How to Resize a Photo

Learning how to resize a photo is an essential skill for aspiring photographers, but it’s just as important for the average computer user. Sometimes, a photo is too large to send via email or upload to a social media site, so you’ll need to reduce the pixel count in order to meet the size requirements. Below, we’ve outlined how to resize a photo using built-in software on Windows and Mac.


Need images for your project? Shutterstock’s impressive collection of more than 70 million images can help! See what our library has to offer.


Using Microsoft Paint

  1. To find Paint, click the Start button and then select All Programs. You’ll see it in the Accessories section. Once Paint is open, you need to choose which image to resize. To do this, click the main Paint button and then “Open” to locate the image file.

  2. Next, look under the Home tab for the “Image” group. This has a variety of editing options for images. Choose “Resize”.  

  3. A new dialog box should appear, allowing you to specify the resizing settings. Make sure that “Maintain aspect ratio” is enabled, so that any changes you make to an image will happen proportionally. This also means you only have to enter one dimension (horizontal or vertical) for the resized image, and the other dimension will change automatically. 

  4. You can choose to resize an image based on Percentage or Pixels. Percentage changes the image in comparison to its current size, whereas Pixels allows you to select specific dimensions. Make your changes, and click OK.

  5. If you’re happy with the image adjustments, click on the Paint button again and choose “Save As” to preserve a new version of the image. 


Using Mac Preview

  1. First, open the image in Preview by right-clicking on it and moving your cursor over “Open With”. Then, select “Preview”. 

  2. Next, click on “Tools” in Preview’s top bar, followed by “Adjust Size”. A new window should appear with a few resizing options.   

  3. Before making any adjustments, check to see that the “Scale proportionally” box is selected. This will ensure that the image keeps its original dimensions, no matter how large or small you make it. 

  4. Now, enter in a new value for “Width” or “Height”, and the other value will change accordingly. You can also specify the measurement values in “pixels”, “percent”, “inches”, “cm”, and more. 

  5. When you’re ready to make the changes, click OK. Then, save a new version of your image by selecting “Save As” from the File menu. 

  • Was this article helpful?

Can’t find what you’re looking for?