Design Resources

18 of the Best Freeware Photoshop Plugins That Actually Work

There are so many amazing free Photoshop plugins you can download but a lot of them are not compatible with Photoshop CS6. To save you time, we spent the entire day finding and testing the best Photoshop plugins you can download free. There are plugins for photo effects, noise reduction, painting, abstract art, layouts, and more! Download some Photoshop plugins today!


Photographers

There are LOTS of photography plugins for Photoshop. Unfortunately, many of them were too outdated or did something that wasn’t very useful/could already be easily done in Photoshop. But out of the ones that we liked, there were two that stood out: Boundary Noise Reduction and ReFocus DC. Boundary Noise Reduction is a good noise reduction plugin that rivals their expensive competitors and ReFocus DC can fix your blurred photos with amazing results.

Perfect Effects 4 Free

Apply one of 73 photo effects to your photos and combine them for even more effects! This plugin lets you apply these effects with control over masking, painting, and blending. The effects look nice but they don’t quite match up to many of the free retro Photoshop actions. Downloading this plugin requires your email address which will automatically subscribe you to their newsletter. You can opt out of the newsletter at any time. After installation, you can access it by going to Window > Extensions > onOne.

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Freeware Boundary Noise Reduction

This is the freeware version of the Boundary Noise Reduction plugin used to reduce noise in your photos. This isn’t a trial or watermarked software; it works just like the commercial version except it’s simplified with less controls. To install, copy the files in the ZIP file to your Photoshop\Plug-ins\Filters folder. The filter can be accessed in the Filter > Colormancer menu. The results were superior to Photoshop’s noise reduction filters and it’s really easy to use. Reducing just the noise can make your image look soft but the filter can bring back some of the original B&W details to keep your image sharp.

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Wire Worm

Although there are already many tools in Photoshop that lets you remove powerlines, you might benefit from this plug-in made exclusively for removing wires. Wire Worm works pretty similar to the Clone Stamp tool with its own color matching algorithm. I found Wire Worm to be easier than the Clone Stamp tool and it gives better results too! I just wished there was a zoom tool because the preview area is stuck to 100%. To install, copy the file to your Photoshop\Plugins\Filter folder. This plugin only works on the 32-bit version of Photoshop (not the 64-bit).

Pano Warp

Photoshop is a great tool for creating panoramas but as with many panoramas, they can look distorted. To fix it, you can use this Pano Warp plugin which applies distortion corrections so that the curved lines in your panoramas look straight. It works much different than the Lens Correction filter. To install, copy the file to your Photoshop\Plugins\Filter folder. Unfortunately, this plugin is also only compatible with 32-bit version of Photoshop (not the 64-bit).

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ReFocus DC

Every photographer has a nice photo ruined by misfocusing. If you need to rescue that photo, this plugin will deblur your photo. It won’t magically fix the most blurry photo and it isn’t made for motion blur, but for small blurs, it does a surprisingly good job. I did some tests and used the Gaussian Blur filter to give it a 1px blur and it was able to deblur it with great results (see thumbnail on the left). For images with motion blur, the streaks are still there but the sharpness is improved and you can see much more details with it deblurred. This plugin only works with the 32-bit version of Photoshop and you can install it by copying it to your Photoshop\Plug-ins\Filters folder.

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