Abstract This paper proposes a new anisotropic diffusion approach to remove the impulse noise and retain the fine details. The proposed approach contains two stages, the first stage detects the impulse noise, and the second stage removes the noisy pixel and retains the fine details of the original image. The Laplacian operator is used to fine-tune the image quality of the restored image in the anisotropic diffusion filter. The proposed approach is tested with PSNR, IEF, correlation factor, and NSER for different test images and the results are compared against existing algorithms. The simulation results show that the proposed approach gives better results than the existing denoising algorithms.