Is it possible to increase the resolution of an image (or increase the quality of an image) using some simple software or process? If yes, how might I go about it?


7 Answers 7



Something like this: SmillaEnlarger

Will do it without just making a blurry mess too. There are other fractal enlargers out there which try to mimic missing detail - but this one is free.

  • @salmonmoose I was attempting to use GIMP, but this is a life saver.
    – abhi
    Aug 20, 2014 at 14:41

As Mike says, you can only work with the information that already exists in the graphic file, but that doesn't mean you can't increase the resolution, merely that you will have to make some trade-offs to do it. sometimes you are given an image that doesn't have the resolution needed for the purpose at hand, but have no choice in the matter. In those cases you can use the software like the one linked above (which increases the pixel count and averages the original pixels on either side) to reduce the apparent amount of blurriness to some extent. Then use existing techniques that can be found elsewhere on the web to increase sharpness and make the image appear sharper than it actually is. The result will definitely be less effective than using an image of the proper resolution, but might bring the image you are stuck with at least into the realm of usability.

Mike, I was taught the same absolutes as you, but sometimes it pays to step back from the instinctive, knee-jerk reactions, and check a little deeper. This is where learning and growing as a craftsman occurs.


There's a nice online one here http://waifu2x.udp.jp/ which uses "Deep Convolutional Neural Networks". It's especially good for enlarging logos and line art.

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This little free ware utility http://sourceforge.net/projects/imageenlarger/ does a good job of enlarging without the usual jaggies you get. The interface isn't the most intuitive but if you can work it out it does the job.


Yes. Almost any photo editing software will do this for you. Some free ones:

MSPaint - built into Windows



  • 2
    These will certainly enlarge the image, but not increase the resolution as per the question.
    – e100
    Sep 7, 2009 at 5:55
  • 1
    Enlarging the image increases the resolution. They can do better or worse forms of filtering and interpolation, but at least the last two I list will do a good job of that.
    – Steve Rowe
    Sep 7, 2009 at 6:39
  • 1
    The OP was not just asking about increasing the number of pixels in the image, but increasing the information resolution, or quality, as seen by their accepted answer.
    – e100
    Sep 7, 2009 at 16:03
  • As I said, there are better and worse forms of interpolation, but neither of the paint.net nor gimp will do a bad job of enlarging a picture. They will "increase the information resolution" as you put it.
    – Steve Rowe
    Sep 8, 2009 at 5:21

Sorry everyone - but you CAN NOT increase resolution on something. Why do people think you can? If the information is not there in the image - how is photoshop or something going to find it and add it in???? IT CAN'T. It's a give and take relationship that resolution and physical size have. You got something at 8.5x11 (physical) and 300dpi - you blow it up to 14x16 - guess what, it's going to be way less than 300dpi not matter what you try to increase. Vice versa it will work great. Basically You can take away but you can't add to. That's the real truth. Do your tests and prove it to yourself.

Don't answer questions you don't understand. All these "experts" out there. Just cause you own a toothbrush, doesn't make you a dentist.

Again - something that is 72dpi at 7inches will most likely be around 37dpi at 14inches. Give and take. Start your original as high as you can (be it a scan or photo) and keep it b/c that's as large and as good looking as it will ever be.

  • 6
    But what about CSI? Zoom, enhance, zoom, enhance, zoom, enhance, ... Nov 7, 2009 at 21:55

YES YOU CAN! I used GIMP and its free.

  1. Open up a NEW project and set the dimensions you need, then use a pixel size of like 300x300 (no less)

  2. Open up the image you want as a LAYER and match the size of the original canvas (above).


I guess I should get my dentists license now.

  • 1
    How does this come close to answering the question? Aug 15, 2014 at 19:14

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