Restore a photo in five steps
Learn how to restore your damaged photos.
Support & Drivers
Many people would count photos—especially treasured family pictures—as their most valued possessions. However, when your pictures have spent years in a shoebox, they can become faded, discolored, and scratched. We'll show you how to use the right image restoration tools and a few key editing techniques to repair your cherished photos.
If you're looking for an overview of photo restoration, you can find information here.
Step 1: Scan your photo
The HP Scanjet G4050 Photo Scanner offers high-quality scans at the touch of a button.
Use an HP e-All-in-One, such as the HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-One, to scan your photo originals.
Scan your photo original so that you can fix the digital file with editing software.
- Try an HP Photo scanner, such as the HP Scanjet G4050 Photo Scanner, for high-quality, high-definition scans. Explore the HP Photo scanner buying guide to find a photo scanner that best suits your imaging needs.
- You can also use an HP All-in-One with scanning capabilities, such as the HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-One. See the entire selection of HP All-in-Ones.
- Before scanning, check your pictures for dirt, dust, lint, or smudges. If needed, gently clean the photos using a soft brush or cloth—both available at photo supply stores.
- Be sure your scanner glass is also clean. Spray a small amount of nonabrasive glass cleaner onto a soft cloth and wipe the glass to remove any dust or debris.
- Scan your photos at 300 dpi (dots per inch), and save them as TIFF files for future editing without compromising image quality.
- Discover more photo scanning basics, including additional information on resolution, file formats, and making enlargements.
Step 2: Crop your photo
Crop your image to instantly eliminate damaged areas of the photo.
Significantly improve your image by cropping out unnecessary or damaged portions of your photo. Cropping can also improve photos by removing background clutter and making your subject the clear center of attention.
Remember to save your photo as a different file each time you crop. If you don't like your results, you can always return to your most recent version.
Step 3: Adjust the lighting in your photo
Improve the lighting in your photo by adjusting the brightness and contrast
Over time, photos can fade. Altering the lighting is one way to help bring your image back to life.
- Use the Adjust exposure tool available in Windows Live Photo Gallery to alter the brightness, contrast, and saturation levels of your image. Simply move the slider from left to right to modify each element.
- Brightness affects light levels, Contrast helps distinguish between light and dark, and Saturation will bring add vibrancy to the colors within your photo.
Step 4: Color correct your photo
Use your software's Adjust Color tool to alter the temperature, tint, and saturation levels in your photo.
Throughout the years, photos often experience discoloration as well as fading. Use your editing software's color correction tools to turn back time.
- Windows Live Photo Galleryfeatures an Adjust Color tool you can use to restore faded colors. Use the Adjust Color sliders to alter the photo temperature, tint, and saturation levels.
- Use the Levels tool in Adobe Photoshop software to adjust the brightness and contrast of individual colors.
- The Levels tool is also helpful for adjusting shadows and highlights.
Step 5: Remove dust, scratches, and blur
Use the Sharpen tools found in photo editing software to remove blur from your image.
If needed, you can use tools and filters to clean and mend your photo. And for the final step in photo restoration, remove blur by sharpening your image.
- Adobe Photoshop software offers a Dust and Scratches filter that helps get rid of dust, specks, and scratches.
- Some HP Scanjet photo scanners also feature dust and scratch removal—without the use of a PC.
- Discover tips and instructions on how to improve your original photo prints through scanning.
- In Windows Live Photo Gallery, use the Sharpen tool to help eliminate blur in your photo. The farther right you move the tool's slider, the sharper the image becomes.
Get Windows Live Photo Gallery or Adobe Photoshop software
Visit Windows Live Photo Gallery to download the free software application.
From basic editing techniques to advanced image retouching, find the software best suited to your photo restoration needs.
- Try Windows Live Photo Gallery for simple photo editing. The free, downloadable software allows you to perform basic photo edits such as adjusting your picture's exposure and color, straightening and cropping your image, removing red-eye, and more.
- Adobe Photoshop software offers additional tools for more advanced restoration, like repairing photos with torn or missing pieces, or editing specific sections of your image.
Print and archive your photos
After you've restored your photos, use the HP Photosmart 6510 e-All-in-One for high-quality prints.
When you're ready to print your restored images, make sure you have everything you need to share your photos with friends and family.
- Use an HP Photosmart printer, such as the HP Photosmart 6510 e-All-in-One, for high-quality prints, plus scanning and copying. Plus, with HP ePrint mobile printing, you can print e-mails, photos, and everyday documents from your mobile device!1
- Try HP Photo Value Packs for a cost-effective way to print your restored photos.
- Archiving your photos to DVD is an easy and reliable way to store and preserve your memories.
- Visit HP Digital Photography to find more digital photo editing tips and ideas.