When you work with images, especially for professional use, there will be times when you come across the perfect picture in too small a size or too low quality for your needs. It can also happen that the only photos you have at your disposal are a bit on the lower end, quality-wise, and you have to make it work.
In these cases, an image upscaler is going to be your best friend!
Image upscalers are online or software tools that work on files you provide, to enlarge and/or enhance image quality. Such tools are super useful when working with archival/historical pictures, but also with free stock photos that are less sharp, or images that are simply too small for your intended use.
There are multiple free and paid image upscalers aka photo enhancers out there, both web-based and software-based, so we had a look around and listed the best options in image upscaling tools, just for you.
Check them out below!
And if you are unsure of what image size you need for your project, do check out our guide to standard image sizes for marketing materials, we have all the dimensions detailed!
#1 – Stockphotos.com: AI Image Upscaler
Stockphotos.com offers a great AI Image Upscaler right on their website! This is a tool built on the latest AI technology that lets you enlarge and improve your photos' quality on a whim, and now you can get 10 image upscales for free!
This tool can enhance photos up to 8x –including resolution, smoothness, and contrast for the ultimate professional result– with just one click. It ensures pixel compression to give the sharpest final look eliminating noise and motion blur. This is the answer to the old question of how to obtain a higher resolution of an image!
See below an example of an image upscaled 8x times with Stockphotos.com Image Upscaler, and how cool it is that you can see a real-time comparison of the original vs the enhanced result with a sliding bar!
Another cool perk is that it enables social media cutout downloads, letting you get a set of your image resized to all popular social media platforms' standards. Preparing your photos for social media has never been easier!
Stockphotos.com Image Upscaler is super user-friendly with a drag-and-drop concept, it supports JPG, PNG, WEBP, and BMP files, and lets you upscale 3 images up to 2000×2000 pixels for free, that you can enhance up to 2x.
Super-resolution enhancement, up to 8x, is available upon sign-up at super convenient prices: Get prepaid packs of 20 upscales for $9, or 100 upscales for $29 – that's just $0.29 per image! This is an on-demand service you can use whenever you want, no subscription needed.
But wait, because we have a great offer for you! As a Stock Photo Secrets reader, you can now get 10 free image upscales just by signing up to AI Image Upscaler! Get the deal now before it's gone!
Stockphotos.com Image Upscaler is everything you can hope for in image upscaling. It's high-tech, user-friendly, effective. Plus it's free up to 10 images (up to 3 without the special offer) and very affordable beyond that!
#2 – AI Image Enlarger
Compatibility: Windows, MacOS and their online browsers
Paid plans starting at $14/month
AI Image Enlarger, as the name gives away, is a tool that uses AI technology for image upscaling. It’s an online tool that you can alternatively install on Windows or Mac for extra functionality, and lets you upscale images in batches, enlarging them quickly without losing quality, all for free for a limited amount of files per month.
This is the right tool to enlarge several images at once without losing quality, and it's very affordable.
#3 – Bigjpg
Compatibility: Windows, MacOS and their online browsers, Android, iOs
Paid plans starting at $6/month
Bigjpg is a tool you can use both online or by installing it on your device. It uses deep convolutional neural networks to provide great upscaling of images maintaining quality. It ensures colors, details, and edges will be well-kept, and it's ideal to enhance photos and illustrations. In its free version, you can process images of up to 3000x3000px and 10 MB, but you can also upgrade to the paid service to enjoy a more stable and speedy image processing.
This is a great solution to enlarge not only photos but also illustrations and graphics. And the premiums services are very low-priced.
#4 – Deep Image
Compatibility: Windows, MacOS and their online browsers, Android, iOS
Paid plans starting at $9/month – On-demand starting at $0.40/image
Deep Image is an image upscaler that works with AI-powered super-resolution deep convolutional neural networks, which is a mouthful but means they use machine learning and artificial intelligence to make low-resolution images look better. Among its perks, it counts with a mobile app –on top of their web-based version– available for both iOS and Android, to perform image enlargement via your phone, as well as batch processing and even an API integration, to enhance your images up to 2x with just one click, and for free for a number of files.
Deep Image is a good option to enhance images if you're the type to work on your mobile devices as well as on desktop. And it has different pricing systems for premium services, too.
#5 – Vance AI Image Enlarger
Compatibility: Windows, and MacOS browsers
Paid plans starting at $9.90/month
The Vance AI Image Enlarger is both an online tool and software you can install on your Windows-powered device. It’s a powerful resource that enlarges and improves image quality for 4x for free, and from 8x up to 40x for a fee. As a bonus, the interface is nicely intuitive. Keep in mind this option is free but only for a handful of files a month.
A very reliable choice in an image upscaler that is rather simple to use and has cool bonus perks.
#6 – Icons8: Smart Upscaler
Compatibility: Windows and MacOS browsers
Icons8 offers an AI-driven Smart Upscaler on its website, which applies deep learning algorithms to image enhancement. It can improve an image by 2x or 4x, and it includes features for noise reduction and treatment of imperfections. And it’s totally free!
The Smart Upscaler gets the job done quickly and with no fuss, and it's free!
#7 – GIMP
Compatibility: GNU/Linux, Windows, MacOS
The open-source freeware GIMP is a GNU image manipulator program that includes an upscaling feature that manages to make your images larger without missing out much in terms of quality. However, it requires installation –it’s compatible with most popular platforms– and it’s not very user-friendly. On the bright side, you can improve it if you’re tech-savvy and it’s free to all.
GIMP is a good fit if you are tech-savvy and want to customize the software to enhance images your way
#8 – Photoshop
Compatibility: Windows and MacOS
Paid plans starting at $9.99/month
A list of photo enhancers won’t be complete without Adobe Photoshop. One of the most famous image editing software in the world –now available online through Adobe Creative Cloud– Photoshop can also dub as image upscaler, as it uses a traditional, pixels information analysis to increase image size and image resolution, which while not quite as effective as AI-driven tools, is still very decent. You can access Photoshop for free for 7 days with an exclusive free trial.
If you're a designer or creative Photoshop is ideal because you can enhance images and edit them all with the same tool.
#9 – Blow Up 3
Compatibility: Windows and MacOS
One-time pay of $79
Blow Up 3 is the latest version of this image enhancing software that runs both on Windows and Mac computers. It's a tool that uses traditional technology, similar to Photoshop, to improve image definition and enlarge photos without losing it. A cool feature is they have settings for different paper standards, which ensures your image will be optimal for printing. There is a 30-day free trial you can take advantage of, and then you can upgrade to their paid service.
This is a cool resource that enhances images similar to Photoshop but focuses on this task instead of making it part of a bigger editing solution.
#10 – Image Enlarger
Compatibility: Windows and MacOS browsers
Image Enlarger is an image upscaling tool that produces enlarged images through traditional resampling methods. Because of that, the final quality might be affected a bit, but it’s ideal if you only need to blow up an image to a bigger size without caring so much about resolution. Plus, it’s free.
Image Enlarger is a good choice to enlarge pictures quickly without a paying a penny or worrying about technical aspects.
Image Upscaling FAQ Answered
Let's take care of the most common questions around upscaling images.
How Can I Improve the Resolution of a Picture?
The most effective way to enhance the resolution of an image is to use a dedicated software tool that can increase the number of pixels used maintaining the picture's integrity. Such tools are known as image upscalers or photo enhancers.
What Does it Mean to Upscale an Image?
Scaling is simply resizing a digital picture in a proportional way. Upscaling, as you probably guessed, means to enlarge/enhance an image, to make it look bigger and better. Image upscaling can take a low-resolution photo and turn it into a high-resolution, even a super-resolution one.
How Do You AI Upscale an Image?
Traditional digital upscaling was about stretching out a low-res image and then copy and repeat the pixels to fill out the holes in a larger display. While added technology such as filters is used, the results can still be blurry or noisy.
AI image upscaling is a whole other –and incredibly better!– story. Instead of stretching out the image, it uses trained neural networks to actually predict what the image would look like in a higher resolution, and produce a very high-end result with optimal sharpness and zero blurs.
Image Upscalers to Make Image Be High-Resolution
Photo enhancers are very simple tools with great value for creative, graphic design: the ability to enlarge images turning them from low-resolution into high quality.
With any of the above-listed resources, you’ll never be faced with the issue of poor image resolution in your creative work, again!
But don't miss the best deal ever and grab your 10 free image upscales from AI Image Upscaler now!