5+ best apps & software to restore old photos

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
Madalina has been a Windows fan ever since she got her hands on her first Windows XP computer. She is interested in all things technology, especially emerging technologies -- AI and DNA computing in... Read more
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  • If you want to preserve a historical heritage or restore a precious family photo, you will need photo restoration software.
  • Our article will help you choose the right old photo restoration app to perfectly fit your current needs.
  • The best old photos restore app on our list is an excellent tool from Adobe.
  • Our list includes a lot of other photo repair software that can even clear elements or improve their composition.

Photographs are keepsakes of our treasured past, as they remind us of people whose memory we cherish as well as our own memories with loved ones.

With today’s technology, storing and recovering photos is super easy. However, the same cannot be said of photos captured before the digital age.

Most people still keep those old photos somewhere in the cupboard or in old albums. This makes them susceptible to tear, fade, creases, or stains.

If your old photos have incurred any form of damages that cause them to fade, there is a chance to restore their glory. This is where black and white photo restoration software comes into play.

Such tools help to restore photos by removing scratches, stains and make them look new again. Photo restoration software can also rejuvenate photos by removing skin defects or by improving appearance.

In this article, we are going to discuss the various utilities that you can use to restore glory to your old photos.


What is the best software for restoring old photos?

inPixio Photo Studio Pro 11

inPixio Photo Studio Pro 11 is an ideal software if you want to restore your old photos, especially if you are not a professional. That is because inPixio is extremely easy to use by everyone.

The scratches and cracks from your photos will disappear like magic by using the Erase function. And all you need to do is to outline the damaged parts of your photos.

This solution will also work like a charm if you want to remove some objects, persons or watermarks from photos.

And that is not all, you can also create extremely clean cutouts and create unique and amazing compositions with just a few clicks.

Let’s see some of inPixio Photo Studio Pro 11 main features:

  • Extremely easy to use, featuring a friendly user interface
  • Interactive introduction exercises that will help you kick off faster
  • Easy objects and watermark removal
  • Quick photo retouching and improving
  • Quick wrinkle removal
Photo Studio Pro 11

Photo Studio Pro 11

This amazing tool from inPixio can help you easily bring back your old photos to life.

PhotoGlory

PhotoGlory

If you want a powerful photo restoration software, PhotoGlory is worthy of your full attention. There is no other tool on the market that can remove scratches, tears, and stains so easily.

Moreover, when your mission is to bring life to old photos, another useful trick is to colorize them. Don’t even think that you need to find a different tool for that.

A click is all that stays between you and achieving this goal as well. You can even modify the colors manually in order to make the results more personal.

Key features that PhotoGlory brings to the table:

  • Restores colors to faded photos
  • Ads stylized text labels and date stamps
  • Removes scratches, stains, and creases
  • Assembles photos ripped in half
  • Turns a negative picture into positive
PhotoGlory

PhotoGlory

Give a new life to your old photos with PhotoGlory! Your loved ones will most likely be surprised!

Check priceVisit website

Adobe Photoshop CC

Adobe Photoshop CC is a well-acknowledged photo editing software that is used both by beginners and professionals.

It has all the necessary features to make edits on actual images or graphics as well as create new ones from scratch. Besides that, it comes with thousands of plugins and pre-made templates you can freely use.

In our opinion, it is one of the most suitable software to restore old images that are damaged by either scratch, color degradation, or come with the well-known sepia hue.

The main reason why we chose Photoshop CC as the best option is the ability to work on multiple layers, adjust highlights, shadows, and change RGB colors down to the pixel level.

Apart from restoring old images, you can also work on improving the quality of images by changing skin tone, applying filters, or removing backgrounds.

For a beginner, the process of restoring an old photo can be challenging. However, there are plenty of step-by-step guides from Adobe that will help you get started.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Professional photo editing toolkit (crop, retouch, restore, repair, and combine photos)
  • Unlimited layers, masks, and effects for stunning imagery
  • Cross-platform compatibility and full support for stylus or touch technology
  • Your projects are automatically saved to the cloud 
  • Interactive in-app tutorials and inspirational content available
Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop

Restore your most precious memories to their former glory with this great photo restoration software!

Free trialVisit website

PhotoWorks

Another great entry in our list of reliable photo restoring tools is PhotoWorks, a user-frindly software that will soon become your most trusted photo-assistant.

The tool comes with AI features that automatically detect any type of picture so that it can apply special enhancements based on that.

You will benefit from a lot of image enhancement tools that will help you express your imagination in getting the perfect shot.

However, PhotoWorks is especially good in photo restauration. Take for instance the Healing Brush that you will find in the Retouch tab. This will just help you get rid of the inherent small cracks from old photos.

If you choose the right brush size, they will disappear like magic. And after you adjust the Feather and Opacity settings for softening the areas that have been touched and the rest of the photo, you are done.

Of course, you can still work on the details and enliven the colors or even replace the background if it’s too damaged, but everything is extremely easy to work with.

The software is not free, but you will still get the chance to try it for free before buying and there’s a great chance that you’ll decide to continue using it.

PhotoWorks

PhotoWorks

Revive your old photos with this great tool that helps you preserve your memories and heritage.

Free trialVisit website

Corel Paintshop Pro

Corel Paintshop Pro

With an interface that will satisfy both beginners and advanced users, Corel Paintshop Pro is another great tool to restore photos.

Corel has grown a lot in the last few years and the quality of Paintshop Pro stands behind the company’s name.

Fade correction is one of the most utilized tools due to the fact that the main problem when it comes to old photos is decoloration.

With it, you can adjust the percentage of tint and fade to your liking without the need for complex photo editing skills.

One of the other advantages it has is the scratch remover that can easily handle scratches on damaged photos. It allows you to select a damaged area and then apply a layer of paint over it.

With the Cutout Lab feature, you can easily remove the background of the photo while preserving the quality on the edges.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Customizable interface
  • Stylus and tablet support
  • 360 photo editing
  • HDR photo manipulation
  • Creative content integration
Corel PaintShop Pro

Corel PaintShop Pro

Breathe life into your old photos and enjoy forever-lasting memories with Corel PaintShop Pro right away!

Free trialVisit website

AKVIS Retoucher

AKVIS Retoucher

AKVIS Retoucher is a photo restoration software that helps to remove dust, scratches, and other unwanted objects as well as restructure missing parts.

By removing unwanted details, this software helps to improve photo composition. Since it’s a Photoshop-compatible plugin, it works well with a selection of your Photoshop image editors.

Get the plugin from the official website

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Intelligent cloning techniques to cover the selected areas and yields amazing results at removing photo defects
  • Resolves the problem of extending the borders of a layout that does not have space for cropping
  • Photo restoration tools
  • It also removes the date stamp, distracting details, and increases the image canvas using the image patterns to fill blank areas

Besides the plugin version, AKVIS Retoucher is available as an independent program (standalone) with a trial version.

There is no registration required to try all the features of the software during the free 10-day evaluation period.

Akvis Retoucher

Akvis Retoucher

AKVIS Retoucher will help you give a new life to your old, dusty photos by also improving their composition.

Free trialVisit website

SoftOrbits Photo Retoucher

SoftOrbits Photo Retoucher

SoftOrbits Photo Retoucher enables you to clean digital photos, removing any imperfections to create a perfect picture.

So, whether it’s a wandering tourist, a breakup, or an inconveniently placed animal, SoftOrbits helps you remove them all.

This program not only allows you to remove minor imperfections such as scratches but also cause major objects or people to vanish.

This is made possible by the content filling algorithms that also let you reproduce the original background behind the erased objects.

You can also use SoftOrbits to remove scratches, cracks, dust, stains, and other imperfections.

Download SoftOrbits Photo Retoucher

SoftOrbits Photo Retoucher

SoftOrbits Photo Retoucher

SoftOrbits Photo Retoucher can help you not only to fix your old photos but only to remove objects from them.

Luminar 4

get Luminar

Restoring old photos is no easy task… or is it? It can be with the right tools and Luminar delivers everything you need to remove noise, retouch black and white pictures and adjust tones, clarity, and contrast.

Using AI-based image processing and powerful noise reduction tools, Luminar helps you bring your old photos back to their sharp and crisp state.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Automated AI-based photo editor
  • Professional-grade noise reduction tools
  • Old photo restoration tools to remove stains, scratches, splotches, and dirt
  • Erase tool to cover problematic areas with similar-looking textures
  • Enhance faded photos by fixing contrast, tone, exposure, and color
  • Color Temperature filter to cool down the temperature of your photos

Download Luminar 4


Fotor

Fotor

While it is not as features-rich a software as Adobe Photoshop, for instance, Fotor does a pretty good job at photo restoration.

What’s more, it delivers a complete photo editing toolkit for free.

Fotor’s main focuses are on color correction and RAW image editing, which makes it perfectly suited to adjust balance and enhance faded colors and shades in old photos.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Supports all popular graphic file formats
  • In-built photo restoration feature
  • Photo editing tools (crop, add or remove objects, bur, adjust contrast, correct color and shade, and more)
  • Intuitive, easy to use interface

Download Fotor


Seeing old photos that hold precious memories shrouded in scratches and stains can be heartbreaking.

However, with the latest technology in photo restoration software, you can relax knowing that all blemishes will be handled perfectly well.

We’ve listed some of the renowned old photo restoration software that can assist you in cleaning up all your old photos.

We hope you found this article useful and informative. Feel free to comment and share.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • We recommend Adobe Photoshop CC as the best overall choice for restoring old photos as well as for other photo editing needs.

  • Yes, damaged photos can be repaired with the right tools, although the restoration degree depends on many factors such as color degradation level, scratches, and so on. 

  • Yes, fade can be adjusted with professional photo editing software.

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Avatar Cameragirl

I’ve been working with Photoglory for a long time already and I love the result, thanks for mentioning it! Photoshop is good for photo rstoration, too, and I also enjoy Photoworks, they have special tools to make old photos long new as well.

Avatar bkungl

Thank you John. I appreciate your response.

Avatar bkungl

I have a school class photo from the early 1900s. You can imagine how bad the quality is.
I really don’t know which one would be the best for restoring this old photo (it has a lot of pixels if that’s what you call it)
Any ideas? I’ve attached the photo. Thanks
https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/739eb7ce5fb9eeb5a6f461b02dc116732020124b1db0a4402bc22701323ebb82.jpg

Avatar Sterrenberg

So, how did your photo restoration turn out? And what software did you end up using?