Creative Internet Tech News

PicMonkey Now Makes You Pay to Save Your Images

Dave Parrack 22-09-2017

PicMonkey, one of the most popular online photo-editing suites around, has rendered its free offerings absolutely pointless. You can still edit photos for free, spending hours crafting a visual masterpiece, but to actually save your creation you’ll have to pay. Which is ridiculous.


There is a lot of competition in the photo editing space. There’s the big names such as Photoshop and GIMP, plus a ton of smaller, more niche alternatives. PicMonkey is one of the best known online options, and it has been steadily growing since its launch in 2012 PicMonkey: The Spiritual Successor To Picnik As you probably already know, Picnik’s days are numbered. The popular photo editing website, which was purchased by Google, is going under on April 19th, 2012. Some of the features found in Picnik have made... Read More . It’s thought to be profitable too.

Making the Free Version Completely Pointless

Unfortunately, PicMonkey has suddenly, and without warning, decided to make a rather big change to the service. Previously, anyone could use the range of free tools, with anyone paying for a membership gaining access to premium tools. These tools were clearly labelled, and the presence of ads meant that even the free users were paying their way.

Now, PicMonkey is trying to up the number of people paying for memberships by making the free version completely pointless. Because while anyone can now use any tool in PicMonkey’s arsenal, only paid-up members can save, export, or share their images. Which is surely an essential part of the process.

This essentially means that the company is happy for you to spend three hours forging the perfect image 10 Tools to Create Incredible Shareable Social Media Images The web is awash with tools to help anyone create their own professional-looking, shareable images. Here are our favorites. Read More , but they want you to pay to actually get your hands on the finished product. It should be noted that there is a 7-day free trial available, and the mobile apps still work as they used to. But beyond that PicMonkey is basically slamming the door on free users.

Those free users are understandably upset at this rather fundamental change to the way PicMonkey operates. Especially as it happened overnight and without warning. Which led to some users who had been editing images for some time unable to save their work. Forcing them to screenshot it instead.


A Bizarre Way of Making You Pay for PicMonkey

We understand that companies need to make money, and the best way of doing that is by selling subscriptions. However, offering users access to every tool but then not allowing them to save their work is a really bizarre implementation of this model. And we hope PicMonkey reconsiders.

In the meantime we recommend BeFunky and Pixlr for those seeking an alternative.

Do you currently use PicMonkey? What do you use it for? Have you been using the free version? If so, what do you think of PicMonkey making you pay to save your images? Are you likely to now buy a PicMonkey membership? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Korf-Adri via Flickr

Related topics: Image Editor, Photo Sharing.

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  1. Anonymous
    November 29, 2018 at 11:25 am

    There is actually a different route to get your picture. You can download the entire website itself as .html and get the files of the website itself and inside the folder of the website's stuff you can access your edited photo by downloading the hub page. Easy loophole which I believe they can never patch.

  2. Sue
    June 30, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    I have used PicMonkey to make my watermarks. I did not use it everyday. Just once a year to add the new year at the end of my name. Last December (2017), I went on PicMonkey and redid my watermark and that is when I noticed that I was not able to save my watermark unless I paid. That was the worst thing PicMonkey could have done. Free users are always happy with what they have access to and free users actually know that in order to get some effects, they will need a paid membership. So what PicMonkey did was not a nice thing to do and it certainly was not a good business approach. I have been looking online for the last 7 months in order to make a watermark, but all the sites I look at ONLY offers me to add my watermark to my photos, which is not what I want. I tried making my watermark using LunaPic, but I find it not as user friendly as PicMonkey is. I will not pay to use a site I only go on once or twice a year, because that would be a huge waste of my money.

  3. Dari
    May 16, 2018 at 9:58 am

    I was using PicMonkey a lot when my subscription finished I saw a sky-high price and the fact I can't even save the picture. Well, I'm not paying that...

    I'm glad we have some alternatives.

    April 7, 2018 at 12:07 am

    Can you just screenshot the image?

  5. Angie
    March 20, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    I've enjoyed PicMonkey in the past. Just returned to jumpstart some new projects, and one photo in, discovered the new pay policy. Nope. BeFunky is now my go-to.

  6. Elizabeth
    March 18, 2018 at 10:56 am

    I am glad to know that I am not alone in my negative feelings toward Picmonkey.
    I have been a Premium subscriber--at a much lower annual cost--for years. When faced with the "new and better" Picmonkey home page touting, I wrote to their customer service office to ask just exactly what the differance was --and never got a reply. One thing I have always appreciated in the past was the quick and pleasant assistance from the help staff.
    The new Picmonkey has the bitter taste of a corporate mentality take-over. I wonder if that is what has happened.

    Like the rest of you, I will be searching for an alternative. I think it may be time to invest in Photoshop Elements and at least be able to process RAW images--something that PM cannot provide, even at the Premium level.

  7. rizzo
    January 25, 2018 at 4:16 am

    I have been a big fan of PM ever since I had my first child and wanted to beautifully document every milestone. I then graduated to using it for flyers, online marketing and the like. I believe that the website is so well designed that you will WANT to pay the 7.99 or whatever because you know the upgraded features will make your projects look that much more professional and polished. The site has a much easier interface than the expensive and daunting Photoshop. It's also a lot of fun. So if they give free access to basic features, people like me will find themselves coming back and happily wanting to pay to see what else they can create.

  8. Erin
    January 24, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    $8 a month is way too much. That would only be worth it for people who used it on an almost daily basis, such as for a business, but surely that isn't the majority of the userbase.

  9. Anne
    January 16, 2018 at 4:26 am

    I've been using PicMonkey for years, but only occasionally, and have referred many others there too, some who did end up buying paid subscriptions even while it still could be used free. Like others here I won't be going back, I think they did the wrong thing and will lose lots of users as a result of this change.

  10. Jana
    December 20, 2017 at 8:58 am

    I used picmonkey periodically, and appreciated that the bombardment of advertising and option of getting premium memberships helped pay for the tools. I must say, we are starting to use it regularly now because of our blog taking off, but I resent the manipulative twist they have taken. It feels underhanded, so even if it went back to free saving of images, I'm afraid they have lost me for good. That was just a dirty trick!

  11. Tina Bartholomew
    December 7, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    I used picmonkey for years and it helped with my blogging images. Fortunately there are other great alternatives (thank you, Canva), so I'm not heartbroken over no longer using their service. (However, I am annoyed as it did waste my time on a project before discovering this change).

  12. cherryblueberry
    November 9, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    I've happily used Picmonkey for years. They were
    the first on my list of online photo-shops...before Pxlr, Befunky, and Lunapic....I loved their easy LAYER tool...I could make GREAT pics by layering two pieces of my artwork, or layering my artwork over my photography. I think it SUCKS that they suddenly insist we pay for their service, even though their site is plastered with ads....

  13. MegDeusy
    October 23, 2017 at 7:30 am

    PicMonkey has terminated its free online service while Fotor is still free of charge and users have unlimited access to a sleek and fun design tool. With such a powerful free tool why not use Fotor? I'm sticking with Fotor from now on.

  14. Chris Hunt
    October 22, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I was really annoyed with pic monkey. After spending ages crafting my image I could not save it without signing up for a membership. How despicable are they? I shall call them despicamonkey and never use them again.

  15. Ellen
    October 13, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    I wrote the PicMonkey folks a message via their feedback function....they just re-iterated how "now you can use ALL of our fabulous tools!". Actually, I only used the free ones and was quite happy with my results....didn't need all the bells and whistles so to speak.

    And what a nasty surprise to all of the long time users! To spend the time meticulously creating an image, only to have to "put a ring on it" (as they like to say on the web site) to save your work! Way uncool of them if ya ask me!

    I don't imagine that Picmonkey cares what we think, though.....I don't see 'em changing their policy anytime soon, if at all.....

  16. Zmer91
    October 12, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Who’s my favorite free online web-based photo editor now? Fotor doesn’t charge it’s users. It won’t make you pay to save your images.

    Go people

  17. Jesse1102
    October 11, 2017 at 10:21 am

    PicMonkey makes my heart broken. Never pay for an editor that I use just once or twice a month, not worthy

    You people can go Fotor Canva Befunky instead of PicMonkey

  18. Sara
    October 5, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    I had no idea!! I found this while trying to google how to save my image, that I completely started from blank and spent nearly an hour on! I've used it for years, mainly around the holiday for custom made cards and such, but there is no way I'm paying for it. Especially after this!

  19. Michael
    October 4, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    I just spent 30 minutes making a huge collage, and then I went to save it and it asks me to pay.

    I'm not some entitled baby who thinks everything should be free, but it just seems like a really shitty and underhanded way of getting people to pay for something. "Wouldn't want to waste all that time and effort you just put in making that image, would you? Click here to pay now!"

    No thanks, PicMonkey.

  20. Kinsley
    October 2, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Appreciate this post and alternate suggestions!

  21. Bruno Miguel
    October 2, 2017 at 9:21 am

    This was the best too for me to make the changes on my images as well! Fast, easy and powerful! But, unfortunately that happened and we'll have to try another solution. I am giving up on PicMonkey, sadly. Good post and thanks for clarifying, I hope they change it!

  22. Unknown
    October 1, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Pic monkey was really THAT editor. I was so angry when I spent a long time editing a picture for my upcoming presentations to see that it makes me pay now. I hope they read these reviews and see how many customers they lost and switch back.

  23. Patrick Krott
    October 1, 2017 at 12:59 am

    I just noticed this. What a crock. So after making my image I simply zoomed in a took a screenshot, then pasted and cropped it in paint. Won't work for transparent backgrounds, but it fit my needs for this particular image.

    No more picmonkey for me.

  24. jeremiah
    September 29, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    I loved picnik and then googled stole it from us. picmonkey was a good alternative that over the last 5 years has gradually added new features and has become even easier to use, almost idiot proof for the type of basic things that 95% will use the site for. There are still many really basic options that the platform doesn't offer (for example, curved & dimensional text options), but considering that the site was free to use, edit and save no one could complain. But, after I just visited the site for the first time in a few weeks and added a little text to an image and tried to export and was asked to enter my credit card information, my whole opinion about the site has shifted. It was a great free site, but not a site who's free or premium features are worth paying for, especially not $8/month! Seriously, $8?!? I'm betting on the fact that most users are like myself, ones who use the site once or twice a month messing around with a few photos and simply want to export them and be done. For people like us, $8/month is a whole lot for what we're using the site for. $2, maybe. $1, very likely. But, $8, come on. They're basically encouraging me to try a free alternative, which I'm sure there is and which will quickly become what picmonkey was after the fall of picnik. We, the users will be ok; I don't know if I can say the same for picmonkey.

  25. Susan Isard
    September 28, 2017 at 1:08 am

    I am unhappy now after reading these. I was taken by surprise on Sunday and was shocked. I paid it because I was in a hurry and am comfortable with pic monkey not the cost. When I found this, I was looking for a phone number for pic monkey to ask about this (which I tried to do before purchasing.). Any additional suggestions?

  26. KatTi
    September 27, 2017 at 2:10 am

    PicMonkey used to be my go-to image editor until they pulled this stunt. I spent half an hour editing an image only to have it hijacked behind a paywall.
    I now use Fotor (my fave)

  27. Chloé
    September 26, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    I found an other tool for quick picture editing
    The same happened to me, suddenly after finished editing I couldn't save my work.
    Such a bad communication.
    You can use as well.

  28. Randy Kennedy
    September 25, 2017 at 1:21 am

    I have been using Picmonkey and really enjoyed it until I could no longer save my pics. I spent an hour editing a photo only to find out I could not save it . Good bye Picmonkey I now have 4 other editors I can use for FREE

  29. georgina
    September 24, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    sooooo annoying. used to love the website and now the fact i have to pay is stupid. I'm a small youtube and have been trying to become big, and my thumbnails were something i have gotten a lot of complements on, and this has made it so much harder to grow. thanks picmonkey thanks very much -_-

  30. Rachel
    September 24, 2017 at 2:12 am

    I just went to use it 10 mins ago and was shocked I can no longer save or 'export' the collages!
    I live overseas from my family and use it probably every few days or once/week to make collages of photos for facebook. Photos of my kids, my life, everything.
    I know they changed to only exporting images a few weeks or a month ago, but to just change it overnight is very disappointing.
    I won't pay for the service, but is there anything similar like it online?
    I like how you can change the size of individual images and also the shape and size of the final masterpiece.

  31. Anita
    September 23, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    I've been using it for years to amend brightness, etc., and add various watermarks. Just discovered the issue today, not happy. Thanks for the alternative suggestions.

  32. dwayne
    September 23, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Capture it with a screenshot and crop out what you don't want

  33. Alex Jones
    September 23, 2017 at 3:58 am

    I have been using pic monkey for years now and I have made people pictures for their profile and I have also been making picture for myself. Ever since I discovered it I would love to make people laugh, I used to love this site now I'm a bit angry that they know their being scummy and being sell-outs. I think they are going to remove this feature because a lot of people have stopped using it and the people who already had membership cancelled them. I hope they change it back because it will make everyone, including them happy.

  34. Linda
    September 23, 2017 at 12:21 am

    I have this site on my wiki and Livebinders as a good no registration web 2.0 tool for students and teachers. It's coming down now as there are many other tools that fit the bill. Good-by PicMonkey.

  35. Mike Walsh
    September 22, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    I don't often use on-line graphics tools, I'll be honest. I get on much better with the GIMP.....or my elderly (but still fully functional) copy of Photoshop CS2. (It's the only version of the Creative Suite that's guaranteed to work 100% under WINE in Linux.)

    That, and a few other Windoze apps from my XP days.....including Mooi's PhotoScape, the best photo edoitor I've found in several years of looking around. It, too, works perfectly under WINE.

    There is one I use on-line; Vectr. It's a vector graphics design app that will allow you to create & export SVG images.

  36. Shannon
    September 22, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    I, like others, used PicMonkey for the basic features on a semi-regular basis. Not anymore. Cursory research shows that PicMonkey was already making millions of dollars from subscribers and ads. Now they want more. While I enjoyed their service while it was available, I think they will start to diminish from the online photo editing scene and eventually go the way of MySpace. A decade from now some people may recognize their name, but they'll never be a big player again.

    I just opened a free account on and they are directly targeting former PicMonkey users on their landing page, and rightfully so. Here's what you see on their page when you search "PicMonkey no longer free" and click their link on Google: "Picmonkey is an excellent online picture editor with lots of awesome photo editing options. But what if you have no money for Pic Monkey's premium service? iPiccy has everything you need for photo editor and much more. Create beautiful photo artworks for 100% Free!"

    Bye bye PicMonkey!

  37. Jennifer
    September 22, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    I was in process of a simple edit on picmonkey and got the notice and came across this article while researching. Goodbye Picmonkey I will go back to my more complex edits and find something better anyways. Just use their site for simple stuff anyways.

  38. Sharon
    September 22, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks for the heads up.
    Not a good way to get free users to signup for the paid version. Rude!
    I was using it just for very simple editing and adding text but now I'll try somewhere else.