How To

How to open a PSD file without Photoshop

Patrick Devaney


Oh, Photoshop. The king of all photo editing software. There is a huge chance that you either have Adobe Photoshop or that you want it. It is the best and so it stands to reason that the Photoshop PSD file type is the best file format for editing images. And do you know what! It really is.

How to open PSD files without Photoshop

The PSD file type saves every composite part of of the image editing process that is still in progress. PSD means that you can save a photo or picture that you’re editing and then pick right up where you left off and all the layers, effects, and applied filters will be exactly as they were. The thing with PSD files though, is that there aren’t too many programs you can open them with. Sure, you can open JPGs, BMPs, and PNG files on almost any photo viewing or editing program but Photoshop documents are different. That is why today, we’re looking at the best ways to open and edit PSD files, if you haven’t got Photoshop.

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How to open .PSD files without Photoshop



It stands to reason that with the PSD file being a photo-editing file, the best ways to open PSD image files without Photoshop are going to be other photo editing programs. GIMP, which stands for Gnu Image Manipulation Program is an excellent and free image editor alternative to Photoshop. GIMP works on Linux, Mac OS, and Microsoft Windows powered devices and is open source software, meaning it is developed voluntarily by developers all over the world.

GIMP offers professional level features, which include being able to open and indeed edit PSD files. Many professional photographers and graphic designers use GIMP for their jobs, and many contribute towards developing new features. If you want to have complete control over the Photoshop file you’re trying to open without Photoshop, then GIMP is the tool you’re looking for. You can download GIMP by pressing the download button below. Then, once you’ve installed it, you can open a PSD file as you would open any other file type.




Another excellent photo editing tool you can download for free and that will allow you to open and edit PSD files is Paint.NET. Although Paint.NET doesn’t offer as extensive a feature set as GIMP, it still has more than enough tools for any amateur looking for a photo editor to have on their PC. Furthermore, Paint.NET gives users the chance to download add-ons, which add further features to the program. One such add-on is the PSD Plugin that enables you to open PSD files using Paint.NET.

To open a PSD file on Paint.NET you first need to download the PSD plugin. Then you need to extract the download file and copy the PhotoShop.dll file. After that open the Paint.NET folder in Windows Explorer, which should be located C:/ProgramFiles/ and paste the copied file into the FileTypes subfolder. After that, all you need to do is open Paint.NET and open your PSD file as you would any other file.

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Photopea Online


Photopea is similar to GIMP and Paint.NET in that it offers you a great free alternative to Photoshop that will give you the ability to open and edit PSD files. Photopea also has a very similar layout to Photoshop, which means you’ll be able to get the hang of it rather quickly if you’re used to using Photoshop already. The big difference between Photopea and the other two programs is that Photopea is a browser-based photo editor.

To open a PSD file on Photopea Online you need to go to Photopea Online and then open the PSD file as you would normally open any other file. Easy peasy.

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Google Drive

This way of opening PSD files is a little unorthodox and doesn’t offer the ability to edit the PSD file as you have with the three options listed above. Using Google Drive to open your PSD file, however, gives you a good way to check the content of the PSD file. You can open it, see what the project is, and then open it to edit using one of the other options we’ve noted if you want to make some changes.

To open PSD files using Google Drive you need to open your Google Drive, then click My Drive, and then Upload Files. From here you can Upload your PSD file. Once you’ve uploaded your PSD file, you’ll be able to view it simply by clicking your PSD file on your Google Drive page.




The fifth and final way we’re giving you to open your PSD files offers a different approach to those we’ve already gone through. Convertio is a website that will help you convert your PSD files into another file type that will be easier to open using a program you already have, like Windows Photos or Apple Photos. Convertio offers free file conversions for files up to 100mb in size and converts your PSD files to image formats including JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG, and others. You can’t convert to PDF though.

To open your PSD file using Convertio go to and then drag your PSD file and drop it anywhere on the page. You’ll then be given the different file type options you can choose to convert your PSD file into. Select the file type you want and then click convert. Convertio will then convert your PSD file. Click Download and you’ll then be able to open the downloaded file using your default image viewer.

Wrapping up

There you have five ways to open Photoshop PSD files, even if you haven’t got Photoshop. You can open and edit your PSD files using one of the top three methods. You can view your PSD files using option four and you can convert your PSD files using option five. Each offers something different but all will get the job done.

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