The Best Options for Enlarging Images Without Loss of Quality

Many of us have encountered the need to enlarge an image. As a rule, it is necessary for posting on a blog or subsequent printing. The main problem is, of course, the loss of quality. If with the reduction of photos everything is very simple and straightforward, then after enlarging the image becomes blurry and fuzzy, sometimes even pixels are visible. The problem can be solved with the help of various tools and photo editors. Let’s figure out which are the best to use.

You can read this article or further explore the page on how to make pictures bigger in Skylum’s blog.

So why do we lose picture quality?

The most common format used on the Internet is a bitmap, which also includes all PNG and JPEG files. These images are made up of thousands of pixels (small squares), some of which you can see when you zoom in. Each of these pixels is mapped to a certain position in the image, which is where the name “bitmap” comes in.

Most editors reduce or enlarge the pixels, thus changing the size of the photo. In the first case, there is no visible loss of quality. When you enlarge the picture, the pixels become more visible and the image becomes very blurry and fuzzy. 

The problem can be solved by compensating each enlarged pixel to match the properties of the nearest pixel. This technique is called fractal interpolation, or simply fractals. You can get great results with fractals, without losing any of the photographic quality. Let’s look at some popular applications with simple and intuitive tools for enlarging your photos.

ON1 Resize AI

Previously, this software was called Perfect Resize. It allows you to perfectly resize your photos without any loss of quality thanks to advanced AI-based tools. In addition, there are many options for editing any kind of picture. ON1 Resize AI can be used as a standalone program, or as a plugin. The program uses AI to keep your photos high resolution. Excellent results are guaranteed even if the size of the photo is greatly increased, or you are only working with a certain area.

This software will have to be purchased and cannot be used for free. In addition, most image editing tools are purchased as a package. You can also choose an option with optional Cloud Sync storage, which will cost more. This is a good option if you constantly have to resize images, but if you only occasionally engage such an option, there are more affordable editors out there.

Luminar Neo

This is a great image editor that can also work as standalone software or a plug-in. It can help you solve a wide range of tasks at once in just a couple of minutes, from changing the exposure and adding various effects to enlarging the photo. If the photo gets bigger, the quality is not lost, because AI-based tools are used here too.

All you have to do is find an image in the library and select Resize. Options will appear to save the original size or to set the number of pixels for the long or short edge. You will be able to choose the size arbitrarily by entering pixels for height and width. The Luminar Neo library also makes it very easy to organize your photos. You can buy this image editor by subscription or buy a lifetime license outright. There is a free trial period of 7 days.

We encourage you to use Luminar Neo because it is very fast, with a simple interface that you won’t have to learn for a long time. This program will be your best assistant when you need to qualitatively edit any photo or increase its size without the slightest loss of quality


Pretty handy and compact photo editing software. It is completely free, but unfortunately only works on Windows operating systems. Irfanview provides quick and easy photo enlargement in just a few simple steps:

  • Open a photo in Irfanview then select Resize or Resample.
  • When a pop-up window opens, you need to enter your desired image size in the Set new size line, indicating the width and height. 
  • Next, you need to select resample under the Size method section, then choose the Slowest option from the filter dropdown menu.
  • Lastly, check the Apply Sharpen After Resample box and click the OK button when you are done.

This way the program will resize the photo and the resulting file can be saved on your computer. Unfortunately, free programs don’t always handle image enlargement perfectly and the quality may decrease slightly. You can minimize such an unpleasant moment by additionally adjusting the sharpness and contrast. If you don’t want to spend more time editing, it’s better to use the previous versions of editors.

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A good free replacement for Adobe Photoshop, which can also be used to enlarge your photos with minimal loss of quality. You should be warned that the result will not be as perfect as with the first two photo editors. GIMP can be used on both Windows and Mac. You will need to do the following:

  • Open the desired photo in GIMP and go to the Image menu, then Scale Image.
  • Next, enter the width and height to set the desired dimensions.
  • Select the cubic interpolation method under Quality and click the Scale button.

The enlarged picture can then be exported to a variety of formats, including popular formats like PNG and JPEG, and others.

The main conclusion

Of course, in free programs, there is still a slight loss of quality and you have to further edit the photo. It is best to choose a paid app that you will use regularly. In it, you will be able not only to enlarge your photos but also to retouch and edit them with a professional AI-based toolkit. If you want more detailed instructions on how to make a photo bigger in other apps, then further explore the Skylum blog article.