How To

Guide to Photoshop Express: the photo tool every phone needs

Guide to Photoshop Express: the photo tool every phone needs
Trevor Hutchins

Trevor Hutchins

  • Updated:

Photoshop Express makes your photos pop by enhancing the lighting, sharpening edges, providing clarity, toning down harsh colors, and bringing out vibrancy. It’s a great app for photo collages, too! If you’ve been on any social media site for a while, you’ve probably seen photos that could use this treatment: legitimately well-taken pictures that are just plain hard to see!

If you enjoy taking pictures on the go, don’t let this happen: grab Photoshop Express – a free photo editor app from Adobe’s Creative Cloud – and start improving your photos in no time!

Getting Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop Express

As a mobile Adobe app, Photoshop Express can downloaded for any mobile device. You can grab it right here!

Adobe Photoshop Express Download Free ►

Once you’re finished, you may need to create an account before starting your photo editing. After that, you’re all set!

Moving on…

On opening the app


Welcome to the camera roll!

If you allow Photoshop Express to view your pictures, this environment will have a number of snapshots to choose from; in this case, a selection of pictures from our trip to The Getty Museum. Good times!

A few more things:

  • If you want to select multiple images for a collage, you’ll need to go from “Edit” to “Collage”. This will allow you to choose multiple photos for organization.
  • The menu bar at the top left will have account details, preferences, and info on Photoshop Express. If you’re looking to change an accessibility aspect, enable push notifications, or something else of that nature, head to this location first.
  • Clicking the world icon at the bottom left opens the “Discovery” menu. Search through pictures, collages, and other photographic creations from people around the globe! We don’t visit often, since we generally use Photoshop for specific photos, but maybe you’re the type of person to be inspired by impressive, user-generated content!

If you have your photo selected, let’s move on to:

The real important stuff

Let’s not beat around the bush, shall we?


We recommend heading to the menu that looks like a triple slider: the lighting and effects tab. These options allow for the greatest control over your picture’s general quality, from lighting to color and definition.

(We’re operating on the assumption you already resized the photo in Apple photos. If not, there’s an expansive menu for this just left of the sliders.)

As you can see, the first group of settings influences light, and the premier option in this group is exposure. We recommend going from through each and every one of these details! Play with the sliders, see what the effects look like, and decide what works.

From the photo above, we brought out a lot of detail in Roelandt Saver’s “Landscape with the Temptation of Saint Anthony.” In the original, many parts are so dark it seems the sections have lost their clarity altogether. But after a little work, it looks far better and, most importantly, closer to the painting’s actual appearance:


Congratulations! With the slider settings alone, you vastly improved the quality of a photo and gave it a more realistic appearance!

But wait! There’s more…

A lot of other things

Photoshop Express has even more tools on hand. Let’s discuss them!

Just remember: these functions are designed to improve the quality of a photo, not for “shopping” it. You’ll have a far more difficult time removing that one relative to insert Chris Pratt than you would in Full Photoshop.


Before the slider tools, we’d like to highlight three things. The very first menu has your “looks.” These are preset filters much akin to Instagram’s tools.


The next menu has light effects: add a spotlight, sparkles, raindrops, cosmos, and more! These are fun and silly, much like the snapchat things you can find.


Finally, you have the crop tool! In addition to resizing, rotation, and transforming services, Photoshop Express has numerous photo ratios. Size your picture inside of anything from a square (great for Insta and icons) to profile covers for various web resolutions.


After the slide tool, there are even more options! At this point, we’re usually finished with our photo enhancements, but for the curious…

  • Bandage: remove unwanted areas with the blemish remover. At this time, the tool appears to be a bit finicky and difficult to use with a finger. Be careful, and use the undo tool as necessary!
  • The Eye: remove red eye and pet eye. You can do an auto-detect sequence, or click the eyes to select them.
  • The T: add text! Are you creating an inspiring quote? A pretty aesthetic? A meme? Whatever the case, adding captions and quotes has never been easier! Choose your style of letter, then select the font, color, alignment and more.


Finally, at the very end, there are EVEN MORE OPTIONS. Aren’t you glad we focused on the most important stuff first?

Let’s run through these real quickly:

The stickers menu has stickers (surprise surprise), the frame tool allows for a vignette effect alongside multiple bevels and fancy edges – borders and frames, the two Photoshop tools respectively open a library of impressive effects and link to your Creative Cloud (these require a full subscription), the layout tool has a number of collage-esque inerts, and the pencil allows you to send your picture to other mobile Adobe apps for further development.

And that’s all, folks!


Adobe Photoshop has an enormously wide range of abilities. We use it to increase photo quality and hope you’ll decide to as well. However, for the projects that plan to go further, Express might just have those specialized tools you need. We hope you enjoy the process with this quick guide!

Adobe Photoshop Express Download Free ►
Trevor Hutchins

Trevor Hutchins

Trevor Hutchins writes screenplays, novels, and articles from his home in La Mirada, California. He self-published hist first novel, 'Wynden's Legacy,' on Amazon in May of 2017 and hasn't stopped writing since.

Latest from Trevor Hutchins

Editorial Guidelines