Restore old photos for free with AI

Jan 12, 2023

Many of us have old photographs lying around in a box or an album somewhere. Old photos are a way to retain memories from the relatively distant past so that we can share them with younger generations. However, so many times when you look at an old photo, the more decades pass, the blurrier it looks. Now, there’s a way to stop old photographs from becoming blurrier, and it’s absolutely free to use. 

Why do old photos look blurry?

For starters, you’re not losing your mind. While that photograph of you from the 80s itself hasn’t changed in quality, our perception of such media has. When you looked at the photo in the 80s, it was a pretty rad pic. You were proud. Everyone was recognizable, and none of you could believe how clear and crisp it was. The technology back then was amazing - but only back then. Since then, technology has improved 100-fold. 

Related: AI is better at determining gestational age.

We have a far higher expectation of photos today. If you can’t see someone’s pores and their fear of their future in their eyes, it’s not a good enough photo. There was nothing wrong with your predecessor's skills with a camera, the camera was simply just not good enough for what we deem acceptable today. Luckily, there’s a tool to turn your old photographs into ones you can haul out proudly at family dinners, without anyone squinting awkwardly or asking ‘Who’s that?’ 

The tool that we are referring to is called and it is truly incredible. Using the advanced capabilities of AI image recognition and regeneration software, the utility scans your old blurry photographs and gives them a crisp edge. But, that’s just my inference. Here’s what the company behind it, Vercel, says about it. 

Restore old photographs for free with

‘It uses an ML model from the Applied Research Center called GFPGAN on Replicate to restore face photos. This application gives you the ability to upload any photo, which will send it through this ML Model using a Next.js API route, and return your restored photo. After cloning the repo, go to Replicate to make an account and put your API key in a file called .env. If you'd also like to do rate limiting, create an account on UpStash, create a Redis database, and populate the two environment variables in .env as well. If you don't want to do rate limiting, you don't need to make any changes.’ 

Related: Adobe is training its AI on user Data

If you’re not the most tech-savvy person and the paragraph above flew over your head, don’t worry. All you really need to know is that using is completely free, and that it can bring life back into old photographs and keep those memories fresh.


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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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