How to Download Shutterstock Images Without Watermark – 5 Methods Explained

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Shutterstock is one of the best stock photo sites around, famous for its gigantic library full of high-resolution images, ready to jump from their site onto your designs. But for that, you need to download them without their Shutterstock watermark.

Here, we show you the best ways to remove the Shutterstock watermark before downloading, so you can enjoy Shutterstock’s amazing stock photos in all their glory.

Right now, Shutterstock has this awesome free trial offer available which gives you 10 free downloads of Shutterstock images of your choice, all without watermark, and without paying a dime for them!

Try Shutterstock for 1 Month and get 10 Images for Free! Cancel anytime!

Here is how to download non-watermarked images at Shutterstock with the Free Trial:

  • Click on this banner right above. It’ll take you to Shutterstock’s Free Trial page
  • Hit the “start your free trial” button. You will be directed to the checkout screen
  • Log in to your account or sign up for one (this is free)
  • Complete the billing information with a valid payment method. – Don’t worry, you will not be charged for this
  • Hit the “complete checkout” button
  • Done! The process might take a few minutes, but soon enough your trial will be activated, and you’ll be able to download any 10 desired images (stock photos or vectors) of your choice, in high-resolution sans watermark, completely free!
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Why we love this method: Most users looking for Shutterstock pictures without watermark are first-time users trying to get them for free. This free trial allows you to get exactly that, and in a perfectly legal way!

This is very important if you plan to use the images in commercial projects such as marketing and advertising: using unlicensed photos could cost you a lot in legal costs.

All images you download with the Shutterstock free trial are royalty-free, with a valid license that is green-lighted for commercial purposes, and they are free. What more can you wish for?

Read our full Shutterstock review for more insight.


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Important considerations: The Shutterstock free trial gives you the first month free for a one-year subscription with 10 downloads per month. This means, if you keep your account active after the first month is up you will be charged $25 a month, for 11 more months, and you will get 10 new downloads each month as well.
If you do not wish to be charged this amount, you need to cancel your Shutterstock free trial up to 5 days before the month is due. If you cancel within this time frame, you will not be charged a penny for the initial, 10 free images.

If you stay subscribed, you can still cancel your annual plan anytime you want, on a monthly basis.

For more details, make sure to check our dedicated guide to get 10 free images from Shutterstock!

Shutterstock Image Pack: 2 Images for Only $29, One-Time Pay, Save 32%

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Shutterstock stock images are watermarked and lower-resolution –reduced pixel count– in the preview feature, when you surf their catalog and when you select an image to see it in a larger size. But once you license it –this is, downloading them legally from Shutterstock via our free trial, or paying for them– you get the high-res, non-watermarked version of said image.

If you only need a few images, a good way to get Shutterstock photos without a watermark is to buy an on-demand image pack. These are one-time purchases where you pay for a number of image downloads upfront, and then have a whole year to use those downloads.

Prices for image packs are very reasonable, and we have a special Shutterstock coupon discount that applies to on-demand packs! You can now buy them with 15% off and save some sweet bucks.

Buy your choice of stock images or stock footage at Shutterstock with a 15% discount on subscriptions and image packs.

Here is how to use this coupon, in very simple steps:

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  • Click on the banner above, it will take you to Shutterstock pricing page, and also open a pop-up with a code: don’t close this pop-up!
  • On the pricing page, select the pack of your choice, and hit the “buy” button. You’ll be taken to the checkout screen
  • Log in to your account, or sign in for a new one
  • Complete the form with your billing information
  • On the right side of the checkout screen, you will see the detail of your purchase, and below, a question is highlighted: do you have a coupon code? Click on this question to reveal a text box
  • Copy the code from the pop-up from step one, and paste it onto this text box. Hit “apply”
  • Done! The discount will be automatically applied, and you will see it reflected in your purchase details. Just hit “complete checkout” to finalize the transaction and begin to enjoy your downloads.
Why we love this method: Image packs are ideal for creatives who only need a handful of photos sporadically, and it’s also a good alternative for those with tight or unpredictable budgets. With our Shutterstock coupon, you can cut down the cost on Shutterstock images and still get those precious, commercial-ready photos for as little as $7.78 each.

Important considerations: Image pack downloads are valid for one year from the purchase date only, so make sure to use them all before they are forfeited. Also, our table is for Standard license image packs; you may find Enhanced license packs, which have more usage rights, and thus come at a much higher price.

Shutterstock Subscription: 10 Images for Only $29 each MONTH

Image packs aren't the only way to buy photos at Shutterstock. In fact, from all of its pricing options, a stock photo subscription is the best Shutterstock watermark remover, so to speak, because it lets you access as many professional photos as you need, immediately and without worrying about watermarks, and has the lowest per-image prices. It makes for a very fluent and stress-free workflow.

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What’s best, we have a cool Shutterstock coupon code with 15% off that applies to all plans, so you will be saving even more.

Buy your choice of stock images or stock footage at Shutterstock with a 15% discount on subscriptions and image packs.
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The steps to buying a Shutterstock subscription using our coupon code are the same as with an image pack (detailed above) but you select the plan of your choice instead.

For more info, read our Shutterstock pricing breakdown.

Why we love this method: Shutterstock subscriptions offer really affordable prices for royalty-free, high-quality images that you can use in a myriad of projects. Our special Shutterstock discount makes them even more low-priced, going as low as $0.22 per image, and thus a no-brainer if what you want is numerous photos without the Shutterstock watermark, legally safe, and ready to use.

Important considerations: Subscriptions are a recurrent payment. The annual plan charges you monthly, and the month-to-month option usually comes with auto-renew by default (meaning it will renew for another month –and charge you accordingly– automatically unless you unselect it). So you must make sure that you choose your plan wisely according to your budget. However, you can cancel your subscription anytime you want.

Shutterstock Newsletter: Weekly Freebies

Every week, Shutterstock sends out an email newsletter that includes, among other info, one free image (without watermark) from their collection.

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Occasionally, they also roll out special bundles of free images, graphics, and other resources:

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You are free to use these freebie files under royalty-free license terms, just like you would the ones you purchased.

Here is how to subscribe to receive Shutterstock’s newsletter:

  • Sign up for an account in Shutterstock (this is free)
  • During the registration process, tick the box that enables you to receive promotional offers from the company
  • Done! Every time Shutterstock sends out a newsletter for all its subscribers, you’ll be included.
Why we like this method: It’s entirely effortless, and while limited, the freebies are usually very valuable. Plus, the images are royalty-free and perfectly safe to use.

Important considerations: It's usually just one image a week, and you don't get to choose it, so they will not always be useful for your projects. Plus, Shutterstock does send more than just the freebie newsletter, so keep in mind you will see them in your inbox very often.

Forbidden Methods (100% Illegal)

We know a number of internet users are after ways to “cheat the system”, but we also know a lot of people think that removing a watermark from an image is a harmless thing to do, and thus consider watermark remover tools and photo editing apps to get rid of a Shutterstock watermark without paying for the image.

There is a wide range of online tools used, from Photoshop to Apowersoft watermark remover, and also multiple mobile apps. But these tools are not created nor intended for this purpose, and should not be used in this way.

Why we DON’T like this method AT ALL: Some of these tools work –some better than others, too–, but this isn’t only illegal: it’s also time-consuming, cumbersome, and more importantly it really affects artists’ livelihoods.
When you hit the download button on a Shutterstock image, it isn’t just the agency that is earning money from that sale, but the contributor that created that image, too. Using watermark remover apps to erase watermarks from non-licensed pictures is effectively stealing from artists, preventing them from earning money from the art that you want to use.

Important considerations: Besides the moral stance of respecting artists’ work, illegally removing watermarks from images and later using them in your designs is a plain copyright infringement, and it can get you into a lot of legal –and financial– trouble. Agencies like Shutterstock police their content, but artists do it too. If they find you using their work without a license, they might come at you with a lawsuit. This will result in your spending on legal representation, and if you lose, you might be ordered paying from hundreds and up to thousands of dollars in compensation.
For example, just last year a photographer sued none other than Microsoft for allegedly using several of her photos without a proper license, and she seeks $2.25 Million in statutory damages! Just to give you an idea.
Trust us, it’s not worth the risks. Not when you can avoid it with a free trial, or a $25 a month subscription!
It's worth mention here that if you don’t like any of these methods, you can always go for a free stock photo site like Unsplash or Pexels, where you can download decent-quality pictures, with no watermark, and for free. Just be aware that free-use licenses such as Creative Commons and similar, and the sites that offer them, are not remotely as legally safe as stock agencies and royalty-free images, so the potential risk for legal woes is still there. Check our list with the best (and safest) free stock photo sites.
Want more options of free stock photos under royalty-free (legally safe) license? Then check our list of the best stock photo-free trials!

Shutterstock Images Without Watermark: Much Easier to Get than You Might Think

If one thing that can be concluded from this guide is that there are multiple effective, safe, and legal ways to download images from Shutterstock.com without a watermark.

Both free and paid, you have several methods to obtain the cool stock photos that you desire easily and being respectful of the agency and the artists.

Which one will you try?

Avatar of Ivanna Attié

Ivanna Attié

I am Content Manager, Researcher, and Author in StockPhotoSecrets.com and Stock Photo Press and its many stock media-oriented publications. I am a passionate communicator with a love for visual imagery and an inexhaustible thirst for knowledge. Lucky enough to enter the wonderful world of stock photography working side-by-side with experienced experts, I am happy to share my research, insights, and advice about image licensing, stock photography offers, and the stock media industry with everyone in the creative community. My background is in Communication and Journalism, and I also love literature and performing arts.

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