How to fix a pixelated image.

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What is pixelation and why does it happen?

Pixelation is those blurry, blocky squares you see when an image’s size is increased too much. Most images are composed of small squares of color information called pixels. As the size of an image increases, so do the pixels it’s made of, blurring the details of the image and creating distracting image distortions. Why does this happen?
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Poor printing and resizing.

A common cause of pixelation is when someone attempts to print something with the wrong page and resolution settings, resulting in a skewed or pixelated print.

Downloaded images.

Many images you download from web pages and social media are small in file size and become pixelated when you open them for editing.


When you upload an image to social media, a blog, or another site, the site often compresses images and photos to reduce the overall file size. This makes the uploaded picture look good on a feed, but it can often end up pixelated when you try and go back and enlarge it.

Low-resolution images.

Many images are low resolution to begin with. They might have been taken on an older camera or may have lost quality after being repeatedly downloaded and uploaded online.

De-pixelate with these tools.

Pixelation can be difficult to fix, especially if it’s heavy, but Photoshop has a suite of tools designed to improve and repair or de-speckle unsightly pixels.

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Adjust the size and upsample.

Photoshop harnesses the power of AI to fix pixelated pictures with machine learning. Just use the image size features to make an image larger and automatically increase resolution of an image.

Sharpen it up.

The sharpen tools available in both Photoshop and Camera RAW help you manually sharpen individual pixels to create higher-resolution images.

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Add gentle blur.

If upsampling and sharpening don’t get you where you need to be, use effects like Gaussian blur to soften images and smooth over those rough pixels.

Make it soft.

Use the Soft Light blending mode to alter exposure and contrast within an image, applying light and shadow to mask and conceal pixelated areas.

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How to resample an image and make it larger.

With image size adjustments you can use artificial intelligence to automatically fill in pixel color information, protecting your images from pixelation when you increase the resolution.

  • Open it:
    Open your original image file in Photoshop, and select Image › Image Size in the top menu bar.
  • Resize it:
    Start with a minor resize in the width and height. Photoshop will use AI to make smart guesses about pixel information, automatically filling in extra pixels that match their surroundings.
  • Resample it:
    You can select different options in the Resample drop-down menu. Stick with Automatic if you’re unsure, or experiment with automatic smoothing settings like Bicubic Smoother.
  • Confirm it:
    Click OK. If your image still doesn’t look right to you, select Edit › Undo to give it another try.
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Enhance your photos in Camera Raw.

If you have a RAW file, you can use the Super Resolution feature in Camera Raw to dramatically enhance the quality of your photos.

  • Open it:
    When you open a RAW file in Photoshop, Camera Raw will automatically open and be ready for you to edit.
  • Enhance it:
    Right-click your image, and select Enhance. Then check the box next to Super Resolution.
  • Detail it:
    Use the preview to make sure the enhancement is working how you want it to be, and then click Enhance. Your new photo will be saved as a DNG file.


Learn more photo retouching and cleaning techniques.

See how you can use Photoshop to cleverly mask and hide imperfections in your photo editing and other work.

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Fix pixelated photos with super images.

It’s in the name. Learn how the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Super Resolution feature helps you automatically upscale images with the power of AI.

Make use of Super Resolution

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There’s no blur like Gaussian.

Gaussian blur is a math-powered blur effect that lays a beautiful sheen over areas in your image that you might want to draw less attention to.

Use Gaussian blur

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Manipulate your work.

Making major edits to your photographic work isn’t as difficult as you might think. Discover photo retouching, blending options, photomontage, image editing, and more.

Photo manipulation in Photoshop

Graphs to improve your photos.

A histogram is a graph that shows the frequency of each tone as a value on a bar chart. You can use this powerful tool to create sharper and more vibrant photos.

Learn about the histogram