How to Restore Old Photos Without Photoshop

How to Restore Old Photos

Recover the faded beauty of your images with PhotoWorks!

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How to Restore Old Pictures Without Photoshop

Time takes its toll on all printed photographs even if they’re properly stored. Staining, fading, warping, discoloration, rips, tears and cracks - all these unpleasant marks call for high-level digital restoration. Of course, you can take your damaged photos to a professional, pay them a lot of money and spend days waiting for the result you may actually dislike. How about saving your family archive with your own hands?


To get the work done, you’ll need an easy yet powerful image editor. Adobe Photoshop is a well-known program to enhance all kinds of pictures, but it’s quite challenging to master and requires a top-of-the-line computer. PhotoWorks will become a lifesaver for newbies who want to repair their faded images without any professional skills. Sounds like you? Let’s take a closer look at the software and use it to restore photographs ruined by time.

Restore an old photo in PhotoWorks

Can't wait to restore your old photos? Watch the video lesson below and you'll see all the editing techniques photo gurus use to conceal nasty cracks and revive dull colors of faded pictures.


If you prefer written tutorials, keep on reading this post till the end and you'll learn all the secrets of old photo restoration. Follow seven simple steps and the result will surely amaze you.

Step 1. Digitize Your Old Photo

Before you start a rescue mission on your damaged photograph, you need to get its digital copy. The easiest way is to put it through a flatbed scanner. In this case, you’ll surely get a clear image without any flares. However, not everyone has an access to a scanner. Plan B is to reshoot your retro photograph with a camera or smartphone, and then upload it to your computer using a USB cable.

Step 2. Get Started with PhotoWorks

Now let’s see how to fix old photos with PhotoWorks. You’ll need to download the free trial of PhotoWorks and install it to your PC following all the instructions of the wizard. Once installation is complete, open your digitized picture in the program to retouch it.

Open an old photo in PhotoWorks

Open your scanned photograph in PhotoWorks

Step 3. Cut Away Worn-Out Corners

In most cases, old photos come with worn-out and even torn corners. Instead of spending much time to clean them up, it’s better to completely crop out these corners. Switch to the Tools tab and pick the Crop tool. Choose a preferred preset and move the crop handles until the damaged area is outside the rectangle. Push the Apply button to crop your photo.

Crop out faded areas of your old photo

Don’t be afraid to sacrifice some part of your old photo for a better result

Step 4. Repair Old Photos with Smart Brushes

To make old pictures look new, you need to remove all visible imprints of time. For that, move to the Retouch tab and choose the Healing Brush. This tool will help you get rid of small cracks and rips that cross the faces of the people in the photograph. Set a proper brush size. Adjust the Feather and Opacity settings to soften the transition between the retouched areas and the rest of the photo.

Restore the lost parts of an old photo

Use the Clone Stamp and Healing Brush to restore the damaged areas

To edit out larger tears, use the Clone Stamp as it replaces the damaged parts with pixels taken from the nearby unaffected areas. It’s better to apply the tool to consistent backgrounds like the backdrop or the man’s uniform.


Step 5. Make the Details More Distinct

In the past times photos were taken with classic cameras that couldn’t provide sufficient sharpness. With PhotoWorks, you can fix this issue digitally. If your edited picture looks rather blurred, get back to the Enhancement tab and switch to the Sharpness tab. Zoom in some area to better see all the changes and drag the Amount slider to the right.

Increase the sharpness of your old photo

Increase the sharpness settings to refurbish your old photo

Step 6. Enliven the Colors of Your Old Photo

It’s a common case when once bright colors fade away and photos begin to look lifeless. Even if they were shot in black and white, you can still make them as good as new. While on the Enhancement tab, increase the Saturation and Vibrance settings to enliven the colors. Don’t forget to add some contrast for a more dramatic look.

Boost the colors of your old photo

The smart color correction will bring back life to your old photo

Step 7. Recreate the Epoch with a Vintage Filter

PhotoWorks gives you a chance not only to touch up your old photographs, but also preserve their unique atmosphere. When you’ve finished editing the chosen image switch to the Effects tab and pick the Vintage group. A great variety of retro filters will help you make pictures look vintage without ruining their newly-restored view.

Apply a vintage filter to your old photo

Apply some vintage filter as a finishing touch

Always thought it’s impossible to turn the clock back for faded photographs? With PhotoWorks, you’ll be able to save treasured pictures from your family archive and give them many more years of digital life. Get started with the program today and add finesse to all the shots you took!

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