By | November 13, 2023
How to edit your photos with VSCO Studio Desktop App

VSCO released VSCO Studio on the desktop for a select number of users in 2023, and you can use the app to make multiple adjustments to your photos. In this guide, you’ll learn how to edit your photos using the VSCO Studio desktop app.

The initial requirements to use VSCO Desktop App

To use VSCO Studio on your desktop, you need a VSCO Pro subscription. VSCO Pro costs $59.99 per year if you’d rather pay annually, and $12.99 per month for those who prefer a month-to-month membership. A seven-day free trial is available if you want to try VSCO Pro.

You can sign up for VSCO Pro through both VSCO’s website and through the app on your smartphone. However, you can only submit your payment details from the website on your computer if you live in the US. Everyone else must download the app.

Download: VSCO for iOS | Android (free, in-app purchases available)

After signing up for VSCO Pro, you can access the VSCO Studio desktop app. If you plan to use VSCO as your main photo editing app, it’s worth comparing VSCO Pro to Lightroom Classic.

What types of photo files can you edit in the VSCO Desktop App?

You can easily edit JPEG files in the VSCO desktop app without too much difficulty. But unfortunately it is not so easy for other formats.

As of November 2023, the VSCO desktop app will not allow you to edit RAW. So you need to search for an alternative if you prefer to work with this type of files.

How to import a photo into VSCO for desktop

To log into your VSCO account, you must use the VSCO website. Once inside, follow the instructions below.

  1. click Studio tab, which you will find on the left.
    Select the Studio tab in the VSCO app

  2. Press + button.
    Select the plus icon in the VSCO Desktop app

  3. Select the file(s) you want to import from your computer or external hard drive. Depending on the overall file size, the images may take some time to upload.

VSCO can be beneficial in situations where it is better to capture in JPEG. With that in mind, it’s worth reading about when to shoot and edit in JPEG instead of RAW.

How to Edit Photos in VSCO Desktop App

The editing features in VSCO for desktop are not as advanced as Lightroom and other premium photo editing apps. Nevertheless, you can still use a couple of different functions to change your images. We will identify these in more detail below.

Apply a preset

Many people use VSCO because the available presets are great for posting on social media and blogs. And since you’re a VSCO Pro member, you have access to several presets in the desktop app. These presets cover several categories, such as film, and different genres (eg portraits).

Follow these steps to apply a preset to your image in the VSCO Studio desktop app.

  1. Tap the first icon under the three dots on the right side.
    Select the Presets tab in the VSCO Desktop app

  2. Browse through the different presets and choose the one you want to use on your photos.
  3. Change the settings associated with your preset. Some only let you change the strength. Others let you move at the same time Character and Heat slider too.
    The preset sliders in the VSCO Desktop app

Note that when applying the presets, the app may sometimes take a few seconds before your changes appear on the image. So if you don’t see anything immediately, wait a bit and the problem should resolve itself.

In addition to choosing the right editing software, you should also choose the right equipment for great photos. Consider looking at the best DSLR cameras for a starting point.

Using the sliders in VSCO Studio for Desktop

In addition to applying presets, you also have access to several adjustment sliders in the VSCO desktop app. Many of these are the same ones you’ll find if you’ve used Lightroom or Capture One before. One key difference, however, is that the sliders in the desktop VSCO Studio app range from -6 to +6.

How to use the VSCO sliders on your computer.

  1. Go to icon under Presets. It looks like two vertical sliders.
    Select the slider icon in VSCO

  2. Move the sliders until you are happy with the final result. If you have a rough estimate of what you want to change, you can enter the number in the slider instead.

Change the dimensions of your photo

If you want to post your images on social media, you may need to adjust the dimensions of your edited images before exporting and sharing them. Adjusting the size of your images in the VSCO Studio app is very easy:

  1. click crop icon in the right toolbar.
    Select the VSCO crop icon

  2. If you want to choose a preset ratio, go to Aspect Ratio and select your preference. Alternatively, you can move the corners of the image until you are satisfied with the result.

In addition to cropping your free-form image, you can also crop the image to the same dimensions you imported it in. Tap Original at the bottom of the screen.

How to restore all your edits

One particular annoyance with the VSCO Studio desktop app is that it can feel quite unintuitive at times. For example, if you press Ctrl + Z to undo your last edit, you will open a web page that you previously closed in your browser.

If you’re not happy with the changes you’ve made, you can still easily revert them. Print \ and return at the same time, and your images should adjust themselves.

Export your image from VSCO

After you’ve finished editing your photo in the VSCO Studio desktop app, you can easily export the image to your hard drive or computer. Follow the steps below to do so.

  1. Press Export icon.
    The VSCO Export tab on the desktop app

  2. A popup will appear asking if you want to send the post to VSCO and not just download it to your computer. If you just want to download on your computer, press Download full size and choose Save.
    Choose to save a photo in the VSCO Desktop App

  3. Allow downloads from your browser if you haven’t already when the next window appears.
  4. Open the downloaded image in the Downloads folder. You can then move it to where you want to save it.

When you save your photos from VSCO, they will be in .jpg format.

Everything you need to know about editing in VSCO on your computer

VSCO Studio for desktop is another way to use the popular mobile app. You can easily use several presets, along with adjusting basic sliders. On top of that, sharing your photos on social media is easy – thanks to the resizing feature.

It’s worth trying VSCO Studio with your free trial. If you don’t like it, you can always cancel before you are billed.

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