Old photo restoration : guide

Every old photo represents a treasure trove, a fragment of our memories that risks fading with time. Photo restoration is the ideal way to bring your memories back to life, but it can be difficult. Using the right tools and appropriate methods, we can resurrect an image tarnished by years and alterations.

Use Reimagine MyHeritage to restore old photos


Retouching old photos basically requires knowledge of photography and image-editing software. However, you can now restore your old images without actually having these skills thanks to Reimagine by MyHeritage.

Reimagine integrates artificial intelligence capable of scanning entire pages of a photo album. When you submit photos to it, the MyHeritage tool restores them and improves their quality. It can add color to photos that are originally black and white. You can also record audios to tell the story of each photo. 

Reimagine is available on Android and iOS and supports the following languages: 

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Dutch
  • Danish
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Swedish
  • Norwegian
  • Finnish

The image restoration application can also automatically detect individual photos and crop them. You can then store them carefully or share them with family members.

Usage process

  1. Download the Reimagine app and register or log in using your MyHeritage account
  2. Press the More button at the bottom of the home screen to scan or import your photos
  3. Then press “Finish” to access the images you’ve just scanned
  4. Use features to modify colors and enhance images
  5. Save photos after modifications

User reviews of Reimagine MyHeritage

MyHeritage’s Reimagine app captivates users with its innovative features and totals an overall rating of 4.9 out of 5 on Apple Store. Some users appreciate the app’s efficiency, particularly when it comes to enhancing old black and white photos. Others find the app fun and particularly useful for scanning albums. In addition, connection problems and minor difficulties in completely retouching images are mentioned, but quickly corrected by the developers.

Why restore old photos?

Old and yellowed photos are much more than just images. They are silent witnesses to our history, to past moments that have shaped our present. Retouching old images allows you to preserve this heritage, this link with your ancestors and the events that marked their lives.

By restoring your old photos, you can, for example, show your loved ones the best moments of your past. In fact, it’s a way of passing on a tangible vision of the past to future generations. It allows them to connect to their roots in a deep, personal way.

Separating old photos with other modern image processing tools

Aside from MyHeritage’s Reimagine, there are also modern tools for restoring old photos.


Fotor is also an online photo restoration tool for bringing memories back to life. This tool lets you digitize your precious photos with a simple scan. Thanks to its advanced technology based on artificial intelligence, Fotor offers a fast and efficient solution for retouching and revitalizing these photos.

Here are the steps you need to follow to make the most of this tool:

  1. Go to the Fotor website and click on the “Restore photo now” button. Select and import the photo you wish to restore.
  2. In the left-hand menu, click on the “AI Enlarger” tool. Fotor will then automatically enhance and correct your image in a matter of seconds.
  3. Once the restoration process is complete, click “Apply”.
  4. You can then download your enhanced image in high definition (300 dpi) in JPG or PNG format.


To restore your old photos damaged by scratches, cracks, PhotoWorks is also an ideal option. Without being a photography professional, you can follow these steps to quickly restore your old images.

  1. Scan your old photo with a flatbed scanner to get a high-quality digital copy. If you don’t have a scanner, photograph the photo with a camera or smartphone and transfer it to your computer.
  2. Download and install the free trial version of PhotoWorks. Once installed, open your scanned photo in the program.
  3. If your photo has imperfections (grated or torn corners), use the “Crop” tool to eliminate these damaged areas.
  4. To correct small imperfections, use the Correction Brush. For larger tears, use the Duplication Stamp.
  5. To increase the sharpness of details, go to the “Sharpness” tab and adjust the quantity slider.
  6. To revive colors, increase saturation, vibrance and contrast 

Adobe Photoshop

Because of its wide range of tools and features, Adobe Photoshop express is often considered the best tool for photo restoration. This tool requires a minimum of know-how, but with a little practice, you can successfully restore your photos. 

  1.  Start by digitizing your old photo using a scanner to obtain a high-quality digital version.
  2.  Launch Adobe Photoshop and open your scanned photo by going to File > Open.
  3. Duplicate the original layer to keep an intact copy of the photo.
  4. Use the Corrector tool to correct small imperfections, spots, or scratches.
  5. For more damaged areas, use the duplication pad to trim damaged areas.
  6. Go to Image > Settings > Levels or Curves to adjust brightness, contrast, and colors.
  7. Use the Enhancement filter to improve the sharpness of details.
  8. Once you’re satisfied, save your restored photo by choosing File > Save as.

In addition to Adobe Photoshop, other freeware programs such as Gimp, Photofiltre or Picas offer easy-to-use and effective image editing options.

Tips for preserving the quality of restored photos


After restoring your old photos, remember to back them up properly to maintain their quality. To do this, store your photos online on the Cloud or on your computer so you can print them at any time. After printing, opt for metal or cardboard boxes, placing acid-free paper between each photo. These boxes can be stored in a cupboard, drawer, or even under the bed. Make sure the chosen location is not too hot, too cold or too damp.

Avoid places like the attic, cellar or garage, which are subject to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. For optimum preservation, don’t use containers made of recycled materials, such as shoeboxes, which won’t preserve your photos over the long term. 

Maintenance of restored photos

Regular maintenance of your restored photos is just as crucial. Use special labels on your photos that will allow you to easily correct errors without damaging the image. If you want to display your photos in your living room or bedroom, consider using digital photo frames. Also, make sure you have clean, dry hands when handling photos. This will prevent you from transferring oils or dirt onto the images.