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How to resize an image on your Windows PC or Mac

We’ve all been there: Trying to upload an image, sometimes as part of a big form, and the website where you need to upload it to has an annoying limit on file size. It can be an understandable limitation – after all, images take up a lot of space, so compressing them can be important. But that means you now have to resize the image yourself, and we’re here to show you how you can do it on your Windows PC or Mac.To be clear, there is no shortage of methods for resizing images on a PC, but before you go on and download some third-party tool you’ve never heard of, it’s a good idea to look at the tools available to you out of the box. Let’s get into your options.

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How to resize an image on a Windows PC

Right out of the box, Windows gives you more than one tool to resize your images. Plus, your laptop’s manufacturer may even include their own tools for this kind of stuff, but we’ll focus on the ones that are included with any version of Windows.

How to resize an image using the Photos app

The Photos app is probably the easiest way you can resize any image you want to. It’s very quick and simple, assuming you just want to resize a couple of images. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Open the image you want to resize using the Photos app.
  • Click the ellipsis button on the menu bar at the top, the click Resize.
  • Choose from the default size options provided. You can also choose Define custom dimensions if you want to set a specific size.
  • Choosing custom dimensions also allows you to change the aspect ratio of the image and set the final image quality, with higher quality resulting in a larger file.
  • Choose where to save the new image.
  • That’s about it if you want a quick way to resize your images using the Photos app. You can save the image with the same file name if you want to overwrite the existing file, but you can also keep the original high-quality version.

    Using Paint

    If you really hate the Photos app for whatever reason, Paint also lets you resize images fairly easily. The main benefit to doing it this way is that you can see the final result before saving the file. You can also undo changes as long as the app is open. Here’s what to do if you want to use this method:

  • In File Explorer, right-click the image you want to resize, and then choose Open with and then select Paint from the dropdown list.
  • In the top menu bar, select the Resize option (see below)
  • You can choose to resize the image to a percentage of the original size or use absolute pixel values if you want a more specific size. You can click the chain button to choose whether you want to keep the original aspect ratio. Paint also gives you the option to skew the image if you want to distort it for whatever reason. Click OK to see the results.
  • If you’re happy with the image, you can click the Save icon at the top of the window to update the original file. If you want to save a copy, click File then Save as and choose a different file name or location to save the new image in a separate file.
  • This is another easy method for resizing images, and it’s the one I personally used most frequently for a long time.

    Resizing images in bulk

    The two methods above work well if you just want to resize an image or two, but if you have a folder with a ton of large images, that’s going to get tiring after a while. If you want to resize multiple images at once, there are some tools you can download to help you out with that.My personal favorite is PowerToys, which is also published by Microsoft and developed in collaboration with the open-source community. PowerToys actually has a lot more tools than the image resizer, but that’s what we’re focusing on for now. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Download the latest version of PowerToys, available on GitHub, and install it.
  • Launch PowerToys and switch to the Image Resizer tab. Make sure the feature is turned on.
  • If you want to set up the Image resizer so it’s always set to use specific sizes, you can customize the size presets it offers. You can change the existing presets or add a new one. When you resize an image, you can also set custom dimensions each time, so it’s up to you what sizes you want available more quickly.

    Note: When you resize an image using this tool, it will be resized to fit in the maximum dimensions you specified. If the aspect ratio of the image is different from the size you selected, the width or height will be smaller than the size you chose.

  • You can also change advanced encoding settings and filename format settings on this page.
  • Once you have everything set up here, you can close the PowerToys window and go to the folder where your images are. Select all the images you want to resize and right-click them.
  • If you’re using Windows 11, click the Show more options button in the context menu, then click Resize pictures. On Windows 10, this option is available right away.
  • Choose one of the size presets or set custom dimensions. You can also choose whether you want to replace the existing images or create copies, remove image metadata, and more.
  • Click Resize and the images will be resized.
  • And that’s about it for ways you can resize an image on a Windows PC. If you don’t see the option to resize pictures in your context menu, you may need to make sure PowerToys is running. Launch the app and, if you want, set it to run at startup so you don’t have to think about it again.

    How to resize an image on a Mac

    If you’re using Mac, things are actually quite a bit more straightforward, since the only tool you need is built right into macOS. Apple’s operating system comes with an app called Preview, and this lets you resize images individually and in bulk.One thing to note before doing this is that Preview will always replace the original image files when you resize them. If you want to keep the original files, duplicate them first, then resize the duplicates and leave the original images intact.Here’s how it goes if you want to resize a single image:

  • In Finder, open the image you want to resize. If Preview isn’t your default for opening images, right-click the image file, then choose Open with and select the Preview app.
  • With Preview open, click the Tools option in the top menu bar, then choose Adjust size.
  • You’ll see a window to choose the target size for your image. There are a few presets available, but you can also choose a custom size. You can resize it in percentage of the original resolution or switch to absolute values using the dropdown menu. You can also choose the pixel density of the final image if you prefer that method.
  • Click OK and your image will be saved with the new resolution.
  • If you want to resize your images in bulk, the process is similar, but there are a couple of things you need to pay attention to. First, select all the images you want in Finder and open them with Preview. Then, in Preview, make sure you select the thumbnails for all the images you want to resize before using the Adjust Size option.And that’s about it. It’s admittedly a bit easier to get this done on macOS, but it’s not a difficult process either way. As a Windows user, PowerToys is my go-to for resizing images now, since I can work with multiple images with just a few clicks. It’s only really a bit more troublesome to set up the first time, but it saves you a lot of time in the long run. There are plenty of other options for both Windows and macOS if you want to use third-party tools, but this is probably easier for most people.Want to get into more advanced image editing? Check out our roundup of the best image editing tools for Windows, and stop by our list of the best photo editing laptops if you want to do this more professionally.