How can I get free photos from iStock?

iStock is one of the largest stock photo agencies in the world. One of the greatest things about being a member of iStock is that they offer free stock photos every week and even a month-long free trial, including downloads. So how do get free stock images?

iStock Free Trial: 10 Free Images!

Exciting news! Our new iStock Free Trial that gives you 10 images for free is now even better. While initially, the trial would only let you access images from the Essentials collection (their Everyday collection), now you may instead access the exclusive Signature collection, featuring premium content you won't find anywhere else. Browse the Signature and Essentials collections today!
Depending on where you are located, you may be able to download from Essentials or from Signature or have the choice of selecting which collection you want to test. See the details of the iStock free trial right here, including a step-by-step on how to activate your free trial!
This free trial is the number one method to download iStock photos without a watermark for free!

Unlock your iStock Free Trial with 10 image downloads from Essentials and/or (NEW) Signature collection for 30 days! Access to collections varies ...
Get Free Trial!
7 days left free trial
The iStock Free Trial is available in all countries except for Austria, China, Congo, Cuba, Germany, Iran, Japan, Libya, Liechtenstein, Philippines, Russian Federation, South Korea, Sudan, Switzerland, Syria, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.

The iStock free trial is by far the best option to get incredible stock pictures for your design without paying. Because it's actually the first month free for the regular iStock subscription –it might be an Essential only plan or a Signature plan (the collection of exclusive stock photos from iStock), depending on where in the world you reside–, and thus you get to browse millions of high-resolution images in their library, use the search bar to find exactly what you're looking for, and get free photos of your choice.

Images downloaded with the trial come with iStock's standard license, which is flexible and super convenient for commercial use – Know more in our iStock License guide!

iStock also provides visual insights that matter through its Visual GPS tool, a portal on its site that hosts interactive search trend data for visual content. You can see how a particular concept or theme is doing in terms of popularity, what type of concept is more sought after in a specific region, explore the top trending topics worldwide, and read valuable content insights from experts.

Plus, the agency helps you discover content easily through curated collections, popular categories, technology for trending searches, and advanced filters. It's all designed for you to find visual content that is perfect for your needs, including photos illustrations and videos, and it has very flexible pricing.

Learn how to activate your iStock free trial here!

Just in: 10 FREE iStock Credits! – We are happy to bring you this exclusive offer for 10 free iStock credits with your new iStock monthly subscription! This is how it works: you buy a new iStock monthly plan of your choice, and using our coupon code at checkout, you will unlock a bonus pack of 10 credits, completely free of charge! With iStock credits, you can get images and video clips, plus the credits never expire, so you have a long time to use them. This offer is valid for customers all over the world, so don't miss it!
Get an iStock monthly subscription and enjoy an extra 10 credits for FREE!

iStock Free Files – New Freebies Every Week

istock weekly free files > How can I get free photos from iStock? free trial

There is another way to get iStock images for free: the classic weekly free files (previous to the free trial offer, this was the only way to obtain free images from iStock).

It's very simple. On the iStock website homepage, if you scroll down, you'll see a section that says, “Get free stock photos, illustrations and videos.” Below this headline, there are three image thumbnails – free photos, free illustrations, and free video clips. When you click on any of those thumbnails, you'll land on the page that contains three free files of that category (so three photos, three illustrations, and three video clips, respectively). Those files are free to download and use and come with iStock's standard license as well.

All you have to do to be able to download these freebies is sign up for iStock (which is free). Once logged in, you'll have access to the free files. That easy.

Do keep in mind the agency selects and displays new free files every week, so it is certainly worth checking regularly and seeing what the week's new files are. While they're usually not the trendiest or freshest images you'll see, they're all high quality and can prove very useful. Click here to sign up for iStockphoto now.

iStock is an online leader in stock photography, famous for its curated content, and is one of the best places to get premium royalty-free stock photographs for free. It is hard to argue with free stock photography, and the stock images you get come in different sizes, licensing, and exclusivity (meaning you can’t get them anywhere else). To learn more about iStock and its millions of high quality pictures, read our iStockphoto Review here.

How To Download iStockphoto Free Stock Images

Downloading the free-of-charge stock images, whether they're free photos, illustrations, or video clips, is quite simple. As you just read above, you must sign up for a free account first, but don’t worry you don’t have to put in any credit card or payment information to access the free stock images.


If you do not have an iStockphoto membership, join for free before you attempt these downloads.  Membership is required to benefit from these offers.

4 Easy Steps for Downloading Free Stock Images

1. Once you’ve signed up for iStock, go to the homepage screen. Scroll to the bottom, and you will see the “Get free stock photos, illustrations and videos headline, and below it, three thumbnails indicating the selections for photos, illustrations, and videos. Click on the photos (or illustrations, if you please) to visualize that week's three free images.

istock weekly free files photos > How can I get free photos from iStock?

2. Click on the image you want to download to visualize its details. Make sure you read the license contract on how you can use it. All of the free illustrations, videos, and stock photographs come with a standard license, but you can purchase an extended one if needed.

istock free photo select to download > How can I get free photos from iStock?

3. After you’ve read and understood the standard license agreement, simply click on the image size you want for your photo, which ranges from Small 11.8 × 7.8-in. at 72dpi to 3XL 18.7 × 12.5-in. at 300dpi.

4. Click on the ‘free download’ red-colored download button, wait for a second, and then press Confirm Download after the button turns green. Your picture will automatically get downloaded to your folder on a Mac or to your desktop on a PC.

iStockphoto offers free visual content for all of your design, video, and audio needs on a weekly basis, and this is just one of the amazing benefits for those who use iStock as their stock imagery agency.

Explore What You Get With The iStockphoto Free Stock Images

The nine weekly files you get every seven days are not just some ‘ok’ stuff; instead, they are very high resolution and exclusive stock picture files that can be used pretty freely according to iStock’s standard photo license.

Have a look at some of the images we downloaded completely free from the iStock free files section below:

Free Photo

iStock 1529127395 > How can I get free photos from iStock?
Young black woman doing relaxing and stretching exercises in living room

Like any RF stock photo, the weekly Free Photograph from iStockphoto has a watermark over the file until you download it. This is the same case at any stock photo agency you decide to buy stock from. The free images come with a standard image license, as do all iStock images, unless you purchase an extended license (which is usually used for unlimited reproduction/print runs, products for resale, and multi-seat licenses). Down below, we will give you more information on what you can and cannot do with a standard licensing agreement, but rest assured that it is a pretty good catch-all for using it for lots of your different creative projects.

The free photograph comes in various sizes you can download for free. They range from Small to 3XL, and it is great to have the right size for your design without having to resize it later.

Free Illustration

iStock 1087925314 > How can I get free photos from iStock?
Modular isometric farming scene.

The free illustrative graphic from iStock is available to download as a vector EPS file or in JPG format in sizes from S to XXL. To learn more about an EPS file – what is it and which programs can open it, click here.

You can use an EPS file to make large graphic images all the way up to billboard-sized, and this free graphic allows you to use it freely with a standard licensing contract. The illustrations are either exclusive to iStock, which is signified in the lower-left corner that reads “Only from iStock,” or can be found in other places.

What’s nice is that sometimes, the weekly graphic is exclusive and free.

Free Video Clip

iStock's weekly free video clips come in different resolutions you can choose from, from Web HD to 4K (yes, for free!), and download in mp4 format. The videos are often exclusive to iStock and are great if you need some B-roll footage to enhance the look of your video projects or want a short but high-quality clip to make social media video posts. The video clip comes with a standard licensing agreement.

One unique option is that at the bottom of the video page is a collection of similar videos you can purchase if you like the content enough and want to expand your video with more footage.

iStock Standard License

No two stock photo agencies have the same stock media licensing, and iStockphoto’s licensing has its own licensing terms, like the rest. All the iStock free stock images come with a standard user license and have specific rules about how you can use them.

We have put together the essential information you’ll need to understand how you can use your iStock free pictures:

  • Can be used in advertising, marketing, apps, websites, social media, TV, Film, presentations, newspapers, magazines, books, product packaging, and more.
  • Every file licensed comes with a $10,000 legal guarantee
  • Cannot use in any logo or trademark, pornographic, obscene, or libelous works
  • Use is perpetual, meaning there is no expiration or end date on your rights to use the content
  • Use is unlimited, meaning you can use the content in an unlimited number of projects and in any media.
  • You cannot use these stock image files in products for resale unless you purchase an extended license.
  • The rights granted to you are non-transferable and non-sublicensable, meaning that you cannot transfer or sublicense them to anyone else.
  • You do not need to include a photo credit for commercial use, but if you are using content for editorial purposes, you must include credit

Keep in mind that if you are okay using free pictures with Creative Commons or similar licenses, you can have a look at our cool list of 25 of the best free stock photo sites ever!

Join iStock Now for free stock images weekly and a one-month free trial

There are not many places where you can get high-quality stock imagery for free, but the iStock free trial offer and Stock’s free files are an amazing benefit for its members. With the growing amount of free image files available today, there are only a few sites that give you the same value and exclusivity as iStock’s free image offers.

By joining today, you will have access to free iStock images without being pressured into buying image credit packs or subscriptions, but if you need more stock image content, you always have the option to search and find exactly what you’re looking for on their top-notch image collection.

If you join iStockphoto now, you will receive six totally free images and three free videos every week for as long as you’re a member. If you unlock the free trial, you will access ten free image downloads any day you wish within 30 days. That sounds like a great deal, right? Yes, iStockphoto free images are an amazing deal!

Click here to join iStock to get four free stock images every week!

Free Photos iStock FAQ

Can I get iStock images for free?

Yes. You have three ways of getting iStock stock imagery for free.
1. With the iStock free trial (if it's available in your region)
2. With our exclusive iStock free credits promo (when you buy an iStock subscription)
3. With the weekly free files on iStock's website

Are all iStock images royalty-free?

Yes. iStock issues all royalty free photos, be they through their credit packs or subscriptions or through the available free downloads.

Is iStock free for commercial use?

The free pictures you get from iStock are royalty free and cleared for commercial use.
But iStock photos aren't usually free. Outside of these freebies, you must pay for a license to use the photos commercially.

Where can I get stock pictures for free?

iStock is a good place to find free pictures. Because it's a reputable company that specializes in high quality stock photos illustrations and vectors and offers royalty free photos that are safe for commercial use. Getting them for free is just as good a deal as you'll ever get!

iStock Promo Code and Free Trial Offer

Heads up! For a limited time only, iStock is giving you a great 15% off in credit packs and subscriptions! Buy as many as you can and use them up whenever you want, as iStock credits never expire! Offer valid for not very long, so grab it today!

Unlock your iStock Free Trial with 10 image downloads from Essentials and/or (NEW) Signature collection for 30 days! Access to collections varies ...
Get Free Trial!
7 days left
Don't waste time, and buy your choice of stock videos and stock images at iStock: 15% discount on everything: subscriptions and image packs.
Amos Struck
Amos Struck

Amos Struck, a renowned expert with over two decades in the stock photography industry, is known for his profound expertise in both stock imagery and artificial intelligence (AI). He is the founder of and a driving force behind the innovative AI-driven platform, His pioneering work in visual AI is marked by co-founding Ximilar AI. Amos also established the Microstock Expo Conference, a key event in the stock photography sector. As a regular speaker at major industry conferences like DMLA and a prominent member of CEPIC, he consistently contributes to the industry's growth and evolution through a blend of technological innovation and market insight.

  1. Amos, I want to buy a few photos on Istock to use on my new website. I am a real property consultant and the photos are of mountains, fields…etc. Would I be able to use the photos in this capacity. It seems like I should.

    • Hi Matthew, thanks for your question. Sure I don’t see an issue why not. Nevertheless I recommend to always double check their terms and conditions and license.

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