Website ReviewsFreebies

Top 10 Sites for Royalty-Free Stock Images and Videos (2024)

10 Best websites for free stock images and videos in 2024
© Panos Sakalakis.

In this article...

Need top-notch visuals without spending a dime? I've found the best websites with royalty-free stock images, videos, audio, sound effects, and illustrations that you can download for free.

In this digital era that we live in, stock images, videos, audio, and even illustrations and mockups are easy to find and use both for your personal or commercial projects. But the more there are, the harder it is to find the best for your needs, and not every site actually provides high-quality and royalty-free content.

If you don’t have a budget, using free resources can help you get started easier than ever before, and they’re crucial when it comes to creating something visually pleasant. Although some people disagree with the use of free stock images and videos, as they think they’re not that unique to begin with, I never had any issues or people complaining about them, so why not use them?

It’s important to know that not every website gives you a commercial license, and not every stock footage you see comes with a policy that lets you use it as you fit. Some websites provide both personal and commercial use, while others may provide user-generated stock content that comes with different licenses.

For example, some are freemium, meaning that only premium subscribers can use the content without crediting the creator or the platform, while others have their own terms of use which do not allow their stock items to be used in logos, merchandise, etc. It’s important to make sure that you’ve read and understand their licenses and what you can do with them, to avoid having any legal issues in the near future.

1. Pexels

Pexels - Free Stock Images and Videos has anything you may be looking for, including hundreds of thousands of royalty-free images and videos that you can use both for your personal and commercial projects. You can download and use every content without crediting the creator, but doing so is always a nice gesture of appreciation.

With over 15 million monthly visits and 4 billion monthly image views, Pexels is one of the most popular and well-known websites to download free stock images and videos. It gives you the option to register for a profile and organize your favourite stock content in collections that you can share with other people and have them public, or even keep private. You can also follow other photographers and other users can follow you too.

Anyone can become a contributor and start uploading their images or videos to the platform. Contributors also have access to statistics, and they can take part in Pexel’s photo challenges, earning money from the rewards. The platform comes with an easy-to-use and fast interface, which makes it perfect for quickly searching, finding, and downloading your favourite stock images and videos.

2. Pixabay

Pixabay - Free Stock Images Videos Vectors Music

For many people, is the heaven of stock content. The platform has over 4.3 million free stock images, videos, music, sound effects, GIFs, and even vectors, everything uploaded by its big community of users. Thankfully, they have organized everything in categories, and you can search by type, popularity, latest, etc.

Anyone can create an account and share their own images, videos, and other digital types of content that they create, provide it for free, and get access to their statistics. Organizing your favourite types of images and videos is also pretty easy, as you can create collections and save anything you like there. Apart from that, there’s also a community voting page from which you see the latest uploads on Pixabay and help them by voting on which ones should be featured.

Be careful though, as Pixabay is now the home of hundreds of AI-generated images, but you can easily find them thanks to a robot icon which is placed at the top right corner of every AI-generated image. If you don’t like using AI-generated content on your projects, it’s crucial to know which images are human-made and which are not. Last but not least, you follow other photographers and they can follow you back.

3. Unsplash

Unsplash - Free Stock Images is not your typical website with stock images, it’s now a whole more than that. At first glance, Unsplash has over 6.2 million stock images, most of them in high-resolution, uploaded by its community of photographers. You can sign up for free, create collections with your favourite images, and even have a list with all your likes.

Like the two first options that I recommended, Unsplash also lets you follow other photographers, and if you upload content constantly, you’ll likely see other people following your work too. It’s great, it’s free, easy to use, and has a minimal interface. From your profile, there’s also a statistics page, from which you can see how many views and downloads you have, and from which services they used the more.

As the license goes, any picture uploaded on Unsplash comes with the Unsplash License, which is pretty straightforward; All images are free to do whatever you want with them. But apart from the free stock images that you’ll find, there’s also tons of premium content (a part of Unsplash+) including images and illustrations. Unsplash has a pretty cheap option though, and you can get an annual subscription for only €48, and cancel anytime.

Last but not least, Unsplash partners with many known companies, including BuzzFeed, Squarespace, and Treel, and it has its own API that you can use. They also have an iOS and Mac app, and a browser extension for Google Chrome, but don’t expect to find anything not third-party-made app for Android, Windows, or Linux.

4. OpenVerse

Openverse - Free stock images, a project made by Creative Commons, is an open-source search engine for open content. It has developed as part of WordPress, the most popular CMS platform for building websites in the world. As of this moment of writing, the Openverse allows users to search, discover, and use openly licensed and public domain works, including images and audio.

The platform indexes over 700 million items from various sources, including Flickr, NASA, Wikipedia Commons, Rawpixel, SpaceX, and many more. But unlike other websites with free stock images and audio, it doesn’t only include high-quality content, and you can find lots of pictures that come with low-resolution sizes, while the licenses may also differ, and for most of them, you’ll have to credit the creator.

Unfortunately, you cannot create an account and save your favourite stock content, and searching for free stock images and audio is pretty slow compared to other similar websites.

5. Burst

Burst Free Stock Images by Shopify

Burst, a modern and neat platform powered by Shopify, has thousands of free stock images that you can download with a simple click. Burst’s photos are royalty-free, meaning you can use them for any purpose without attribution. Whether you’re working on client work, print ads, menus, or websites, the platform can cover most of the topics that you may be looking for.

It has a global community of photographers constantly contributing their work to the platform, but in my testing, I was unable to create an account and proceed, as the website kept giving me a 404-page error. Based on various sources, you can easily see your work on popular websites such as the Huffington Post, Forbes, Ikea, and many others.

It has a modern dark design, and you can easily search images by topic, while you can download anything both in low-res and high-res quality, based on your needs and preferences. Last but not least, Burst has over 20,000 free stock images.

6. Rawpixel

Rawpixel Free Stock Images Illustrations and PNG Elements

Rawpixel is a lot more than you could expect from a platform; It has free stock images, illustrations, PNG elements, professional effects, patterns, wallpapers, and even fonts. It also features the Rawpixel Library, from which you can find hundreds of free public-domain books and chromolithographs. There are also more than 2 million professionally made free creative assents, editable templates, mockups, and other types of designs.

With the free license you can download and use any content for both personal and business uses, but you’ll have to credit the platform. Users have the option to create an account and even use its Canva-like tools to adjust the designs and templates, or even go as far as creating their own.

Unfortunately, there are many specific restrictions when it comes to their content. For example, they do not allow the use of their content for prints or other merchandise, and it’s not recommended to use it for creating a logo either. As the company says, you’ll have to make “considerable changes to the original design”.

7. Stocksnap


Stocksnap is another website providing free stock images that come with a Creative Commons CC0 License, which basically lets you download, use, and edit any image without crediting the creator. They cover most topics and have a great selection of categories to discover even more free stock images, and they also let you search from other similar sites directly from their website.

Unfortunately, in most of my tests, the website was pretty slow, I got various 404-page error messages, and several times the website was unable to load anything other than just refreshing the current page. I also had a difficult time changing between the stock sites that it provides, and lots of times it was pretty slow at loading the images.

Other than that, there are tons of great and professional-looking free stock images, and you can sign up for an account and save them in collections and like them.

8. FreePik

Freepik is another popular website that comes both with free and premium content. Free users have many restrictions though, including downloading 10 images for free per day or using their AI tool to generate up to 20 images. They provide an online editor which you can use to create even more content and adjust the pre-made templates, but you’ll only have access to their free content.

As a free member, attribution is required when using anything that you downloaded from the platform, so make sure you’ve read and understand their usage rules. Although they provide their best content to their premium users, free members can find a large amount of content that they can use and adjust based on their needs and personal preferences, as long as they credit the platform.

You can sign up for a free account, create your own collections with your favourite content, and check your download history. You can also follow other members, which is kinda ironic as they don’t provide a feed based on the people you follow, so I guess going back into your profile and into the list of people you follow is the only way to check if they have uploaded anything new.

9. google and Bing

No, you cannot use any image that you find through Google and Bing‘s search results, but they both give you the option to filter their results, making it easier to search for images that you can use for personal and commercial use. Unlike Google, which only gives you the choice of searching for Creative Commons and Commercial licenses, Bing has more options, and it did well in all my tests.

Simply search for any image, and head over to Tools -> Usage Rights -> Creative Commons licenses or Commercial & other licenses. Here’s an example:

Google Free Stock Images

When it comes to image searching, Bing has even more options that I’ve used countless times. Bing gives you the option to search for images with:

  • Creative Commons licenses
  • Public domain items
  • Free to share and use for personal projects
  • Free to share and use for commercial purposes
  • Free to share and modify content

Once you start a search, simply head through the images section, and from there click on the “Filter” option in the top right corner, and choose from the menu of options which licenses you’d like to alter your results.

Bing Image Searching - Free stock images

Tip: If you sign in to Bing with your Microsoft account, you’ll have the option to create your own collections and save your favourite images there. This is a great feature if you want to quickly save for later content that you may want to use in the near future, avoiding downloading it in case you won’t find it again.

Both search engines are great when it comes to finding free stock images, and most of the time you’ll find the same websites and platforms mentioned in this article. In addition, they have different results, so it’s recommended to use them both if you want to go even deeper.

10. Flickr

Flickr - Creative Commons Free Stock Images

Flickr has been around for many years, and it has built a vast community of professional and amateur photographers who are constantly uploading new content on the platform. While not every picture you see is free, there are tons of options when it comes to finding and using free stock images, and users have the option to choose which license they want to add to any of their photos.

As of this moment, Flickr has the following options that you can use to filter your results and search for specific images: Any license, All creative commons, Commercial use allowed, Modifications allowed, Commercial use & mods allowed, No known copyright restrictions, and U.S. Government works.

While Flickr hosts millions of photos, not everything comes with high quality, and there are many amateurs uploading on the platform and providing their content for free. While that’s not a drawback, you may have a difficult time finding the right image for your needs.

What is your favourite place for finding and downloading free stock images, videos, audio, and other types of content? I’d love to see your recommendations and thoughts on using stock content in the comments section below.

Panos Sakalakis

Meet Panos Sakalakis, a web wizard, blogging buff, podcasting pro, and SEO sorcerer with over 15 years of enchanting experience. When he's not weaving digital spells with his keyboard, you'll likely spot him conquering mountain trails with his trusty Hard-Trail MTB bike, in hot pursuit of the ultimate adrenaline rush and the perfect blog post inspiration.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share your thoughts & ask questions!x