Your PC is chock full of photos that remember the good times spent with family, friends and work colleagues and you would like to keep them inside a digital photo album to “browse” when you invite your loved one’s home. What can I say? You had a great idea!
So, are you ready to get started? Courage then, make yourself comfortable, take all the time you need to focus on the next lines, try the solutions listed below and then use those that seem best suited to your needs. I wish you a good read!
You are going to create a free photo album, right? The applications and programs to do this are certainly not lacking and in the next chapters you will find a selection of those that, in this case, I think are the most immediate solutions. Here are all the details.
Do you have a computer equipped with Windows 11 or Windows 10 and for a while you have been repeating “create your photo album for free”? Then, in that case, you can use the Photos application that is present “standard” on Microsoft’s latest operating systems. It is, in fact, the default application for viewing and managing images on Windows and includes a simple feature to create digital photo albums (with the ability to choose a background music for them).
I will show you immediately how to proceed to achieve this result: first, start Photos from the list of installed programs in the Start menu and then, if you have not already done it before, import the images with which you want to create your album. To do this, press on the landscape icon with the arrow ↓ located at the top right and select the upload option that is right for you from the proposed menu (From a folder or from a connected device).
Once you have completed this preliminary step, press on the Album item at the top and, subsequently, click on the new album box. At this point, click on the boxes located in the right corner of the thumbnails of the photos you want to include in the selection and, finally, click on the Create button located at the top right.
There we go! Your album has just been created, and you can preview it in the box in the middle of the window. If you also want to store your creation on your OneDrive online storage (so you can access it from other devices), click the Save to OneDrive button at the top. Eventually, you can start a full-screen slideshow of the images contained in the album by pressing the triangle button at the top.
To change the title of your creation, press the pencil icon located next to the Album item at the top, then type the name you prefer and give Enter. If you want, you can also access the editing tools screen by clicking on the Edit item, located at the bottom right, under the preview of the photos. In this last screen, by pressing from time to time on the appropriate items, you can add Background Music, Text, Movies, 3D Effects and Filters.
To save each individual change, press the Done button. If you want, instead, to delete a change just made, press the arrow button pointing to the left that you see at the top. As soon as you are ready to export your creation, click on the item End the video at the top right, then choose a resolution for the movie from the drop-down menu under the heading Video quality and, finally, press the Export button.
Using a Mac? In this case, the quickest way to create a digital photo album is to use the Photos application pre-installed on macOS. This is the same program that allows you to view and manage all the photos of your Apple devices synchronized with your iCloud account.
To proceed, start the application in question from the Dock or Launchpad (it has a colored flower icon) and, if the photos you are looking for are not yet present in Photos, press on the File item at the top left (on the macOS menu bar), then select the word Import and choose from the proposed menu the photos to import.
After that, press again on the File item and select the new album item. Now click on the words Untitled album at the top, then type a name for your new creation in the appropriate field and give Submit.
Now open the folder (e.g. Recent, Imports, etc.) which contains the photos you want to insert into the album from the list on the left side of the screen and, once you have located the preview of the image you are interested in, right-clickon it. Then select the Add to item and choose the item related to the name of the album you just created from the menu shown on the screen.
Then repeat this last step to move all the photos you want in the album; possibly you can also make a multiple selection by holding down the mouse in a point without thumbnails and then dragging the pointer to the opposite side of the screen in order to select the thumbnails of the images to be moved (then repeat again the step explained above by right-clicking on any of the previews).
At this point your album is ready; to start a full-screen presentation of the same, select its name from the list on the left and then, press on the Presentation item. Then choose a presentation style from the list (e.g. Classic, Magazine, Origami and so on) and press the Play Slideshow button. To set one of the images in the album as the cover photo, right-click on the relative preview and press the Use as main photo item from the context menu.
The ones I’ve shown you so far are the applications for build photo album for free pre-installed on Windows and macOS but there are several other programs (and online services accessible from browser) free with which you can create your own photo collection. I will list some of them below.
- SmartSHOW 3D (Windows) – this is a program available as a free trial (the standard full version costs $ 19.99) that allows you to create presentations with images and any background musical accompaniments. It includes more than 700 preset templates, and you can add text, voice commentary, and more to your presentations.
- Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Online) – excellent and complete solution for creating photo albums that can be viewed as full-screen digital presentations. It includes intuitive editing tools and the ability to add music.
- Smilebox (Online) – with this tool you can create various beautifully designed albums thanks to the predefined templates available. It allows you to add logos, text and music and can be used for free in the basic version (the Premium version with the ability to share creations via email or social networks costs $ 4.99 per year)
For other tips like those just mentioned, I recommend you consult my tutorial on photo album programs. If, on the other hand, you want to create a photo collection to print , I refer you to my tutorial on how to print digital photos.
Canva is a good service that I suggest you try if you are interested in creating free online photo albums. It is a powerful suite of graphic tools (accessible via browser) that allows you to create business cards, flyers, logos, posters and, of course, photo albums. It provides users with numerous preset layouts and it is possible to save albums in various formats (JPG, PNG, GIF, PDF, PPT and so on).
This tool is free but the Pro version (with numerous additional preset templates, 1TB cloud storage, customer support, more than 100 million preloaded photos, and archival audio) costs $109.99 per year.
To get started with Canva, go to this webpage and type a book in the search field at the top. After giving Enter, a new tab will open in which the service editing tool will appear. Start by choosing a preset template by clicking on its preview (in the Templates tab in the list on the left; you can also not apply any template if you prefer).
At this point, press on the Uploads item on the left and then click on the Upload button to add your photos (you will then have to log in with a Google account, Facebook or with your email address, by pressing on the appropriate buttons shown on the screen).
Now close the window that invites you to try the premium service, pressing on the X icon, located on the right; go again to Uploads > Upload files and then select the images to upload from your device. To proceed, now, drag the uploaded photos from the left side of the screen to the thumbnails of the album pages on the right side of the screen.
If you chose a predefined template, drag your images, and place them on top of the preset ones to replace them. On the preview pages of the album you can reposition the inserted images by dragging them with the mouse where you want and you can also resize them by positioning the pointer to one of the corners of the photo you want to resize and dragging the purple dot that appears to the left or right.
If you notice an element that is part of the default template (e.g. a logo) that you do not like and you want to delete it, click on it, and then press the trash button (the same procedure is applicable to any element on the page).
To change a default text element that is part of the initially selected template, press on the displayed text and replace it with other text of your choice by typing it in the appropriate field. By clicking on the Audio item and then pressing on the Upload file item, you can insert an audio element to the album. Next, to insert the loaded audio track, just drag the preview of the song from the left side of the screen to one of the album pages on the right.
By pressing on the item Elements on the left, you can add logos, stickers, preloaded photos, graphics and more: just click from time to time on one of the previews of the various elements and then move them to the page or resize them as I explained above in the case of photos. Optionally, you can also add text (by clicking on the text icon located on the left side of the screen).
By pressing, instead, on the item Other on the left, you can change other elements of the album such as the background of the various pages (you can also draw freehand by pressing the Draw button and then selecting the preview of one of the virtual instruments shown on the screen).
Once your album is ready, click on the Share button at the top right and, if you want to get a link to share on social media or in a private message (by copying and pasting), press the Copy link button (then go to Only you can log in > Anyone who has the link); otherwise, if you simply want to download the album, click on the Download button and select a format by pressing the drop-down menu under the heading File Type. Finally, click on the Download button and you are done.
Are you wondering how to create a free photo album and would like it to include some of your favorite songs? In this case, you can use the aforementioned Windows Photos, or one of the programs recommended in this chapter, or even the excellent Canva of which I told you in the previous chapter.
Wait, so far, I have provided you with solutions to use on computers, but you would prefer to create free photo albums on a smartphone or tablet? No problem, I propose below some applications on which you can rely.
- Google Photos (Android / iOS / iPadOS) – Google Photos is the free app of the Mountain View giant for managing photos (it also makes it possible to backup them online). Maybe you did not know but the application in question allows you to create photo albums in all simplicity and the same can also be generated automatically based on the people present recognized in the shots or the places visited.
- Photos (iOS/iPadOS) – this is the mobile counterpart of the macOS Photos application I told you about earlier and is pre-installed on iPhone and iPad. This application allows you to create photo albums to your liking in a similar way to what you have already seen on your computer.
- Canva (Android/iOS/iPadOS) – Canva’s complete suite of graphical tools that I told you about in the chapter above is also available for free in app format. Through this application you have access to a simplified graphic editor for mobile devices (but no less complete) and you can share and print your creations in a snap.
And if you have colorless pictures, check my tutorial about how to change the color to black and white photos.