If you need a good photo restoration software to retrieve old photos for free or for affordable price, these 13 photo restoration software will help you. Having downloaded these photo restoration apps, you can make high-quality work: remove scratches, make dull photos bright, correct 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, you will definitely need to use a digital photo restoration software. To save these old photos from decay, you can download one of the following photo restoration software for Mac and PC.
Photo restoration programs will help you restore your pictures by removing scratches, stains and giving them a fresh look. You may also edit skin defects or draw clothes digitally. However, not all programs provide a good result and are user-friendly. In this article, I will review the top 13 photo restoration software available today.
Verdict: My first photo restoration software is Adobe Photoshop CC. Thanks to the user-friendly interface, top-grade updates, and an extensive selection of tools, you may perform picture restoration at the professional level.
Currently, the program supports almost all raster formats, while the basic Photoshop format (PSD) is compatible with many other editors. This is the best photo restoration software that works on PC with macOS and Windows operating systems. Besides, you can use it on iPads.
A free trial version of Photoshop is used for all kinds of digital picture restoration work. 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.
Besides, Photoshop has AI-driven tools, including neural filters, and Object Aware Refine Mode. With the help of the filters, you can fully transform the look of your model and optimize your workflow when working in Photoshop to restore old pictures. Thanks to the Object Aware Refine Mode, you can select and delete distracting details with little to no effort.
Verdict: Luminar allows eliminating splotches and stains. As a result, you can recover photos that have been slightly damaged. This software provides tools that are typical for many up-to-date editors and will help you get rid of unnecessary elements like scratches and dirt.
When working in Luminar, you can quickly perform simple tasks. For instance, you can crop, straighten your image, adjust its contrast and exposure. Thanks to the automatic Haze Removal tool, you can increase contrast and add additional depth to your photo.
In case the old shot acquired a yellow shade with time, you can tone down the temperature and make it colder by applying the Color Temperature filter. To make changes only to a certain part of the shot, use masks.
If you need to remove stains, creases and dark spots, you can use the Erase and Clone & Stamp tools. The latter enables you to sample a selected area. The former will come in handy for those who need to edit old photos with a white or black background.
Verdict: PhotoWorks’ precision healing tool will assist in erasing scratches, lint and dust to help you revive shots from the past. The software will miraculously eliminate all the folds and creases from years of storing photos. Textures, colors and values will be smoothly blended so that no one will guess that the picture was originally restored.
Open this photo editing software for PC whenever you need to deal with old photos. Just upload the shot and get to work! Healing and cloning tools will neutralize scratches, dust, and undesired parts of the shot. Then, add a filter and export the result.
Verdict: Photo Retoucher is a SoftOrbits photo restoration software, which you can use to improve scanned images by eliminating defects, restoring spoilt parts, and performing basic retouching.
You just need to upload an image, use intuitive tools, and the program will automatically detect areas that call for improvement. It eliminates scratches, dust particles, and other traces of time, so your finished photo looks flawless and realistic. Another thing that I like is that you can colorize black-and-white photos in a few clicks.
Verdict: Retouch Pilot is a photo retouching program designed for digital camera users who want to perform 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 a basic picture restoration software, so experts will certainly need Photoshop for more complex editing.
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. However, 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 key advantage of Retouch Pilot is that it supports automatic color correction. Besides, you can remove dust and scratches quickly. Thanks to the Wire Pilot tool, you can delete distracting objects from the frame, such as wires, posts, and antennas. The program supports a real-time preview of all changes.
Verdict: AKVIS Retoucher is an efficient and convenient photo restoration software that lets you restore damaged photos bringing them closer to their original state. It has a modern and understandable graphical interface with an organized layout that lets you get a great overview of your current photo.
This picture 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 a 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 software to use. The only thing that confuses me is the price that drives it out of the buying range for a random user. The basic license for AKVIS Retoucher is $87. There are several more expensive options as well.
Verdict: PhotoScape is designed specifically to provide users with maximum ease when they are editing pictures. Unlike the previous two programs, PhotoScape is less convenient for digital restoration but more practical in terms of color correction. PhotoScape works on Windows and Mac systems.
After working with it for a while, I could state that it is really convenient and has an understandable interface. This software has all the options that you might need for restoration, including Clone Stamp. With it, you can delete scratches, splotches, and stains from your photos as well as enhance your pics by adding frames and applying a variety of effects.
Besides, PhotoScape provides other features such as an image viewer, a built-in screen capture tool, batch editing function. Taking into account all its advantages, it is rightfully one of the best photo restoration software for editing faded colors.
Verdict: 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 doesn’t support quick retouching.
With it, you can improve brightness and contrast, adjust sharpness, remove unwanted objects and eliminate scratches, bends, and other defects. All these functions are logically arranged, so even inexperienced users can quickly master this picture restoration software.
You can cope with the tasks either automatically or adjust 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 an unwanted object/person. Use this program to brighten colors or remove unnecessary elements.
Verdict: Inpaint is a paid basic photo restoration software initially designed for removing unnecessary 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 that 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. However, if you have elements of unusual shape and colorful background or foreground, you may have some problems. For these tasks, you’ll probably need Photoshop.
Still, InPaint has another interesting feature that you can use to make 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 software that costs about $20. If you have some doubts, you may try a free trial. For first-time users who are only learning different retouching tricks and have no idea how to restore old photos in Photoshop, InPaint is a great alternative that requires almost no training.
Verdict: With the help of PhotoGlory, you can colorize your B&W pictures with a few clicks using the available automatic tools or smart brushes designed for manual editing. In this software, you will find a range of tools for removing creases, scratches, stains, scribbles, and damaged edges. You can make colors more saturated, restore bleak photos, add custom text labels and date stamps.
What I like about this software is that it can be used by users with different levels of experience. It has a streamlined interface, which allows you to semi-automate variety of tasks. This program will help you remove blur, raise contrast and saturation, straighten images and crop edges.
You will have access to a collection of 100 effects for enhancing vintage photos. By using this editor, you can also convert negatives and restore torn pictures.
Verdict: Fotor is an editing software that can also be used for picture restoration. Unlike previous special-purpose programs, restoration is not the strongest side of this program, but it is still very good thanks to its good color correction features. It supports all the most popular graphic file formats and even supports the processing of RAW images.
If you compare it with Photoshop, it becomes obvious that Fotor also cannot compete with its set of tools, brushes and plug-ins. Fotor is very good for RAW editing and color correction, white balance adjustment, and similar tasks with faded colors and shades.
This software comes with a set of automatic tools for restoring old portrait photos. It enables you to restore damaged pictures and tweak colors. The program supports batch processing, which allows you to significantly speed up your workflow.
It has a range of features for 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. With the help of Fotor tools, even amateurs can repair their photos like a pro.
Verdict: Fotophire Editing Toolkit is a paid photo restoration software that includes several programs in one pack – Editor, Cutter and Eraser. Most of all I am interested in the Photo Eraser mode, which almost automatically removes unnecessary elements or scratches. It 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 or enhance old images and add vintage effects. Fotophire also includes a useful program called Fotophire Slideshow Maker. It is suitable for creating slide shows from old photos or videos with several clicks.
The annual Fotophire subscription costs $50, and a lifetime license costs $80. With Fotophire photos restoration software, you get 3 programs in one kit. This option is good for amateur retouchers, who would like to restore old images without spending much time.
Verdict: Corel Paintshop Pro is an advanced photo restoration software with a set of AI-based tools and creative effects. With it, you can quickly remove scratches and make faded colors richer. It is very easy to manage, so even beginning retouchers will cope with basic tasks.
The interface has many tabs. The available editing tools are logically grouped by function, which makes the program easy to use and navigate. The software provides a one-click correction function, which can save a lot of time. HDR or Lens Correction tools allow you to customize photos with amazing accuracy.
This editor costs $80. The paid version has a huge collection of editing and organizing tools, which allows it to double as a photo organizing software. If you want to test the program before you buy it, try using the 30-day free trial version. In general, this is an excellent photo repair program for beginners.