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How to UnBlur an Image for Free (Easiest Ways)

No matter how good you are with a camera, there are times when you'll end up with a blurry photo. Thankfully, there are ways you can fix the blur. Here's how.

Are you looking for a way to fix a blurry image?

Very often we take stunning images and later notice that they aren’t as sharp as we would like. There are many reasons why a photo looks blurry.

Maybe the shutter speed was too slow and captured motion blur from camera shake. Maybe, the depth of field is too shallow or you missed the focus.

Or perhaps, they are old photos with low resolution.

Whatever the reason, there are ways to save your pictures in post-processing. You can use traditional tools that increase the edges making the picture look sharper.

There are also smart AI photo tools that ‘make up’ the pixels by sourcing information from millions of images.

In this article, I’ll tell you about editing programs and apps with an image sharpener tool.

Some of them use the first technique, others the second one. This way, you’ll be able to choose which one is best for you, so let’s dive in and look at the first unblur image method.

How to UnBlur an Image in Photoshop


Tap here to get a free trial of Photoshop to follow along with this tutorial >>

There are many photo editing tools to fix blurry images in Adobe Photoshop. Here are some of the most effective ways to sharpen an image.

Remember that with any of these, you can use Layer masks if you only want to remove the image blur from specific parts of the photo.

High Pass to Fix Blurry Images

  1. Duplicate the Background layer by dragging it to the plus sign at the bottom of the Layers panel.
  2. Convert the layer to a Smart Object. You can do this by going to Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object.
  3. Now go to the menu Filter > Other > High Pass.
  4. In the pop-up box, you’ll see a preview where everything looks grey with just a few lines. Adjust the radius so that you see more lines marking the edges of the subject. Then, click OK.
  5. Change blend mode to Overlay. This way, the layer won’t look grey anymore and you’ll be able to see a sharper image.
  6. Since you were working on a Smart Object, you can adjust the radius if necessary. Simply double-click on the High Pass filter on the Layers panel. The smaller the radius value, the less sharpening you’ll apply, and vice-versa.
  7. You can lower the Opacity of the layer if you want to make the sharpening effect less visible.

Unsharp Mask to Unblur Image

  1. Start by duplicating the original layer.
  2. Now, convert it to a Smart Object.
  3. Now, go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. This will open a dialog box with the sharpen tools and a thumbnail with the preview.
  4. Move the sliders until you find the best combination. A) Amount controls the amount of contrast enhancement. B) Radius sets the number of pixels that will be affected around the edges. C) Threshold sets the sensibility for Photoshop to know which pixels should be considered edges.

Invert and blur to Fix Blurry Pictures

  1. Duplicate the original layer two times so that you have three identical photos stacked.
  2. Make sure the top layer is selected and convert it to a Smart Object.
  3. Then, invert it by going to Image > Adjustments > Invert. Now it will look like a negative.
  4. Next, change this inverted layer’s blend mode into Vivid Light.
  5. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Yes, it sounds weird but you do need the blur effects to unblur images with this technique.
  6. Adjust the Radius until you see sharper edges and click OK. Since you turned it into a Smart Object, you’ll be able to come back and adjust this value if you’re not satisfied. Don’t worry.
  7. Now, select the top and the middle layers and group them by clicking on the folder icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.
  8. With the group selected, change the blend mode to Overlay.

Want to use something easier than Photoshop? See how to fix blurry photos in Luminar Neo.

How to Fix a Blurry Image Online (on a Website)

A screenshot of Picfish website

There are multiple websites where you can fix blurry pictures using AI technology.

Many of these are free, at least the basic options. There might be a fee if you want to download high-resolution images or unblur pictures in bulk.

However, it saves you the trouble of installing photo editing software. Here are some of the best options I found:

Picwish – This is an image online editor with multiple AI-powered tools. One of them is the Unblur Image.

It has a face enhancement feature to unblur photos and restore old photos so you can recover precious memories taken with low-quality photos.

Simply upload the blurry picture and download the improved photo.

The pro version has more features like batch unblurring images.

Fotor – This is not just an online tool to unblur images. It’s a powerful AI photo editing software to create the perfect picture.

To unblur photos, click the Upload Image Now button and choose the photo you want. Then, click Start Now.

The sharpened image will open in the editor workspace so you can use the other photo editing tools. When you’re ready, download the photo.

Wondershare Pixcut – With Wondershare online tools you can also fix blurry pictures.

Upload the blurry photo to the image sharpener.

Wait for the AI technology to work, and download the resulting image.

How to UnBlur an Image on iPhone

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone to view your images.
  2. Tap on the photo you want to fix.
  3. Tap Edit in the upper right corner.
  4. Scroll the editing menu until you find the Sharpen tool.
  5. Slide the sharpening bar underneath until you like the way it looks or you hit the maximum sharpening.
  6. Tap Done.

Also, you can use one of the many photo editing apps you can use to sharpen a blurry image.

Here are some of the most popular free choices, although some of them may have premium options.

It’s also important to mention that almost any photo editing app will have a sharpening tool.

  • Vivid Photo Enhancer – This app makes blurry pictures clear with a single tap thanks to its AI tools. It also allows you to upscale your image and do some basic editing. It’s available for iPhone and Android smartphones.
  • Remini – This is an AI photo enhancer. It lets you unblur images that regular photo editing tools can’t fix. However, it’s not sharpening the existing pixels – it’s a sampling from a big database. So, the result will definitely be a sharp photo, but some details might change.

You should also check our recommendations for apps to fix blurry photos.

How to UnBlur an Image on Android

A screenshot of Google playstore

There are many apps to fix blurry photos on an Android phone. They’re often also available for iOS, so check out the iPhone section of this article too for more options.

Here are some of the most popular apps on the Play Store to fix blurred images.

  • Sharpen Image – This app helps you improve the image quality of blurred photos. It uses a technique similar to the Unsharp Mask. It allows you to adjust the radius and intensity.
  • Enhance Photo Quality – This is a photo editor with a good unblur tool. I also recommend it because it doesn’t collect any data and doesn’t share your information with third parties.
  • Lumii – using this photo editing app, you can deblur images using the sharpening and the grain tools. It has a free and a paid version, but these tools are available on the free one.

How to UnBlur an Image in Lightroom


Tap here to get a free trial of Lightroom to follow along with this tutorial >>

You can fix a blurry image with just a few clicks using Lightroom. A good thing about using Lightroom is that you can unblur photos quickly by batch editing.

First, import your blurry photos into Lightroom. Select one and open it in the Develop module.

Here, find the Details panel on the right side of the workspace and expand it.

Now, use the sliders in the Sharpening tool to remove blur from your image.

  • The Amount slider controls how much you’re increasing the contrast to increase the sharpness.
  • The Radius slider changes the thickness of the edge.
  • The Details slider, as the name indicates, focuses on the amount of sharpening in the details.
  • The Masking slider is to decide where the sharpening is applied. It helps you preserve the photo quality by protecting smooth areas such as the skin in portrait photos or the bokeh background.

You can also use the Clarity tool to unblur images.

If this was the only blurry photo you wanted to fix, you’re done.

You can export the unblurred image if you want to share it or save it outside of Lightroom.

To batch edit, simply select all the blurry images you want to fix. Then, click the Sync button.

On the dialog box that pops up, make sure the Details section is enabled as well as any other adjustment you did that you want to copy onto other photos.

Now, click Synchronize.

Lightroom Mobile

Screenshots from a phone using Lightroom

It’s also possible to unblur an image on your phone using Lightroom Mobile.

Remember that you can use a limited version of Lightroom for free. You can unblur images using this free version.

  1. Open the blurry picture in the Lightroom app.
  2. Swipe left to scroll the menu until you find Details and tap on it.
  3. Use the sliders from the Details menu option to get a clear photo. The sliders are the same as in Lightroom Classic explained in the previous section.

I hope you managed to unblur an image with one of the methods above.

Let me know in the comments how you got on.

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Shotkit Writer & Camera Gear Reviewer

Ana Mireles is a Mexican researcher that specializes in photography and communications for the arts and culture sector.

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