Free Photoshop Filters and Plug-Ins

Customize Photoshop with hundreds of plug-ins and filters

Change the look and feel of your Adobe Photoshop images with these free Photoshop filters, and improve your working environment with these free Photoshop plug-ins. Filters and plug-ins are a great way to customize your Photoshop experience quickly.

Photoshop filters are image effects or settings used to change the way a picture looks, and plug-ins are extended features like rulers or guidelines that aren't included with Photoshop by default.

You can also use free Photoshop actions, templates, shapes, brushes, and textures to change your Photoshop images.

Not sure how to install Photoshop plug-ins and filters? Skip down to the bottom of this page for help.

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Adobe's Free Photoshop Plug-Ins

Creative Cloud website with Adobe's free extensions
What We Like
  • Many are rated, from one to five stars.

  • Easy to search for and find what you need.

  • Enormous variety.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires a free Creative Cloud program.

  • Must create an Adobe account if you don't have one.

What better place to get free Photoshop plug-ins than the Adobe website? You can sort the hundreds of free resources by title or rating as well as by newest added or most popular. You'll find extensions, actions, and other things.

The Adobe Photoshop plug-ins are installed differently than the others on this list. You must have a free Adobe account and the Creative Cloud program installed to use the plug-ins.

To find only the free Photoshop plug-ins at the Adobe website, choose Photoshop from the filtering area on the left, and choose the Free filter on the right side.

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Mehdi's Free Photoshop Filters

Mehdi Plugins website
What We Like
  • Thorough explanation of each plug-in with examples.

  • Dozens of plug-ins available.

  • FAQ page and the ability to contact Mehdi for support.

What We Don't Like
  • Dated but useable interface.

  • Windows only. Not for macOS.

Mehdi offers dozens of free Photoshop filters. Each download page has a thorough explanation of the filter as well as screenshots. 

Kaleidoscope, Projection, Sorting Tiles, Blots, Weaver, and Contrast Balance are just some of the free filters you can download here.

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The Plugin Site's Free Photoshop Filters

The Plugin Site web page
What We Like
  • A single download saves time.

  • Fast access without layers of menus.

  • Easy to use.

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't update often.

Harry's Filters (formerly VideoRave) is a download at The Plugin Site that lets you get around 70 image effects for Photoshop in one download. The Plugin Site has other downloads as well, including Photoshop actions.

On the download page, scroll past the commercial downloads to find the free options. When you're ready to download something from this website, fill out the download form to get the download link in your email.

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Lokas Software's Free 3D Shadow Filter

Lokas Software web page with 3D Shadow 2.0
What We Like
  • A broad range of shadow effects.

  • Easy to use.

What We Don't Like
  • Windows only.

  • Site design is difficult to follow.

Lokas Software has only one free Photoshop filter, called 3D Shadow. We include it in this list because while Photoshop has a text shadowing feature, we find this one to be more useful.

Use it to adjust the blur, axis and offset angle, zoom, and color, as well as select a preset shadow effect, such as Cast in Front, Flat Faint, and Rear shadow.

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RichardRosenman.com's Free Photoshop Plug-Ins

Free Photoshop plugins at RichardRosenman.com
What We Like
  • Easy to browse through available plug-ins.

  • Thorough explanation of each plug-in's function.

What We Don't Like
  • Windows only.

  • No new releases in years.

RichardRosenman.com has one page of free Photoshop plug-ins, including Diffuse, Box Fitting, Pinch, Pixelate, Solid Border, and Evaluate.

The plug-ins you'll find at RichardRosenman.com have a short description and a sample picture to show you what the plug-in does.

All downloads are direct links to ZIP files.

How to Install and Use Photoshop Filters

After you download a Photoshop filter, copy the 8BF file to the Photoshop Filters folder to install it. On Windows computers, that folder usually resides here:

  • C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop (version)\Plug-ins\Filters\

If putting the Photoshop filter in that folder doesn't work, try this one:

  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Plug-Ins\CC

Access your installed filters from the Photoshop Filter menu.

However, some Photoshop filters are installed through an EXE file so that it installs like a regular program. In those instances, you don't need to copy any files into any program folder. Instead, open the EXE file like you would any application.

How to Install and Use Photoshop Plug-Ins

Photoshop plug-ins are ZXP files that must be installed using Adobe Extension Manager (unless it downloads as an EXE program file). Choose Install to browse for the ZXP file.

Adobe Extension Manager CC selecting a ZXP file

Installed plug-ins can be accessed from the Photoshop Window > Extensions menu.