How to Reduce JPG File Size in Photoshop

Written by paul kemp
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Adobe Photoshop is best known for its photographic and graphic editing prowess, but the program also offers a number of options that allow you to optimise and organise your digital images and artwork without making appearance changes. Photoshop’s “Save for Web” options let you save space and optimise images by removing unnecessary information, making it easy to reduce the size of bloated image files when necessary.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Open your JPG file in Photoshop by launching the program and selecting “File" > "Open” from the application menu.

  2. 2

    Select “File" > "Save for Web & Devices” from the application menu. A new dialogue box will appear, displaying your image in a window at the left.

  3. 3

    Adjust the zoom level of the image in the “Save for Web & Devices” dialogue box by clicking on the “-“ or “+” icons at the bottom-left corner. Set the zoom to where you can see the entire image.

  4. 4

    Set the “Preset” drop-down menu at the upper-right corner of the dialogue box to “JPEG High.” This step will reduce the size of your JPG by reducing the quality, but quality reduction will most likely not be visible until it is reduced even further.

  5. 5

    Click the arrows next to the “Quality” field to bring up a slider you can use to adjust quality. Adjust the slider to the left to lower quality. Do this in increments and keep your eye on your image preview at the left of the dialogue box. Keep lowering the quality in small increments until you start to notice a diminishing in the appearance of the image. Adjust the slider to the right until the appearance is back to normal.

  6. 6

    Check the “Optimized” box and take note of the information beneath the left side of the image preview. The second line of information represents the reduced size of your JPG. This size will be a fraction of the original size in many cases.

  7. 7

    Click “Save” and enter a new name for your reduced-size JPG. Click the “Format” drop-down menu and select “Images Only.” Select a save location and click “Save.” You now have a reduced-size version of your original JPG saved in the location you designated.

Tips and warnings

  • In the rare event that the appearance of your image is degraded by the change to “JPEG High,” adjust the “Quality” slider up until it is no longer degraded. You should still be able to reduce the size of your JPG, but to a lesser degree.

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