If you need a good photo restoration software to retrieve old photos for free or for affordable price, these 10 best photo editing apps will help you. Having downloaded them, you can make high-quality photo restoration: remove scratches, make dull photos bright, fix missing parts or even colorize photos on your own.
Digital photo restoration is the process of retrieving the appearance of a digital copy of a physical photo that has been damaged manually or by water/fire/time.
If you have an old family album with many child photos that have been damaged from time, water or fire, you will definitely need to do digital photo restoration. To save these old photos from decay, you can download one of the following 10 photo restoration softwares for Mac and PC laptops.
There are many photo editing programs that you may use to restore old photos. These apps help in restoring photos by removing scratches, stains and giving them a fresh look. You may also edit skin defects or draw clothes digitally. However, not all of them provide a good result and are user-friendly. In this article, I will review top 10 photo restoration softwares which you might use for restoring old photos.
Website: Adobe PhotoshopDeveloper: Adobe
My first photo restoration software is the most popular photo editing program Adobe Photoshop CC. Thanks to the user-friendly interface, top-grade updates, and an extensive selection of photo retouching tools, you may perform photo restoration at the professional level. Currently, the program supports almost all raster formats, while the basic Photoshop format (PSD) is compatible with many other graphics editors. The photo restoration software works on PC with macOS and Windows operating systems along with mobile versions on iOS, Windows Phone and Android.
Adobe Photoshop is used for all kinds of digital photo restoration. The list of operations you may perform with this program is boundless, but they are difficult to understand for beginning Photoshop user.
Take at least the famous Clone Stamp tool, which allows you to copy pixels from the surrounding areas and remove any damage that the image may have. Nevertheless, Photoshop may be simplified with an extensive selection of Photoshop actions and Photoshop overlays.
In general, Photoshop is the best photos restoration software that could satisfy professionals and introduce beginners to the whole range of damaged photo restoration functions.
Website: GimpDeveloper: GNOME Foundation
Traditionally, GIMP is called a free Photoshop alternative that is capable of basic photo restoration functions. Thanks to еру open source, free access and nearly all file formats support GIMP is a good free photo restoration software if you have never used Photoshop. You can use GIMP online, its mobile and desktop versions. I found the desktop one to be the best.
The color adjustment function may be used to improve faded photos, while Unsharp Mask or Clone tools let GIMP users perform photo restoration. If you have never did image editing, you will have to spend much time learning how to work in GIMP. There are no useful and understandable video tutorials as Photoshop has. Among the advantages, this photo restoration software is installed without problems and works perfectly on the most low-power system.
GIMP can be recommended to semi-professional photographers. You may contact it constant support of developers who can help you correct bags or find the necessary function. GIMP photo editor is updated regularly, so you are unlikely to find a bug while working.
Website: ColorpilotDeveloper: GNOME Foundation
Retouch Pilot is a photo retouching program specifically designed for digital camera users to do image enhancement the easy way. The program removes minor technical defects present in an image or those that appeared after scanning photos, such as scratches, stains from dust particles and hair. Retouch Pilot is more focused on basic photo restoration process, so professionals will certainly need Photoshop.
The photo repair software's interface is basic but user-friendly, and most of its functions are organized in the tool palette on the sides. The way the program uses the available workspace is not always optimal, particularly when working with vertical pictures. It isn't a significant minus. After opening this photo restoration software, you get access to a series of short tutorials that clarify each of the functions. The functions, by the way, include basic image retouching tools, in particular, scratch removal, stamp and patch. The program provides a preview of its changes in real time before making them.
Judging by all photo restoration software reviews I read, the program is a decent variant for easy picture correction, but it is relevant only for the basic color restoration of old photos.
Website: AkvisDeveloper: Akvis
AKVIS Retoucher is an efficient and convenient photo restoration software that lets you restore damaged photos bringing them closer to their original state. The application has a modern and understandable graphical interface with an organized layout that lets you get a great overview of your current photo.
This photo restoration software assists in the removal of dust, scratches and other undesired elements as well as drawing missing parts. AKVIS Retoucher uses intelligent cloning techniques to cover selected areas and gives excellent results. The program can remove date stamp, distracting elements, and enlarge the photo’s canvas using image patterns to fill in empty areas.
AKVIS Retoucher is one of the easiest and most convenient software to use. The only thing that confuses me is the price that drives the app out of the buying range for a random user. The basic license for AKVIS Retoucher is $87 and there exist several more expensive options. However, AKVIS is very good at performing old photo restoration work.
Website: PhotoscapeDeveloper: MOOII Tech
PhotoScape is a universal photo restoration software developed by the Korean company MOOII Tech. The program is designed specifically to provide users with maximum ease in editing photos. Unlike the previous two programs, PhotoScape is less convenient for digital photo restoration but more practical in terms of color correction. PhotoScape works on Windows and Mac systems and is unavailable for Linux users too.
After working with it for a while, I could state that it is really convenient and has an understandable interface. It is a reliable software that provides most of the basic tools for damaged photo repair. Besides, PhotoScape provides other features such as an image viewer, a built-in screen capture tool, batch editing function, and an array of filters and effects. However, not all of them will be useful for photo restoration rather for basic photo color correction.
Photo editing functions are simple enough for beginners. The program is also well optimized for weak PCs. Taking into account all its advantages, it is rightfully one of the best photo restoration softwares for editing faded colors.
Website: ScatchwayAlternatives: AKVIS Retoucher, Retouch Pilot
SketchWay Old Photo Restoration Software is a free program for basic repairing of old damaged photos using content filling algorithms. These algorithms analyze the image and reproduce the original background behind the cropped object. Compared to the above-mentioned paid analogs, SketchWay looks simpler in terms of functionality, but can’t boast of quick image retouching speed.
The overall photo restoration includes improving brightness and contrast, adjusting sharpness, removing various unwanted objects and eliminating scratches, bends, and other defects. All these functions are logically arranged, so even inexperienced users can quickly perform old photo restoration.
You can cope with the tasks either automatically or adjusting each parameter manually. This is important if you have scanned the images and see that there are some flaws, but you don’t want to lose the beautiful “old picture” effect. You may have a photo with faded colors or a picture with needles object/person. Use this app to brighten colors or remove unnecessary elements.
Website: TheInPaintAlternatives: Photo Stamp Remover, Fotor, Paint.NET
Inpaint is a paid basic photo restoration software initially designed for removing unnesessery elements. It is very understandable and comes with informative tutorials on how to restore old photos.
The most pleasant thing about Inpaint is that there are no restrictions on objects you can remove from a picture. For example, Inpaint is great to eliminate skin or eyes blemishes. Besides, you can get rid of time signs, logos, and even watermarks. Use the smart Marker for that. But if you have elements of unusual shape and colorful background or foreground, you may have some problems and you’ll probably need Photoshop. Still, InPaint has another interesting feature that you can use to make photo restoration easier. It is called Guide Lines. In this case, you draw green lines to mark the edges of the contours and background, so that InPaint knows where they are.
InPaint is a cheap photo restoration app for about $20. If you have some doubts, you may try a free trial. This software is available for Windows and Mac. For the first-time users who are only learning different image retouching tricks and have no idea how to restore old photos in Photoshop, InPaint is a great alternative that requires almost no photo restoration training.
Website: FotorAlternatives: iPiccy, BeFunky, Photoscape
Fotor is also can be called a photo restoration software. Unlike previous special-purpose programs, photo restoration is not the strongest side of this app, but it is still very good thanks to its good color correction features. It supports all the most popular graphic file formats and even provides processing of RAW images.
Comparing it with Photoshop and GIMP, it becomes obvious that Fotor also cannot compete with their set of tools, brushes and plug-ins. Fotor is very good for RAW images editing and color correction, white balance adjustment, and similar tasks with faded colors and shades. Looking through other functions, you’ll see cropping, vignette adding, blurring, sharpness, rotation, adding text, removing red eyes effect, etc. However, you should remember that most functions are available only in the paid version.
Fotor is a kind of golden mean between the simplicity of specialized photo restoration softwares and the complexity of top photo editors. Even amateurs can perform decent photo repairing, using the available set of tools.
Website: Fotophire Editing ToolkitAlternatives: GIMP, Pixlr, PhotoScape
Fotophire Editing Toolkit is a paid photo restoration software that offers several programs in one pack – Editor, Cutter and Eraser. Most of all we are interested in the Photo Eraser mode, which almost automatically removes unnecessary elements or scratches. The Photo Eraser mode also provides Clone and Crop tools that you can use to correct any flaws that old photos may have.
In addition to restoring old photos, you can also change the background o or enhance old images and add vintage effects. Fotophire also provides you with a useful program called Fotophire Slideshow Maker. It is suitable to create slide shows from old photos or videos in several clicks. Wait a few minutes and you’ll see wonderful results.
Fotophire is positioned as a complete set of photo editing tools, which are rather easy to use, but frankly speaking, it’s not the best software to download. The annual Fotophire subscription costs only $50, and a lifetime license – $80. With Fotophire photos restoration software, you get 3 programs in one kit. This photo restoration software is good for amateur retouchers, who would like to basically restore old images without spending much time.
Website: Paintshop ProAlternatives: GIMP, Pixlr, Paint.NET
Corel Paintshop Pro has many advanced features and powerful photo restoration options, it is very easy to manage, so even beginning retouchers will cope with basic photo restoration tasks. It has a user-friendly interface and provides many resources to learn photo restoration.
The interface has many tabs with logically grouped image editing tools by function, which makes the program easy to use and navigate. It has two main tools tabs: The latest software version provides a one-click photo correction function, which can save a lot of time while restoring old photos. HDR or Lens Correction tools allow you to customize photos with amazing accuracy.
Corel sells this photo editor for $80, but in return, you get a decent amount of image editing and organizing tools. If you want to test the program before you buy it, try the 30-day free trial version. In general, this is an excellent photo repair program for beginners.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.