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How to Change the Resolution of a Photo on My Computer

Updated April 17, 2017

Changing the resolution of a photo also changes the file size. To make a picture file size smaller, the picture's resolution needs to be smaller. It is easier to give pictures a smaller resolution, as making a picture larger causes it to lose quality and become pixelated. Photos can only be altered as far as the original quality allows. This means a picture is usually in its highest resolution when it is downloaded from the camera. The Windows picture resize tool or a photo editing program can change the resolution of a picture.

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  1. Open your photo editing software. Open the appropriate picture by going to "File," "Open" then selecting the picture from its location.

  2. Click "Edit" or "Image" from the toolbar. Look for an option that says "Resize" or "Image Size." The wording will differ depending on the program you are using.

  3. Alter the image size by changing the options on the screen. This could mean changing the pixels, document size, or in some cases, the resolution itself. Adjust the numbers to get the picture the size you want. If you change the width and height or pixels, be sure to keep the changes in proportion so the picture is not distorted. Remember, choosing a much larger resolution may distort the picture.

  4. Save the file once you have adjusted the image. This will overwrite the original unless you also change the file name.

  5. Tip

    If you do not have photo editing software and you are running Windows XP, you can use the built in resizing tool. Download the tool from the link in the Resources section. Right-click on the picture you want to resize, click "Resize Pictures," choose a new picture size then click "OK."


    An original blurry picture cannot be made clear by turning up the resolution.

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Things You'll Need

  • Photo editing software (if required)

About the Author

Bailey Granger has been a military journalist since 2006. She also has an extensive professional background in computer repair, performing arts and social sciences. Granger holds a Master of Science in strategic intelligence from American Military University and a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from Bridgewater State College.

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