Is Affinity Photo a Non-Destructive Editor?

Affinity Photo is an image editing software that allows you to retouch photos to your liking. In photo editing, a major concern that arises deals with software being destructive to the photo – that is, when changes are made to the image, they are irreversible. So, is Affinity Photo a non-destructive editor?

Affinity Photo is a non-destructive editor. Like similar software, Affinity Photo requires you to export your newly edited image as a separate file from the original image. This way, your original image remains the same, and you have access to your new image.

Continue reading to learn more about Affinity Photo’s non-destructive editing features as well as tips to ensure that you execute your editing processes smoothly. Some non-destructive editors do not require you to export your edited image as a new file, but Affinity Photo makes doing so simple and efficient.

Is Affinity Photo a Non-Destructive Editor?

As mentioned, Affinity Photo is non-destructive – to an extent. Affinity Photo is less convenient than select software because some other image editors may save your photo edits without first requiring you to export the photo as a new file. At the same time, the original image file is kept intact.

Affinity Photo uses the exportation of your newly edited image to maintain a non-destructive quality. Although it takes a few extra steps, you still reap the benefits of having access to your original image. This is useful for implementing the same image into various graphic design projects.

Since Affinity Photo requires extra steps to be non-destructive, some graphic designers may stray away from the software. If they find software that automatically saves their newly edited photo while keeping the separate file of the original image, they may be inclined to use the software. However, Affinity Photo is still a high-quality image editing software.

Aside from exporting your new edits – which is the easiest way to approach the situation – you will read shortly how you can duplicate your original photo to keep it on hand and separate from your new image.

How Is Affinity Photo Non-Destructive?

When you edit a photo and want to save it from Affinity Photo, there is not an autosave that keeps the original image. Affinity Photo is non-destructive because it allows you to export your new image as another file.

Instead of saving over the original image and overwriting the image’s information, you have to export your newly edited image. The new file is saved as a .afphoto extension. This saves the Affinity Photo image to your file library while preventing the original photo from being altered. 

Being able to save your edited image as a separate file allows you to retain access to the original file of the image. As a result, you can use the image for different projects or make new edits if you decide not to use the .afphoto extension file.

Tips For Easier Editing

It is also beneficial to learn a bit about the main ways to utilize your image files in Affinity Photo. Oftentimes, graphic designers use .SVG and .AI file formats. In Affinity Photo, you can upload vector images in both .SVG and .AI formats, but the resulting edited images can only be saved as .SVG images.

Affinity Photo is not always non-destructive. If you make changes directly in the filter menu without exporting your image into a new file, you may run into trouble. Affinity Photo’s Develop Persona is non-destructive

You can avoid direct changes to the filter menu being destructive by duplicating edits, filters, etc. With copies made of the original image, you can make necessary edits to your new image. Duplicating your image has several benefits:

  • Keep a copy of the original image visible
  • Note differences between your original photo and edited image
  • Prevent your original image from being overwritten

While duplication is a few more steps than exporting your new image, it is useful for more direct visual changes while editing.

Placeit For Your Photo Editing Needs

Whether you are testing the waters of Affinity Photo for the first time or you use it exclusively, you should check out Placeit for all of your photo editing needs. Placeit’s online software allows you to upload all sorts of file formats for your images and edit them into your new projects.

Placeit is the hub for premade mockups, templates, logos, designs, and more. New and experienced graphic designers alike can benefit from Placeit’s free, online software.


Affinity Photo is a non-destructive editor if you take the steps to export your newly edited image. In doing so, the original image will be saved separately. This helps you avoid the problem of overwriting the original data of your photos.