Top Digital Photo Software for Family Photos

Top picks for organizing, fixing, and sharing your personal and family photos

Manage Your Family Photos

Getty Images

Digital photo software is designed for people who want to organize and share personal and family photos, but don't want to spend a lot of time editing them. In addition to using features to browse and sort your image collection, you can catalog media with keywords, descriptions, and categories. These tools usually do not offer pixel-level editing capabilities, but they do provide easy, one-click corrections plus printing and photo-sharing features.

01
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Google Photos (Windows, Mac and Linux)

Google Photo

Google Inc.

What We Like
  • Free, unlimited backups.

  • Deeply tied to the Google app ecosystem.

  • Works with HD videos.

What We Don't Like
  • Ties to a Google account, might become the default in Android.

  • Uses face grouping to scan images to search for people.

Google Photos is a flashy and functional digital photo organizer and editor which has improved considerably since its first release. Google Photos is excellent for beginners and casual digital shooters who want to find pictures, sort photos into albums, do quick edits, and share with friends and family.

With Google Photos, everything is online and easily accessible from anywhere. If you're a fan of Google Drive and the other Google online applications, you'll feel right at home with Google Photos. Best of all, Google Photos is free.

Sign in to your Google Account for Google Photo.

02
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Adobe Photoshop Elements (Windows and Mac)

Adobe Photoshop Elements

Adobe

What We Like
  • Integrates with the Adobe Creative Suite portfolio.

  • Outstanding, robust toolkit for image editing.

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive, $99 license for the 2019 version.

  • Album features take a back seat to image processing and editing.

Photoshop Elements includes an outstanding photo organizer along with a full-featured photo editor for the best of both worlds. The user interface is friendly to beginners but not dumbed-down to the point that it frustrates experienced users.

Photoshop Elements utilizes a powerful, keyword-based system of tagging photos that quickly finds specific photos. In addition, you can create albums, perform quick fixes, and share your photos in a variety of photo layouts.

03
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Apple iPhoto (Mac and iOS)

Apple iPhoto

Apple Inc.

What We Like
  • Works on both Mac and iOS.

  • Free, native app for light editing.

  • Great slideshow features.

What We Don't Like
  • Focus is on QuickTime, which is less established in the Windows world.

  • It's a stock app — good for light use, but not full-featured.

Apple's photo cataloging solution was developed exclusively for Mac OS X. It comes pre-installed on Macintosh systems or as part of the Apple iLife suite. Use iPhoto to organize, edit, and share your photos, create slide shows, order prints, make photo books, upload online albums, and create QuickTime movies.

iPhone users may be using iPhoto. That's where it's really blown up in popularity, and where it connects to the rest of the Apple ecosystem. The integration with iCloud lets you easily upload your photos and access them from anywhere, including your Mac running iPhoto.

04
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ACDSee Photo Manager (Windows and Mac)

ACDSee Photo Studio
What We Like
  • Free trial, four paid models.

  • Robust apps focused on video and photo editing.

  • Desktop and mobile versions.

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive compared to competitors.

  • Favors power users, may be too complex for casual use.

ACDSee Photo Manager packs a lot of punch for the price. It's rare to find a photo manager with this many features and options to browse and organize files. In addition, it has integrated image editing tools for common tasks such as cropping, adjusting the overall image tone, removing red-eye, and adding text.

After you organize and edit your images, share them in a number of ways including slideshows (EXE, screensaver, Flash, HTML, or PDF formats), web galleries, printed layouts, or by burning copies onto CD or DVD.

05
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Zoner Photo Studio Free (Windows)

Zoner Photo Studio

Zoner

What We Like
  • Actively developed program with a public feature roadmap.

  • Rich toolset similar to Adobe Photoshop.

  • Free 30-day trial, modest monthly or annual pricing.

What We Don't Like
  • Stand-alone app, without video support.

  • Make contact sheets and do basic photo organization, not designed to be a robust organizing tool.

Zoner Photo Studio Free is a multi-faceted free photo editing and management tool. It offers three working environments, namely the Manager, Viewer, and Editor windows. The purpose of each aspect of Zoner Photo Studio Free is self-explanatory and breaking down the interface into a tabbed environment is effective in use.

06
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digiKam (Windows, Mac, and Linux)

digiKam

 digiKam

What We Like
  • Open source.

  • Cross platform.

  • Wide range of file support.

  • Easy metadata editing.

What We Don't Like
  • Can be difficult for new users.

  • Interface is plain by default.

digiKam is an open-source photo management program that's packed with features. It's built to be an all-in-one solution to handle everything you'll want to do with your photos.

Use digiKam to keep your photos organized with its library management tools, and tag them efficiently by editing the metadata. You can also use digiKam to import, export, and share images without a hassle.

If you need to make any adjustments to your photos, digiKam comes with a full set of image editing tools that handle the RAW file type, enabling the utmost quality in photo editing.

Linux users can also find digiKam in their distribution repositories.

07
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Piwigo (Cloud - Linux)

Piwigo

Piwigo

What We Like
  • Open source.

  • Accessible from anywhere.

  • Clean interface.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires technical skill to set up.

  • Monthly web hosting costs.

If you like the idea of Google Photos, but you prefer to host your own photo server, Piwigo is the perfect solution for you. Piwigo can be best described as WordPress, but for photos. It's a cloud-hosted photo management app that you can access from anywhere and on any device.

With Piwigo, you can host your own photo library and control exactly who has access. You can allow family and friends to view or contribute their photos, making sharing fun and really simple.

Unless you find a web host that sets up Piwigo for you, and some do, it does take some technical knowledge to get running, and that might be a big downside for some people.