Do you have a bunch of old photos that are faded or damaged? You can easily transform these photos by using image editing techniques. Read on to know the techniques and start restoring your old photos today.

restoring old photos

We have many old photos with us that have captured wonderful moments of life and important events. These photos are close to our hearts and should not be lost. But print photographs fade with time. Humidity, sunlight, and dirt can easily damage the photos. But not to worry, image editing can help you restore the damaged photographs and store them safely.

Before you begin editing the old photos, it is mandatory to understand the basic steps involved in the process. Below is a detailed explanation of the essential steps to follow while you work on restoring the old photos and also the top image-editing software you can use.

Steps for restoring old photos

Here are the step-by-step instructions to help you modify your old photos like a pro.

  1. Digitize the photos – The photo editing software requires the photos in digital format. So, before you begin, get the old photos digitized in the right format and open it in the software. You can use a photo scanner or take a photo with the digital camera.
  2. Open the image in the software – Save the photos in the right format so that it is compatible with your editing software. A TIFF format is preferred than JPEG since it retains the details of the photo. Now, open the image in the software for further editing.
  3. Crop the image – The edges of old photos are often curled. Crop the edges to remove the damages around the edges.
  4. Correct the tone – You should repair the color, contrast, and brightness of images before correcting any other damages. It is easy to change these parameters by altering the levels until you get the required look for the photo.
  5. Fix scratches and missing portions – The next step is to correct the scratches, dust, tears, and missing portions in the images. You can use the tools available in the leading image-editing software. Many softwares have effective and automated features to make this step easy.
  6. Save the photo – Once you are done with restoration, save the photo in the desired format.

Top photo editing software to restore old photos

These softwares are user friendly and require just a few simple steps to edit the photos.

  • Inpaint – Beginners will find Inpaint useful because of its simple and effective interface. The program has many options to fix old photos and has a tool similar to Healing Brush in Photoshop CS5. This allows you to replace the damaged texture with fine texture from a different area of the photo and create a flawless appearance. You can also remove unwanted elements, objects within minutes. Inpaint can also remove wrinkles and other defects in the skin. You can use it on Apple Mac and Microsoft Windows.
  • Retouch Pilot – The software runs on Microsoft Windows and has many features to give life and glow to old photos. It allows you to remove scratches and dust from the photos in a few clicks. You can change the proportion of the images or remove unwanted elements or people from the background. The powerful features help to restore even severely damaged photos.
  • AKVIS Retoucher – This one-touch image retouching is cost-effective and ideal for beginners. It helps to remove the dust, stains, and scratches on the old photos with its easy-to-use features such as scratch removers, concealer brush, smudge brushes, spot and noise remover, and many more. To restore an old photo using AKVIS Retoucher, select the areas to repair and hit the Run button. It will automatically remove the stains and the missing parts.
  • Image Mender – The software is a fully automated image retouching tool. Since most of the work is automated it is highly efficient and perfect for beginners to use. If you want to retouch an old photo in Image Mender, all you have to do is select the faded area. The program runs and removes all imperfections automatically. This includes scars, stains, dust, and even facial imperfections.
  • Adobe Photoshop – This is the complete photo editing software with exhaustive features to suit the needs of both beginners and professionals. While working on the old photos, you can use the Clone Stamp tool and copy the pixels in the surrounding areas. By applying this to the damaged image the photos will look brand new.
  • Corel Paintshop Pro – The program has endless features to manipulate the photographs in multiple ways. The One-Click Photo fix feature allows restoring images fast. It helps you to crop the photos, fix the damages, straighten, and filter the images.


The steps we have mentioned above and the programs are quite simple to follow. However, if you have complex images that have serious damages, you can approach a professional agency to handle the task. SBL offers the best image restoration service in the industry using professional software like Adobe Photoshop. We can restore your old photos and preserve them for posterity.

Get in touch with us; we are always ready to help you.