photo management
- Batch renaming is super handy
- The subscription model stings a little
Adobe’s Photo Management Software – Who Should Use it?
If you’re already an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber, this option is a no-brainer. The suite of organizational tools on offer here is seriously impressive, and they’ll be free if you’re already subscribed.
Studioline Photo Basic
Supported OS: Windows, Mac
Price: Free. This is a basic version of the developer’s premium photo organizer software.
If you’re looking for free photo management options, you might want to pay attention to this one. Studioline basic is a “stripped back” version of the more premium Studioline Classic. While you do miss out on some deeper editing options with the free version, there’s still plenty to sink your teeth into.
Simple Sorting and Searching
This is a refreshingly simple piece of photo organizing software. Photos can be arranged automatically using a number of built-in filters. Alternatively, users can simply drag and drop their photos to organize them in whatever way they see fit.
Simplicity is the name of the game with this free photo organizer and we’re big fans.
Convenient Load Assistant
Plug a camera or SD card into your computer and this software’s handy load assistant will be ready and waiting. It immediately presents the user with options for how they’d like their images to be imported. This is also a great opportunity to start organizing your snaps from step one.
The process of plugging in a device and importing your pictures is made very simple by this photo management software.
If you take pictures while you travel, Studioline Basic might just be for you. This organizing software comes with a convenient geotagging feature. Quickly categorize your images by location and visualize them on an interactive world map.
- Free photo organizing software
- Simple tagging and search features
- Convenient geotagging with interactive map
- Basic video and image editing available
- The free version doesn’t let you export your image keywords
Studioline Free Photo Organizing Software – Who’s it For?
If your primary concern is photo archiving and management, this is a brilliant free solution. What it lacks in deep editing and export options, it makes up for with a simple UI that’s refreshingly easy to navigate and an ever-appealing price point of $0.
Movavi Photo Manager
Supported OS: Windows, Mac
Price: $35 for the basic organizer. Up to $70 for added photo editing and slideshow maker.
Next up is the slick, memory-focused Movavi Photo Manager. Available for both Mac and Windows PCs, this is photo management software with a touch of style. Effortlessly tag, organize and improve your images with just a few clicks.
Organize Your Images With Facial Recognition
Facial recognition is hardly a new concept, but it’s surprisingly absent in lots of photo organizing software. With Movavi, it’s super simple to categorize your images by face. Just click on the “People” tag on the left panel to see an overview of your automatically categorized faces.
All you have to do is name a given face once, and Movavi does the rest. You’ll be able to search your images just by using the names of the people in them!
Bulk Categorize Similar Images
This clever piece of photo organizing software does a great job of analyzing the photos you import. Movavi can recognize images that are visually similar and recommend that they be categorized together.
If identical images are recognized, Movavi can automatically delete them for you, saving precious time when importing in bulk.
Back Up Your Files
The recently added backup feature on this photo management software is great to see. It keeps your photos and video safe from accidental loss. If you accidentally delete your work or want to get set up on a new machine, Movavi can easily recover or transfer your files for you.
- Organize your images with facial recognition
- Automatically ignore or delete duplicate files
- Photo organization with style
- Great backup feature
- It’s a little pricey, with more in-depth features hidden behind higher price points
DigiKam Photo Manager
Supported OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Price: Free and open source.
This is another fantastic way to organize photos, especially if you need a free option. DigiKam is an open source organizer that can handle a ton of different image formats. If you’re organizing your photos on a budget, give this one a try.
The Transparency of Open Source Software
As open source software, DigiKam Photo Manager can’t hide its secrets from you. As long as you’re technically minded, or know someone who is, you can read through its code and check exactly how it works. If you have privacy or security concerns, you may consider this to be a benefit of using this option.
What’s more, the community behind this organizer is surprisingly active. New features, bug fixes and suggestions are being made all the time.
Built for Huge Collections
One thing that makes DigiKam a contender for best free photo manager is how well it handles larger collections. Even with tens of thousands of images, this program runs smoothly. The handy filter and search options also make it trivial to navigate your mountains of files.
Several aspects of your editing workflow can be improved with DigiKam. The software makes it easy to process RAW files, edit JPEGS and publish to social media all from within the program. It takes surprisingly few clicks to get things done with this organizer.
- Completely free and updated regularly
- Can handle huge collections
- Tools to help you improve your workflow
- You can check the source code if you have the knowhow
- While open source software has loads of perks, there are some inherent security concerns too.
Who Should Organize Photos With DigiKam?
If you’re technically minded and understand the basics of open source software, you might want to give DigiKam a try. It’s feature set and performance can even outpace some premium apps!
Corel PaintShop Pro
Supported OS: Windows
If you’re sick of paid monthly subscriptions, PaintShop Pro might be for you. While it isn’t as fully fledged as competitors like Lightroom, it’s significantly cheaper and offers some killer management tools to boot.
Sleek UI for Navigating Your Photos
PaintShop Pro has most of the photo organization tools you’d expect from a paid product. It’s very easy to categorize, search and manage your library. The UI for all of these actions feels well polished and is a breath of fresh air to navigate. We’re big fans of how this software looks and runs.
AI-Powered Editing Tools
We know that “AI innovations” are beginning to feel a little old hat, but hear us out. PaintShop Pro also comes with a slew of very competent editing features that don’t rely on AI. It’s just that the AI tools impressed us more than we anticipated.
Things like upsampling, removing artifacts and improving image noise are all handled very well by this software.
This is usually a benefit that people talk about when discussing Adobe’s Lightroom. PaintShop Pro plays very nicely with 64-bit plugins originally built to run with Lightroom. This dramatically improves the versatility of the software, opening it up to a ton of optional features and power improvements.
- Surprisingly useful AI features
- Works with Adobe Lightroom plugins
- Great for digital asset management
- Sleek UI
- It’s a shame there’s no Mac version
Who Should Use it
In our opinion, this is perhaps the best photo organizing software for those who prefer not to tie themselves into a paid subscription. PaintShop Pro comes with almost the same level of in-depth editing as Adobe Lightroom.
The gap between the two apps shrinks even further when you consider PainShop’s compatibility with Lightroom plugins.
ACDSee Photo Studio
Supported OS: Windows (Sync app available for iPhone and Android)
Price: Starting at $8.90 a month. “Value Packs” available.
Digital asset management doesn’t get much better than this. ACDSee Photo Studio comes packed full to the brim with features that make organizing your photos a breeze. With intelligent categorization options, powerful editing tools and a ton of online tutorials for beginners, this is an excellent option.
Loads of Photo Organization Options
When it comes to different ways to organize your shots, this program completely destroys a lot of the competition. Just some of your options include facial recognition, keyword tagging, ratings and location filtering.
If you have lots of digital photos and need choice when it comes to how you organize them, give ACDSee a go.
Sync Photos With Your Smartphone
In today’s modern smartphone world, a huge amount of photography on the go happens with a smartphone. For this reason, it’s great to see the inclusion of an optional syncing app that works for both Android and iOS.
Users can effortlessly sync their shots between devices using ACDSee’s “Mobile Sync” feature.
Built for Performance
One thing we love about this option is how much the dev team seems to care about optimizing their software. ACDSee is constantly receiving updates with increasingly fast, keyword indexing, decode speeds and database performance.
In fact, the 2021 version of the software is up to 100% faster than its predecessor at working with keywords and categories.
- Fantastic options for digital asset management
- Constant updates that improve performance
- Sync photos from your smartphone
- Strong editing tools
- We found the price plans a little confusing
- No cloud storage
Who Should Use It?
We see this software being most useful in a professional setting that involves high volumes of digital photos and videos. The slew of management features that come with ACDSee make it a powerful tool in the right pair of hands.
Picture Organizing Software – Things to Look Out for
We believe the options listed above are some of the best programs available in 2021. That said, we understand that you’ll likely want to do your own research too. This section will run through some of the main things to think about when looking for picture organizing software that’s right for you.
A decent photo organizer will be able to handle practically any file you throw at it. Occasionally, however, even a good program can fall short when it comes to certain file types. Think closely about the type of photos you take and the formats that come with them.
Make sure any piece of photo organizing software you consider can handle your formats. .TIFF files are a common format that can be missing with some options, for example.
We strongly recommend trying out a free version from this page first if you have the time, especially if your requirements are more casual in nature. It’s only worth paying for software if it offers extra features that you genuinely need.
Good picture organizing software that also includes editing features can easily run you $80, so it’s worth checking whether you actually need the extra bells and whistles by testing a free option first.
Subscription VS One-Time Payment
Several options on the market, Adobe’s suite of software being one of them, offer a subscription-based payment model for their organizers. This usually amounts to a significantly smaller initial cost that grows steadily the longer you use it.
If you want to go with a paid option, we recommend choosing software that offers a one-off payment, especially if you plan to use it for years to come.
Editing options can be one of the most expensive “add ons” when it comes to organizing software. If you don’t need them, definitely consider one of the options from this list that either omits them completely or only offers a limited array of editing tools.
If you do need professional editing features, our suggestion is to subscribe to Adobe’s Creative Cloud and take advantage of Lightroom, Bridge and Photoshop all at once.
Ease of Use
This one is of course relative to your experience as an editor and photo organizer, but remember that if you find a UI intimidating at first glance, you don’t have to put up with its learning curve unless you want to.
There are plenty of options out there that are remarkably easy to use. Only deal with more complex interfaces if they offer unique tools that you really need.
This one is easy to overlook, but it can lead to disappointment very quickly. Double-check the GPU and CPU requirements of any software you consider. Reference these requirements against the performance of your machine to make sure everything runs as smoothly as you need it to.
Backup and Sync Options
If your main reason for investing in photo organizing software is to protect your files from accidental loss, double-check the feature list of any program you’re thinking of paying for. In our opinion, Google Photos is a fantastic “cheap and cheerful” route for those who care about backing up their shots.
Remember that cloud storage is just one part of the backup picture. Saving a physical copy to an external SSD is also worth considering, especially if you take photos in a professional environment.
As this page has demonstrated, there’s a fair bit of choice out there when it comes to organizing your photos digitally. We hope our recommendations have helped to narrow down your search. We suggest trying out one of the free solutions on this page first.
Only opt for a premium program if you can’t find the features you need for free. If you’re looking for software that you can use for years into the future, think twice about signing up for subscription services that can cost you much more in the long run.
Whichever option you choose, we hope it serves you well in your quest of digital asset management!