5 Best Tools to Upscale Your Images (Review)

Low-resolution, black-and-white, or low-quality images can be saved, and here are five tools to do that.

Remember the days when you’d look at old, grainy photos from your outdated camera or smartphone and feel stuck with their poor quality? Those days are over! With advancements in AI technology, you can now generate entirely new images from scratch using prompts, as well as breathe new life into your old, low-resolution pictures. AI-powered image upscaling tools can transform these photos into stunning high-resolution masterpieces.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time testing and experimenting with various image upscaling software. In this article, I’ll share with you the top 5 image upscaling tools that have impressed me the most. I’ll also provide before-and-after samples to showcase the remarkable improvements these tools can offer. So, if you’re looking to rejuvenate your old, pixelated photos, read on.

Tool’s Name Ideal For Platform Price
Gigapixel AI Desktop users who prefer offline functionality Desktop (Mac / Windows) $99.99 (One-time payment)
Upscale.media Light users who want to upscale up to 10 images/day Online Free / Starts at $29 per month
HitPaw Photo Enhancer Users seeking an offline, cost-effective alternative Desktop (Mac/Windows) Free Trial, $19.99/month, $79.99/year, $129.99 one-time
AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI Desktop users wanting an all-in-one solution Desktop (Mac/Windows) $19.95/month, $79.95/year, $159.90 one-time
Pixelcut.ai Users preferring online image upscaling Online Free, $4.99/month (billed annually), $9.99/month

1. Gigapixel AI (Mac / Windows)

Ideal for: Desktop users who prefer offline functionality and want to upscale images without an internet connection.

Gigapixel AI interface screenshot
Gigapixel AI Interface

Gigapixel AI, by Topaz Labs, is one of the best image upscaling apps I’ve ever used. The interface is user-friendly and offers a reasonable range of features. Beyond just upscaling, it provides customization options to adjust your images before initiating the upscaling process. The app also has a bulk upscaling feature, which can be useful if you have multiple images to work on.

A notable feature is the preview function, which displays a side-by-side comparison of the original and upscaled images before completing the process. This is practical for determining the extent of upscaling you might want to apply and for navigating through the app’s settings.

Gigapixel AI side-by-side comparison of original and upscaled images
Side-by-Side Comparison

In terms of file compatibility, the app supports several types, including JPG, JPEG, TIF, TIFF, PNG, and DNG. It offers preset scaling options like 0.5x, 2x, 4x, and 6x, as well as the ability to set a custom scaling percentage up to 600% of the original size.

Gigapixel AI includes different AI models to suit various types of images. The “Standard” option is suitable for regular photos, while “Art & CG” is more appropriate for artwork and scanned images. For low-resolution or highly compressed images, there are specific options like “Low Res” and “Very Compressed.”

Gigapixel AI available AI models for image upscaling
AI Models for Upscaling

The app also has some additional features like noise reduction and blurriness removal. It offers face recovery and gamma correction functionalities as well. One practical feature is the ability to add predetermined prefixes and suffixes to the filenames of upscaled images.


Click image to see it in full resolution.

Original (500×500 px) Upscaled (4x)
Original image at 500x500 pixels Image upscaled 4 times using Gigapixel AI

You can download the app for free to test it out, but any images you create will have a large watermark right in the middle. If you want to remove the watermark, the app costs $99.99. This is a one-time payment, and there are no subscription fees.

  • High-quality output with up to 6x upscaling
  • One-time payment for lifetime use
  • Free trial adds watermark to images
  • Large file size and extra AI model downloads required

2. Upscale.media (Online)

Ideal for: Light users who want to upscale up to 10 images per day for free online without committing to a paid service.

Upscale.media interface screenshot
Upscale.media Interface

If you prefer not to clutter your PC with additional software just for image upscaling, then Upscale.media by PixelBin.io is for you. It’s an online tool that lets you upscale images right from your web browser. The best part? You can upscale up to 10 images per day without even needing to create an account. And if you do decide to register, you get the added benefit of being able to upload multiple (bulk) images at once.

When it comes to file compatibility, Upscale.media has got you covered. It supports PNG, JPEG, and WEBP formats, and you can upload images with resolutions up to 1500×1500 pixels.

After you’ve uploaded your image, the tool automatically works its magic to double the size. You’ll find a handy “Upscaled” tab that shows a side-by-side comparison of the original, upscaled, and AI-upscaled versions of your image. This feature is super helpful because it lets you see the quality difference and decide if the upscaled version meets your needs.

Upscale.media side-by-side comparison tab
Comparison Tab

And if you’re happy with the results, downloading the upscaled image is a breeze. But if you want to take things up a notch, you also have the option to further upscale the image to 4x its original size. Plus, the downloaded image comes without any watermarks, so it’s ready to use right away.

Upscale.media options for 2x and 4x upscaling
2x and 4x Options

Click image to see it in full resolution.

Original (500×500 px) Upscaled (4x)
Original image at 500x500 pixels Image upscaled 4 times using Upscale.media

Free Account:

  • Credits: You get 45 credits to upscale 45 images.
  • Storage: Comes with 15GB of storage space.

Subscription Plan:

  • Cost: Starts at $29 per month.
  • Credits: You receive 300 credits, allowing you to upscale up to 300 images.
  • Storage: Generous 100GB of storage space included.
  • No sign-up required for image upscaling
  • 10 free upscales per day for non-signup users
  • Bulk image upscaling requires an account

3. HitPaw Photo Enhancer (Mac / Windows)

Ideal for: Users seeking an offline, cost-effective alternative to Gigapixel AI.

HitPaw Photo Enhancer interface screenshot
HitPaw Photo Enhancer Interface

HitPaw’s Photo Enhancer is a relatively easy-to-use photo upscaling app. You can simply drag and drop your images into the application. Once uploaded, you have the option to choose from various AI models. The ‘Quality’ model is well-suited for photos with lower resolution, while the ‘Fast’ model is more appropriate for larger, high-resolution images.

HitPaw Photo Enhancer general AI model options
General AI Models

The app also provides specialized models for specific needs. For instance, the ‘Denoise Model’ is designed to eliminate noise in photos, and the ‘Face Model’ is tailored for portrait photography. Additional options include the ability to colorize black and white images and calibrate colors in photos that may be underexposed or lack saturation. If your photos have scratches, there’s even a model to address that issue.

HitPaw Photo Enhancer specialized AI models
More AI Models

Before finalizing your edits, you can use the ‘Preview’ button to compare the original and enhanced versions of your images. At this stage, you also have the option to add more photos for enhancement and adjust the final output’s resolution. You can specify the folder where you’d like the enhanced images to be saved as well.

HitPaw Photo Enhancer side-by-side comparison of original and enhanced images
Image Comparison

It’s important to note that if you’re using the free or trial version of the app, you won’t be able to export your images, and a watermark will appear on the preview.


Click image to see it in full resolution.

Original (500×500 px) Upscaled (4x)
Original image at 500x500 pixels Image upscaled 4 times using HitPaw Photo Enhancer
  • Free Trial: You can try the app for free, but you won’t be able to save or export your edited photos.
  • Monthly Plan: For $19.99 per month, you get full access to all features and can export your work.
  • Yearly Plan: Pay $79.99 for a year and enjoy all the app’s features at a discounted rate.
  • One-Time Purchase: Pay a one-time fee of $129.99 to own the app forever with no additional charges.
  • User-friendly interface
  • High-quality output
  • No export for free users
  • Slow installation process

4. AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI (Mac / Windows)

Ideal for: Desktop users who want an all-in-one solution for image upscaling, denoising, color calibration, and background removal.

AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI interface screenshot
AVCLabs Photo Enhancer Interface

If you’ve been dealing with low-quality images, you might want to consider AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI. This application utilizes AI to provide a variety of tools aimed at improving your photos. It offers basic features like image sharpening and noise reduction, as well as more specialized options such as color adjustment and background removal.

AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI feature list
Feature List

One notable function of AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI is its AI-based face detection and recognition. This is especially useful for photos that focus on facial details, like portraits or group pictures.

The app is capable of enlarging images by up to 400% while aiming to preserve the original quality. It also automatically adjusts various elements like noise levels, sharpness, and brightness to enhance your photos.

AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI 400% enlargement example
400% Enlargement

AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI supports multiple image formats including JPG, JPEG, PNG, and BMP. Installing the app is fairly simple, although it does require adding some extra AI components. Once everything is set up, you can easily drag and drop images into the application, adjust settings as needed, and then click “Save All” to obtain your improved image.


Click image to see it in full resolution.

Original (500×500 px) Upscaled (4x)
Original image at 500x500 pixels Image upscaled 4 times using AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI
  • Monthly Plan: $19.95 per month
  • Annual Plan: $79.95 per year
  • Lifetime Plan: $159.90 (one-time payment)
  • Easy to use
  • Bulk image upscaling supported
  • No before-and-after preview
  • Watermark on images in free trial

5. Pixelcut.ai (Online)

Ideal for: Users who prefer online image upscaling and want to avoid installing desktop applications.

Pixelcut.ai interface screenshot
Pixelcut.ai Interface

Last but not least, we have Pixelcut.ai, an online tool that allows you to upscale images. Similar to Upscale.media, which we mentioned earlier, it also does not require you to sign up for an account.

With its simple drag-and-drop interface, uploading the image you want to upscale is a breeze. The tool automatically handles the upscaling process for you. Once your image is upscaled, you can download it by clicking the “Download HD” button located at the top right corner of the screen. The downloaded upscaled images come without any watermarks, which is a plus.

Pixelcut.ai offers flexibility in upscaling, allowing you to enlarge your image by either 2x or 4x. The platform also features a built-in online editor. Although it’s limited in its capabilities, this basic editor enables you to make further adjustments to your images. You can add text, shapes, and backgrounds, as well as resize or crop your photos to meet your specific needs.

Pixelcut.ai built-in image editor
Built-in Editor

Additionally, Pixelcut.ai offers a subscription plan. By upgrading, you gain access to features like unlimited background removal, batch photo editing, and an extensive library of over 100 premium templates, fonts, backdrops, and overlays. The subscription also unlocks Pixelcut Pro on both iPhone and Android devices.


Click image to see it in full resolution.

Original (500×500 px) Upscaled (4x)
Original image at 500x500 pixels Image upscaled 4 times using Pixelcut.ai
  • Free: You can upscale a single image for free.
  • Yearly Plan: Get a 50% discount on the original yearly price of $59.99. You’ll only pay $4.99 each month when billed annually.
  • Monthly Plan: Pay $9.99 each month if you prefer a month-to-month subscription.
  • Free to use
  • No watermark
  • Limited additional features