An old photo of a man and a woman.

Best Photo Restoration Software & Apps in 2023

Uncover the top photo restoration software tools that breathe new life into old, damaged, or faded vintage photographs with unparalleled precision.

This guide will walk you through some of the best photo restoration software and apps out there.

We’ll be looking at software compatible with both Mac and PC, plus apps that are available for iOS and Android smartphones.

Most of us have old photos lying around, old prints that have been damaged by Father Time.


Within the best photo editing software, AI-powered restoration filters provide remarkable repair capabilities for damaged old photos in a couple of clicks.


In the past, you’d need to get old photos restored at some expense in a photo lab.

However, now, with the advent of AI tools, you can just download so,e old photo restoration software or a photo restoration app, and do it yourself in minutes.

So, read up on our guide on how to restore old photos, then check out the programs and apps below to do the heavy lifting for you.

Best Photo Restoration Software for Mac and PC

Photo restoration can be detail-heavy work. You might have a lot of small imperfections – dust, cracks, tears to get rid of.

That’s why using a desktop computer can be a good option. Your screen is bigger, so you’ll be able to see more clearly what needs doing for image repair.

Not to mention, most powerful desktop computers have more RAM than smartphones, so you’ll be able to get the old photo enhancement done more quickly.

Adobe Photoshop | Best Photo Restoration Software Overall

A screenshot of Adobe Photoshop homepage.

  • Powerful software
  • Works with all image formats
  • Huge range of tools
  • One-click AI tools
  • Available for Mac OS and Windows
  • Subscription-based
  • Steep learning curve for other editing work

Adobe Photoshop CC is a professional-level photo editing software, that’s packed with tools to help you navigate whatever your image needs to look new again.

In the past, I’d hesitate to recommend Photoshop as a way to restore your old photos, since the interface and tools are rather complex.

However, now with the new AI Generative Fill tool, Photoshop is officially the best photo restoration software bar none.

In just a couple of clicks, Photoshop uses AI to restore old photos, just like it does with its impressive neural filters > Photo Restoration command.

You can even use the Generative Expand tool to increase the size of your old photos beyond what was originally there – you need to see it to believe it:


With the core Photoshop tools, you can work on your image’s colour profile, adjust the temperature, enhance detail, and remove areas of grain.

You also have access to more advanced tools for getting into the more tricky work – removing stains, folds, tears, scratches – and ironing out inconsistencies.

A photo of a young boy with a smile on his face.

Old photos can be resurrected in a couple of mouse clicks | Adobe

For example, there’s the healing brush, which you can use to either automatically repair pixels or to sample pixels to use in other areas of the photo.

You also have the clone stamp tool which copies pixels and pastes them into the image.

For a more automatic approach, you can use the ‘object aware refine mode’ to delete specific details from the photos, or just go all the way and the ‘photo restoration neural filter’, to automatically restore your old photos.

Luminar NEO

A screenshot of Luminar NEO homepage.

  • User-friendly photo restoration software
  • One-time payment
  • Good range of tools
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • Relatively expensive
  • No dedicated old photo restoration tool

Luminar NEO is, similar to Photoshop, a photo restoration software that’s suitable for intermediate users and upwards.

The key difference and one that may be a big deal for many is that while Photoshop is only available as a subscription, you can buy Luminar Neo outright.

If you want to do things automatically, it has AI features that will adjust colour, exposure, and other image details.

A woman sitting on a dock reading a newspaper.

Rejuvenating old pictures with Luminar Neo is simple | Skylum

And, if you want to take a more manual approach, there are a clone stamp tool and healing brush for removing all kinds of damage and fixing blurry photos.

Plus, there are also a variety of other tools for enhancing detail, removing excess noise or grain, and correcting colour temperature and areas of uneven colour.

While it doesn’t have a dedicated old photo restoration tool per se, you can still use its intuitive AI tools to restore damaged photos much more easily than if you were trying to do digital photo fixing manually.

PhotoGlory PRO | Windows Picture Restoration Software

A screenshot of PhotoGlory PRO homepage.

  • AI tools
  • Easy to use
  • One-time payment
  • Different versions for different needs
  • Only available for Windows

PhotoGlory PRO is one of the best photo restoration software for beginners. It comes in three different packages: Standard, Deluxe, and Pro.

All versions come with automatic photo restoration, which gets rid of dust, tears, stains, and other defects without you needing to do anything.

You can then get in there with the software’s manual tools, like the clone stamp or healing brush, if there are still imperfections that need tidying up.

PhotoGlory PRO’s AI guesses the colours if you need colour correction, and can also add a vintage finished look to your image that corresponds to the original.

If you pay a little more, both the Deluxe and Pro versions also offer manual colouring and the ability to recreate missing parts of an image. Very handy with photos that are in a particularly bad state, and for general picture damage repair.

VanceAI Photo Restorer | Online Photo Restoration Program

A screenshot of VanceAI Photo Restorer homepage.

  • Can be used online
  • AI tools
  • Pay-as-you-go
  • Could get expensive if you don’t keep track
  • No control over final edits

VanceAI Photo Restorer is a fully online pay-as-you-go photo restoration software, so it’s particularly good for those people who only have a few photos to take care of.

You can try restoring a couple of images first (with a watermark) for free before you take the leap and buy a subscription.

Its foundation is deep learning, which analyses your image and then intelligently removes or reduces different types of image degradation.

You can use the photo restoration software to enhance image quality, reduce unwanted noise and grain, and improve the photo sharpness.

If your image is small and of low resolution, VanceAI Photo Restorer’s tools can increase photo resolution by 800% without affecting the quality.

It also has a black and white photo colorizer feature which be used to add colours to your old black-and-white photographs – ideal for photo rejuvenation.

Although the photo restoration software doesn’t give you any manual control over how your photos are restored, there are some basic editing tools – for example, retouching and sharpening – included.

AKVIS Retoucher | Photo Repair Software for Mac & Windows

A screenshot of AKVIS Retoucher homepage.

  • Powerful tools
  • Plenty of photo restoration tutorials
  • Works with Mac and Windows
  • Simple user interface
  • Learning curve a little steep

Both a standalone application and plugin for Photoshop, AKVIS Retoucher is photo restoration software that has been used for many years by professional retouchers.

It is photo-editing software designed specifically for restoring old, damaged photos, by removing scratches, stains, tears, and other defects.

In terms of how it’s used, given that it’s also a Photoshop plugin, it probably shares most in common with that.

It has a suite of clone stamp tools, healing brushes, and magic wands that help you erase imperfections and speed up image refurbishment.

It also has ‘object aware’ capabilities, meaning the software can reconstruct missing parts of a photo by analysing the information in the surrounding areas.

With this feature, the software can remove distracting elements, and even large objects like lampposts, signage, or cars from photos.

Retouch Pilot

A screenshot of Retouch Pilot homepage.

  • Affordable
  • Great range of tutorials
  • Easy to use
  • Only for Windows
  • No AI tools
  • Outdated interface

This is a cheap and cheerful, relatively bare-bones piece of software, that’s great for beginners who want to concentrate on manual photo restoration.

It has a variety of basic photo-editing tools, and an excellent library of video tutorials to help you learn how to use them.

Those tools will let you correct any scratches, stains, folds, or scuffs that are affecting the quality of your image.

And, although there are no AI tools to do large and complicated parts of the job automatically, Retouch Pilot does have a smart patch tool that you can use to get rid of large defects such as water stains or to replace simple things like missing corners or edges.

The user interface may be rather outdated, but Retouch Pilot still just a fine job of image repair and overall faded photo improvement.

Fotor | Old Photo Restoration Using AI 

A screenshot of Fotor homepage.

  • Can be used online
  • Pay-as-you go system
  • Quick and easy
  • AI-assisted
  • No manual control
  • Could get expensive

Fotor is another photo restoration tool that’s worth mentioning, and it’s very similar to the VanceAI Photo Restorer.

It’s an AI-assisted automated picture restoration tool to fix all kinds of damage in your old photos.

The software intelligently analyses all of the imperfections in your image. It takes into account any scratches and dust, figures out whether the photo is well-exposed, faded, or blurry, and delivers you a fresh one, all cleaned up.

You can also use it to colourize your old black-and-white photos, with natural-looking colours and skin tones.

As it’s also a pay-as-you-go system, where you buy credits, it’s also a good option for people who want to restore only a few photos, do it quickly, and don’t want to do anything manually.

Best Photo Restoration Apps for iOS and Android Smartphones

If you have photos that aren’t too damaged or you’re the kind of person who would like the software to take care of things automatically, a fun way to restore photos is using your photo restoration apps on your phone.

There are quite a few photo restoration apps out there for both iOS and Android systems, and they’re powerful enough to get the job done well.

Photomyne | Best Allround Photo Restoration App

A screenshot of Photomyne app homepage.

  • Available on iOS and Android
  • Automated
  • Easy to use
  • Has editing tools
  • Can batch restore
  • You won’t have a lot of manual control

This photo restoration app is a great option for people who have a lot of photos to bring back to life.

It uses an automated scanning and stitching process to scan your albums with a single click.

Once that’s done, Photomyne enhances the image details and sharpens them up.

old pictures on floor

Photomyne is an exciting app to scan, share and enhance your old negatives, slides, photos and kids’ artwork.

It’s a quick and easy way to restore old, faded and washed-out photos. It’s also one of the best apps to fix blurry images.

And, if the app hasn’t done everything you need automatically, it also contains a suite of editing tools, so you can get to work on your images manually too.


A screen shot of the remi app homepage.

  • Available on iOS and Android
  • Beginner-friendly
  • AI-assisted
  • Works quickly
  • No manual tools
  • Not much control over AI tools

Remini is one of the AI-powered photo restoration apps that’s perfect for anyone looking to repair a photo that’s lightly damaged in a short amount of time.

It can easily fix tarnished photos, sharpen images, and restore colour saturation.

It has a ‘before and after’ feature that allows you to compare the restored photo with the original version.

Be aware, though, that Remini, has no manual tools, so if you’re not completely happy with how the app has restored your photograph, you can always pair it with one of the photo restoration apps that does.

PicsArt Photo Editor

Picart ai photo editor, video.

  • Available on iOS and Android
  • Manual photo editing tools
  • Layering is possible
  • Fun and easy to use
  • AI tools are a little basic

PicsArt Photo Editor is a photo restoration and image editing app that gives you automated and manual tools to quickly restore old photographs.

It has various editing features ranging from manual tools to repair the colours of your photographs and adjust brightness and contrast, to AI algorithms that will enhance your images automatically.

Compared to other AI-assisted photo restoration apps and software, its automated capabilities are not the best, but if you want to manually retouch, it’s quite impressive.

PicsArt lets you make layers, so you can make non-permanent adjustments away from the original file, then merge the layers and save them as one image once you’re satisfied with the changes.

As it’s a creative graphic design app aswell, it also gives you the ability to add creative touches to your old photos and yank them into the present day.

Image Colorizer

A screenshot of Image Colorizer app homepage.

  • Available on iOS and Android
  • Automatic photo restoration
  • Photo editing tools
  • User-friendly
  • None

Image Colorizer is an AI-powered app, specifically designed to bring your old photos back to life.

As with other deep-learning software, it intelligently analyses your images, and then restores them automatically based on what it has discovered.

And it’s just a click away. Use the ‘restore photo feature’ and the photo restoration app will get to work.

It will reduce noise and grain, remove scratches and scuffs, and repair any discolouration.

Beyond the automated tool, Image Colorizer also offers you an array of photo editing and graphic design tools at your fingertips.

You have the basic tools such as, for example, adjusting colours, brightness, and contrast, and also more powerful, content-aware features to help you remove backgrounds or unwanted objects.

All in all, it’s a pretty powerful photo restoration program that you can use on the go.


A screenshot of Pixelup app homepage.

  • Available on iOS and Android
  • AI-assisted
  • Works quickly
  • Some manual control over automated processes
  • Colourization colours may not completely match reality

Pixelup is another photo restoration app that uses state-of-the-art AI technology to analyse your old photos and restore them to their former glory.

All you have to do is select the photo you want to restore. The app will either complete the restoration process automatically, or you can select different ‘treatments’ for it to apply.

That means, if your photos have scratches on them, you can ask the app to focus on removing the scratches. If your image is blurry, you can ask Pixelup to make it sharper.

Also, if your image is in black and white, and you’d like it to be colour, you can request colourization.

The results are quick and often very accurate. Like Remini, a quick swipe from side to side will show you the ‘before’ and ‘after’, so you can decide whether you’re happy with the results or if you’d like the photo restoration app to go at it again.

Photo Restoration Online: Free Options

These are our favorite photo restoration programs that you can use for free. Simply upload an old photo and let the software do the rest.

  • Wondershare Repairit – Based on AI technology, this photo restoration software offers free, online AI photo Restoration. It has a good success rate in removing scratches and stains, sharpening old and blurry photos, and enhancing colours.
  • GIMPGimp is basically Photoshop but free and open-source. It’s extremely powerful, with a huge range of photo editing tools. As such, it’s not for the beginner who wants a quick fix, but more for those who want to get deep into manual edits.
  • – This is a free online photo restoration program that does what the name suggests, it restores photos. You can select from a ‘Restore Photo’ option (which figures out everything for you), or, if you have particular jobs you want it to do, you can also choose from ‘Increase Photo Quality’, ‘Remove Image Backgrounds’, ‘Increase Image Resolution’, and ‘Colourize Image’.
  • GFP-GAN – This is one for the AI purists. It’s a deep-learning model that restores even exceptionally faded and low-resolution images. The model analyses the original image and then fills in the gaps, sharpening and repairing as it goes. It then compares the restored image with the original to check that it shows the same person.

Features to Look for in Restoration Software/Apps

All the best photo restoration software has these features to help your aged pictures look better again.

  1. AI-tools

If you need the job done quickly and/or you don’t have photos that look like they need a lot of restoration work, AI-assisted software might be able to get the job done for you in minutes.

  1. Spot Healing and Cloning

Many imperfections can be taken care of with these tools. Clone tools basically copy and paste pixels, whereas healing tools guess which pixels are needed from the surrounding area.

  1. Colour Correction Capabilities

Old photos are often faded and have often lost their original vibrancy and hues. Colour correction tools will let you adjust the colour temperature, saturation, and other levels to bring those back. In some cases, they may allow you to manually paint colour corrections over specific parts of the image.

  1. Grain and Noise Reduction

This is useful to repair images that aren’t sharp due to having been taken on grainy film – in the case of old photographs – or at high ISOs – in the case of digital photos. These tools ensure enhanced clarity without sacrificing authenticity.

  1. Layer-Based Editing

The ability to create editing layers allows your photo restoration to have a non-destructive editing process. You can make changes to each layer, which do not affect the final image until you decide to apply them.


Within the best photo editing software, AI-powered restoration filters provide remarkable repair capabilities for damaged old photos in a couple of clicks.

Shotkit Writer, Product Tester & Instagram Manager

Jeff Collier is an experienced film photographer who enjoys experimenting with modern digital photography equipment, software and apps. He’s also an ex-world champion triathlete and avid cyclist, clocking hundreds of km each week in the beautiful Tweed Valley of northern NSW, Australia.

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