Scan photos for enlarging
Learn how to scan your photos to create stunning enlarged photo prints
Support & Drivers
Learn how to scan your photos to create striking photo enlargements, discover the importance of resolution when scanning photos to enlarge, and find the techniques and tools you need to create premium quality prints.
Discover the benefits of scanning and enlarging
Scanning and enlarging let's you improve the quality of your favorite camera phone photos.
There are many reasons to scan your photo prints, but have you considered the possibilities of scanning and magnifying your images? When you scan to enlarge, you can:
- Improve the quality of low-resolution photos from e-mails or camera phones.
- Turn a 4" x 6" print or even a wallet-sized photo into a large, striking print, suitable for framing.
- Create a high-quality master photo file that gives you the flexibility to do more with your photo later.
Before you start
When enlarging your favorite snapshots, be sure to scan at high resolution and save your scan as a TIFF file to ensure the highest-quality print.
There are two things to keep in mind before enlarging any photo: resolution and file formats.
Resolution affects the quality of your images and photo enlargements. You must scan at a high enough resolution, so that details are not lost when the image is blown up.
To determine the right resolution, double the dpi for each time you double the print size, using 300 dpi as the starting point. For example, if you want to double a 4" x 6" scan to create an 8" x 10" print, set your resolution to 600 dpi.
File formats affect detail and the file size. When enlarging photos, it’s best to save your scan as a TIFF file. TIFFs provide a greater amount of detail, which you risk losing when magnifying an image.
Learn how megapixels affect photo print size or read on to get started!
How to enlarge scanned photos
In Parts 1 and 2, we’ll show you how to scan a 4" x 6" and enlarge it up to an 8" x 10". These steps use Windows Live Essentials: Photo Gallery and are for the HP Photosmart 6520 e-All-in-One. The steps may be similar to other HP printers; check your manual for your printer’s specific steps.
Part 1: Scan
Step 4: You must scan at a high resolution, so you don’t lose the details. To enlarge a 4" x 6" up to an 8" x 10", select 600 dpi.
From your computer:
- Double-click the printer icon on your desktop or go to your computer’s program folder and choose HP.
- Click your printer’s folder and open the software.
- Under Scanner Actions, click Scan a Document or Photo.
- Under Resolution, choose 600 dpi.
- Under File Type, choose TIFF.
- Make sure the Show Scan Preview box is checked and then click Scan.
Once your preview loads:
- Rotate the image and adjust the brightness and contrast as needed.
- Adjust the edges of the scan area in the preview box then click Preview.
- If you are satisfied, click Save.
Name your photo and choose where to save it. This will start the scan.
Part 2: Print
Be sure to adjust your printer settings to match the paper size, type, and print size.
From your computer:
- Open your scanned image using your favorite image software. Again, we are using Windows Live Essentials: Photo Gallery.
- Click Print.
- In the Print Pictures menu, choose your desired printer.
- Under Paper Size, select 8.5" x 11" or Letter.
- Select your paper type.
- Choose the 8" x 10" print size from the menu on the right.
- Click Print.
Note that 8" x 10" is an uncommon photo paper size. See the Quick Tips section below to learn more.
Quick tips for scanning to enlarge
Before scanning at the highest resolution, use the preview feature to see how your scan will turn out.
Using your image scanning software, rotate your image and then crop it (if necessary) to create a more focused enlargement.
Because flaws are much more noticeable in larger prints, follow these photo scanning tips to ensure the highest quality photo enlargements:
- Preview: Before clicking Scan, use the preview feature. Previewing the layout only takes seconds while scanning at higher resolutions take longer.
- Crop: Create a more focused enlargement by rotating and then cropping your image right from your image scanning software.
- Edit: Make minor edits such as removing red-eye, adjusting brightness and contrast, and cleaning up dust and scratches that could show up on your photo enlargement.
- Improve: Scanning photos at a high resolution can help improve the quality of low-resolution digital photos.
- Optimize: If given the choice in your scanning software, choose to optimize for image quality over optimizing for scanning speed.
- Save: You might want to create an 8" x 10" photo, but that’s not a common photo paper size. Learn how save money by printing your own 8" x 10" photos on standard 8.5" x 11" paper.
Scan and print wide-format photos
Create beautiful photo prints up to 13" x 19", plus copy, scan, and fax everyday documents, with the HP Officejet 7500A Wide-Format e-All-in-One.Buy Now
Want superior color accuracy and high-definition images? It's easy with the HP Scanjet G4050 Photo Scanner, whether you're making photo enlargements, restoring old photos, converting slides to digital photos, or copying documents.
With a wide-format printer like the HP Officejet 7500A Wide-Format e-All-in-One, you can create stunning, professional quality photo prints up to 13" x 19" in size, from the comfort of your home or office.
Check out our buying guides to learn more:
- Optimize the quality of your prints by choosing the right paper for your HP photo printer.
- Discover how to print in sizes up to 13" x 19" with an HP wide-format printer.
- Learn how to pick paper for your wide-format printer and bring your enlarged photo prints to life.