Software & Apps Design How to Make High Resolution Images on Your Computer or Smartphone Increase the resolution of any photo on your PC, Mac, or mobile device by Thomas James Wilton Writer Tom Wilton has been a freelance filmmaker and writer since 2012. His work has appeared in Video&Filmmaker, The Big Issue, and others. He's also been a consultant for CBS. our editorial process LinkedIn Thomas James Wilton Updated on June 18, 2020 Grant Faint/Getty Images Design Graphic Design Photoshop Animation & Video 3D Design Tweet Share Email Taking a digital image and making it smaller is a relatively simple task, but knowing how to increase the resolution of an image is a little more challenging. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to improve the quality of a blown-up photo. This article provides instructions for desktop Gimp 2.10, which is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. It also includes instructions for macOS X Preview (macOS 10.3 or later) and Image Save, which requires iOS 9.0 or later. Principles of Making a Picture Higher Resolution It’s important to be clear about what we mean when we talk about increasing the resolution of an image. Resolution correlates to the number of pixels in a digital photograph or image. The more pixels you have, the higher the image’s resolution. To improve a picture’s resolution, we first increase the size of it, then we make sure it has the optimal pixel density. The end result is a larger image, but it will likely look less sharp than the original picture. The bigger you make your image, the more you’ll see a difference in sharpness. Again, we’re simply making the picture bigger and adding pixels, not more detail. As a rule of thumb, 300 pixels-per-inch is the accepted standard for printed images. To mitigate the loss of sharpness you should: Avoid a significant increase in size: Obviously, all images are different, but if you decide to increase the dimensions by more than 30 percent or 40 percent, you’ll likely notice a loss of sharpness.Use sharpen tools when available: Not all apps have them, but Gimp and Photoshop both include features for sharpening images. The final effect can sometimes seem unnatural, so its key to use them sparingly if you want to retain a similar look to your original picture. How to Make High Resolution Images using Desktop Gimp Gimp is a free, open source image editing tool available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. It offers broad support for a host of image formats making it ideal for this kind of task. Here's how to improve image resolution with Gimp: Launch Gimp. Select File > Open. This will launch the file picker. Locate your image and select Open. Select the image tab. Press Ctrl+A (Windows) or command+A (Mac) to select the whole image. Remaining on the image tab, press Ctrl+C or Command+C to copy the image. Now we're going to create the higher resolution copy. Select File > New to open a new image template. We need to make sure your final picture will have a resolution of 300 pixels-per-inch. To do this, select Advanced Options. You’ll see the pre-filled width and height match your current image. Don't change these values. The dialog box will expand, revealing the X and Y resolutions for the image. The boxes may already show the canvas is set to 300. If it is not, adjust both the X and Y values to 300, then select OK. You'll now have a new image window which has the same dimensions as your original photo. Making sure you are working on the box for your new image, select Image > Canvas Size. Another dialog box will open. This is where we’ll adjust the canvas size. Before you adjust the canvas width or height, make sure that the chain icon to the right of both measurements is locked. Enter your new desired image width, then press tab. You'll see the height automatically adjusts to match the image scale. In this example we’re going from just over 4000 pixels to 6000 pixels. Be sure to remember or jot down your new dimensions. You'll need these again later. Select Resize. Remaining in your new new image window, press Ctrl+V or Command+V to paste the image. Drag the corner of your window (and zoom out if necessary) so you can clearly see all corners of your resized canvas. You'll notice the image is pasted in the center of your new image window at its original size. We now need to make the pasted image fully cover the new canvas size. First, go to the Layers window and select Floating Selection (Pasted Layer) if it is not already selected. Go to the Toolbox window on the left and select the Scale tool. Select your pasted image. You'll see a scale guide appear as well as a scale dialog box. In the scale dialog box, ensure the chain icon is locked, then enter the same width value you used in step 13. You will see a preview of what your resized image will look like. If it looks good, select Scale. Your image is now resampled at the newer size. Before exporting your image, you can check the quality of it by zooming in. To do this, select View > Zoom, then choose your desired zoom level. Once you're happy with the end result, go to the Layers window and right-click Floating Selection (Pasted Layer), then select Anchor Layer to lock it to the background. To export your image, select File > Export. This will open a new dialog box. Choose where you want to save your resized image and name it. Then select Export. When naming your image, you can also set the file type by typing the extension. For example, calling your image "new_photo.png" will save it as a PNG file, or "new_photo.jpg" will save it as a JPEG. A final dialog box will appear, offering settings for your saved photo. To get the best possible final image quality, move the Compression Level slider to zero, then select Export. Congratulations! You have increased the resolution of your image. How to Increase the Resolution of an Image using macOS X Preview Preview is a useful tool for viewing photos and PDFs on your Mac, but it also includes some handy image editing tools. Locate your image file, then right-click it and select Open with > Preview. Select the Markup Toolbar icon. Select the Adjust Size icon. Adjust the width to your desired amount, then select OK. For this example, we're going to resize the picture from a width of 1000 pixels to 1300 pixels. Ensure the lock icon is closed and "Resample Image" is checked. Your image will resize. Select File > Save to overwrite the original image or File > Export to save it as a new file. All done! Your resized image is now saved. How to Increase the Resolution of an Image using Image Size for iPhone Image Size for iOS is a photo editing tool that also lets you resize images. It's free, but you can choose to pay if you want to remove ads. Install and launch Image Size. Tap the main white box. Select OK to grant the app access to your photos, then select the white box once more to open the image picker. Select the image you want to resize. Select Choose to open your image. Select the chain icon to lock your Width and Height values. Set your desired Width value, then select Done. For this example we will scale the image up to 6000 pixels. Your Height value will automatically adjust as well. Your photo will resample at the new size; you can pinch and zoom to check the pixel quality. Select the gear icon to view additional options. Ensure the output Quality slider is at 100 percent. If you intend to print the image, you can smooth out some of the pixelation. To do this, select the + icon to increase the Print size correction factor, then select the back arrow to return to the main page. To save the final image, select the save arrow. That's it! Your resized image is now saved to your Camera Roll.