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69 Free Software Alternatives To Replace Paid Tools

Mike Kulakov, October 18, 2021
free software alternatives

The number of applications for computers and mobile devices has increased so massively that competition is fierce between them. Many of them are paid; however, we know that not everyone can pay for these types of apps.

I have personally observed a mental breakdown unfold in the user reviews section when “Calm” (a known meditation app) raised the price of their subscription. Oh, the irony…

But! Worry not: in this post, I will show you 69 free software alternatives from different niches that will serve to replace paid apps!

Free Software Alternatives - rawtherapee

Free Software Alternatives for Photography

These are among the most popular free software picks because everyone loves taking photos. If you’re looking for an alternative for applications like Facetune, the following could be very useful:

  • Photo Pos Pro 3: Free tool that you can use to edit, adjust and organize the photos of your computer.
  • Polarr: Powerful photo and video editor for you to retouch and enhance the quality of your raw materials.
  • Irfanview: It’s a very popular image viewer that also allows you to do basic editing easily.
  • RawTherapee: It’s an easy-to-use, open-source application to edit images. This tool supports working on multiple photos at the same time (cue bulk editing!)
  • Shotwell: An image editor that comes with very handy features for organizing and storing your files.
Free Software Alternatives - Canva

Other Options for Image Editing

As for image editing, in the paid category, there are applications like Lightroom. However, for this category of apps, there’s more than one very good software replacement including:

  • Canva: This is one of the best options, as it works for many other things such as making infographics, newsletters, and more.
  • Inkscape: It’s a free, open-source software that works for professional editing. Available for Mac, Linux, and Windows.
  • Pixlr: It’s a pretty complete editor useful for cropping, adding filters, and texts to photos and images.
  • Paint.net: Available for Windows and developed by the NET company. It works for retouching graphics and image editing.
  • Pixlr-o-Matic: Application to improve images through the process broken down into 3 phases: adding filters, then effects, and finally frames.
  • Seashore: Ideal tool to start editing images. It has a very friendly interface that allows you to modify photos in a very simple and intuitive way.
  • Photoscape: The functionality consists of different tools to give professional retouching to photos.
  • GIMP: A sophisticated cross-platform image editor compatible with most existing operating systems.
  • RIOT: It’s an incredible tool that helps you reduce images size without losing the quality.
  • Pinta: It’s an instrument very similar to Windows Paint that allows you to work on images or draw them from scratch.
  • ImageOptim: Another software used to reduce the size of various image formats without losing their quality.
Free Software Alternatives - LWKS

Software Replacement for Video Editing

If you would like to edit videos or you’re learning how to do it, but at the moment, you can’t acquire a full premium editor, do not worry! Maybe you’d love to have an application like FilmoraGO, but remember that this is not the only option.

Some of these apps may be the free software alternatives you need:

  • Blender: Not only works for creating amazing videos, but it also works for 3D modeling.
  • OpenShot: Created to edit videos in a very simple way, and it is compatible with all operating systems including Linux.
  • Handbrake: Another powerful video editor, this tool also works to compress videos.
  • Miro: It’s a system capable of converting and changing the video formats with ease.
  • Lightwork: Professional video editor that allows you to create montages and master movies.
Free Software Alternatives - VLC

Entertainment and Streaming Software

For movie and series lovers, we also have options for totally free applications. Those who can’t afford subscriptions to streaming companies like Netflix can use the alternative software:

  • PlutoTV: A free platform to view different TV channels, movies, or series online.
  • VLC: It’s a video editor that also works as a player for films of any format.
  • Kodi: Open-source application to turn your home into a room to watch movies, series, or different videos.
Free Software Alternatives - Spotify

Music Players

Do you like to listen to music frequently? Sometimes people have the habit of thinking that if you don’t pay for an app, you won’t enjoy the songs with decent quality. Nothing could be further from the truth.

With the following software, you will enjoy your favorite artists without the sound losing quality at all:

  • Spotify: You probably already know Spotify as one of the most popular digital music and podcast services in the world.
  • Audacity: It’s a sound player that also works to edit, export, and convert audio formats.
  • FooBar2000: Windows audio player, very easy to customize and use.
  • Deezer: It’s a streaming platform similar to Spotify to listen to music at any time, and it is 100% free.
  • Pandora: Another streaming radio service.
Free Software Alternatives - Slack

Free Software Alternatives for Communication

Messaging applications to be able to contact other people safely and quickly like TigerText are excellent. But, there are similar and very good quality options with regards to security, privacy, and next-level features. Some of them are:

  • Telegram: It has become one of the best free messaging alternatives. Within this minimalist messenger, you can do a lot more than texting. For example, download files from themed communities, or join a group chat around your hobby or passion project.
  • Pidgin: Works as a client for instant messaging between multiple platforms and accounts.
  • WeChat: It’s an app to chat with different people around the world, and it supports voice, chat, and videos.
  • Slack: Application aimed more at companies than individual users. Regardless, it helps connect people and enhance group communication.
  • Adium: It’s an open-source messaging app compatible with Mac OS X.
free task management software: top picks in 2021!

Productivity Software Tools

There is an enormous selection of tools developed to improve people’s productivity, both free and paid. In paid versions, we have priceless (pun intended!) tools for time tracking, task management, and productivity. In free versions, we have options for productivity such as:

  • Howler Timer: It’s a powerful Mac and Windows software used to track the time spent on daily activities. It’s pretty basic – for those who value their time and are looking for ways to boost their productivity, the inexpensive yet powerful Everhour could be a better alternative.
  • Dashlane: System that helps you store passwords and personal information safely.
  • OneNote: Application aimed to store information or notes, conveniently organized so that you can find it later with ease.
  • Trello: Project management software that can be considered to be a free Asana alternative (we’ve covered the key differences between the two in this post). Within Trello, multiple users can organize and prioritize tasks so that none goes unnoticed.
  • Pocket: Formerly known as Read It Later. It allows you to save different types of texts you come across in the interwebs and then view them offline when you’re ready for those long reads, for example, during a flight or a long tube ride.
  • Alfred: Application launcher created to optimize the time when searching for any file or application on a computer.
  • Pomodoro One: It helps the users to get their tasks done in blocks of time to perform better and optimize the day (read more on the Pomodoro technique here).
  • Business Calendar 2: One of the most widely used calendar applications. It features a fairly friendly user interface and lots of handy features.
  • Evernote: It’s an ally for people dealing with loads of information daily. In this app, you can store and organize notes consisting of any formats including visuals and text.
Free Software Alternatives - Sublime

Free Office Software

If you’re a person who does office work, you may need packages like Microsoft 365. But, even for this, different alternatives can help you. We will mention some of these below:

  • Google Docs: Google’s alternative to MS Office, available directly through your browser. Create and edit slides, text documents, and spreadsheets for free and with (almost) unlimited Disk storage.
  • Foxit PDF Reader: It’s a software to read and edit files in PDF format.
  • Atom.io: It’s an open-source text editor aimed primarily at the programming public.
  • Sublime Text: Like Atom, it’s a text editor to write down anything you want (with automated backups) and with some handy formatting features for those writing code.
Free Software Alternatives - Flux

Utilities Software Alternatives

Finally, we can’t fail to mention the following applications and software useful for different practical purposes.

  • Dropbox: System to host any type of file in the cloud.
  • CoconutBattery: Makes it possible to know the capacity and information of the battery of Apple devices.
  • CCleaner: Allows users to get rid of unnecessary files or files affecting the computer or device you are evaluating. In addition, it makes backup copies of the files that it deletes.
  • BetterTouchTool: Allows users to gain control over the peripheral artifacts that your computer uses through commands.
  • Flux: Helps modify screen tones to be easier on your eyes.
  • DaisyDisk: Helps you know exactly the space each application occupies on your device. In addition, it recovers space on the hard disk by eliminating elements that are not necessary.
  • TreeSize: It’s a space manager for computer hard drives.
  • 7-Zip: Open source tool developed to compress and decompress files.
  • Jing: It’s an ideal application to capture and record device screens.
  • Caliber: Digital book manager in which you can read and transfer books.
  • Rocketdock: Program for Windows designed to give your Windows taskbar a Mac-like feel; it shows shortcuts to different previously customized programs.
  • Rainmeter: It’s a software that allows users to place different customizable skins to personalize the desktop.
  • The Unarchiver: This program decompresses any file very quickly and without inconvenience.
  • Everything Search- Voidtools: Developed mainly for Windows, it’s a program that helps people speed up the search for files in the computer memory.
  • Memory Clean: It’s a space-saving software to achieve better device performance.
  • App Cleaner: Helps to remove any file or program without a trace from Mac devices.
  • FastStone Capture: As its name suggests, it’s an application for capturing any fragment of the desktop in a very simple way.
  • FileZilla: Ideal for those companies that constantly host and share files on the internet. It allows mobile devices and computers to connect to web servers.

Free Software Alternatives: In Closing…

We hope that you found this handy list of free (but powerful) tools helpful. For more ways to utilize free software, read also:

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Mike Kulakov

IT entrepreneur, executive and a former engineer. Responsible for company growth as well as the team’s motivation. Big fan of playing tennis, snowboarding, traveling, reading books, and (of course) I live and breathe our product.