How to Get a JPEG Below 20Kb

by Kenrick Callwood

Certain web applications, such as avatar creators for use in forums, require you to resize JPEGs below 20 kilobytes (Kb) before uploading them to the server. This task is usually achieved in one of three ways or, in certain cases, by using a combination of the three. The first method involves reducing the size of the image. The second is to crop the image to only include a small section; the last is to change the image quality in the graphics editing software before saving the file. Extremely large JPEG images, such as those from a modern digital camera, will most likely require you to do all three.

Reduce the size of the image in the JPEG to reduce it below 20Kb. This may be done with any graphics program, including free programs such as Microsoft Paint or professional software like Photoshop. Open the desired JPEG and use the sizing controls in the program menus or toolbar to reduce the image to around 150 pixels by 150 pixels. Save the JPEG with a new name such as "Copy." Right-click on the new JPEG and select "Properties" in the context menu to see the result of the size change. This process may need to be repeated several times to achieve the desired dimension to file size ratio.

Crop the image to select a specific portion of the image to use as a new JPEG. This option is available in all graphic editing programs. Select the specific area of the image you want to use with the crop tool and crop the image. Select an area of around 150 pixels by 150 pixels and save the cropped image with a new file name. Use the "Properties" option from the Windows context menu to see if the new JPEG is under 20Kb.

Change the image quality settings of the JPEG to reduce the file size to under 20 Kb. Some programs allow you to select a specific image quality setting to help reduce the file size of the saved JPEG. Reducing the quality of the JPEG affects the clarity of the image. You must experiment to find the point at which the image becomes unusable. This depends on the size of the image and its intended use. JPEG files you plan to print must be higher quality than those you plan to use on a website for example. After saving the JPEG under a new name, check the resulting file size to verify that it is now under 20Kb.


  • check Attempt to reduce the overall image dimensions before cropping the JPEG or reducing the image quality. In most cases, the combination of reducing the image dimensions and lowering the image quality will be enough.

About the Author

Kenrick Callwood has been involved in Internet marketing since 2007 and his work has appeared in numerous online publications. His main areas of expertise are psychology, travel and Internet marketing. He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from California Polytechnic University.