Photos are one of the best ways to store memories, especially those happy moments of life. Everyone has some old photos at home. However, the quality of physical photos degrade over time, and sometimes they may also get scratched, damaged or lose their genuine colors. In such cases, photo restoration softwares can come to rescue, helping you remove the scratches, recover the missing parts, or even colorize them again. If you are looking for such kind of tools for your photo restoration or photo recovery mission, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to see what we’ve found for you — 13 best photo restoration softwares and online restoration services available as of mid-2020.

Content Quick Sneak

Section 1. Perform photo restoration on PCs & Macs

When it comes to photo restoration, there are many software tools as well as some online solutions that can help you with the job. Some of these tools can help you restore photos by removing scratches and stains so that your photos can look refreshed, some may allow you to recover the missing parts of aged photos, still others may do all. Not all those application tools can work on any computer, some are for Windows PCs, some for solely designed for macOS, only a few are multi-platform compatible. 

1.1 Photo Enhancer AI

Photo Enhancer AI from DVDFab Software is an AI-powered photo enhancement tool for both amateurs and professional photographers to make their old photos look dazzling new again. Containing three separate working modules and trained with millions of sample photos, Photo Enhancer AI can utilize the deep convolutional neural networks to upscale pixelated photos without losing quality, reduce all type of noise without hurting picture details, and sharpen photos by intelligently and automatically remove motion and out-of-focus blurs. With this powerful photo restoration software at hand, you no longer have to spend hours tweaking the parameter settings one by one, because Photo Enhancer AI can accomplish all of automatically, in a matter of seconds.

  • Enlarge photos by up to 40x

Photos taken with some very old cameras years ago may have very low resolutions, and to help you make those old photos under poor conditions look better with a higher resolution, the Enlarge module of Photo Enhancer AI (available for purchase at DVDFab Online Store) can upscale your photos by up to 40 times their original size, without losing a single pixel quality in the process. Thanks to its integrated capability to use the cutting-edge machine learning technology, this photo restoration software not only can perform photo restorations, but can also upscale the resolutions of your old photos by up to 40 times higher and still look super clear and crisp.  

  • Reduce all types of noise

Photo taken with higher ISO settings or under low light conditions may come out with quite a lot of noise, including digital noise and shot noise, background noise, chroma noise or luminance noise. In the process of photo restoration, the Denoise module of this photo restoration software can use the smart AI algorithms to identify and remove all types of noise, present you the smoother, cleaner and more realistic photos without hurting the image details at all.

  • Decrease blurs of all forms

The purpose of photo restoration is to get an overall better looking image. Removing blurs is one of the necessary steps in such a process. People love taking photos, but not everyone is experienced in photography, and even the best professional photographers have unlucky moments. So when your photos come out to be blurry due to a shaky hand or camera, then removing those blurs can help restore the genuine quality of the photos. The Sharpen module of this photo restoration application is born for that. With the Deep Convolutional Neural Networks, removing motion and out-of-focus blurs is as easy as a simple mouse click.

Availability: only on Windows PCs as of now

1.2 Adobe Photoshop CC

Undoubtedly, Adobe Photoshop CC, with a user-friendly UI design, top-class features and an extensive collection of tools and plugins, is still one of the best photo restoration softwares for the most experienced photo editors out there. It can be used for all kinds of photo restoration jobs under different circumstances. Taking the reputed Clone Stamp tool for example, it allows you to copy pixels from the surrounding areas and remove any damage. This is especially helpful when you want to recover photos from scratches and damages. However, as advanced as it is, Adobe Photoshop CC is not so friendly to beginners due to its complexity and sophistication, only those pro guys have a better chance to master all its vast features and functions.  

Availability: on Windows PCs, Mac computers and even has a mobile version for iOS and Android

1.3 PhotoWorks

As a simpler alternative to Photoshop CC, PhotoWorks features a precision healing tool that can assist you a lot when it comes to erasing scratches, lint and dust from your old photo collections and make them look refreshed again. This photo restoration software does a miraculous job in eliminating all the folds and creases from old photos, and in the meantime, restoring the textures, colors and values so that the photos look like they were just taken yesterday, not years ago.

Availability: only on Windows PCs as of now

1.4 Fotophire Editing Toolkit

Designed for amateurs and beginners, Fotophire Editing Toolkit is a payware photo restoration software offering editing, cutting and erasing features in one package. As far as photo restoration is concerned, the Eraser mode of the three might be the most useful feature, because it can automatically remove unnecessary elements or scratches that can be easily found on old photos suffering from overlong period of storage. Besides, that mode also offers Clone and Crop tools which can help you correct any flaws that old photos may have.

Availability: on Windows PCs and Mac computers

1.5 AKVIS Retoucher

For those experienced image editors, AKVIS Retoucher can be another good alternative to Adobe Photoshop CC. And in terms of photo restoration, this software tool lets you efficiently and conveniently restore damaged photos almost closer to their original status. Similar to other photo restoration softwares, this one also is good at removing dust, scratches and other undesired elements, as well as recreating the missing parts you might badly want to.

Availability: on Windows PCs and Mac computers

​​​​​​​1.6 Luminar 4

All photo restoration softwares have similar features. As one of them, Luminar 4 is also capable of eliminating splotches and stains from old photos, allowing you to recover photos that have been slightly damaged after years to their original quality. This photo recovery software provides handy tools that are necessary for users to get rid of unwanted scratches and dirt by analyzing the surrounding pixels and producing a corresponding texture. Moreover, the Clarity, Exposure, Details Enhancer, Tone, HSL, Denoise and Dehaze filters can help enhance the aged photos surprisingly well. And if your photos get faded overtime, this photo restoration app allows gives you the option to tone down the temperature and make it colder via the Color Temperature filter.

Availability: on Windows PCs and Mac computers

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​1.7 Photoscape

PhotoScape is a universal photo restoration software designed specifically to provide users with maximum ease in editing photos. However, unlike the previously mentioned softwares, PhotoScape is better at color correction, which is more suitable for those faded photos. While its easy-to-understand UI design and layout makes it easy for beginners to use the software, it also offers quite a bunch of basic tools for recovering damaged photos. Besides, PhotoScape provides other features such as an image viewer, a built-in screen capture tool, batch editing function, and an array of filters and effects.

Availability: on Windows PCs and Mac computers

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​1.8 SketchWay

Compared to those modern competitors, SketchWay is a traditional photo restoration software which is distributed as a freeware and features basic repairing tool for old damaged photos using content filling algorithms. These algorithms can analyze the photos and then reproduce the original background behind the cropped object. In the process, you are also allowed to improve the photo brightness, contrast and sharpness, remove unwanted objects and delete scratches, bends, and other defects.

Availability: only on Windows PCs as of now

​​​​​​​1.9 Corel Paintshop Pro

Corel Paintshop Pro offers quite many advanced features, including an easy crop feature that allows you to alter the focus using composition guides, a Resize feature that lets you resize your photos with ease using one of several presets, or resize by pixels, percentage or print size, a Restore and Repair feature that can be used to restore old photos to the original quality, using together with the Scratch Remover and Fade Correction tools to enhance contrast and color to faded photos. Besides, the application is very easy to manage, even beginners will have no pressure handling all kinds of tasks.

Availability: only on Windows PCs as of now

Section 2. Do photo recovery online

Online photo restoration services is a better alternative to those who are not in favor of any photo restoration apps that require download and installation. After all, the best thing of turning online is that you don’t have to do all the tweaks yourself, because the service provider will do it for you. So, if you simply don’t have the time sitting in front of a computer screen for hours, or you don’t actually know how to do it at all, then read ahead to check out the online options that you can take advantage of.

2.1 Photo Restoration Org

Photo Restoration Org is a well-known online photo restoration service provider that offers old photo repair, photo editing, photomontage and old photo retouching services. They have a group of professional artists dedicated to affordable digital photo restoration services. All you need to do is to upload your photos, tell the professionals your primary objective, they will do all the restoration things for you within an agreed period of time, then come back to you with the samples for your approval. If satisfied, you can ask them to deliver you the final works.

2.2 Phowd

Similar to Photo Restoration Org, Phowd is another online photo restoration service provider that works in a similar way. First you need to upload your old photos in need of restoration to their website, and then their experienced editors will manually perform the restoration jobs using professional photo restoration apps, such as Photoshop, to repair the damaged parts of your old photos, correct the yellowed or faded pictures, remove the unwanted scratches, dirt and stains until your old photos look like new again.

2.3 FixThePhoto

As a popular online photo restoration service with an established reputation, FixThePhoto offers professional photo editing tools as Photoshop actions, Photoshop textures, Photoshop overlays, presets for Lightroom, and color grading, etc. Their photo editors always pay close attention to the details and make sure to restore the old photos in the way their clients want. They delete all the flaws, make a photo look sharper and do deep color correction as well.

2.4 Damaged Photo Restoration

Damaged Photo Restoration is an online photograph restoration service dedicated only to old photo restoration. They offer three different restoration levels for you to choose from, Standard, Premium and Extreme, differing in price and the number of performed tasks. Their photo editors shall restore your photos to the original appearance, make the colors more saturated and raise the sharpness level, so as to make your photos more realistic and genuine.

​​​​​​​Final Thought

Every family owns large collections of old photos, and they are priceless treasures because they record the most memorable moments of life. Unfortunately, light, humidity and heat leads to deterioration in photo quality over years. But fortunately, we have photo restoration softwares and online photo restoration services to help us restore faded, stained and damaged photos of any type. That said, not everyone has the expertise and experience to do the photo restoration job, so depending on your capability and free time available, choose the one that suits you the best.