How to Enlarge a Photo Without Losing Quality

Michael Sand
Written by
Last update:

Method 1: Enlarge Your Photos With Free Online Service Photo Enlarger

Going to your local printing shop for enlarging photos is so 20th century!

In the digital age, there is no need to use time and money going to a printing shop just to enlarge your photos. All you need is a free online service called Photo Enlarger.

Image enlargement means reducing the physical size of an image without significantly reducing its resolution and quality.

Online image-enlarging tools come in two main flavors. The smart ones which automatically scale-down an image without losing its quality (such as Photo Enlarger) and the dumb ones which simply blow up the image like blowing up a balloon.

Method 2: Maximize Your Photo up to 1000% Inpixio Photo Maximizer

Download the free trial of Inpixio Photo Maximizer and open your picture in Photoshop or any other editor that supports 16-bit images.

Go to File ─> Automate ─> Batch ─> in Inpixio and set the options as you need them. For example, you can enlarge the picture to 1000% by setting Bicubic 5 magnification method in the Batch window, dragging the Thumbnail slider to the left to the maximum and turning off the setting “Zoom by “ under Batch Options.

Click on the Start button in the Batch window and wait till the process is finished. Your picture gets a huge magnification, but at the same time it has stayed sharp and clear.

Method 3: Using Free Software GIMP

Open GIMP.

You will see a new blank white canvas.

Click File > Open and locate your image by selecting it. A dialog box should pop up that shows the image. This confirms that it is an image file. You can now close this.

You should now see your image on a white canvas.

Right click on the image and select "Layer" then "New Layer". This creates a new layer.

Select this new layer by clicking on the layer name header (at the top).

Select a color from the image. Click on the Paint tool (the black brush on the left) and select a color. Then click on the image where you want to color it.

Select the Brush Tool (the brush on the right) and adjust the size for this brush to increase the size of the area that you colored. It will look somewhat grainy. This is because we are only coloring part of the image.

Select a black color and clear all the pixels on the canvas, by using the eraser tool, on the left.

Now you need to save your image. Select "File" "Save As".

Bonus tips: Why Images Lose Quality When Enlarged?

A picture says a thousand words, and an enlarged image can be a great source of both information and inspiration.

But what if it is enlarged to the point where the image becomes too fuzzy to read?

There are several factors that lead to quality loss when you enlarge a photo, including the resolution of your original image and the zoom level that you choose.

For instance, if you print a 300 dpi image in 10 x 15 inches in width, the image resolution will be very low.

You also need to take note that the external or visual aspect of an image,…the resolution,…is not the same as the internal-qualitative image information.

It is possible that you can enlarge an image resolution considerably but retain the picture's high-quality image content.

How to Enlarge a Photo without Losing Quality

The size of the print determines the size of the image affected and so the spatial resolution should be fine tuned to avoid quality loss.

Therefore, lowering the amount of pixels in your picture image prior to enlarging it is important.

When you reduce the dpi (dot per inch) value, the pixel density becomes lower as well. Less pixels result in a smaller photo size that can enlarge and retain the image quality.