Photo Repair

How to Fix Pixelated Images

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    Summary: Are your images pixelated, blurry, or unclear? Looking for quick and easy solutions to fix pixelated images? In this post, you will learn 7 best methods to fix pixelated images using Photoshop, free tools, and online programs on PC, Mac, Android, and iPhone.

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    Pixelation is an annoying problem often reported with low-resolution images. Further, due to inaccurate resizing or compression, the quality visibly deteriorates, making the picture unusable.

    Addressing the issue, here, we will share various methods to fix pixelated images with Photoshop. Plus, you will learn how to fix pixelated photos without Photoshop using free and online programs on your computer and mobile phone.

    Why do my photos become pixelated?

    Resolution determines the fine details of a photo and is measured as pixels per inch. Pixel dimensions are directly related to the resolution of your photo. The more the pixels, the better the resolution. And that’s the reason a higher resolution image doesn’t get pixelated or blurred. It produces better quality after publishing or printing. But if the image resolution is low, your photos would appear blurry, unclear, hazy, or pixelated on zooming or printing. Also, sometimes, wrong pixel dimensions result in unpixelate image in a high-resolution photo.

    Some common reasons for pixelation in photos are:

    • Low-resolution photos
    • Inappropriate resizing of small images
    • Wrong camera settings resulting in unclear and pixelated photos
    • Wrong image compression
    • Opening photos in an incompatible photo viewer
    • Corruption in the image file can also sometimes result in blurry or unclear images

    How to Fix pixelated images?

    You can use photo editing programs to remove pixelation issues in photos. Photoshop is the most sought-after tool for fixing photo pixelation. It offers several techniques that you can try based on the image resolution and usage, such as web publishing, printing, etc.

    However, if you find Photoshop expensive, there are other inexpensive and free tools, which can help to reduce pixelation in pictures. Let’s see some methods to fix pixelated images first:

    Method 1: Fix low-resolution image pixelation in Photoshop

    In Photoshop, you can improve a low-resolution image by adjusting the resolution and pixels settings. This is one of the best ways to fix blur and pixelation in low-quality pictures, especially when you want to print them in a big size.

    Steps to reduce pixelation in low-resolution pictures:

    • Open your image in Photoshop.
    • In the top menu bar, go to the Image > Image size. In the Image Size box, change the resolution by 300 or more, as required.
    Figure: Image Size box in Photoshop CC 2017
    • Go to the Filter menu and select Camera Raw Filter from the drop-down.
    Figure: Camera Raw Filter option
    • In Camera Raw window, go to the Detail box and adjust the ‘Sharpening’ and ‘Noise Reduction’ sliders until the pixelation clears.
    Figure: Image Sharpening and Noise Reduction sliders
    • Again from the top menu bar, go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation
    Figure: Hue/Saturation option in the Image menu
    • In the Hue/Saturation box, adjust the color of your image, as required.
    Figure: Hue/Saturation box sliders
    • Click on File and select Save from the drop-down.

    Method 2: Use Blur and Sharpen filters in Photoshop to fix pixelation

    Adobe Photoshop provides different filters to sharpen and remove blur in images. You can try Gaussian Blur, followed by Sharpen filter to fix pixelation in photos. Adjust the image pixel settings to an acceptable level and reduce pixelation or blur in your pictures.

    Steps to remove pixelation in pictures using Photoshop’s Filter option:

    • Open your pixelated photo in Photoshop.
    • On the top bar, click to go to Filter > Blur >Gaussian Blur.
    Figure: Gaussian Blur option in Photoshop
    • In the Gaussian Blur window, adjust the slider to an acceptable level. Click OK.
    • Again select Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask.
    • In the Unsharp Mask window, adjust the slider to an acceptable level. Click OK.
    Figure: Unsharp Mask window in Photoshop
    • Click on File and select Save from the drop-down.

    You may want to read: Fix Photoshop error ‘problem parsing the jpeg data’

    Method 3: Create soft layer over pixelated image using Photoshop

    Another way to fix pixelated images is to mask the distortions by creating a soft layer over them. Photoshop offers blending options, which can reduce pixelation. You can also further reduce noise, set brightness, and contrast to enhance colors and minimize pixelation in your photos.

    Steps to create soft layer to reduce pixelation using Photoshop:

    • Open your pixelated photo in Photoshop.
    • Right-click on the image layer and select Duplicate layer.
    Figure: Duplicate Layer option Photoshop CC 2017
    • Click Blending Options and select Soft Light from the drop-down.
    Figure: Soft Light under Blending options
    • On the top menu bar, click Filters > Noise > Despeckle. You may have to repeat the process until the pixelation clears. The filter covers the pixels around and smooths the photo.
    Figure: Despeckle in Photoshop
    • In menu bar, click on Image. From the drop-down, select Adjustments. Select Brightness/Contrast. Adjust the same as per your requirement.
    Figure: Brightness/Contrast option in Image
    • Go to File on the top menu bar and Save your image.

    Note: You can also directly go to Despeckle option from Filters to fix image pixelation without creating a duplicate new layer. It is a quicker way to fix pixelation in images.

    Method 4: Fix pixelated photos in Paint.NET on a PC

    Paint.Net is a simpler alternative to Photoshop. It is a free photo editing tool for Windows. You can easily depixelate images in Paint.NET in a few steps. It’s straightforward and quite user-friendly.

    Steps to unpixelate images in Paint.NET:

    • Open your pixelated photo in Paint.NET.
    • From the top menu bar, click and follow Effects > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
    Figure: Gaussian Blur option in Paint.NET
    • In the Gaussian Blur box, adjust the slider to reduce pixelation, and click OK.
    Figure: Gaussian Blur box
    • Next, again select Effects > Photo > Sharpen.
    Figure: Sharpen option in Paint.NET
    • In the Sharpen box, adjust the slider to a level at which pixelation is minimum in the photo.
    • Click OK and save the photo.

    Method 5: Fix pixelated pictures online for free

    You can also depixelate images online. There are several free online tools that can sharpen, reduce blurriness, and remove pixelation in photos.

    No need to download the software. Simply open the program in your browser, add the pixelated photo and follow the onscreen instructions to depixelate the image. Some good online programs for fixing pixelated photos are Pixenate, Pixlr, IMGonline, Lunapic, and Fotor.

    Method 6: Fix pixelated images using Stellar Repair for Photo

    When the above methods don’t work, try an advanced photo repair software – Stellar Repair for Photo. It can fix pixelation in photos caused due to file damage or corruption.

    The method is quick and easy. Unlike Photoshop, in only three steps — Add File, Repair, and Save — you can fix the damaged photos using Stellar Repair for Photo. The software supports JPEG/ JPG, TIFF, HEIC, CR2, CR3, MRW, NEF, ORF, PEF, RAF, SR2, SRF, and other file formats

    Figure: Preview repaired photos in Stellar Repair for Photo

    The software can batch repair multiple pixelated photos of different formats at a time. Once repaired, you can preview the photos and save them on your system. Stellar Repair for Photo is available for Windows as well as macOS.

    Photo Repair Photo Repair Mac

    Method 7: Fix Pixelated photos on Android and iPhone

    All these methods shared above can improve image pixel quality on a computer, but how to fix pixelated photos on a phone?

    There are many free applications that can sharpen pixelated photos on Android and iPhone. These are mostly photo editing apps with image-sharpening features. You can download any secure tool from Google Play Store or Apple Store. Some apps to try on the mobile phone are Adobe Photoshop Express, Resize-Photo, Pixlr, and Sharpen Image.

    How to get a high-quality print from a low-resolution or bad-pixel image?

    Getting high-quality print from low-resolution pictures can be tricky. But you can easily make a pixelated picture clear and sharp for print. Adobe recommends, changing print dimensions or resolution without changing pixel dimensions. Follow the below steps and see if you can make a pixelated photo clear for print:

    • Open your image in Photoshop.
    • In the menu bar, select Image > Image Size.
    • Deselect Resample to lock the current ratio of width and height in the photo.
    Figure: Image Size window
    • Adjust Resolution by changing values.
    • Adjust Document size by changing height and width values, as required.

    Photoshop will automatically change the resolution and document size to match.

    A Quick Recall to 7 Ways of Fixing Pixelated Photos
    1. Fix low resolution image pixelation inn Photoshop
    2. Use Blur and Sharpen filters in Photoshop to fix pixelation
    3. Create soft layer over pixelated image using Photoshop
    4. Fix pixelated photos in Paint.NET on PC
    5. Fix pixelated pictures online for free
    6. Fix pixelated images using Stellar Repair for Photo
    7. Fix pixelated photos on Android and iPhone

    Wrapping Up

    There is nothing better than a high-quality photo to avoid the pixelation issue. However, if you are facing the problem, fix pixelated images using photo editing programs such as Photoshop and Paint.NET. Photoshop also helps to obtain high-quality prints from low-resolution pictures.

    You can sharpen the pixelated photos using free online tools as well. Besides, you can try different photo editing apps on Google Play Store and Apple Store to fix pixelation in photos on Android and iPhone. If all the techniques fail, you may try Stellar Repair for Photo. It can fix pixelation or blurriness in pictures caused due to file corruption, wrong compression, etc. Go for a free trial of the software. It fixes pixelated images and shows a preview of the repaired image.

    Photo Repair Photo Repair Mac

    You may like to read:

    How to Fix Photoshop Not Saving Back to Lightroom
    How to Fix Damaged Photos in Photoshop

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    About The Author

    Nishat Paiker linkdin

    Nishat Paiker is an expert technical writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. She has deep knowledge about data recovery and loves to explore new technology and DIY tools. Nishat has keen interest in photography. You will often find her giving photography tips and hacks.

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