11 Best AI Image Upscalers in 2024 (Desktop and Online)

Here are 11 of the most effective image upscaling services in 2024 based on quality, popularity and reviews from existing users.

May 30, 2024
11 Best AI Image Upscalers in 2024 (Desktop and Online)
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In recent years, artificial intelligence has revolutionized the field of image upscaling, allowing us to enhance low-resolution images with astonishing results. Whether you're a photographer, graphic designer, or simply someone looking to improve the visual quality of your images, these AI-powered tools have become essential in achieving remarkable image enhancement.

What Is AI Image Upscaling & Why Use One?

AI image upscaling is a technique that enhances the resolution and quality of low-resolution images with the power of artificial intelligence. It involves employing deep learning techniques to analyze and understand the content of an image and then generating higher-resolution versions with improved details and clarity. While, traditional upscaling methods, such as bicubic interpolation, simply stretch and interpolate the existing pixels, which can result in blurry or pixelated images.

AI image upscalers use neural networks to train their models with vast amounts of high-resolution image data, just like how humans learn from the existing world, and then apply that knowledge to enhance the low-resolution images. Now such AI upscalers play a crucial role in various tasks, such as restoring old photos, enlarging images for printing, upscaling AI-generated artwork, enhancing close-up shots, and beyond.

Why Use An AI Powered Upscaler?

First off, the ease of use is something I can't stress enough. Imagine you've got a photo that's a bit too small for what you need, maybe for a print or a project. Instead of fiddling with complex software, where you're likely to get lost among sliders and settings, an AI image upscaler does the heavy lifting. You upload your photo, hit a button, and watch as it transforms. This simplicity saves me hours, especially when I'm on a tight deadline.

Now, let's talk about the magic behind these upscalers. They're not just stretching your image; they're smart. Using AI, these tools analyze your photo and enhance the resolution in a way that feels almost like magic. I've seen images go from blurry to sharp, with details I didn't even know were missing suddenly popping. This isn't just about making images bigger; it's about making them better.

The real kicker for me, though, is how these upscalers fill in the gaps. It's one thing to enlarge a photo, but another to enhance it in a way that looks natural. I've had photos with missing details, maybe from an old camera or a low-light situation, and watched as the upscaler brought them back to life. It's like having a professional retoucher at your fingertips, one that knows exactly what your photo needs to shine.

Factors To Consider When Choosing An AI Image Upscaler

I have considered the following 9 factors when determining the rankings of each upscaling tool in the list that follows below.

Image Quality Enhancement

I've upscaled everything from old family photos to gritty street photography. The key? Detail preservation. Some tools do a fantastic job at keeping the essence of the photo intact, making it look like it was originally shot in high resolution. I've seen tools that can turn a 480p image into a 4K masterpiece without making it look like a watercolor painting. Noise reduction is another feature to look out for. I've had images plagued with digital noise, and the right upscaler can smooth out those imperfections without turning the picture into mush. Sharpness is also another tricky one to target. Too little, and the image looks soft. Too much, and you're in 'uncanny valley' territory. Finding that sweet spot is crucial, and I've spent hours adjusting sliders to get there.

Resolution Increase Capabilities

I often work with artwork that needs to be printed in large formats. This means I need an upscaler that doesn't just double the dimensions but can go up to 8x without breaking a sweat. Custom resolution settings are my best friend here, allowing me to match the exact size needed for the print, down to the last pixel.

Speed and Efficiency

I don't have the luxury to wait around. Some tools process an image in the blink of an eye, while others take their sweet time, making me watch the progress bar crawl. Batch processing is a lifesaver, especially when I'm working on a series of images that all need the same treatment. It's like setting up a row of dominoes and watching them fall in one go.

Ease of Use

I've encountered tools that made me feel like I needed a PhD to use them. The best experiences come from tools with a clean, intuitive interface where everything I need is at my fingertips. I don't want to hunt through menus or decipher cryptic icons just to start an upscale.

Compatibility

I work across various platforms and software, so input and output format compatibility is non-negotiable. I've been burned by tools that output in obscure formats, leaving me to convert files before I can use them further. Integration with my existing software stack makes everything flow smoother, cutting down on the back-and-forth.

AI Technology

The results I get are only as good as the AI driving the tool. I've seen dramatic differences based on the training data used. Some tools excel with photographs but falter with illustrations. Regular updates to the AI model mean that the tool grows with me, adapting to new challenges and improving over time.

Cost

I'm always on the lookout for the best value. Some tools offer incredible features but at a steep subscription price. Others are more wallet-friendly but might lack advanced features. I've taken advantage of free trials to test the waters before committing my hard-earned cash.

Privacy and Security

Working with sensitive images means I can't afford to take risks with data security. I've turned away from tools that play fast and loose with user data, no matter how impressive their features might be.

Customer Support and Community

Even with the best tools, questions and issues pop up. Responsive customer support has turned potential disasters into minor hiccups. And there's nothing like a vibrant user community for swapping tips and tricks that aren't in the official documentation.

Best AI Image Upscalers for Desktop

Our review considers multiple perspectives to determine the overall best AI image upscale for you. The top list of AI image upscalers for desktops is based on AI upscaling capabilities, ease of use, compatibility, value for money, and additional features. Now here's a summary:

AI Image Upscalers Comparison
Tool Price Compatibility Key Features
VideoProc Converter AI Free trial; $25.95/yr Windows, Mac (soon) Upscales to 8K, frame interpolation, stabilization
Pixbim AI Enlarge PhotoLabs $49.99 Windows (64-bit), Mac Enlarge images by up to 400%
AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI $79.95/yr Windows (64-bit), Mac Upscales, sharpens, denoises photos
Gigapixel AI $99.99 Windows, Mac, Photoshop plugin Upscales by 200%, 400%, 600%
Adobe Camera Raw $10/mo Windows, Mac Doubles linear resolution, AI denoise
ON1 Resize AI $69.99 Desktop, Photoshop, Lightroom plugin Enlarges photos up to 700%
Waifu2x Free Online Specializes in anime images
Fotor AI Enlarger $39.99/yr Online Upscales images up to 4K
Pixelcut Image Upscaler $59.99/yr (pro) Online, iPhone, Android Upscales up to 4K, user-friendly

VideoProc Converter AI

Price: Free trial; plan starts from $25.95/yr for 3 PCs.

Compatibility: Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7; AI features for the Mac version are coming soon. 

Ideal for: Upscaling images up to 8K and videos up to 4K with crisp and natural results.

The first AI image upscaler worth trying is VideoProc Converter AI, the next-generation AI video and image upscaler. It can upscale images up to 8K (8000 × 8000px). and videos up to 4K. Benefiting from the innovative AI Super Resolution technologies, it goes beyond simple enlargement. After analyzing and understanding the content of an image, VideoProc Converter AI intelligently adds missing details and enhances the overall resolution. By applying corresponding AI models, you can instantly enhance aged photos, blurry images, animes, CG content, AI artworks, low-res videos, etc., and see a side-by-side comparison in the preview window.

In addition, VideoProc Converter AI has two more AI tools called Frame Interpolation and Stabilization for making smooth high FPS and steady videos. All the AI models and algorithms in it are ever evolving with new features and updates coming out all the time.

Main Features of VideoProc Converter AI:

  • Affordable, intuitive, and beginner-friendly AI image and video enhancer.
  • Full AI image enhancement solutions: upscaling, restoring, and noise reduction.
  • Advanced AI video upscaling models to revive old/low-res videos, DVDs, or VHS digital copies to UHD 4K.
  • Apply AI power to more options: frame interpolation, stabilization, deinterlacing, and slow motion.
  • Support a wide array of images (JPG, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, WebP, etc.) and videos in 320+ formats.
  • Minimal system requirements for AI features. Run fast and smoothly with full GPU acceleration.
  • Quick edit, convert, compress, download, screen record, and digitize DVDs in one stop.

Pixbim AI Enlarge PhotoLabs

Price: $49.99

Compatibility: Windows (64-bit only), Mac

Ideal for: Upscaling low-resolution photos for printing

Pixbin, a company concentrating on AI image processing, has launched a series of AI software to upscale, colorize, unblur, and remove objects from video/image. The one for AI image upscaling is called AI Enlarge PhotoLabs. It utilizes advanced deep convolutional neural networks to enhance image quality by enlarging images. Whether you possess low-resolution pictures or simply desire to enlarge a photo, Pixbim Enlarge AI effectively improves image resolution and delivers exceptional results. 

Main Features of Pixbim Enlarge AI:

  • Blow up images by up to 400%.
  • Enhance details automatically while increasing image resolutions.
  • Allow adjusting the scale and sharpness.
  • Preview the upscaled image.
  • You can use its free trial version for evaluation.

AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI

Price: $79.95 per year

Compatibility: Windows 11/10 (64-bit only), Mac

Ideal for: Desktop users seeking a comprehensive solution for image enhancement

AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI is an AI-based image upscaler that uses deep learning to upscale, sharpen, and denoise photos without artifacts. It works very similarly to Cutout Pro; another AI upscaler that has suddenly become popular in 2024. It’s more professional than online upscalers as you can fully control the image brightness, saturation, contrast, format, and scale. Trained by different genres of photos, AVCLabs delivers natural and accurate results. Its AI Face Refinement model is specifically designed to enhance portrait photography, polish skin tone, remove blemishes, and enhance eyes and lips features.

This tool also has a list of AI features, such as AI Denoiser, AI Color Calibrator, AI Background remover, and AI Colorizer, giving you a full image solution with the power of AI.

Main Features of AVCLabs Photo Enhancer AI:

  • Upscale animes, portraits, animals, and product pictures by 2 - 4 times.
  • Enhance image quality by AI denoising, sharpening, colorizing, and color calibrating.
  • Support JPG, PNG, WebP, BMP, JEPG images.
  • Various image upscaling AI models to choose from.

Gigapixel AI

Price: $99.99

Compatibility: Windows 11/10, Mac, Photoshop plugin

Ideal for: Enlarging images on desktop with advanced AI settings

Gigapixel AI is an expert in enhancing image resolution in a realistic manner. To overcome t poor quality outcomes, Gigapixel AI employs neural networks that are constantly trained on diverse sample images to grasp the art of generating lifelike details. With massive training on real photos, this AI image enhancer can now effectively enhance resolution for various subjects and textures, including portraits, wildlife, flora, landscapes, and images from DSLR, web, and CG.

It can work on its own, but you are also allowed to customize the AI settings to enhance its performance based on the subject. You can drag sliders to denoise, remove blurriness, and fix compression problems (specific to certain AI models).

Main Features of Gigapixel AI :

  • Many AI models for different types of pictures.
  • Upscale images by 200%, 400%, and even 600%.
  • Resize images without losing quality.
  • Good at recovering and creating details in faces.
  • Zoomable preview to check details.

Adobe Camera Raw

Price: $10 per month

Compatibility: Windows, Mac

Ideal for: Photographers and graphics designers to upscale low-res images

Since its initial release in 2003, Adobe Camera Raw has been an essential tool for professional photographers, allowing them to import and improve raw images. With the evolution of AI technologies, it features AI Denoise, Raw Details, and Super Resolution. The first two options are only compatible with RAW images. While, Super Resolution employs artificial intelligence to enhance the resolution of various types of graphic files, e.g. JPEG, PNG, TIFF, RAW.

To access the Enhance feature in Camera Raw, simply right-click on the image. A dialog box will then appear, allowing you to select Super Resolution. After a brief moment, a new DNG file will be generated with the word "Enhanced" added to its name.

Main Features of Adobe Camera Raw:

  • Doubles the linear resolution of an image with AI.
  • Bring out exceptional clarity and clean edges even in close-ups.
  • Upscale images to meet print standards (from 12MP to 48MP).
  • AI denoise, retouch small details, removes objects, and more.
  • Also apply to other Adobe Creative Cloud apps.

ON1 Resize AI

Price: $69.99

Compatibility: Windows 11/10 (64-bit only), Mac

Ideal for: Enlarging and restoring low-quality photos

ON1 Resize AI is an image upscaling app for desktops as well as a plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom. By utilizing cutting-edge AI technology, this advanced super-resolution feature empowers users to effortlessly enlarge photos or specific sections of a photo up to 700% or beyond while keeping details and sharpness.

In the upgrade in May 2023, the developers added a machine-learning model for face recovery. It detects and improves faces with realistic detail compensation, thus reviving old or small portrait and group photos. Also, it’s built with options to modify the upscaled images for printing, like gallery wrap and tiling.

Main Features of ON1 Resize AI:

  • Powerful batch image upscaling and restoring.
  • Updated neural networks to blow up images while maintaining quality.
  • Streamed workflow when integrated with host apps.
  • Remaster images into any desired size.
  • Allow fine-tuning image shadows, highlights, grain, etc.

Best AI Image Upscalers Online

While, if you don’t want to install any software on your computer, or you want some upscalers available for mobile devices, online tools are a good option. In a web browser with a network connection, you can convert low-resolution images and photos to a higher resolution in an instant. But notice that, image upscaling and AI computing are quite resource-consuming, so online tools may not perform as efficiently as decent AI upscalers running on the desktop.

Wifu2x

Price: Free

Compatibility: Online

Ideal for: Upscaling small anime images online for free

Waifu2x is an excellent choice for enlarging anime images. It utilizes neural networks to enhance the resolution of images, producing high-quality outcomes. While primarily designed for anime enthusiasts, it can also be used for various other types of photographs.

One of the key features of Waifu2x is its ability to remove noise from images during the upscaling process. Moreover, you can simply input the URL of the desired image instead of downloading and manually uploading it to the tool. Waifu2x automatically retrieves the image from the provided URL and initiates the upscaling procedure.

Main Features of Wifu2x:

  • Support images in PNG and WebP format.
  • Upscale images online for free without watermarks.
  • Accept images from the local library and via URLs.
  • Capable of restoring grainy images.
  • Multiple AI technologies to deal with artworks and reality photos.

Fotor AI Enlarger

Price: $39.99 per year

Compatibility: Online

Ideal for: Beginners who don’t want to fiddle with pro image upscaling settings.

Fotor is an online image editor featuring an AI image enlarger. It can upscale images of various types, including portraits, anime pictures, logos, and digital art, using AI technology to make them bigger and clearer. With Fotor, you can easily and quickly upscale images in just one click. Upload a picture to Fotor and AI will upscale it up to 4x its original size instantly, with no technical skills required. When you get into the website of Fotor, you can explore more AI image tools to enhance your photo by unblurring and relighting.

Main Features of Fotor AI Enlarger:

  • Free to use online (with watermark).
  • Images can be enlarged to 4K (4000 x 4000px)
  • Support images in JPG, PNG, and WebP.
  • Real-time comparison between the original and the enlarged images.
  • Pack with many AI image enhancement tools.

Pixelcut Image Upscaler

Price: Free, $59.99 per year for a pro version

Compatibility: Online, iPhone, Android

Ideal for: Upscaling images up to 4K online for free

Pixelcut is an easy online AI image editor with a 4K AI image upscaling feature. It comes with a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface for beginners and average users. The tool handles the upscaling process automatically and allows for downloading of the upscaled image without any watermarks. It offers flexibility in upscaling by 2x or 4x and has a basic online editor for making further adjustments to images such as adding text, shapes, backgrounds, or resizing and cropping photos.

Pixelcut also offers a subscription plan with unlimited background removal, batch photo editing, and a library of over 100 premium templates, fonts, backdrops, and overlays. Meanwhile, the subscription unlocks Pixelcut Pro on iPhone and Android devices.

Main Features of Pixelcut Image Upscaler:

  • Free to upscale images without watermarks.
  • Support many mainstream image formats.
  • Intelligently enlarge images up to 4K (free plan) and 8K (pro plan).
  • Upscale images without installation or account registration.

HitPaw Photo Enhancer

Price: Free with watermarks; $129.99 per year for unlimited use

Compatibility: Online

Ideal for: Upscaling portrait photos online without complicated settings

HitPaw Photo Enhancer is a powerful online AI tool with a beginner-friendly interface. It offers exceptional enhancements to image quality and can even convert a fully black-and-white photo into a colored copy using AI technology. In its pro version, you can upscale images by up to 800%. And during the process, you can enable the denoise option to give your photo a smoother look.

One thing distinguishes it from other online image enlargers it that, HitPaw employs different AI models for portraits and other general photos. So it’s more efficient to upscale images with human faces, animals, landscapes, buildings, flowers, and so forth.

Main Features of HitPaw Photo Enhancer :

  • Simple and intuitive to use.
  • Multiple output image formats.
  • Excel in restoring portrait photos.
  • Enlarge images with more than 4K resolution.


iCons8 Smart Upscaler

Price: Free (with watermarks); $99 (unlimited use)

Compatibility: Online, Mac

Ideal for: Enlarging JPEG and PNG images online

iCons5 uses AI technology to enhance photo quality without losing details. It upscales images through deep learning based on analyzing millions of images, constantly adding more data to its dataset. It works best with images in JPEG or PNG format at a resolution smaller than 3000×3000 px. The upscaling effect will be more pronounced with smaller images. Though it’s web-based, it accepts and upscales multiple images at a time. And the maximum scale reaches up to 7680x7680px.

Main Features of iCons8 Smart Upscaler:

  • Simple and intuitive for beginners.
  • Compare the original image and the result in real time.
  • Upscale images and photos to 4K in bulk.
  • Can be accessed by other software with its public API.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best free image upscaler?

VideoProc Converter AI. It allows using its AI Super Resolution feature to enlarge images up to 8K without watermarks. You may find many free image upscalers, but either add watermarks or impose limits on the maximum resolution.

How to upscale an image without losing quality?

to generate more pixels that really make sense to fill up the image. And that’s what AI image upscalers excel in. So if you want to upscale images without losing quality, turn to an AI image upscaler that has been well-trained with as many images as possible, like say, VideoProc Converter AI.

Can AI fix blurry photos?

It depends on the models or algorithms of the AI tool and the characteristics of the photos. For example, some AI tools are specialized in unblurring faces, some in flora photos, and some in fabric texture.