Five tools for resizing images

Need a way to make images larger without losing quality? 🤔

Thankfully, there are specialized tools that help you easily enlarge images without the pixelation issues you’d normally get if you tried to increase an image’s dimensions using a conventional editing tool.

🧰 For this article, I tested six of the best image enlarger tools, and I’m going to share my test results with you so you can pick the tool that will work best for you.

The tools to make images larger without losing quality

Here’s the lineup of tools that I tested, along with a quick look at their pricing:

  1. UpscalePics 💰 Free for up to five images/month. Pro plan from $3/month.
  2. On1 💰 Free 30-day trial. Subscription plans starting from €8.71/month.
  3. ImageEnlarger 💰 100% free. Voluntary donations accepted.
  4. Befunky 💰 Free version. Pro plan from $4.99/month.
  5. Reshade 💰 100% free (but only available for Windows users).
  6. GIMP 💰 100% free. Voluntary donations accepted.

Before we get into the heavy analysis, below is a top-level overview of how the tools fared against one another in terms of raw file size.

Tool Image 1 (2x) Image 1 (8x) Image 2 (2x) Image 2 (8x)
Upscalepics 2.30 MB 29.4 MB 639 KB 7.82 MB
On1 622 KB 7.56 MB 186 KB 2.10 MB
ImageEnlarger 162 KB 🥇 940 KB 🥇 47.1 KB 🥇 284 KB 🥇
Befunky 868 KB 6.1 MB 238 KB 2.1 MB
Reshade 231 KB 1.42 MB 66.5 KB 461 KB
GIMP 650 KB 4.60 MB 249 KB 167 KB

The baseline file size for image one was 82 KB, and the baseline file size for image two was 23.9 KB.

I put both images through each tool to make them larger by 2x and by 8x. For a brief explanation of the process and to see the original image files, click here.

In terms of raw file size, the undisputed winner was ImageEnlarger.com, however, this is only part of the story. Remember that our goal here is to make images larger without losing quality.

Keep reading to see how all of the tools fared in the quality department, as well as my final recommendations when taking both file size and image quality into account.

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:

  • Increased 2x
  • 1200 x 800 px
  • 2.30 MB
  • See the enlarged image
  • Increased 8x
  • 4800 x 3200 px
  • 29.4 MB
  • See the enlarged image

Results for Image 2:

  • Increased 2x
  • 600 x 400 px
  • 639 KB
  • See the enlarged image
  • Increased 8x
  • 2400 x 1600 px
  • 7.82 MB
  • See the enlarged image

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 30-day trial to test the software – without having to provide your credit card information. After that, you have the option to purchase it outright, or to subscribe on either an annual or a monthly basis. The subscription plans give you access to not only the AI image resizer, but lots of additional tools. For the purchase plans, you have the following options:

  • ON1 Resize AI 2023: €81.27 to install ON1 Resize AI 2023 on two computers. Works as a standalone app or plugin. Includes all ON1 Resize AI 2023 version updates. If you’re only interested in the image resizer, then this is the option you want. The two options below come with the resizer installed, but will also give you a whole suite of additional editing features.
  • ON1 Photo RAW MAX 2024: €174.19 to own ON1 Photo RAW MAX 2024, including all v2024 updates and activation on three computers. Works as a standalone app or plugin.
  • ON1 Photo RAW 2024: €98.70 to own ON1 Photo RAW 2024, including all v2024 updates and activation on two computers. Works as a standalone app.

The annual subscription plans look like this:

  • ON1 Everything Subscription: €8.71 per month for a subscription that includes all major version updates, all major future upgrades, new apps, and activation on 2 computers. The subscription covers ON1 Photo RAW 2024, ON1 Photo RAW MAX 2024, ON1 Plugins & Standalones, and ON1 Cloud Sync with 200 GB.
  • ON1 Everything Plus Subscription: €14.52 per month for a subscription that includes all major version updates, all major future upgrades, new apps, and activation on 5 computers. The subscription covers ON1 Photo RAW 2024, ON1 Photo RAW MAX 2024, ON1 Plugins & Standalones, ON1 Cloud Sync with 1 TB, and ON1 Plus Membership.

If you choose to pay monthly, the plans include all of the same features, but the prices go up to €9.28 per month and €20.90 per month, respectively.

📊 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:

  • Increased 2x
  • 1200 x 800 px
  • 622 KB
  • See the enlarged image
  • Increased 8x
  • 4800 x 3200 px
  • 7.56 MB
  • See the enlarged image

Results for Image 2:

  • Increased 2x
  • 600 x 400 px
  • 186 KB
  • See the enlarged image
  • Increased 8x
  • 2400 x 1600 px
  • 2.10 MB
  • See the enlarged image

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:

  • Increased 2x
  • 1200 x 800 px
  • 162 KB
  • See the enlarged image
  • Increased 8x
  • 4500 x 3000 px (this is the max-width for this tool)
  • 940 KB
  • See the enlarged image

Results for Image 2:

  • Increased 2x
  • 600 x 400 px
  • 47.1 KB
  • See the enlarged image
  • Increased 8x
  • 2400 x 1600 px
  • 284 KB
  • See the enlarged image

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:

  • Increased 2x
  • 1200 x 800 px
  • 868 KB
  • See the enlarged image
  • Increased 6.8x
  • 4088 x 2728 px
  • 6.1 MB
  • See the enlarged image

Results for Image 2:

  • Increased 2x
  • 600 x 400 px
  • 238 KB
  • See the enlarged image
  • Increased 8x
  • 2400 x 1600 px
  • 2.1 MB
  • See the enlarged image

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:

  • Increased 2x
  • 1200 x 800 px
  • 231 KB
  • See the enlarged image
  • Increased 8x
  • 4800 x 3200
  • 1.42 MB
  • See the enlarged image

Results for Image 2:

  • Increased 2x
  • 600 x 400 px
  • 66.5 KB
  • See the enlarged image
  • Increased 8x
  • 2400 x 1600 px
  • 461 KB
  • See the enlarged image

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:

  • Increased 2x
  • 1200 x 800 px
  • 650 KB
  • See the enlarged image
  • Increased 8x
  • 4800 x 3200 px
  • 4.60 MB
  • See the enlarged image

Results for Image 2:

  • Increased 2x
  • 600 x 400 px
  • 249 KB
  • See the enlarged image
  • Increased 8x
  • 2400 x 1600 px
  • 167 KB
  • See the enlarged image

Brief background on how I used these image resizer tools

To give you some insight on how I preserved the quality of the images while enlarging them, I thought I would briefly explain the process I went through while conducting these tests.

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

In addition, as you saw, I ran two tests for each image: 2x the original size and 8x the original size. Click on either of the test pictures below to see the original full-size images.

Original image 1:

600 x 400 px // 82 KB // JPG

first test image resize and make images larger without losing quality

Original image 2:

300 x 200 px // 23.9 KB // JPG

resize and make images larger without losing quality - small 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!

References

Test images found on Visual Hunt.

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