How to Shrink a Photo File Size

By Matt Scheer

Updated September 22, 2017

Most digital cameras have a high resolution that creates large files that are very large and take too long to upload via websites or email. These large file sizes are necessary to print large, detailed photos, but you will need to shrink the file size in order to share them easily through a digital format. Luckily, whether you have a Macintosh or a PC computer, shrinking files to a manageable size doesn't require too much effort.

Open the photo file with any basic image editing software or even the previewing software that came with your computer.

Look in the toolbar menu for a command that reads "Image Size," "Resize" or "Resample," and click on that option. Often, these commands are in the "Edit" or "Tools" menu.

Enable the "Resample" and "Constrain Proportions" or "Keep Aspect Ratio" options. Resampling is needed to make any image smaller, because it changes the pixel dimensions. Maintaining the same aspect ratio keeps your images from being stretched out or distorted. With this option enabled, you need to change only one side's dimensions, and the other changes automatically.

Change the image dimensions. Most programs let you change it in inches, centimeters, pixels and other measurements. These options allow you to convert the photo file in measurements that are familiar to you.

Save the photo as a JPG file, which is a small image file. Make sure to click on "Save As," so you don't erase your original, high-resolution image.