How to Make a Picture Smaller

Resize images quickly before uploading them to a website

A smaller image is faster to share and faster for folks to download (or just see on Facebook, Instagram, or just download via email). If the image(s) is part of a presentation, a smaller image can make the whole presentation smaller and easier for more computers to handle

Resizing is About More Than Just Stretching and Shrinking

When working with images on your computer, you'll sometimes see selectable arrows on the sides and/or corners of the image. You could simply move the arrows as needed to make it just the right size. This is not the best way to resize images, however, since it stretches (or compresses) the image, making it look blurry, out of focus, and pixelated. 

A better way to resize your image is to use image editing software, where you can control the image quality better, making the resized image look polished and professional. 

It Starts with an Image File

The quality of your resized image depends on the original image you're working with. Image files (PNG, JPG, TIF, etc.) are the best type of images to resize as they tend to have more detail. More detail means higher resolution, which makes it easier for the software to resize the image without losing any of that detail. 

Keep the Image in Perspective

When you resize an image, try to keep the same ratio of width to height. This will prevent your image from looking stretched or warped as you resize it. Most image editors let you do this with a "constrain proportions" option that automatically does this for you as you resize the image. The Shift key is a shortcut way to do this in most image editing software. 

How to Resize an Image

Resizing an image is easy to do. You can do it with an online image resizer such as Pixlr or Simple Image Resizer, or you can use image editing software (either on your computer or your mobile device).

How to Resize an Image in Photoshop

There are several ways to resize images in Photoshop, but the two main ways are by using the Crop tool and the Image Resizer

Using the Crop Tool

Here's how to resize an image using Photoshop's Crop tool.

  1. Open Photoshop and either open or drag and drop your image into the main window to begin.

  2. Select the Crop tool from the Tools menu.

    The location of the Crop Tool in Photoshop.
  3. With the Crop tool selected, click (or tap) and drag across the image to select the portion you wish to crop to.

    Alternatively, you can use the Crop Handles on each side of the image to change the size of the crop area.

  4. When you're happy with the selection there are a few ways you can accept the crop. You can press Enter on your keyboard, click outside the image in your workspace, or you can select the checkmark at the top of the page.

    A screenshot showing how to accept a crop in Photoshop.
  5. Click File > Save As to resave your image in the new size and with a new file name.

Using the Resizing Tool

You can also use the Resizing tool in Photoshop.

  1. Open Photoshop and either open or drag and drop your image into the main window to begin.

  2. Select Image > Image Size.

    The Image Size option in Photoshop.
  3. Using the Image Size dialog box, adjust the sizing options as needed: 

    • Fit To: Choose from one of the defined resolutions, paper sizes, or pixel densities.
    • Width and Height: If you know the exact dimensions you need for the image, enter them here.
    • Resolution: Enter the number of pixels within the image on a per-inch or per-centimeter basis. 
    The Image Size dialog box in Photoshop.
  4. When you're satisfied with your selections, click OK to resize your image.

    Image Size window in Photoshop with the OK button highlighted
  5. Click File > Save As to resave your image in the new size and with a new file name.

Resizing with SnagIt

SnagIt is another image editing software you can download to your computer and use to resize images.

  1. Open SnagIt and either open or drag and drop your image into the main window to begin.

  2. Click Image > Resize Image or click the image size at the bottom of the canvas.

  3. Type the Width and Height in the appropriate fields in either pixels or inches.

    Width and Height settings
  4. Click Apply.

    Snagit with the Apply button highlighted
  5. Click File > Save As to resave your image in the new size and with a new file name.

Resizing with Preview (MacOS)

Apple's Preview app is a handy tool for many common image editing tasks, such as resizing images.

  1. On your Mac, open the Preview app.

    Preview application on a Mac
  2. Click File > Open and find the image you wish to resize.

    You can also drag the image you want to open to the Preview app in your Dock.

  3. Select the image file and click Open.

  4. Click Tools > Adjust Size.

    Adjust Size under the Tools menu in Preview
  5. Enter the height, width, or both that you want to resize the image to.

    Click the Scale Proportionally box to keep the height and width the same relative sizes.

    Width and Height settings in Preview
  6. Click OK.

    Image Dimensions screen in Preview with the OK button highlighted
  7. Click File > Export.

    Export option in Preview
  8. Choose a new name and save location for your resized image.

    Export window in Preview with the Export As section highlighted
  9. Click Save.

    Export window in Preview with the Save button highlighted

How to Resize with Photos in Windows 10

If you're a Windows 10 user, you have a native option to resize images on your computer: the Photos app. Here's how to use it.

These steps create a copy of the image you modify but don't replace the original.

  1. In the Search bar, type "Photos."

    Search bar in Windows 10
  2. Click the Photos app to open it.

    Photos app in Windows 10
  3. Click the photo you want to resize.

  4. Select the See More menu in the upper-right corner. It looks like three consecutive dots.

    See More menu in Photos for Windows 10
  5. Click Resize.

    Photos in Windows 10 with the Resize option highlighted
  6. A screen will appear with resizing options. You can choose S (Small), M (Medium), or L (Large) to automatically resize based on recommended purposes.

    Click C to set a specific size.

    Resize Image in Photos for Windows 10 with the Define Custom Dimensions option highlighted
  7. Type the Width and Height you want your picture to be.

    Click the box by Maintain Aspect Ratio to preserve the relative height and width values.

    Resize Image menu in Photos for Windows 10 with the Width and Height windows highlighted
  8. Optionally, move the slider to set the Quality of the new, resized image.

    Quality Slider in Resize Image window of Photos in Windows 10
  9. Click Save Resized Copy to create a new image of the dimensions and quality you chose.

    Resize Image window in Photos for Windows 10 with the Save Resized Copy button highlighted