Popular photo editing app Pixlr now available for desktop

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 1, 2014
Updated • Aug 9, 2019

Pixlr has been available as a web version and application for Android and iOS for quite some time. It is a popular application judging by the ratings that it has received by users that can be used to manipulate photos in several ways directly on the phone or web.

This includes among other things options to add effects to the photos or to create collages with just a few clicks.

Update: Pixlr is no longer available as a desktop application. The service is available as an online application and an application for mobile devices only at the time of writing. End

Pixlr for desktop has been released a couple of days ago bringing the functionality to Windows and Mac desktop systems.

You need to start the program manually after you have downloaded and installed it on a Windows system. The interface itself looks similar to other photo editing programs for the operating system on first glance but instead of displaying a bunch of editing tools on the left, it displays mostly effect tools there that you can apply to the image.

There are still editing options available, for instance to resize or crop the image, or to refine the contrast of it, but the majority of options displayed here are effect-type of modifications.

Most filters work by selecting a tool category first and then one of the filters displayed here. Once done, another subset of filters is displayed that you use to pick one.

Basic controls, usually to change the opacity of the filter, are displayed here as well.

You will notice a download icon attached to some filters. This indicates that the filter set needs to be downloaded from the Internet before it becomes available. This is an automated process on the other hand and you will only notice a slight delay before they become available.

As far as filters go, there are many available especially if you take the subsets into account.

Besides effects, it is also making available a set of stickers -- read clipart -- that you can apply to the image. From cute little monkeys and kitten to tattoos, zodiac symbols or symbols.

The type tool can be used to add text to the photo. Here you select the font type, size and formatting for the text. Note that you can add more than one text to the image using different font settings.

A Pro version is available as well which improves the program significantly. It enables you to select parts of the photo that you can apply enhancements to which you cannot do in the free version as it is limited to all or nothing.

This is called influence masks by the developer.


If you are looking for a desktop program that you can use to apply Instagram-like filters to photos, then Pixlr may be worth a shot.

If you require a full photo editing software, then it is not. It is also not really suitable for basic image editing tasks like resize if you have to perform those regularly on the system. While it does the job, it is not starting up fast enough for that.

software image
Author Rating
1 based on 1 votes
Software Name
Pixlr for desktop
Operating System
Windows, Mac
Software Category
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  1. Rick said on September 2, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Waste of time really. 35M download and that doesn’t include any of their borders etc., all which get download when first selected.

    For a limited editing program, it’s large, clunky, and slow. There are soooo many other worthy options.

  2. ChromeShine said on September 1, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Pixlr does work well online — used it on a Chrome OS laptop. For Windows and Mac, I still like PhotoScape. When loading PhotoScape from a download site, be sure to watch for some sites trying to load extra programs — this happens often, so be careful. Once you get the hang of using PhotoScape, I think you will find it is one of the best out there. It is free of charge. Pixlr, XNview and Fotor are all good as well.

  3. twanve said on September 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Ah, good to see. I’ve been using Pixlr-o-matic (available for the desktop as an Adobe AIR application) for while already.


  4. BB66 said on September 1, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Pixlr for Windows requires Windows 7 or 8. Pixlr for Mac requires OS X 10.9 or later. (taken from Pixlr’s official support website)

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