4 Ways to Upscale Small Photos Without Losing Quality (Step-by-Step)

What do you see when you open your social media accounts? It’s mostly photos. Your friend’s picture for the day, variety of memes, and social media posts containing loads of information.

Images are what we see the majority of the time in our use of our phones and computers, and they are one of the mediums of communication we depend on.

An attractive image usually shows a vivid visual effect and tells a good story to its users. Compared with the word and text, images have more priorities to grab people’s attention with lesser efforts.

Ways to Upscale Small Photos

In this article, I will introduce 4 effective ways to upscale small images for sharing or editing. It is worth noticing that no complicated editing skills are required.

Upscale The Small Image by Windows Tool

Step 1: Double click the image you want to upscale to open it in Windows’s Viewer.

  • You should first make sure that your windows are equipped with a photo viewer Before you start.
  • Make sure you open the image with Photo Viewer instead of any other photo editing programs. By doing so, you can hover the mouse on the image, click “Open with” to choose Windows Viewer from multiple photo programs.

Step 2: Right-click the image and click the “Resize > Define Custom Dimensions” option.

  • You will see a menu after you click Resize option. Under the Resize dialog, click the “Define Custom Dimensions” option that allows you to customize the new size for the original photo.
  • Note that four options are included under the Resize menu. But we need to choose “Define Custom Dimensions” if we focus on image upscaling. The other three options don’t allow you to customize the size manually.

Step 3: Input New Value for Width and Height to Customize the Image Size.

  • Input the value for Width and Height. Note that the entered value should be greater than the original value. But if you want to reduce the size of the image. the entered value should be less than the original value.
  • Check the Aspect Ratio option if you want to keep the image at the same scale as the original. However, if you like to custom the scale, you can leave this option unchecked.

Step 4: Adjust the output quality for the upscaled image.

  • There is a quality progress bar that has a range from 10% to 100%. The greater the percentage, the higher the quality of the image.
  • You can adjust the output quality by dragging the node to the left and right. The quality will increase with the bar moving from the left to the right.

Step 5: Click “Save Resized Copy” to save the upscaled image on your computer.

  • Windows Viewer doesn’t change the output file format. If the original image is Jpeg, the output will be jpeg too.

Step 6: Rename the new image file and choose the location for saving.

  • Create a new name for the upscaled picture and choose the proper location to save it.

Upscale The Small Photos by Photoshop

Step 1: Double click the PhotoShop shortcut to run the program.

  • If you don’t have photoshop on your computer, go to the Photoshop official website to download and install the latest version first.

Step 2: Open the picture you want to enlarge in Photoshop program.

  • You have two methods to open an image in Photoshop. Click File > Open to select a picture from your device. Or you can hit Ctrl + O on the keyboard to choose a picture.

Step 3: Click Image > Image Size to open the Image Size dialog box. The shortcut keyboard is Ctrl+ALT+I.

Step 4: Enter new pixel dimensions for Width and Height.

  • There be a menu where you can see the original size of the image. You can input the new value that you want to make the image be that size. For example, you can enter 800 for width, and 480 for height.

Step 5: Open the Resample list and choose “Automatic” mode.

  • There are several options in the drop-down list of Resample. If you don’t have extra needs, just choose Automatic.

Step 6: Press “Ok” to apply the current changes.

  • Once you finished all settings, click “Ok” to apply these changes. You can see the original image has been upscaled to the size you set.

Upscale Small Photos by Imgupscaler

Step 1: Search the name Imgupscaler on Chrome and go to the right page.

  • Imgupscaler is a web-based program that supports upscaling multiple images in bulk. It can enlarge the small photo by up to 400%.

Step 2: Drag or Drop a photo from the computer.

  • This platform supports uploading up to 10 jpeg images, Max size 5 MB, and Max dimensions 4000×4000. This program is not suitable for any other formats, such as PNG, GIF, Webp.

Step 3: Click the “Start” button to start the automatic process.

  • You will see a “Start” button only when you upload the picture successfully.
  • There is no option for your to custom the size as the imgupscaler enlarges the photo by 400% by default.
  • It usually takes 10-15 seconds to do the work.

Step 4: Preview the final result of the photo upscaled.

  • You will see the “Download” button once the process is finished. Click the button and you are directed to a new page. Preview the upscaled effect of the image and see if it is satisfying work.

Step 5: Save the upscaled image as a jpg file on your computer.

Once you are satisfied with the upscaled image, right-click on the image and click “Save image as” to keep it on your device.

Upscale The Small Photos by GIMP

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program that supports multiple plug-ins, This open-source photo editor allows you to choose how you want your photos to look after manipulation and editing. You can also use GIMP to change the photo’s size and dimensions. Follow the below steps to upscale a small photo in GIMP.

How Does GIMP work? 

Step 1: Go to to download the program first.

  • In order to enjoy the newest features and keep a stable running of the program, please download the latest version 2.10.28.
  • Make sure you choose the right version for your operating system. GIMP supports GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. If you are using Windows OS, please make sure it is Windows 7 or over.

Step 2: Install the GIMP on your computer and double-click the GIMP Icon to run the program.

  • If you download and install the program correctly, it will be running and running smoothly. Once you open GIMP, the photo editing interface looks like the screen shown below.

Step 3: Go to File > Open and select an image that you wish to upscale in GIMP.

  • GIMP supports many file formats, including bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, ps, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm, and many others.

Step 4: Click Image > Scale Image. A Scale Image dialog box will appear.

  • By using this dialog box, you are going to resize the original image.

Step 5: Input the new value for Image Size and Resolution.

  • Remember that you need to make the entered value larger than the existed value. If you want the image to be scaled equally, don’t click on the button next to the size input box.

Step 6: Select the interpolation algorithm.

  • Click on the inverted triangle symbol, then you will see 5 options in the drop-down list (None, Linear, Cubic, NoHalo, Lohalo ). The selection of the interpolation algorithm won’t add new information to the image. You can choose any of the five options.

Step 7: Apply the changes by clicking the ‘Scale’ button. The original image is enlarged successfully and is shown in the editing interface.

Step 8: Click File > Save as. Then the Save Image dialog box appears. Choose the folder where you want to save the upscaled image. Click ‘Save’ and the file is stored in the target folder.


Having the right size of image is just as important as having a high-resolution image. If you have a low-resolution image, it will be hard to print or use it on your social media platform. Furthermore, the upscaled images are more likely to look blurry when zooming in because you can’t get rid of pixelization.

The above tools can help you enlarge the small images fast. But if you want to upscale the photo while keeping the same quality or even increasing the resolution, you can’t fully expect these tools to solve the problem.

Try your best to prepare a clear photo before you upscale it. If the original photo is high quality, the upscaled photo won’t be much blurry.

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About the author

Vidya Menon

Vidya is an online content developer for Justwebworld. She has a BA in English Language and Literature and an MA in Current Linguistics. She is a passionate reader, writer and researcher with a background in academic writing.

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