How to Make Images Larger Without Losing Quality: Real Tests! (2022)

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Need a way to make images larger without losing quality?

Thankfully, there are some “smart” tools that can help you easily enlarge images without the pixelation issues you get if you try to increase an image’s dimensions with a “dumb” photo editing tool.

All you do is plug in your photo. Then, the tools use fancy algorithms to generate an enlarged version that looks surprisingly normal.

In this post, I’ve tested six of the best image enlarger tools and I’ll share the tools and the test results with you.

The tools to make images larger without losing quality

Here’s the lineup of tools I’ve tested:

Best tools to resize and make images larger without losing quality

To help you understand how well these tools work, I ran my own tests using sample images.

To maintain consistency during testing, I used the following two images when running every image enlargement tool. The point is to show results from a detailed image, and to demonstrate that the quality often ends up better if you begin with a larger file.

I also ran two tests for each image: 2x the original size and 8x the original size. Click on any of the test pictures to see the full-size image.

Best tools to make images larger without losing quality

1. Upscalepics

Upscalepics offers several free image upscale elements, along with affordable pricing plans. The online resizer doesn’t require a software download, yet it proved to be one of the more effective tools for expanding the size of an image.

Upscalepics - make images larger without losing quality

Key features:

  • Browser-based – no software to download.
  • The tool uses artificial intelligence to add extra data to your photo based on past optimizations.
  • Textures and tones improve during the upload.
  • JPG noise gets stripped from your image during the upload.
  • It’s one of the easiest, fastest tools we’ve tested for expanding the size of an image without much quality loss.
  • You can download enlarged photos as JPG or PNG files.

Pricing

Upscalepics offers two plans:

Once you surpass your free resizes, the following pricing applies:

  • Free: $0 for 5 image enlargements, along with unlimited image editing and compression.
  • Upscalepics Plus: $3 per month for unlimited usage, up to 8x upscaling, bulk processing, unlimited noise removal, and full customer support. There’s a 7-day money-back guarantee, and you can cancel whenever you want. It’s $3 per month for a prepaid yearly plan and $5 per month if you choose monthly payments.

Test results

The actual file size of the photos increased a considerable amount compared to other tools. Our first (larger) image shows excellent detail when expanded to a larger file. The second (smaller original file) photo looks okay when shrunk down for this blog post, but the true full size has noticeable distortion (click the image to open it in a new tab).

Results for Image 1:

Results for Image 2:

2. On1 Resize

On1 Resize is a premium desktop software with a myriad of features for expanding an image’s size, creating printable graphics, and simulating what a photo will actually look like when printed.

On1 Resize

Key features:

  • Options to resize a photo to up to 1,000% of the original size.
  • A feature called soft-proofing is available for simulating what a real print looks like on a computer screen.
  • Use printing tools for the sleekest real-world appearance.
  • Batch processing.
  • RAW image editing.
  • Access integrations with other software like Photoshop.
  • It has a rapid browsing solution for quickly finding images in a list of thousands.
  • Access to many other tools from On1, such as NoNoise AI, Portrait AI, and an HDR tool.

Pricing

On1 offers a free trial to test the software. After that, the pricing looks like this:

  • ON1 Resize: $69.99 to install On1 Resize on five computers and get the Lightroom and Photoshop integrations.
  • On1 Professional Plugin Bundle: $149.99 for On1 Resize and a package of all other On1 plugins like HDR, Portrait AI, Resize, Effects, and NoNoise AI.

Test results

Naturally, the file sizes increased with all tests. They didn’t get too big, with each expansion correlating with the respective dimensions. The first test for Image 1 is high-quality but with a softer appearance. Interestingly enough, the second (larger) conversion for Image 1 came out clearer. It’s a beautiful transformation.

Image 2 (the smaller original file) has similar results. The first test (2x the size) presented a softer image, with the larger (8x the size) file ending up looking a little nicer. It’s not nearly as clean as the Image 1 test, but not bad. It’s clear that the Image 2 results have distortions like blurring.

Results for Image 1:

Results for Image 2:

3. ImageEnlarger.com

ImageEnlarger.com boasts the simplest of interfaces. Some may like this, but others will note that it looks like something from another era.

Having said that, you can’t beat the straightforwardness of the process. You upload an image, choose a format, then select the desired dimensions.

make images larger without losing quality with ImageEnlarger.com

Key features:

  • Upload a file within seconds.
  • The interface is online, with no software to download.
  • You can upload and resize JPG and PNG files.
  • Choose to zoom an image based on percentage.
  • Or choose to select a target width or height.
  • The website provides the same tool in multiple languages.

Pricing

The ImageEnlarger.com tool is completely free, with a Donate button to support the developers.

Test results

All tests for ImageEnlarger.com kept the final file sizes much smaller than the competition.

Both tests for Image 1 came out far better than I had expected. I’d argue that the resolution of each enlarged photo is higher-quality than every other tool on this list–at least without having to touch any editing features.

The Image 2 tests were a different story. They each have noticeable blurring and slight color changes as the images get bigger and bigger. It appears that ImageEnlarger.com provides a quick, quality enlarged photo as long as the original file isn’t too small.

There’s also a maximum width limitation, which is a bummer when trying to make images larger without losing quality.

Results for Image 1:

Results for Image 2:

4. Befunky

Befunky serves as an online image editor and enhancer with powerful options for resizing, making touch-ups, and adding effects. Yet, it also offers unique features for incorporating creative textures and turning regular photos into artwork, like if you wanted to make one of your photos look like a painting or drawing.

For enlarging images, Bufunky provides a quick, free resizing tool to increase the width, height, and overall size of your photos by a percentage. You’ll find hundreds of photo editing features, but you should go to Edit → Resize if you want to enlarge an image.

Befunky

Key features:

  • Increase image size by adjusting the width and height.
  • Or opt to enlarge the photo by choosing percentage increases for the X and Y scales.
  • There’s an option to lock the aspect ratio, which is necessary for enlarging graphics.
  • Bufunky has an Image Manager module for organizing photos and completing batch enlargements.
  • You can batch enlarge by scale, longest side, width, height, or exact size. You can also add a background color when batch resizing.
  • Use multiple saving options like downloading an enlarged photo to your computer, saving it as a Befunky project, or sending it to external apps like Google Drive, Google Photos, Facebook, Dropbox, Pinterest, or Twitter.
  • Save resized photos in JPG, PNG, or PDF format. You can also adjust the image quality before downloading.
  • You can use advanced photo editing tools on the same screen after making your image larger. For instance, you could send the result to an AI image enhancer, sharpening tool, or the other sections for adding borders, filters, or painting effects.

Pricing

The Befunky Resize tool is free to use without limitations.

The Befunky Plus plan starts at $4.99 per month for a yearly plan and $9.99 per month when billed monthly. That opens up features like the one-click AI image enhancer, more smart editing tools, a background remover, the batch image editor, and many more filters, effects, and productivity options.

Test results

Increasing the size of Image 1 by 2x produced solid results, with slight blurring around the edges which are only noticeable when examined while zoomed in. Befunky maxed out at a 682% increase when locking the aspect ratio for Image 1. It appears that batch editing allows for larger increases, and you can go higher than this if you don’t lock the aspect ratio or use smaller images. Regardless, the maximum 6.8x increase for Image 1 showed similar results as the previous test: we lose marginal quality from the original, but the 6.8x increase appears rather similar to the edit at 2x.

Image 2 was a different story, as the 2x increase shows a decent amount of blurring, and the 8x increase looks silly. I will note that smaller images allow for you to increase by higher percentages in Befunky (I could reach 8x with Image 2). Not to mention, the file sizes remain manageable.

The test showed obvious strengths and weaknesses. You can’t start with a tiny photo and expect quality results when enlarging with Befunky. You also shouldn’t expect print-worthy resolution. However, we like it as one of the best options for quickly uploading a reasonably sized image and receiving a larger version that looks wonderful on digital devices. You wouldn’t have any problem using the results from Image 1 on a website or blog. It’s also an enormous benefit that Befunky is free and so easy to use. There’s also the sharpening tool that could help after the resize.

Results for Image 1:

Results for Image 2:

5. Reshade

Reshade is free desktop software made primarily for increasing image photo sizes and enhancing those photos in the process. I like that it’s lightweight software with no high price tag. Not to mention, you can bulk upload images.

Reshade

Key features:

  • The main feature is for increasing the size of a photo without diminishing the quality.
  • You can crop and enhance photos in the editor.
  • It provides batch processing for larger collections.
  • You’re able to upload and enhance a wide range of formats like JPG, TIFF, and PNG.
  • You’re not stuck with what the software gives you after a resize. You can refocus and sharpen the photos afterward.
  • The software offers noise removal.
  • There’s a feature to enlarge, enhance, and prepare images for printing.

Pricing

Reshade is free for Windows PCs.

Test results

Reshade did an incredible job of keeping file sizes on the low end while still keeping around the quality of what one would expect from a digital photo.

Reshade seems to incorporate a vector resizing strategy, where it lets you add animation-like elements to the larger photos to fill in the data. As long as you don’t go overboard with this, your photos maintain a crisp and colorful appearance. They even look kind of like paintings if done right.

The Image 1 tests both look beautiful.

The Image 2 tests have more blur to them, but they’re still superior compared to other tools we’ve tested. I’m sure I could’ve improved the results with the simple post-processing tools available.

Overall, I’d argue that Reshade had the best results out of every tool on this list.

Results for Image 1:

Results for Image 2:

6. GIMP

GIMP is an open-source alternative to Photoshop. It’s a popular photo manipulation software that you download onto your desktop. The best part about GIMP is that it has a strong following for you to research features, and there’s no limit to what you can do with the software. It’s far more than an image enlarger.

GIMP

Key features:

  • Enlarge photos with the click of a button and choose from a handful of resizing formats.
  • You receive a customizable desktop interface for complete photo manipulation.
  • Enhance photos and digitally retouch them for printing.
  • Edit dozens of image formats.
  • Choose from several interpolation methods when making a photo larger.
  • Run GIMP in one of the many languages provided.

Pricing

GIMP is free.

Test results

I found that selecting “None” for the quality interpolation rendered the best results. However, it depended on the image size, so feel free to adjust these as you resize.

The resulting file sizes didn’t correlate with the dimensions, which I don’t understand. It makes me think that there’s inconsistency with the resizer. For instance, the 2400 x 1600 px file is 167 KB, whereas the 600 x 400 px file is 249 KB. I’d assume those would be reversed.

Anyway, both tests for Image 1 were stunning. The detail remained, with minor color changes and some beautiful depth.

GIMP struggled significantly with Image 2. I couldn’t make it work, which leads me to believe that you must have a slightly larger original photo for GIMP to serve as a viable solution to make images larger without losing quality.

Results for Image 1:

Results for Image 2:

Which photo enlarger is best for you?

I suggest trying them all and potentially having one or two on your computer. The reason for this is that all photos resize differently. Some of the tools work better with drawings, or vector-styled, graphics. Others performed great for detailed landscape images, but not for vectors or shape-based graphics (like logos).

Based on the image quality and file size, here’s my final ranking:

  • 🥇 Reshade
  • 🥈 GIMP
  • 🥉 UpscalePics
  • 👏 ImageEnlarger.com, On1Resize, Befunky

Once you have your resized image, you still want to optimize it so that the larger image doesn’t slow down your website. To help you do that, check out some of these guides:

Do you still have any questions about how to make images larger without losing quality? Ask us in the comments!

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