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Google Abandons Its Free Photo Editing Tools

Dave Parrack 31-05-2017

Google is abandoning the Nik Collection, its free suite of photo editing tools 10 Free Photo Editor Tools To Make The Most Of Your Shots Whatever happened to all the snapshots you've taken in the past? If you've got plans and ideas, here are some great Windows and some cross platform tools to process them with. Read More . The company isn’t killing the Nik Collection, so it will still be available to download and use. However, Google has decided not to develop it any further, putting the future of the Nik Collection in doubt.


The Nik Collection is a set of photo editing plugins for popular photo editing software such as Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture. The Nik Collection comprises seven different plugins which offer filters, darkroom-inspired controls, sharpening, and noise reduction, amongst others.

When Free Means No Longer Useful

Google first acquired the Nik Collection in 2012 alongside Snapseed. At the time Nik Software was charging $500 for the Nik Collection, but Google quickly lowered the price to $150. Then, in 2016, Google lowered the price to $0, making the Nik Collection completely free for everyone.

Unfortunately, that switch to free appears to have had a knock-on effect on Google’s commitment to the Nik Collection. Because, as first spotted by PetaPixel, Google is no longer committing any resources to the Nik Collection. So even Windows 10 isn’t officially supported.

Google has recently added a banner to the top of the Nik Collection saying, “The Nik Collection is free and compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 through 10.10; Windows Vista, 7, 8; and Adobe Photoshop through CC 2015. We have no plans to update the Collection or add new features over time.”

The Nik Collection [No Longer Available] is still available to download and use on Windows and on Mac. However, with Google no longer updating the collection it will become incompatible with newer versions of the operating systems. And unless Google open sources the Nik Collection its future is very much in doubt.


The Nik Collection Is No More

This must be a disappointing turn of events for anyone who currently using the Nik Collection to enhance their photos How to Get Started with Google's Free Nik Plugins for Photography Google made its Nik Collection plug-ins completely free. The plugins work with photo editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Here's how to get started. Read More . Google is obviously well within its rights to abandon development of the Nik Collection, but that will be of scant comfort to anyone affected by the company’s decision.

Do you use the Nik Collection for photo editing? Have you only been using it since Google made it available for free? What do you think of Google’s decision to stop updating the Nik Collection? What do you think will happen now? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: David D via Flickr

Related topics: Adobe Photoshop, Google.

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  1. John Eccles
    June 3, 2017 at 6:11 am

    I used the NIK tools for a time but l didn't think that it was that good so l no longer use it.

  2. bill
    June 2, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Google cares not about NIK users, so I care not about Google snapseed, which I just uninstalled from my iphone.

  3. Gal
    June 1, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Looks like Google is where photo editing software go to perish.
    byby Picasa, Nik.
    No one should ever trust anything long term with Google, IMO. Maybe Gmail.

  4. steve
    June 1, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Old 'News'.

    People get who something for free cannot expect a lifetime of free upgrades. Those who paid for it before it was free - tough yes, but there was no contract for further development by the original authors.

  5. Christian Stella
    June 1, 2017 at 6:58 am

    I use NIK on my Windows 10 computer in Photoshop CC 2017, both the OS and Photoshop fully up to date. Works the same as it ever did, so I'm not sure why the article makes a point about it NOT working on Win10?

    • Dave Parrack
      June 1, 2017 at 8:51 am

      I was referring to Google's own literature, which states that the Nike Collection is compatible with "Windows Vista®, Windows 7, Windows 8". The same thing is repeated in the banner now sitting atop the site.

      Given that it obviously does work on Windows 10 for some people, I've changed the sentence to, "So even Windows 10 isn’t officially supported." I hope that satisfies your complaint.