How to Download iStock Images Without A Watermark?

By Matic Broz, editor-in-chief of Photutorial covering stock media, Adobe, and design. He founded Photutorial while finishing his PhD in computational biosciences.

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How to Download iStock Images Without A Watermark

There are several ways to iStock images without a watermark, but some are easier to get than others. You must also be careful not to use any illegal methods, which could put you at risk of infringing a copyright.

In this article, we will show you how to get iStock images with a watermark safely (free and paid) and also warn you about methods that could get you in trouble.

1. Use iStock’s Free Trial (Free)

The iStock free trial lets you download 10 free images. This is a 100% legal and safe method to get 10 royalty-free stock photos without a watermark. All you need to do is enter the payment information and confirm.

Important: Currently, the iStock free trial is not available worldwide. If it’s not available in your country, we recommend you pick unwatermarked Shutterstock images instead.

How to Get iStock Free Trial?

Total duration: 3 minutes

  1. Go to iStock.

  2. Click on the “Start your free trial” button.

  3. Create a free account.

  4. Enter your payment information.

  5. Click on “Complete checkout”.

  6. Download your iStock images free without a watermark.

At the moment, the free trial is not available worldwide. So if you don’t see the option to start it, it’s not available in your country. Check back in a couple of weeks because the list of countries that get the free trial changes all the time.

2. Create a free account (free)

By creating a free iStock account, you immediately get 3 downloads from the iStock Signature collection. Those are the images with higher value and cost more than $8.00 each (up to $40). Thus, creating a free iStock account gives you a $120 bonus.

Example of free stock images without a watermark at iStock

Every free download comes with the same royalty-free license as the images you would buy. This means you can use it even for commercial purposes but with a few restrictions.

The features of the free files:

  • Every free stock photo, free illustration, and free video clip from iStock comes with usage rights that are very generous
  • All of the content comes with a signed model and property releases
  • The images have been professionally vetted by a dedicated team

3. iStock’s subscription plans (paid)

Subscriptions are the cheapest paid method to get iStock images without a watermark. They work by paying a fixed monthly fee for which you get a certain number of photos each month.

You can choose between three types of subscriptions (Basic, Premium, Premium + Video), four plan sizes, and two durations.

Basic subscriptions ($0.22–$4.00/image) come in sizes of 10, 25, 50, or 750 monthly downloads costing $29–$199/month. With Basic subscriptions, you may download Essential images only, which are usually more generic-looking. As a result, they are generally used for personal projects or to illustrate websites, but not for marketing campaigns.

Downloads per monthAnnualMonthly
10$29 ($2.90/image)$40 ($4.00/image)
25$49 ($1.96/image)$65 ($2.60/image)
50$90 ($1.80/image)$99 ($1.90/image)
750$166 ($0.22/image)$199 ($0.27/image)
Basic subscription pricing comparison

Premium subscriptions ($0.44–$9.90/image) come in sizes of 10, 25, 50, or 750 monthly downloads costing $70–$399/month. With Premium subscriptions, you may download Essential and Signature images. Signature images are generally superior, technically and value-wise, to Essential images. Therefore, Signature images are the best used for advertising and marketing, as well as an expensive alternative to Essentials for customers with larger budgets.

Downloads per monthAnnualMonthly
10$70 ($7.00/image)$99 ($9.90/image)
25$120 ($4.80/image)$149 ($5.96/image)
50$199 ($3.98/image)$229 ($4.58/image)
750$333 ($0.44/image)$399 ($0.53/image)
Premium subscription pricing comparison

Premium + Video ($5.30–$14.90/download) comes in sizes of 10, 25, and 50 monthly downloads, costing $99–$349/month. With Premium+Video subscriptions, you may download all images (Essentials & Signatures), videos, and music. This subscription is an excellent option for anyone with diverse stock media needs.

Downloads per monthAnnualMonthly
10$99 ($9.90/download)$149 ($14.90/download)
25$165 ($6.60/download)$229 ($9.16/download)
50$265 ($5.30/download)$349 ($6.98/download)
Premium + Video subscription pricing comparison

4. iStock credits (paid)

Credits are your best choice for unwatermarked images when you don’t need them regularly. While they are more expensive than subscriptions, you get more flexibility because you may use them anytime.

Pack sizePriceYou can get up to
1$12 ($12/credit)1 image
3$33 ($11/credit)3 images
6$60 ($10/credit)6 images or 1 video
12$115 ($9.58/credit)12 images or 2 videos
18$170 ($9.44/credit)18 images or 3 videos
24$220 ($9.17/credit)24 images or 4 videos
36$325 ($9.03/credit)36 images or 6 videos
60$520 ($8.67/credit)60 images or 10 videos
150$1,250 ($8.33/credit)150 images or 25 videos
300$2,400 ($8.00/credit)300 images or 50 videos
Credit packs pricing comparison

How many credits does iStock content cost?

The following table explains how many credits images (Essential and Signature) and video clips (Essential and Signature) cost, as well as the price for an extended license for images and videos.

Price in creditsPrice for credits
Essential images1 credit$8–$12
Signature images3 credits$24–$36
Essential video clips6 credits$48–$72
Signature video clips18 credits$144–$216
Extended license for images18 credits$144–$216
Extended license for videos21 credits$168–$252

5. Using illegal tools

WARNING: Do not use the tools promising you free stock photos from paid stock photo agencies. Your business might get shut down, or you will have to pay a ridiculously high amount of money.

Some tools let you remove the watermark from iStock’s images. And they are pretty good too. However, the problem is that this method is 100% illegal and qualifies as stealing, or more to the point, copyright infringement.

By paying for a stock photo, you’re acquiring permission from the photographer to use their photo in your project. You’re using their photo without their consent when you don’t do that. The consequences include being asked to pay for the image (the mildest), being charged a fine, and even getting sued (the harshest).

What is an iStock watermark remover?

iStock watermark removers are online tools that remove the watermark from iStock images. In addition to being illegal, most of them don’t work and may contain computer viruses. Here are the three top problems with iStock image downloaders:

  • They usually don’t work.
  • They may contain malware.
  • They are 100% illegal, and you are not allowed to use the photos you get with them.


To summarize, anyone can download iStock images without a watermark using the free trial by purchasing a subscription plan or an on-demand pack. With the free trial, you get 10 free pictures, while with a subscription plan, you may download up to 750 images/month for just $0.22/image.

Frequently asked questions about removing watermarks from iStock images

How do I download iStock images without a watermark?

You will need to purchase the image to download iStock images without a watermark. Once you have purchased the image, you can download it without the watermark. You can also remove the watermark with the free trial or by creating the free account and getting 3 images at no cost.

Can I use iStock images with a watermark?

You may use iStock images with a watermark for testing only for the 30 days following download. You may not use watermarked images in any public or final materials.

How can I remove the watermark from an iStock image?

There are a few ways to download iStock images without a watermark. One way is to sign up for a free account with iStock. With a free account, you can download up to 10 images per day without a watermark. Another way to download iStock images without a watermark is to purchase a subscription. With a subscription, you can download an unlimited number of photos without a watermark. Finally, you can buy individual images without a watermark.


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