back to top

10 Best Photo Management Software in 2022 (For Any Budget!)

A- A+

Subscribe Below to Download the Article Immediately

You can also select your interests for free access to our premium training:

Your privacy is safe. I will never share your information.
Related course: Fantastic Photo Adventures

It is fair to say that digital photography has had a massive impact on all creative industries. Gone are the days of film photography where we would stack folders full of negatives in archive boxes. Now, we store hundreds of thousands of shots on a tiny hard drive using photo management software.

The new challenge is finding photo organising software to catalogue and find our images when we need them. The ability to make folders and then rate, tag, flag, and add keywords to our pictures is key to good file organisation.

Some photo organisation software will even show where you took photographs on a map. Plus, built-in editing tools or integration with photo editing applications make some of these programs full, digital darkrooms.

Crop shot of photographers with camera and smartphone using laptop with photo management software
Note: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here.

Best Photo Organising Software to Use in 2022

Let’s dive into the list of the best photo organising software available today. There is an excellent range of options for all budgets and even some free ones. And we’ll list some of the software’s main features, so you have a clearer idea of what they offer.

10. Zoner Photo Studio X

Platform: Windows and Android

Features:

  • Facebook importing
  • Star rating
  • Flagging
  • Keywords
  • GPS mapping
  • Online storage
  • Advanced photo editing
  • Exporting
  • Printing

Zoner Photo Studio X promises to be more than just photo organising software. It has layer-based image editing like Photoshop. So, Photo Studio X is an all-in-one solution to managing and editing your photographs.

You can organise photos by folder, keyword, or even location. It has a handy mini-map built right into the info window. Flag your images with nine colours and rate them out of five stars. Adding keywords can be done to multiple photos at a time to streamline your workflow.

A neat feature is being able to easily view, import, and edit photos from Facebook, iCloud, Dropbox, and One Drive. It’s as if they were local drives on your computer. This means you can manage images across multiple platforms in one window.

Although a subscription is required, this photo organiser is half the price of Adobe Lightroom. And with advanced editing features, it is a superb alternative for Windows users who need to organise and enhance their photos.

Price: $$

Photo Management Software Zoner Photo Studio

9. Apple Photos

Platform: macOS and iOs

Features:

  • Favouriting
  • Keywords
  • Facial recognition
  • GPS mapping
  • Smart albums
  • Online storage
  • Syncing across devices
  • Photo editing
  • Exporting
  • Printing
  • Slideshow video

If you own a Mac or iPhone, then there is a good chance you are using Apple Photos to organise your pictures already. Maybe, you don’t even know it. Apple Photos will index your images based on date, location, and media types. It has predetermined ‘Smart Albums’ for videos, selfies, live photos, portraits, panoramas, screenshots, and RAW files.

You can favourite your pictures and create albums and projects. You can also create shared albums and invite other people to contribute. Apple Photos doesn’t have the same rating and flagging system employed by the other software in this list. But its AI (artificial intelligence) does a fantastic job of recognising people and events. It even creates slideshow videos for you as mementoes.

The Apple Photos app will update across all your Apple devices. And you can even use an album as a screensaver on your AppleTV. To save space, Photos will upload the full-resolution files to the iCloud. This keeps compressed versions on your phone or iPad until you tap the edit or share button.

There are only basic exposure and colour controls for photo editing. But using third-party extensions increases its capabilities without leaving the program. Plugins like Piktorial and Luminar AI can provide local adjustment controls. Plus, they have advanced artificial intelligence enhancements.

Apple Photos is exceptional at managing photos in your daily life. But it does fall short in its editing capabilities. We recommend using it for personal pictures rather than as a professional digital asset manager.

Price: Free with Apple products

Images of photo management software Apple Photos on a tablet smartphone and laptop

8. Magix Photo Manager Deluxe

Platform: Windows

Features:

  • Star rating
  • Grouping in categories
  • Collating into albums
  • Panorama stitching
  • Photo editing
  • Exporting
  • Printing
  • Slideshow video

Magix Photo Manager Deluxe is a Windows-based photo organiser. You can import images to your laptop or computer from mobile devices or download them from cloud-based storage. You can group your photos into categories or albums by dragging and dropping the image thumbnails.

You can also edit your photos in the Optimize panel. This gives basic control over exposure and colour and lets you stitch together panoramas.

While not like other feature-rich photo organisers, Magix Photo Delux is a low-cost, one-time purchase. This makes it an excellent choice for PC users on a budget.

Price: $

Screenshot of photo management software Magix Deluxe

7. Movavi Photo Manager

Platform: macOS and Windows

Features:

  • Keywords
  • Facial recognition
  • GPS mapping
  • Finding similar photos
  • Finding duplicates
  • Basic photo editing
  • Exporting
  • Printing

Movavi photo organiser software automatically sorts your images by date and GPS coordinates. You can then put your pictures into albums and add tags. This enables you to view all photos with a particular tag regardless of where the file is stored.

Facial recognition makes viewing your photos by person easy. It has a browser function similar to Apple Photos.

Using the Places tab, you can sort your images by location, using the geolocation information stored in your pictures. The Find Duplicates and Find Similar commands are great for thinning out your library and saving disk space.

You can do basic edits like cropping and resizing in this photo organiser software. But for further enhancing your images, we recommend Movavi Photo Editor.

Price $

Screenshot of photo management software Movavi

6. Luminar AI

Platform: macOS and Windows

Features:

  • Favouriting
  • Advanced photo editing
  • Exporting
  • Printing
  • Slideshow video

Known for its incredible AI-assisted photo editing, Luminar AI does have a catalogue feature. While you can’t rate and flag images, you can organise them into folders or albums.

You can also add folders of images without importing any data. This means you can browse hard drives and add or remove folders as your projects come and go without messing up the catalogue system.

The editing section is packed full of powerful AI features and local controls. You can export straight to online galleries like Smugmug and 500px.

It’s excellent for project-based shooters who will edit a folder of images from an event and then archive it until deletion. But Luminar is not built for searching or managing massive catalogues of files.

Price: $

Screenshot of photo management software Luminar AI catalogue

5. Piktorial

Platform: macOS

Features:

  • Star Rating
  • Flagging
  • Keywords
  • Smart albums
  • Online storage
  • Syncing across devices
  • Advanced photo editing
  • Exporting
  • Printing

Piktorial is free photo organising software that lets you import your photos and arrange them into folders and albums. You can flag and rate your images out of five stars, edit metadata, and add keywords. Searches can be saved for future use, and ‘Smart Albums’ will update if new photos match the criteria.

Piktorial works as a stand-alone application and as an extension for Apple Photos. It gives you access to image editing capabilities beyond that of the Apple Photos app.

The editing tools include exposure and colour toning. You can apply colour and luminosity masks, adjust curves, and make local adjustments with gradients and brushes. There are also built-in skin smoothing and patch tools. And it has a host of presets to apply to your images.

Piktorial is subscription software, but a free version allows photo organisation and up to two local adjustments per image. You can also purchase FujiFilm simulation looks from their website.

Piktorial is a superb option for users of Apple Photos who want more advanced editing tools. Or it can be for people looking for a different kind of photo organiser for Mac computers.

Price: Free

Screenshot of photo managemen software Piktorial

4. Capture One

Platform: macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android

Features:

  • Naming files on import
  • Star Rating
  • Flagging
  • Keywords
  • Smart Albums
  • Advanced photo editing
  • Exporting
  • Printing

Capture One was initially built as tethered capture software for medium-format, Phase One cameras. It has since grown to become one of the best photo organising software packages available. With powerful image editing and native Photoshop file format support, it is the biggest competitor to Lightroom.

You can keyword your images and organise them into folders inside ‘Sessions’ and ‘Catalogues’. You can also make ‘Smart Albums’ that update according to their search terms, ranging from keywords to lens types. Keyword libraries help tag multiple images simultaneously. And you can save keyword libraries for future imports.

Its image editing capabilities are similar to Lightroom. Capture One is designed for huge files and is lightning fast to render changes. The colour control and sharpening are the most comprehensive of all the software packages in this list.

This software has four different incarnations:

  1. One exclusive to Fujifilm cameras
  2. One for Sony camera
  3. One for Nikon cameras
  4. Full software supporting all makes of camera

The first three brand-exclusive packages are a few dollars a month cheaper than the full program. But they all have the same organising and editing tools.

Price: $$$

Screenshot of photo management software Capture One

3. Excire Foto

Platform: macOS and Windows

Features:

  • Naming files on import
  • Star rating
  • Flagging
  • AI auto keywording
  • Facial recognition
  • Age and gender recognition
  • Smart albums
  • Exporting

Excire Foto may just be the best photo organising software we have ever tried. When you add a folder of images, Excire will use AI to keyword them for you. You can then search your catalogue using terms you may never have thought of, like atmospheric or Bokeh.

The software takes things a step further by recognising people and their ages—individually, in pairs, or groups! So you can search your library for a couple of elderly females not smiling.

The keywords are batched in categories. They are easy to break down into acute searchable terms using the keyword hierarchy pane. This makes finding the picture you are looking for easy and fast.

You can, of course, add your own keywords and organise folders and galleries manually. But you might find you don’t have to.

Although there aren’t even basic editing tools, you can send pictures from Excire to your image editing app of choice by right-clicking on the thumbnail. Excire Foto can also connect to Dropbox and Google Drive.

This software is not for those who want built-in editing tools. But it’s fantastic for organising, cataloguing, and keywording huge libraries across multiple drives.

Read our full review of Excire.

Price: $$

Screenshot of photo management software Excire search function

2. Adobe Lightroom

Platform: macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android

Features:

  • Naming files on import
  • Star rating
  • Flagging
  • Keywords
  • Facial recognition
  • GPS mapping
  • HDR merging
  • Panorama stitching
  • Smart albums
  • Online storage
  • Syncing across devices
  • Advanced photo editing
  • Exporting
  • Printing
  • Slideshow video

Adobe Lightroom is an all-in-one photo management and editing solution. You can import images to a mobile device while on a shoot. When you open Lightroom Classic on your desktop back home, the files, folders, keywords and edits will sync with your library.

If you are importing images from an SD card, you can set the location, rename the files, and add keywords. The ability to create and manage folders lets you stay organised. With the LrTag plugin (purchased separately), AI will look at your photos and keyword them for you.

You can flag your images in five different colours and rate them out of five stars. Aside from folders, you can add photos to ‘Collections’. A collection can be made up of images from multiple folders. Creating a ‘Smart Collection’ will automatically add images by attribute. Say all five-star photos, or pictures with the keyword ‘boat’.

On top of its photo organising capabilities, Lightroom has powerful photo editing tools built-in. The latest update includes advanced masking tools such as ‘Select Subject’ and ‘Select Sky’. There are exposure and colour controls, lens correction profiles, detail enhancement, and spot healing.

Adobe Lightroom is fantastic for beginners and pros alike. Both kinds of users will put to use Lightroom’s in-depth organisational tools, editing capabilities, and printing tools.

It is, however, only available with a monthly or yearly subscription. So if you are looking for a one-time purchase, it’s not for you.

Price: $$$

Screenshot of photo management software Lightroom Classic

1. ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

Platform: Windows

Features:

  • Naming files on import
  • Star rating
  • Flagging
  • Keywords
  • Facial recognition
  • GPS mapping
  • Smart albums
  • Online storage
  • Syncing across devices
  • Advanced photo editing
  • Exporting
  • Printing
  • Slideshow video

ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate is an all-in-one photo manager and editor. As a mid-priced subscription package, it has advanced workflow features to help you rank and manage your files.

‘Auto Advance’ helps you update metadata and add keywords by automatically going to the next image. You don’t need to move your hands from the keyboard!

‘People Mode’ uses AI to recognise and label faces in your catalogue. You can apply pre-loaded sets of keywords to your photos and a duplicate files finder to help manage your disk space.

You can browse and use files straight from Dropbox or Onedrive. And you can also batch rename, watermark or auto-crop multiple images in seconds.

Editing in the Develop panel is advanced. You can use layers, tone curves, brushes, and gradients to finesse your image’s final look. You can also record the editing process into an ‘Action’ and apply it to other images.

The Develop panel is also compatible with Photoshop plugins. These allow you to achieve results that rival Adobe’s heavyweight photo editing software.

With AI-enhanced image management and Photoshop-style editing, ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate is the best photo organiser software for Windows users who want powerful editing built-in.

Price: $$

Screenshot of photo management software ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate

Conclusion

Managing a high volume of photos can be tricky. Even with the best picture organising software, you need to know where your files are stored and name them appropriately.

If you find keywording your images an uphill task, we think Excire Foto is the best photo organising software for auto-applying keywords. It will free up valuable editing time.

For PC users, we recommend looking at ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate as your photo management software. But if you are looking for a package with editing built-in, Lightroom works across all platforms and has powerful editing tools.

Try out our Effortless Editing with Lightroom video course to touch up your photos quickly and beautifully!

Show Comments (0)