How to Restore an Old Damaged Photograph using DALL.E 2: It’s Free, Easy, and Fast

Sometimes restoring an old damaged photograph is as important as your basic needs for your survival.

The photo that you want to restore might be your loved ancestor or your old memory with a friend of your family member that was captured before the arrival of camera mobiles. Either way, you must have been deeply connected to that photo.

Because of the connection you possess toward that old photo, you would have ready to pay 10’s hundreds of dollars for the online photo restoration platforms or for the Photoshop software.

In this article, you will learn to quickly restore your old photos that have lines, tears, or spots at zero cost.

With the advent of AI, you don’t need to rely on Photoshop, online photo restoration, or noise reduction tools for old picture restoration.

Yes, it’s true. Hereafter, you don’t really need to interact with the complex options of Photoshop and the online photo restoration software that only offers 60-75% of the desired result.

On top of that, most online photo restoration software has a limit for uploading and restoring photos. If you exceed that limit, you have to pay.

What is DALL.E 2?

DALL.E 2 is a neural network that was developed by OpenAI. To be more clear, DALL.E 2 is an AI art generator that generates images from text.

The text description is known as a prompt that will be in the natural language.

To use DALL.E 2, you need to get access first. After getting access, you can use DALL.E 2 to not only restore old photos but also create, edit, and make variations of images and artwork.

Steps to Restore an Old Damaged Photograph using DALL.E 2

  1. Get DALL.E 2 Access
  2. Upload your Old Photo
  3. Crop the Photo
  4. Erase the Damage
  5. Enter the Prompt

1. Get DALL.E 2 Access

Though DALL.E 2 is available for public use, you cannot access it immediately.

You need to apply for DALL.E 2 access and have to wait until a minimum of 1 day.

To apply for DALL.E 2 access, head to the OpenAI website and click “Join Waitlist”.

Then, you need to enter your first and last name, email address, and designation.

That’s it. Within one or two days, you will get an invite email from OpenAI to use DALL.E 2.

2. Upload your Old Photo

Once you have got access to DALL.E, log in to your DALL.E account.

While logging in for the first time, you need to complete the mobile phone OTP verification.

Then, take a photograph of your old photo and be ready to upload it to DALL.E.

Then, click “upload an image” or “upload”.

Restore an old photo using DALL.E 2

3. Crop the Photo

The only limitation the DALL.E 2 has at the moment is that it accepts only square-shaped photos to edit or restore.

Once you have uploaded your old photo, you will be asked to crop your image. Click “Crop”.

Restore an Old Damaged Photograph using DALL.E 2

If you skip cropping, you won’t get good results.

4. Erase the Damage

After cropping the photo, click “Edit Image”.

Restore an Old Damaged Photograph using DALL.E 2

Now, click the “Eraser” and erase all the lines, tears, or spots. You can adjust the size of the eraser according to your need.

Restore an Old Damaged Photograph using DALL.E 2

5. Enter the Prompt

After erasing the lines, tears, or spots in your old damaged photo, you need to enter a prompt in the given prompt box.

Enter “remove lines/ spots/ tears, restore image, denoise” and hit “Generate”.

Restore an Old Damaged Photograph using DALL.E 2
The final result of restored photos

At the moment, DALL.E is not removing “sepia” from the old photos. However, it will change in future updates as DALL.E has been continuously training with millions of datasets.


This is how you can restore your old photograph using DALL.E.

In case you are not satisfied with DALL.E 2’s photo restoration, you can try “CodeFormer” by downloading from GitHub or in Hugging Face or in the Replicate platform, particularly for face restoration. Keep in mind that you only have limited free trials in CodeFormer if you use it on the Replicate platform.

As mentioned earlier, it is just a beginning for DALL.E and it has a long way to go. Hence, in the future, the quality of DALL.E will only become higher.

Restoring the old damaged photograph gives an intense feeling of satisfaction as it involves most special events to cherish for the rest of your life.

If you find this article helpful and want to help someone you love experience the same satisfactory feeling as you, kindly share this article.


1. Can DALL.E 2 remove physical damage in an old photo?

Yes, DALL.E 2 can restore an old photo by removing the physical damage and the noise. I have personally tested it and DALL.E 2 does a good job in photo restoration within a few seconds.

Considering the competitors, DALL.E AI will also feature tone adjustment and face enhancement too in the future.

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