Nothing evokes nostalgia like old photographs.
However, over time, all photos may require a little restoration. Maybe the colors have become dull, the edges have a few creases, or maybe the picture is missing a few parts – all of this damage can make your photos unrecognizable.
Thankfully, you don’t have to let those old photos stay in that sorry state. With the know-how, you can make these photos look new again. But where do you start? What software should you use?
In this guide, we’re going to present 10 photo restoration software reviews, and compare and contrast each program. We’ll also give our recommendations depending on your budget and skill level.
With that said, if you’d rather leave the hard work to the professionals, you’re in luck! Image Restoration Center is the #1 restoration service on the internet – we can restore your photos quickly and efficiently, for an extremely affordable price.
If you’re interested, head over to our order page now and get your old photos restored. Otherwise, read on for our comprehensive overview of the best restoration software.
What Makes Good Photo Restoration Software?
Before we move forward, let’s talk about the features that make a good photo restoration software. Generally, we look at the following:
Photo Editing Capabilities
Not all photo restoration software is created equal. Some of them are quite simple, while others have sophisticated tools you can use to make detailed enhancements to old photos.
Generally, it’s best to have photo restoration software with the following features:
- Auto color correction: With one click, this image editing tool will automatically modify the colors and contrast.
- Auto contrast: This tool leaves colors intact but adjusts the image’s contrast.
- Auto sharpen: This will sharpen the edges of your photo’s subject and accentuate small details.
- Dust and scratches: This image editing tool will remove scratches and eliminate minor imperfections.
- Color temperature filter: This tool adjusts the color balance and temperature of photos.
- Content filling artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms: Content-filling algorithms, which are powered by AI technology, can help recreate missing parts of a photo automatically.
- Healing brush: You can use this auto photo retouching tool to paint over cracks or dust spots. You can also use it to cover small details you want to remove.
- Clone stamp tool: This allows you to manually copy parts of the image then “stamp” it onto another section.
Easy To Use
The best photo restoration software are those that are user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to understand. Some types of photo editing software even incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help the user achieve awesome results without too much effort.
The best photo restoration software should come at a fair price. Some photo restoration software are powerful and easy-to-use but may be out of reach for a beginner or a hobbyist. Unless you’re a professional, it might not be worth the money investing hundreds of dollars for software that you’re not going to use regularly.
Best Photo Restoration Software 2021
When it comes to photo restoration, you won’t run out of options for software. But which programs are really worth trying? Here’s a comprehensive list of the best old photo restoration software:
1. Adobe Photoshop CC
Adobe Photoshop CC is the most popular old photo restoration software on this list. Professionals and hobbyists alike use it for all types of photo restoration. You can even use Photoshop to add color to a classic black and white image!
Unlike basic photo repair software, Adobe Photoshop has a complete selection of photo restoration tools. It comes with a clone stamp, a healing brush, and a wide selection of exclusive plugins. If you need to do some extensive photo retouching, Adobe Photoshop should be one of your top choices.
Another reason to choose Adobe Photoshop is that you can find a myriad of tutorials online. Even if you’re a beginner, you’ll quickly get up to speed because of the numerous resources available.
Finally, Adobe has upgraded Photoshop’s photo editing capabilities using artificial intelligence. With these enhancements, you now get neural filters that can dramatically enhance the look of your subjects just by adjusting panels. These will speed up your work whenever you’re using Photoshop to restore old photos.
In case your images have issues with photo composition, don’t worry. Photoshop now comes with an AI-powered feature called Object Aware Refine Mode, which allows you to select and remove unwanted objects with ease. The smart selection tool can also be used to effortlessly pick out subjects with hair and separate them from the background.
A new feature on Photoshop called the Discover panel also analyzes your actions and provides suggestions on how you can make your old photos look better. It’s a great way to flatten the learning curve for those who are new to photo editing.
For these reasons, it’s without a doubt that Adobe Photoshop CC is the best photo restoration software out there. It comes with a complete set of photo restoration tools, a wide set of plugins, and is now enhanced with AI technology. However, all of these come at a price – you’ll need to invest a significant amount of money every month to continue using the photo restoration software.
2. Luminar AI
Developer: Luminar Technologies, Inc.
Luminar AI is a powerful photo retoucher that’s easy to use and intuitive. It’s best at restoring damaged photos by removing scratches, stains, and dust. You can also use the picture editor’s multiple features to enhance faded photos with ease.
Skylum, the developer behind Luminar, has even upgraded their photo restoration software to incorporate AI technology. It suggests templates based on the contents of the old photo, then enhances everything in one click. If needed, you can adjust the color correction options to your liking.
The photo restoration software also has a few specialized tools that are quite useful in restoring old photos. For example, you can try Haze Removal, which automatically adds depth and contrast to old photos. You can also adjust the Clarity and Details sliders to bring out details without adding too much grain.
Like most photo restoration software, Luminar AI comes with the erase and clone stamp tools. With these, you can remove stains, creases, and spots with ease. It even gives you the option to select a smaller brush size so you can work on small details carefully.
As for colorizing black and white photos, Luminar AI has you covered. You can use the photo editor’s brush tool to paint over certain aspects of your image and apply color. While the selection tool isn’t as sophisticated as what Adobe offers, you’ll still be able to colorize old photos with a bit of time and effort.
Overall, the picture editor is not the most ideal if you’re dealing with severely damaged photos, but it will do the trick if you’re only aiming for color correction and small restorations. It’s also great for beginners because it’s a lot easier to use compared to Photoshop.
3. Corel PaintShop Pro
- Complete functionalities for old photo restoration
- 30-day free trial available
- Available to Windows users only
Corel PaintShop Pro is one of the oldest and most well-regarded software for photo restoration and editing. In recent years, Corel has upgraded the software to incorporate AI technology – helping you achieve stunning results in record time.
One of the reasons the PaintShop is very popular among hobbyists and professionals is the user-friendly interface. Plenty of resources are also available for those looking to master the software.
One of the program’s most useful features for photo restoration is the creative filters. Plus, you can use the scratch remover and fade correction tools to enhance faded photos.
Compared to other photo restoration software, PaintShop comes with an extensive set of correction tools. It can fix crooked horizons, faulty perspectives, and more. Plus, it has a wide range of functionalities that can improve the photo quality of low-resolution photos.
Corel PaintShop Pro comes at a steep price, but it’s also one of the most useful editing software out there. Aside from old photo restoration, you can use it for graphic design and illustration. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth with this program, especially if you’re into digital art.
Developer: AMS Software
- Basic photo restoration software for beginners
- Great for quick minor edits
- Free trial available
- Limited capabilities
If your old photos only need a quick fix, then PhotoWorks might be the right restoration software for you. It has 3D LUT presets that are ideal for bringing faded photos back to life. It also comes with intuitive sliders that make it easy for you to sharpen edges and draw attention to your subject.
One advantage of using PhotoWorks as your photo restoration software is that it has a content-aware AI algorithm. The AI analyzes image patterns and automatically fixes your old photo’s balance, exposure, and dynamic range. That makes it easy to restore damaged photos with one click.
The photo retoucher comes with healing and cloning tools that enable you to remove small imperfections like folds, creases, and scratches. You can customize these tools accordingly to make sure that every detail is done to your liking.
While PhotoWorks can be useful as an old photo restoration software, it’s not the most powerful. The range of tools isn’t as extensive as what you’ll find in Photoshop, for example. Photoworks doesn’t have special features that will help you add color to a black-and-white image, either.
In summary, PhotoWorks is powerful enough as an old photo restoration software if you’re making minor edits. It’s also ideal if you’re a novice at old photo restoration. However, if you’re dealing with severely damaged photos, you might have to turn your attention elsewhere.
5. SoftOrbits Photo Retoucher
- Good for beginners
- Automatically gives photos a quick fix
- Limited features and AI capabilities
Softorbits Photo Retoucher is one of the best photo restoration software for beginners. Unlike other programs on this list, this old photo restoration app is made especially for repairing old pictures. With that said, it doesn’t have an extensive range of capabilities, but it has all the photo restoration tools you’ll need to touch up slightly damaged photos.
Once you’ve uploaded your old photo, the software automatically checks areas that require your attention. It will even locate and help you remove dust marks and blemishes. For this, you can use the photo restoration software’s specialized stamp, smudge, and concealer tools.
The photo restoration software also comes with a tool that fixes blurred photos and grainy backgrounds. These flaws are quite common with old pictures since old cameras didn’t have sophisticated noise reduction technology or super-fast shutter speeds.
Perhaps one of the best features of the Softorbits Photo retoucher is that it has a specialized feature that allows users to colorize photos easily. With just one click, you can convert black and white photos into colorful photographs.
If you’re a beginner when it comes to old photo restoration, then Softorbits Photo Retoucher should be one of your top options. It doesn’t have the power to help you remove unwanted objects or make dramatic edits, but it can restore your old photos if they only require a few touch-ups.
6. Retouch Pilot
Developer: GNOME Foundation
- User-friendly interface
- Training support available
- Free trial version available
- Basic features
- Full version is expensive
Correcting minor defects is easy with Retouch Pilot, a photo editing software that you can use for basic photo restoration, such as removing scratches, stains, and dust.
What makes Retouch Pilot one of the best photo editing software to restore old pictures is that most of its tools and functions are organized in a way that makes it easy for beginners to use. The interface is quite user-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about getting confused by the multitude of tools available.
Some of Retouch Pilot’s best features include automatic color correction as well as dust and scratch removal. It also has a Wire Pilot feature, which is designed to help users remove unwanted objects like wires, posts, and antennas from an old photo. Finally, Retouch Pilot comes with a unique Perspective Pilot feature, which automatically corrects perspective distortions.
Compared to the other photo restoration software on this list, however, Retouch Pilot comes with several limitations. For one, it doesn’t have a special function that allows users to add colors to old images. The tools available are also quite limited.
7. AKVIS Retoucher
- Can be used as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop and Corel Paintshop Pro
- Multi-language interface available
- Free trial version available (10 days)
- One-time payment option available
- Quite expensive
AKVIS Retoucher is another photo restoration software that’s ideal for repairing damaged photos. Amateurs and experts alike can use it to remove dust and scratches. It also has tools that make the photo restoration process speedy and more efficient.
Unlike most free or basic photo restoration software, AKVIS Retoucher can be used to restore old photos with missing parts. Using information from surrounding areas, AKVIS Retoucher can automatically reconstruct missing details. That saves a lot of time and effort whenever you want to restore old photos that have been severely damaged.
Aside from these useful features, the AKVIS retoucher can also be used to improve the composition of old photos. It can easily remove date stamps as well as unwanted objects, like people or cars in the background. You don’t have to do it manually using a clone stamp tool, either. Simply select items you’d like to delete and let the software do all the work.
One of the top reasons we like the AKVIS Retoucher is that it has an organized, easy-to-understand layout. Even if you’re new at restoring old photos, you won’t have much trouble learning the program.
All things considered, AKVIS is a powerful photo restoration software that can be used in conjunction with a more sophisticated program like Photoshop or Luminar. Unfortunately, this photo restoration app comes at a steep price. If you’re only making minor corrections to old photos, it might be better to look for cheaper or free options.
- Content-filling AI can help you remove unwanted objects and recreate missing parts
- Best free photo restoration software
- Can be used for old photos with moderate damage
- Tools to restore old photos are limited
Sophisticated photo restoration software often doesn’t come cheap. So, if you need to restore old photos on a budget, then SketchWay might be a good option for you. While it’s free of charge, it has plenty of tools and features that can help you restore old photos with ease.
For example, the software has content-filling AI that makes it easy for you to recreate missing parts. That greatly speeds up time if you’re dealing with severely damaged photos.
The same content-filling AI can also be used to remove distracting objects from your old photos. The AI will analyze your image and reproduce the original background behind the item being cut.
As with most photo restoration software, SketchWay can be used to correct minor flaws like faded colors or grainy backgrounds. You can also use it to reduce digital noise and film grain. Finally, you can use it to remove scratches, spots, and stains.
If your old photos need a quick and basic fix, then SketchWay is a good option to consider. It won’t be as powerful as paid photo restoration software, but it’s good enough for those who want to make small enhancements.
9. Fotophire Editing Toolkit
- Powerful photo editor with multiple tools and more than 200 effects
- Trial version available
- Limited functionalities
Fotophire Editing Toolkit is a powerful photo restoration software for Windows 10 and Mac OS. You can use it for old photo restoration, enhancement, and reconstruction.
One of its best features is the Photo Eraser, which can enable you to remove distracting elements as quickly as possible. Its photo cutter tool also enables you to remove or replace backgrounds with just a few clicks.
Another useful feature of this photo restoration software is the Fotophire Focus tool. You can use it to fix blur and adjust the focus of old photos. Since older cameras didn’t have ultra-fast shutter speeds, you might have a lot of blurred or out-of-focus old photos that can be fixed using this tool.
Like other types of photo restoration software, Fotophire can add filters and effects to old images. You can select from more than 200 modes to see which one is the best for your old photo. However, Fotophire doesn’t have specialized modes that will help you colorize old photos easily, unlike other paid photo restoration apps.
One good aspect of this photo restoration software is the price. It won’t cost as much as some of the big names like Photoshop, but it does have plenty of the tools you’ll need to restore old photos. It also has a few AI functionalities that make photo restoration tasks quicker and easier.
Developer: MOOII Tech
- Free photo restoration software (for the basic version)
- Batch editing
- Beginner-friendly interface
- Very limited capabilities
- Low photo quality after editing
Photoscape is a free app that’s perfect for people who want to make minor enhancements to old photos. If you’re only aiming for basic color correction and filtering, then this is a good option to consider. The software also has the ability to clone, resize, crop, and sharpen photos.
One of Photoscape’s best features is the Batch Editor, which allows you to make the same edits to a batch of photos. If you have a bunch of old photos that require color correction or filtering, then this is a convenient tool to use.
Another reason to like Photoscape is the basic, easy-to-navigate interface. If you’re new to old photo restoration, you don’t have to worry. It won’t take you a lot of time to be familiar with all the app’s features.
As far as free photo restoration software goes, Photoscape does an okay job. It won’t help you restore old photos extensively, however. At best, Photoscape is only for people looking to make minor color enhancements.
Get Old Photos Restored Instantly
Photo restoration technology has evolved to the point that you can enhance photos without too much trouble. Just take your pick from our list of photo restoration software, and you can begin enhancing old photos in no time.
Still, even with the best photo restoration software available, it takes some skill to restore old photos to their former glory. Plus, most photo restoration software will come at a high price.
If you want your old photos restored with no effort, then it’s best to leave the work to the professionals. At Image Restoration Center, we provide low-cost and hassle-free old photo restoration. Just send us your old photos, and we’ll get straight to work. You’ll receive your restored photos in as fast as 24-72 hours!