HomeWinBuzzer TipsHow to Resize an Image (Online or Offline)

How to Resize an Image (Online or Offline)

We show you how to resize a photo using a variety of offline and online tools, such as Microsoft Photos, Paint.net, and online tools.


Managing image sizes is crucial for both storage efficiency and ensuring your photos look their best on any platform. Whether you’re working with high-resolution images from a DSLR or snapshots from your smartphone, resizing images can help you optimize them for specific uses. This tutorial will guide you through various methods to resize your images, both online and offline, to fit your needs perfectly.

It’s important to understand the distinction between reducing and enlarging images. Reducing an image’s size compresses existing information, often without significant quality loss, thanks to advanced algorithms. However, enlarging an image requires adding new information, which can lead to a decrease in image clarity. Always preview your resized images on their intended display or print medium to ensure the quality meets your standards.

How to Resize an Image with the Photos App

This section covers resizing images using the Windows Photos app, a convenient tool for users of Windows 10 and Windows 11.

  1. Open Image
    Launch the Photos app and open the image you wish to resize. Click on the three dots in the toolbar and select “Resize“.
    Windows 11 - Photos - 3Dots - Resize
  2. Option 1: Choose from one of the presets
    These are generally pretty accurate. The emails and messages option is particularly great if you run into a file size limitation when trying to send an image in a messaging app.
    Windows 11 - Photos - 3Dots - Resize - Choose Option
  3. Option 2: Use Custom Dimensions
    Select “Define custom dimensions” for more flexibility.
    Windows 11 - Photos - 3Dots - Resize - Define Custom Dimensions
  4. Enter your width, height, and quality settings
    It’s a good idea to tick “Maintain aspect ratio“, as this will stop your image from being “stretched” to be wider or taller than the original image. You can also adjust the “Quality” slider, which will determine how much the image is compressed. The important thing to keep an eye on while doing so is the size below the “Resize image” heading. You can try to find a good combination between file size, resolution, and quality. Adjust to balance file size and image quality, then click “Save resized copy“.
    Windows 11 - Photos - 3Dots - Resize - Define Custom Dimensions - Save
  5. Choose Save Location
    Select the folder for the resized image, name it, and press “Save“.
    Windows 11 - Photos - Resize - Define Custom Dimensions - Save

How to Change the Size of an Image in Microsoft Paint

Resizing an image in Microsoft Paint used to destroy its quality, but these days it’s not bad. Conveniently, you can also resize as a percentage, which is more intuitive than manually working out pixel numbers.

  1. Open the Image
    Launch Paint and navigate to “File > Open” to select your image.
    Windows 11 - Paint - File - Open
  2. Find the image you want to resize, select it, and press “Open”
    Locate and open the image file you wish to resize.
    Windows 11 - Paint - File - Open - Choose Image - Open
  3. Press the image resize icon in your ribbon
    Look for the resize icon, resembling a square with a diagonal arrow, in the toolbar.
    Windows 11 - Paint - Image - Resize
  4. Enter the percentage you want your final image to be and press “OK”
    Adjust the size by percentage or pixels, then confirm your choice.
    Windows 11 - Paint - Image - Resize - Accept
  5. Press “File > Save as > File format”
    You can choose the file type that best suits your purpose. JPEG is a lossy file format, meaning you’ll lose some quality if you’re coming from a different format.
    PNG uses lossless compression, so you’ll get a better quality but a higher file size. We do not recommend that you use BMP for resizing at all. Resizing a BMP is akin to resizing the individual pixels, which will mean a fuzzy or jagged result.
    We only recommend GIF if you have an image without a lot of color variation. As GIF has a limited color palette, you may see blockyness otherwise.
    Windows 11 - Paint - File - Save As - Choose Format
  6. Name your file and press “Save”
    Finalize the process by naming and saving your resized image.
    Windows 11 - Paint - File - Save As - Choose Format - Save

How to Resize an Image Online for Free

If you don’t have suitable software on your PC or are on a mobile device, you can use a free image resizer website to make your image smaller or bigger. There are a ton of options out there and using an image resizer online is very easy.

  1. Picresize.com
    PicResize is very easy to use. All you need to do is drag and drop your image and select from a variety of resize presets. You can even apply effects such as frames and oil painting effects.
    The only downside is that you can only use picresize to make an image smaller unless you pay for its pro version. 
    Windows 11 - Picresize
  2. Resizeimage.net
    ResizeImage is a bit more advanced tool, though it does have a “simple” mode if you don’t need the additional functionality. You can crop your image using the tools pictured below, which is always nice, as well as rotate.
    Windows 11 - Resizeimage1
  3. Adjusting your image size
    Regardless of the options you choose, you’ll be presented with a “Resize your image” slider to easily adjust the percentage it’s scaled. Much like picresize, you can’t go above 100% when resizing. You can, however, adjust the amount of compression in your image.
    Windows 11 - Resizeimage2

How to Resize a Photo using Tools like Paint.net, Photoshop, or GIMP

If you already have image editing software installed, it can make sense to use that rather than Windows in-built tools. The process to change a photo’s similar in all of these apps, but we’ll be using paint.net as an example.

  1. Open your image editing software and choose “File > Open…”
    Start by opening your preferred image editing software and selecting your image.
    Windows 11 - Paint.net - File - Open
  2. Select your image and press “Open”
    Locate and open the image file you wish to resize.
    Windows 11 - Paint.net - File - Open - Choose Image - Open
  3. In the toolbar, press “Image > Resize”
    Find the resize option in the software’s toolbar to adjust your image’s dimensions.
    Windows 11 - Paint.net - Image - Resize
  4. Choose your new dimensions and press OK
    Enter the new dimensions for your image (via pixels or percentage) and confirm your choice.
    Windows 11 - Paint.net - Image - Resize - Accept
  5. Click “File > Save As…” in the toolbar
    Prepare to save your resized image.
    Windows 11 - Paint.net - File - Save As
  6. Name your resized image and press “Save”
    Finalize the process by naming and saving your resized image.
    Windows 11 - Paint.net - File - Save As - Save

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About Resizing Images

How do I resize an image to fit a specific online form without losing quality?

To resize an image for an online form accurately without compromising on quality, visit online tools such as ResizeImage.net or PicResize.com (see above) that allow precise dimension adjustments. Input the required width and height in pixels as specified by the form requirements. To preserve quality, carefully adjust compression settings, choosing the lowest level of compression that keeps the image file size within the form’s limits. Always preview the final image to ensure it meets your quality standards before submitting.

Can I resize a photo directly on my smartphone?

Most smartphones have built-in photo editing features that include resizing options. To resize an image, open it in your phone’s default photo app and look for the ‘Edit‘ option. From there, you may find tools for cropping and adjusting the size. For more advanced resizing options, numerous third-party apps are available in the app store, such as “Photo & Picture Resizer” for Android or “Image Size” for iOS, which offer precise control over dimensions and file size.

What is the best practice for changing a photo to JPG format?

When converting an image to JPG format, it is essential to balance image quality with file size. If using an online converter or software like Adobe Photoshop, select the JPG format in the ‘Save As‘ or ‘Export‘ options. You will often be prompted to select a quality level: choosing somewhere between 60-80% usually offers a good balance, as it significantly reduces file size without noticeably degrading the image for most uses. Always review the final image to ensure it meets your expectations.

How can I ensure to maintain the aspect ratio when resizing a PNG image?

To maintain the aspect ratio of a PNG image during resizing, always ensure that the ‘Maintain aspect ratio‘ feature (or a similarly titled option) is enabled in your image editing tool, whether you’re using an online service or software. This feature automatically adjusts the width when you change the height, and vice versa, preserving the original proportions of the image to avoid distortion. In professional software like Adobe Photoshop, this can typically be achieved by ensuring the link icon between width and height fields is activated.

What are some free, high-quality image resizer options available online?

Free, high-quality online image resizers include PicResize.com and ResizeImage.net. These platforms provide user-friendly interfaces that allow for precise adjustments to image dimensions, aspect ratio, and quality. They also offer additional features like cropping and applying basic effects. For users seeking more control, websites like ILoveIMG.com or TinyPNG offer advanced compression algorithms that reduce file size without significantly impacting image quality. Always review the terms of use to ensure your images remain private and secure.

How to decrease the file size of an image without significantly impacting quality for web use?

Decreasing the file size of an image for web use requires finding a balance between image dimensions, compression, and format. Firstly, adjust the image dimensions to be as small as practical for your use case. Use online tools or software like Adobe Photoshop to apply compression; choosing a ‘Save for Web‘ option can be particularly effective. Experiment with different formats as well; JPEG is generally more size-efficient for photos, whereas PNG or WebP may be better for images with text or sharp lines. Moderate compression settings often reduce file size significantly with minimal loss to perceptual quality.

What is the difference between reducing the pixel dimensions and reducing the file size of an image?

Reducing the pixel dimensions of an image makes the image physically smaller in terms of width and height, which can decrease file size but may also affect the image’s detail and clarity, especially if printed or viewed at a large size. Reducing the file size without changing pixel dimensions often involves compressing the image data. This compression can make the file smaller by reducing its quality to some degree, potentially introducing artifacts or blur, particularly with aggressive compression. Tools and software often offer a balance between these factors, allowing you to make informed decisions based on your needs.

Can I resize an image for free without installing any software?

Yes, numerous online tools enable you to resize images for free without the need for software installation. Websites like PicResize.com, ResizeImage.net, and SimpleImageResizer.com offer straightforward interfaces for quickly adjusting the dimensions and file sizes of images. These platforms often include additional features such as cropping, rotating, and adjusting image quality, providing a comprehensive set of tools for basic image editing tasks directly from your web browser.

How can I quickly convert an image to a smaller file size for email?

To quickly convert an image to a smaller file size suitable for email, use an online compression tool or image resizer such as TinyJPG/TinyPNG or CompressJPEG.com. These tools automatically adjust the compression rate to reduce file size while striving to maintain image quality. When using these services, you can often simply upload your image and let the tool optimize the file size for you. For even smaller sizes, consider manually reducing the image’s dimensions before compressing, as smaller images typically result in smaller file sizes.

Is there a way to automate the resizing of multiple images at once?

Automating the resizing of multiple images is possible with batch processing software or tools specifically designed for this purpose. Desktop applications like Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, and IrfanView offer batch processing features, allowing you to apply the same resizing parameters to a group of images. Additionally, online tools like ILoveIMG.com provide batch resizing options, enabling you to upload and resize multiple images concurrently, saving time and ensuring consistency across all images.

How do I know which file format to choose when saving a resized image?

The choice of file format depends on your needs for image quality, file size, and transparency. JPEG is widely used for photographs due to its efficient compression that offers a good balance between quality and file size. PNG is preferable for images requiring transparency, such as logos or graphics, offering lossless compression but often at a larger file size. For web use, consider newer formats like WebP, which provides superior compression algorithms, potentially reducing file size further without compromising quality. Always test several formats to identify which best suits your specific situation.

What role does DPI play when resizing images for online use?

DPI (dots per inch) is a measure of printing resolution, indicating how many dots of ink an image will contain within a linear inch when printed. For online use, DPI is less critical because screens display images based on pixel dimensions. Standard practice for web images is to use a DPI setting of 72, but this is largely a legacy convention; what matters more for online images are the pixel dimensions and file size, which directly affect how quickly the image loads and its visual quality on the screen.

Can resizing an image affect its quality when printed?

Resizing an image can significantly affect its quality when printed, especially if you are enlarging it. Enlarging an image often introduces pixelation or blurriness because the resizing process has to interpolate additional pixels without actual data to support them. To ensure the best quality when printed, use the highest resolution original image available and avoid resizing it more than necessary. If resizing is needed, especially enlarging, consider using software with advanced interpolation techniques, such as Adobe Photoshop’s ‘Preserve Details‘ resizing feature, to mitigate quality loss.

How do I edit a JPEG image without advanced software like Photoshop?

Editing a JPEG image without advanced software is possible using free or built-in applications. Windows users can utilize Paint or the Photos app for basic adjustments, while Mac users have access to Preview for resizing, cropping, and simple edits. Online platforms like Canva or Pixlr offer more extensive editing tools, from basic adjustments to filters and effects, all without the complexity of professional software. These solutions provide a user-friendly interface suitable for users of all levels.

What is an efficient method to resize images for social media platforms?

For efficient resizing of images for social media platforms, consider using online tools like Canva or Adobe Spark, which offer preset dimensions tailored to specific platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. These presets automatically adjust your images to fit the platform’s optimal display size, ensuring they look great without manual calculation. Additionally, these tools often include additional features for enhancing your images, such as filters, text overlay, and branding elements, making them a powerful option for preparing social media content.

Extra: How to Bulk Resize Images with PowerToys

If you have a dozen, or even hundreds of images to resize, using any of them is going to take a very long time. In our other guide, we show you how to resize photos in Windows using the PowerToys Image Resizer, which lets you bulk resize images in two clicks.
How to Quickly Resize Multiple Images on Windows 10


Extra: How to Convert an Image from Color to Black and White in Microsoft Word

Colour images are great, but they can also cause too much distraction from the text in your document. In such a case, you may want to use Microsoft Word to convert the image to black and white. In our other guide, we show you how to convert an image to black and white from color in Microsoft Word, but also how to reset it again if you don’t like how it looks.

Extra: How to Convert a JPG to PDF

Quite often, it’s necessary to turn downloaded or created images into an easily browsable document. For this purpose, there’s no better file format than the humble PDF. In our other guide, we show you how to convert a JPG to a PDF using a variety of methods.
Featured - How to convert JPG to PDF

Extra: How to Open HEIC Files or Convert Them to JPEG, PNG, PSD, GIF and Other Formats

The HEIC format is known for its high-efficiency compression, which allows for significantly smaller file sizes while maintaining high image quality. However, despite its advantages, HEIC files often present compatibility challenges, particularly when sharing images with users on Windows 11, Android or other different platforms or when trying to view them on non-Apple devices. In our other guide, we show you how to open and view HEIC images on Windows 11 and how to convert HEIC to JPEG, PNG, PSD, GIF and other formats using Windows, macOS or your web browser.
Featured - How to Open HEIC Files or Convert Them to JPEG with One Click

Extra: How to Open, View and Edit RAW Files on Windows 11 and Windows 10

RAW files, often likened to digital negatives, are uncompressed image files capturing all the data from the camera sensor. These files provide a higher quality and more detailed image compared to standard JPEGs, but they are also larger in size and not directly usable without image processing. In our other guide, we show you how to view and edit RAW image files on Windows with internal tools and the best third party software for handling RAW files.

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.
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