4 Efficient Methods to Sharpen an Image in Photoshop You Should Know [Solved]

Last Updated on December 10, 2022 by Peter Wood

When you need to sharpen some images, Photoshop is always the initial choice you should consider. Of course, there are multiple advanced features to sharpen a photo in Photoshop, such as Smart Sharpen, Unsharp Mask, and High Pass Filter. If you are not familiar with the features and usages for them, here is a simple guide to help you out. Moreover, you can also take advantage of the best Photoshop alternative to sharpen photos with AI algorithms.

Sharpen an Image in Photoshop

Part 1: How to Sharpen a Photo in Photoshop with Smart Sharpen

Smart Sharpen is a frequently used feature of Photoshop to sharpen photos, which enables you to control the sharpening amount, tweak the radius, and even remove the noise caused by sharpening. Moreover, it enables you to precisely control the sharpening effect. It should be an excellent choice to remove blur from out-of-focus photos.

Step 1: Launch Photoshop on your computer and click the Open option from the File menu to import the desired photo you want to sharpen. Right-click the original layer and choose the Duplicate Layer option to avoid replacing the imported photo.

Duplicate Layer Photoshop

Step 2: Click the Filter menu and choose the Smart Sharpen option from the Sharpen list. In the dialog box that pops up, you can adjust multiple settings for sharpening the photo in Photoshop. Moreover, there are different methods to remove the blurriness.

Choose Smart Sharpen Photoshop

Step 3: Select the blurriness mode next to the Remove menu, such as the Lens Blur option. After that, you can determine the size of the sharpening value. Determines the width at the edges via the radius, and enhances the photo via noise reduction.

Smart Sharpen Options Photoshop

Step 4: You can click the Zoom in option to check the effect. Click the arrow next to the Shadows/Highlights menu and adjust all the parameters to get the optimal effect. After that, click the OK button to save the sharpened photo in Photoshop.

Sharpen with Smart Sharpen Photoshop

Part 2: How to Sharpen a Photo in Photoshop via Unsharp Mask

Unsharpen Mask is another sharpening feature of Adobe Photoshop, which sharpens images by increasing the contrast at the edges of the image. Photoshop can sharpen photos by making the bright pixels become brighter and dark pixels go darker. You can adjust the contrast of details at the edges to create a light and dark line to make the overall picture sharper.

Step 1: After importing the desired photo into Photoshop and duplicate the original layer to keep it untouched. Click the Duplicate Layer option and name the layer. Just have more copies if you need to have a comparison for different parameters.

Create New Layer Photoshop

Step 2: Right-click on the duplicated layer, you can scroll up to choose the Blending Options option. In the popup Layer Style window, you can click the arrow next to the Blend Mode option and choose the Luminosity option from the drop-down list.

Luminosity Blending Mode Photoshop

Step 3: Just click the Filter menu, and choose the Unsharp Mask option from Sharpen to sharpen photos with Photoshop. In the pop-up dialog box, there are 3 different sliders for Amount, Radius, and Threshold. Adjust the sliders to get the optimal effect for sharpening.

Unsharpen Mask Settings Photoshop

Step 4: To make the sharpening filter natural, you can fine-tune the sharpening effect on your image by changing the opacity of the layer. After that, you can click either layer and choose the Flatten Image option to save the sharpened photos in Photoshop before saving.

Flattern Image Photoshop

Part 3: How to Sharpen an Image in Photoshop Using High Pass Filter

When you need to find some alternatives to sharpen filters, the High Pass filter is the desired choice. It is a feature of Photoshop to sharpen photos by isolating the edges. When you need to have full control over edges for sharpening photos, it can separate out the intermediate stages and control the detailed position to sharpen or not to sharpen.

Step 1: Just follow the same process to import the desired photo you want to enhance and sharpen. Select and right-click the duplicated layer, and choose the Convert to Smart Object option in the pop-up menu bar before applying the desired sharpening effect.

Convert to Smart Object Photoshop

Step 2: Head to the Filter menu, you can choose the High Pass option from Others. After that, you can adjust the Radius slider to determine the pixels around the contrasting one. Just have more copies of the High Pass filter to get the optimal effect.

Choose High Pass Option Photoshop

Step 3: Click the duplicated layer and choose the Blending Options option. Instead of the Luminosity option, you can select Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Vivid Light, Linear Light, and more. It enables you to have an instant preview of the effect.

Soft Light Overlay Photoshop

Step 4: Just choose the different copies to find the desired effect. When you get the whole process done, you can select the chosen one and choose the Flatten Image option to combine the layers into a sharpened photo before exporting the file to your computer.

Flattern Image Photoshop

Part 4: The Photoshop Alternative to Sharpen Photos with AI Algorithms

If you still have problems sharpening a photo in Photoshop or are simply not satisfied with the sharpening effect, WidsMob AI Retoucher is the Photoshop alternative with AI algorithms. It provides 3 different AI Retouch features to sharpen the images automatically, adjust the sharpen filters, tweak the noise reduction features, and enhance multiple settings, including exposure, tint, vibrancy, temperature, and other parameters.

1. Provide AI retouch algorithms to sharpen photos, reduce noise, and more.

2. Adjust sharpness, luminance, chrominance, exposure, and tint manually.

3. Sharpen portraits with skin softening, skin whitening, and shine removal.

4. Basic photo editing features to crop, rotate, compare, zoom, and others.

Win Download Mac Download

Step 1: Once you have installed WidsMob AI Retoucher, you can launch the program on your computer. Click the Import button to upload the photos you need to polish. Moreover, you can also drag-n-drop the photos for sharpening in a batch process.

Import Photos Retoucher

Step 2: Click the AI Retouch menu from the left side, where you can select the Noise Reduction option or the Haze Removal option to sharpen the desired photos automatically. Different from Photoshop sharpen filters, it can fix blurriness in a single click.

Haze Removal AI Retoucher

Step 3: When you need to further adjust the sharpen parameter manually. You can click the Adjust menu to tweak the slider for the Sharpness option under Enhancement. Moreover, you can also adjust both luminance and chrominance to get the optimal effect.

Sharp to Unblur Image Retoucher Win Download Mac Download


Here is a detailed guide for sharpening a photo in Photoshop. You can find the solutions for each method with detailed steps. But it should be much more difficult to get the optimal effect if you are not familiar with these sharpening filters of Photoshop. WidsMob AI Retoucher is the best Photoshop alternative with AI algorithms, which provides two different modes to sharpen images with the optimal effect easily.