15 Apps To Fix Blurry Images – Photo Sharpening Software

An unwanted blur can instantly ruin a good composition. And boy, is it frustrating! Luckily, there are many apps to fix blurry photos— including free options. So, in this post, we will talk about the best 15 image sharpening software.
photo sharpening software

Believe it or not, there are many ways to sharpen your images using digital photo editing tools. And yes, you can be skeptical at first. I mean, how can you recover details from blurred images?

Well, you might not be able to sharpen a creamy blur, but you can correct minor flaws produced by camera shake or motion blur. All you need is the right software.

But, before diving into the 15 recommended software, let’s talk about how image sharpening works.

How to fix blurry pictures

How to fix blurry pictures

In simple words, to fix blurry pictures, you need to use a sharpening tool to increase acutance. That way, you will make your photos look sharper. However, the resolution remains the same.

But, what is acutance exactly?

Acutance refers to the sense of sharpness given by the edge contrast of an image. The more contrast you see in the edges of the objects of a photo, the sharper they will look. Think of it as an optical illusion.

When you use an image sharpener, you are not really increasing the resolution or the depth of field. Instead, you are adding more contrast on the edges to fine-tune details. That is how most image-sharpening apps work.

But, as technology evolves, professional photographers have more sophisticated software. And that includes more alternatives to compensate for different types of blur.

Today, many editing tools provide excellent AI-powered features to deal with motion blur and focus blur— and the results can be mind-blowing!

That said, let’s talk about our recommended apps for sharpening images:

15 best photo editing software

Topaz Labs Sharpen AI

Topaz Labs Sharpen AI

Price: $79.99

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Sharpen AI from Topaz Labs is a program entirely dedicated to image sharpening. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to fix the blur produced by camera shake, missed focus, and low-quality lenses. It has three separate modes to target these issues: Motion, Focus, and Softness. Plus, you can fix many blurry photos at once thanks to its batch-processing function.

Additionally, Sharpen AI works as a standalone app or as a plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom.

If you’re curious to see what you can do with this program, you can read our Sharpen AI review or download a 30-day free trial version on their website.

By the way, Topaz Labs has other amazing programs for Windows and Mac users. For example, Topaz Studio 2 is a simple but compelling photo editor for creative artists. If you want to know more about it, check out our Topaz Studio 2 review here.

Adobe Photoshop

adobe photoshop

Price: various subscription plans available from $9.99/month

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Adobe Photoshop is the most famous photo editing tool in the world. It has hundreds of useful features for high-end retouching and image manipulation. So, although it is not an image sharpener, you can perfectly fix blurry pictures with it— and do almost anything else you can imagine.

There are many methods for fixing blurry photos in Adobe Photoshop. The most popular tools include the Unsharp Mask and the Shake Reduction filter. You can explore that (and other sharpening tools) on Filter > Sharpen.

Want to know more? In Adobe’s Photoshop User Guide, they have an entire article on how to adjust image sharpness.

Keep in mind that Photoshop is quite complex for beginners. It takes time to get used to it, and it is more suitable for professionals. But, if you’re excited to try it out, take a look at its features and prices.

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Price: various subscription plans available from $9.99/month

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Adobe Lightroom is perfect for fixing slightly blurred photos, and it also has batch-processing capabilities. Moreover, what makes Lightroom a valuable product for photographers is that it is an effective tool for organizing images.

To adjust sharpness on Lightroom, go to the Detail panel and use the Amount, Radius, Detail, and Masking sliders. If you want some extra help, here’s a one-minute tutorial to understand how these tools work.

To get a glimpse of what else you can do with Lightroom and compare subscription plans available, check out their website.

You can also check out our post here to see what’s the Best Lightroom Alternative

Skylum Luminar

Skylum Luminar

Price: $89

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Luminar is a complete and user-friendly photo editing software that includes many filters and AI-powered tools for professional-looking results. It is a good Lightroom alternative as well, and it works as a standalone app or as a plugin for Adobe and Apple products.

With Luminar, you can sharpen images instantly using the AI Structure filter. Also, you can add edge contrast and clarity to improve sharpening even more.

If you want to know more about Skylum Luminar, read our full Luminar 4 review!

DxO Sharpener Pro

DxO Sharpener Pro

Price: $149 for the Nik Collection

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Sharpener Pro (or Nik Sharpener) is a plugin for professional image sharpening, included in the Nik Collection from DxO.

The Nik Collection is a series of high-level tools for image editing. You can use it as a plugin within Adobe Lightroom Classic, Adobe Photoshop, and DxO PhotoLab.

Sharpener Pro has two stages of sharpening and includes DxO’s U Point technology for selective sharpening. In short, it is a useful tool to increase general focus in a picture, but it still gives you enough control to adjust sharpness as you wish.

On the downside, you have to buy the entire Nik Collection to use it. Nevertheless, you can try it out for free in case you’re curious!

Focus Magic

Focus Magic

Price: $65

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Focus Magic uses advanced forensic strength deconvolution technology to remove blur. It is a widely known sharpening software that can deal with camera shake and focus blur. However, it can create artifacts, so you won’t get very natural-looking results.

According to their official website, Focus Magic is the strongest image sharpener. With it, you can recover out-of-focus images and restore old photos. Besides, it is popular among large organizations such as NASA, the FBI, intelligence agencies, etc.

Movavi Picverse

Movavi Picverse

Price: $44.95 desktop software / free mobile app

Compatibility: Windows and Mac / Android and iOS

Movavi Picverse is a user-friendly photo editor equipped with AI features to fix blurry images. It also provides excellent tools for editing in just a few clicks.

The paid desktop software can handle RAW files and it’s aimed at photographers at any skill level. And, if you want something simpler for a general audience, Movavi Picverse is also available as a free mobile app.

Capture One

capture one

Price: subscription plans from $19.99/month or perpetual licenses from $199

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

Capture One is an expensive choice for photo editing. Yet, it is a popular software among professional photographers because of its amazing capabilities.

To make a blurry image clear, Capture One applies pre-sharpening based on the camera model. Then, you can fine-tune more details using the Sharpening tool. However, it will only allow global adjustments. So, if you want to highlight a specific element in a photo, you should try another software.

GIMP

gimp

Price: free

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

GIMP is a free alternative to Photoshop with many practical functions for photo editors and graphic designers. It is customizable and it can read any file format.

If you’re familiar with Photoshop filters and layers, you might probably do well with GIMP. For sharpening, it offers a similar tool to the Unsharp Mask.

SmartDeblur

smartdeblur

Price: $98 (pro version)

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

SmartDeblur is another dedicated photo sharpening software. It is easy to use and it can help to restore out-of-focus images in a few simple steps. Plus, according to their website, this program can undo Gaussian blur, which sounds pretty interesting.

InPixio Photo Focus

InPixio Photo Focus

Price: $60 (pro version)

Compatibility: Windows

InPixio Photo Focus is a simple but powerful image sharpener equipped with creative functions to enhance sharpness, refocus, and deblur pictures.

Besides Photo Focus, InPixio offers a wide variety of software, mobile apps, and online tools for image editing. You can find advanced, paid programs such as InPixio Photo Studio, and free online services like their Background removal tool. It’s a family of products worth considering.

Blurity

blurity

Price: free

Compatibility: Windows

Blurity is a free image sharpener that works with the same deconvolution technology as Focus Magic. It can handle different types of blur and does a great job at recovering details.

It might not be the most advanced option, but it’s free and easy to use. It is more suitable for beginners looking for a fast sharpening tool instead of high-level image-editing software.

Unshake

unshake

Price: free

Compatibility: Windows

Unshake is a free image sharpening tool. It works for quick adjustments and provides batch processing, but it’s not an ultramodern tool. Even so, you can try it out if you want a free alternative that takes up little storage.

PhotoScape

photoscape

Price: free

Compatibility: Windows and Mac

PhotoScape is a free alternative for entry-level photographers. It has low system requirements and includes decent editing and sharpening functions for basic retouching.

Despite being a simple app, it supports RAW files and allows batch processing. So, if you don’t have a computer that can run programs like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, you can try PhotoScape.

Fotor

fotor

Price: Free or $8.99/month for the pro version

Compatibility: online

Fotor is an online photo editor that suits beginners because of its simple interface. Although it is not an image sharpener, you can correct slightly blurred photos with its sharpening tool.

There is a free version that includes creative filters and great tools for basic editing. But, there is also a Pro version with more advanced tools and additional resources to create online designs.

In general, Fotor seems like a good online service for social media content creators. However, if you want a professional-grade sharpener, you should go for one of the options listed above.

Bonus: best mobile apps for sharpening images

Remini

remini

Available for Android and iOS, Remini is a complete AI-powered photo sharpener and editor that allows you to fix blurry pictures with just one tap. Additionally, it has other impressive features to colorize black and white photos, play around with creative effects, enhance portraits, and more.

Adobe Lightroom

There is a good and free mobile version of Adobe Lightroom available for Android and iOS devices. It has all the basic editing features as the desktop version, including the sharpening tools mentioned before. If you want a complete, portable editor that can handle blur and deliver professional results, this may be your best choice.

Snapseed

snapseed

Snapseed is a popular and easy-to-use mobile app available for Android and iOS. It has a clean interface and includes pro-level editing features to get high-quality results with no effort. Another great thing about this app is that it supports JPG and RAW files. This opens up a lot of possibilities for your editing.

To fix blurry pictures using Snapseed, select the Details tool and play around with Structure and Sharpness until you are satisfied.

Other popular apps:

  • Sharpen Image
  • Lumii
  • VSCO
  • Pixlr
  • Photosoft

What makes the best image sharpener?

What makes the best image sharpener

A good sharpening software can handle different types of blur without creating artifacts that lower the image quality.

With that in mind, consider these key factors when you’re trying to choose the perfect tool for you:

  • AI-based software (like Sharpen AI or Luminar) usually provides the best results. This technology can recognize objects and apply customized adjustments for a more natural look.
  • Image sharpening software dedicated to photography ensures better image quality. Cheap programs for general deblurring don’t pay attention to the aesthetic quality of the results.
  • The most expensive and complex software is not necessarily the best one. Always look for a photo editor that fits your needs and budget.
  • Consider other editing tools and creative functions before making a decision. Do you want an image sharpener or a complete photo editing program? Think about the kind of photographer you are and what you want to pursue.

Wrap up

A blurry image is not the end of the world. There are many alternatives to deal with blur, missed focus, and camera shake. Just remember that every case is different, and sometimes you might not be able to recover all 100% of a photograph. But, hey, we all have been there! Even professionals.

If you found this article helpful, feel free to share it. You could be saving a lot of blurry photos with it.

Oh, and if you want to learn more about photography, don’t forget to check out our blog!

Save $10 On All Software

We have partnered with Skylum.com to offer the best deal on  ONE TIME PURCHASE RAW EDITING SOFTWARE. If you click on the button below, we will take you to their exclusive discount page

color harmony review