Best Photo Manager Software of 2018

Rebecca Spear ·
Updated
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We tested 9 photo manager programs for a total of 85 hours to discover which had the best organizing, editing and sharing features. Our choice for the software with the best photo managing tools is CyberLink PhotoDirector 9. You can organize photos by date, color labels, star ratings, locations and even facial recognition. This program works with common file types like RAW and JPG files, and it makes it easy to share your photos on Facebook and Flickr or even create a slideshow and share it on YouTube.     

Best Overall

CyberLink PhotoDirector 9

PhotoDirector 9 allows you to arrange your photos in many different ways, including the ability to add and title your own organizational categories, which helps you find your favorite images faster.
Best Budget

Magix Photo Manager Deluxe

Magix's Photo Manager Deluxe offers all the organizational tools you could want but at a much lower price than the other top programs. The interface is clean and easy to navigate.
Best Editing Capabilities

PaintShop Pro 2018

PaintShop Pro 2018 has a decent number of organizational features, but it truly excels with its wide range of basic and advanced editing tools. This is a great program for beginners and experienced editors alike.

Our Test Results

Product
Price
$89.99CJ
Overall Rating
9.4
9.2
8.3
7.8
6.7
6.6
6.4
5.8
File Management
9.5
9.8
10
8.5
7.8
8.3
6.5
4
Sharing
10
8.3
8.3
5.5
4.5
6
7.3
8.3
Editing & Extras
10
8.8
3.3
8.8
5.8
1.8
3.3
4.3
Help & Support
6.8
10
8.3
10
10
8.3
8.3
8.3
Mark Photos
N/A
Organize by Date
Customize Categories
Lock Albums
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Tag Keywords
Ease of Use
95%
80%
90%
100%
95%
90%
95%
95%
RAW File Compatibility
N/A
Tag Locations
N/A
View Metadata
Backup Files
N/A
Tag Faces
N/A
N/A
N/A
Add Color Label
N/A
N/A
N/A
Sort Thumbnails
Non-Destructive Editing
Supported File Formats
8
13
5
8
4
4
8
3
Android App
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
iOS App
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Color Adjustments
Editing Preview
Video Editing
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Auto Adjustments
N/A
Cosmetic Retouching
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Flickr
N/A
N/A
Disc Burning
N/A
N/A
N/A
YouTube
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Slideshow
N/A
Facebook
N/A
N/A
N/A
Online Storage
N/A
Email
N/A
Recommended RAM
2GB
2GB
512MB
2GB
2GB
2GB
2GB
2GB
Windows 10
N/A
Mac OS X
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Windows 8
Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Windows 7
Live Chat
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
FAQs
Phone
User Forum
Tutorials
Best Overall

CyberLink PhotoDirector 9

CyberLink Photo Director 9 is a simple program that is easy to learn. It allows you to tag and search your photos by keywords, dates, color labels, locations and faces.
This variety of organizing options means you’re likely to find a method that works great for you. The program is clean and easy to navigate. It also offers backup reminders to help you remember to save your files. This program offers several basic and advanced editing features, including cosmetic retouching tools to remove blemishes and whiten teeth. These tools can also adjust brightness levels, remove red eye, make color adjustments and even remove objects from your images. As an added feature, this program can help you make and edit photos from your video clips. CyberLink offers free online storage to its users. This includes access to the CyberLink user community, where you can get feedback on your work and answers to questions from other users. You can also contact representatives via phone and email or search the website's FAQs page for answers. You can create and share slideshows of your favorite images, complete with music and slide transitions. This program also allows you to upload your slideshows directly to YouTube.
Pros
  • The organizing system is easy to use.
  • You can create and share slideshows of your photos.
  • Editing tools include skin smoothing and red-eye removal.
Cons
  • You cannot password-protect files or albums with this software.
  • You cannot burn your photos or slideshows to CD or DVD.
  • You cannot contact a CyberLink representative via live chat.
Best Budget

Magix Photo Manager Deluxe

This program doesn’t offer as many features and isn’t as file-compatible as Cyberlink’s offering, but it definitely gives you value for your money. It offers several organizational features, editing tools and sharing capabilities while still being less expensive than other top products. The interface is simple and clean, allowing you to learn and traverse it easily.
You can assign keywords, locations, color labels and ratings to your photos, as well as tag faces to search through your collection quickly. You can set frequent backup reminders to help you protect you cherished photos. This program can also password protect photos and albums to keep them safe. Since this program uses non-destructive editing techniques, your original images will be safe while you make changes to a copy. This program's editing tools are very basic, but it does allow you to make color adjustments and offers a handful of automatic edits to make the enhancing process simple. Magix Photo Manager Deluxe lets you view your photos’ metadata to see what camera setting you used to capture your favorite images. This program is RAW compatible and works in layers.
Pros
  • You can arrange your photos in a variety of ways.
  • You can burn your photos and slideshows to CD or DVD.
  • The interface is very simple and easy for beginners to use.
Cons
  • You cannot share your slideshows directly to YouTube.
  • Editing tools are limited.
  • You cannot chat live with a customer representative.
Best Editing Capabilities

PaintShop Pro 2018

PaintShop Pro 2018 is a powerful photo editing program. While it does offer a decent range of organizing tools, this software truly excels when it comes to editing.
You can opt to use either the essential or the complete interface; the first gives you basic editing tools, while the second also allows you to organize your photos. You can organize your photos using keywords, ratings, dates, face tags and location tags, but there is no way to add color labels. Unfortunately, you also cannot password-protect your photos and albums, so if that is a necessary feature for your purposes you will have to look elsewhere. Corel does provide its users with free online storage, so you can have a place to keep your favorite images. You can also set up backup reminders to protect your images in case something happens to your computer. The editing tools cover both simple and advanced enhancements. This program has one of the most accurate object removal features we have seen. You can adjust colors, make HDR images and also make basic editing changes using cropping, selection and red-eye removal tools. You can even use this program on an iPad or Android tablet. PaintShop Pro enables you to share your photos directly to social media sites such as Facebook and Flickr. Unlike other programs, this software doesn't allow you to create slideshows or burn your images to CD. It supports the main photo files, including RAW, JPEG, PSD, TIFF, GIF and PNG.
Pros
  • This program has the best editing tools.
  • It is compatible with most common image files.
  • You can use location and face recognition to tag your photos.
Cons
  • You cannot give your photos color labels.
  • You cannot create slideshows with your photos.
  • You cannot lock albums or files using this software.

Why Trust Us?

We have been testing photo manager software for the last six years. In this year's testing, we spent 85 hours using nine different programs. Our testers have backgrounds in photography and graphic design, so they were able to thoroughly evaluate each product. As always, we tried to create a fair testing environment for our photo manager reviews. 

How We Tested  

We took photo management programs that had high user ratings and then compared them against each other to see which ones were the best. We personally tested each of the programs in this comparison to better understand how easy they were to use and what photo organization features they offered. Our intention was to find software that was simple enough for beginners to learn while offering advanced features that experienced users could appreciate. We used the same group of photos on each program and tested each program's tools so we could see how many organizational options it offered.

We wanted to make sure that the programs we ranked most favorably were easy to use, so we gave each program a score based on how intuitive the user interface is. We awarded extra points to programs that make it easy to share your photos directly to social media sites like Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. Programs that let you burn your photos or slideshows to CD or DVD also received higher scores.

While editing tools are not the main focus of photo managing software, it is important that you can enhance your photos as well as organize them. We tested each program’s color-adjustment, auto-adjustment and cosmetic retouching abilities to see how well each program performed. The ones that easily made better edits scored higher. 

What Features to Look For When Choosing a Photo Management Software

File Management
Managing your photo files should be a simple, intuitive process. These programs allow you to view and edit metadata, and to tag your photos in a variety of ways. The best programs allow you to completely customize your organizing methods by letting you add new category titles and offering an easy search tool. Being able to back up files is also incredibly important, so look for a program that not only allows you to do this but also allows you to schedule frequent reminders about it.

Sharing
Being able to show off your favorite photos is an important part of photo managing software. Most programs allow you to share photos directly to Facebook and Flickr. Some even allow you to make and share slideshows. If you plan on taking a lot of pictures, keep an eye out for a program that comes with free online storage. Some companies will make you pay for it, but there are many services that allow you to upload your photos for free.

Editing & Extras
Editing tools allow you to get the perfect look from your snapshots. Most programs make non-destructive edits, which means that they make edits on a copy of your photo and save the original from changes. These tools can help you brighten a dark image, adjust the colors of your shots, or simply crop your photo. Some programs even feature cosmetic tools for smoothing out blemishes in skin or whitening teeth.  


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