Table of Content
    Photo Repair

    How Can I Fix an Overly Compressed Image?

    Table of Content

      Summary: You know the frustration of dealing with grainy, poor-quality images that fail to capture the essence of a moment. At times, over-compression can result in blurry or pixelated pictures. If you’re struggling with similar issues and seeking solutions, this guide is for you.

      “I’m getting the material together needed to renew my passport. I tried uploading a picture to the .gov photo tool and received an error saying image is overly compressed. I took this image using my smartphone camera and uploaded it to the site. Is anyone familiar with this issue and knows how to fix it?”


      For web designers, social media managers, or content creators, balancing image quality with optimum file size often poses a challenge. Shrinking images to ensure a faster webpage loading experience is appealing to many users. We often create attractive graphics for CMS, social media, or similar platforms and compress them.

      However, sending pictures via email or WhatsApp can make them too small. Some platforms put a limit on image size, necessitating compression. This often leads to over-compression of images, compromising their quality. So, if you are wondering how to fix overly compressed image, this guide is for you.

      But,first things first,

      What is an Overly Compressed Photo?

      Overcompression is a situation where you compress the image so greatly that it loses many details and overall quality. The goal of compression is to reduce file size by removing data, which is usually not noticeable to the human eye.

      This is done to achieve better optimization on webpages, as smaller files load faster and require less data during transfer. However, if an image is excessively compressed, it will display a noticeable decline in quality. The typical signs of an over-compressed image are:


      Images that are excessively compressed may display pixelation. This means square or block-like patterns become noticeable, especially in areas containing complex information.

      Blurring & Lack of Detail

      High compression makes the picture’s small details and sharp lines look fuzzy or unclear.

      Color Fidelity Reduction

      The colors may seem less lifelike and vivid, reducing the image’s overall visual appeal.

      Compression Artifacts

      Too much compression can lead to visible distortions in the image, like banding, ringing, or blocking.

      Reduced Clarity

      The image’s textures and gradients might not be as smooth, which might affect its visual clarity.

      Loss of Image Structure

      In severe cases, the image could completely lose its essential structure, which would make it difficult to recognize objects or elements in the picture.

      Why Do You Overly Compress Photos?

      There can be various reasons why an image is overly compressed:

      To Reduce File Size

      One key reason for compressing images is to decrease file size. Images are often compressed significantly in web environments, especially where bandwidth is limited or users prefer faster webpage loading times. For Quicker Loading

      Automatic image optimization, applied by content management systems & web designers, is used to enhance site performance.

      To Minimize Data Consumption

      In remote areas with poor internet access, certain mobile networks, social media, and messaging services commonly employ image compression techniques to shrink file sizes and lower data consumption.

      Understanding Two Types of Image Compression

      Image files are typically compressed using two methods:

      Lossy Compression

      This method of reducing the image file size gets rid of less important data, especially redundant ones. But, if done excessively, it can make the image quality look bad. The major problem with lossy compression is that it cannot be reversed; every time you apply this method, some part of your picture will be progressively distorted.

      However, it’s still useful for the web because a little bit of image reduction is fine. JPEG is another example of lossy compression that is quite popular on the web and in digital photography. This format allows different levels of compression to find a balance between file size and quality.

      Lossless Compression

      This method of compressing image file size doesn’t discard important information or harm image quality. The outcome is an image that can be brought back to its original form without any distortion.

      Yet, it does not reduce the file size as much as lossy compression. This method offers only a slight advantage in saving storage space, network capacity, or download speed.

      Lossless compression is commonly applied in situations where the importance given to image quality is more significant than requirements for disk space and network performance, for example, product images or artwork displays.

      PNG and BMP are common lossless file formats. PNG, which is commonly seen on websites for images that require precise details, such as logos, icons, screenshots, or text images, compresses file size by identifying patterns to lessen it.

      As a rule of thumb, if we compare the two types of files – JPEG and PNG – typically, the former (JPEG) will be smaller in size but has less detail preserved compared to the latter option (PNG). BMP, an exclusive image format of Microsoft, is mainly for their products and mostly used by Windows computers.

      Lossless vs Lossy

      How to Fix Overly Compressed Image?

      Improving a heavily compressed photo is complicated because some image data was lost forever during compression. But you can still improve the photo quality to an extent by changing its compression ratio. This adjustment lets you optimize digital photos for various uses and reduce their size.

      Also, keep in mind that you must maintain a high content level while doing so. Let’s explore various tools that can modify an image’s compression ratio.

      Method 1: Use Image Editing Software

      Adobe Photoshop is a widely used image editing software, favored by many photographers and graphic designers for their professional work. It allows you to select any image file format and displays its file size, enabling you to choose the one that yields the best result.

      Here’s a concise guide on how to compress or enhance your image using Adobe Photoshop:

      Step 1: Launch Photoshop and choose the image you want to optimize.

      Step 2: Navigate to File, then Export, and select Save for Web.

      Step 3: On the right side of the window, click the JPG button.

      Step 4: Adjust the quality of the image as per your needs.

      Step 5: For images with a wide color range, JPG format works well. For images with fewer colors, opt for PNG-24 or PNG-8 formats.

      Step 6: Preview the compressed image on the left side of the tool before saving the final image file.

      Step 7: If the compressed image’s size and quality meet your expectations, save the final image to your computer.

      Method 2: Use Photo Repair Software

      It doesn’t matter if your picture’s quality declined because of compression or if it was blurry from the start. You can fix this issue without needing any expertise in photo editing tools, thanks to professional photo repair software.

      Stellar Repair for Photo is truly a savior for your photos. It’s an effective tool to bring back life into damaged or poor-quality images.

      Corrupted or Damaged Photos: Sometimes, photos can become damaged during transfer, storage errors, or unintentional removal. Stellar Repair for Photo is a fast and simple method to fix numerous corrupt or broken files stored on any drive or media.

      Overly Compressed Photos: This can reverse the effect of too much compression, restoring your images to their sharp and vibrant state.

      Here’s a step-by-step method to fix overly compressed image:

      Step 1: Download Stellar Repair for Photo and launch it.

      Stellar Repair for Photo

      Step 2: Click Add Files, choose the images you want to repair in the Select Images window, and click Open.

      Click Add Files

      Step 3: After adding the images, hit Repair to start the repairing process.

      Click Repair

      Step 4: Finally, click Save Repaired Files to save the repaired images at your desired location.

      Save repaired files


      In this blog, you learned about different ways to fix overly compressed images that are compressed too much. It gives you the understanding you need for choosing an ideal compression solution. Whether it’s a web tool or software for fixing and editing images, getting better quality is possible with all these methods. For those looking for a quick and simple solution, Stellar Repair for Photo is a reliable and user-friendly option. The tool can help you fix overly compressed photos with remarkable ease using advanced algorithms.   


      Q. Is Image compression reversible?

      A. Image compression comes in two forms:

      1. The first is “lossless” or “reversible” compression, which mathematically retains all the original information. This means that after compressing and decompressing, the pixel values remain the same as in the original image.

      2. The second form is “lossy” or “irreversible” compression. While it doesn’t precisely maintain the pixel values upon decompression, it retrieves values that may be suitable for a specific use and achieves higher compression.

      Q. How do I reduce the size of a compressed file?

      A. To minimize the size of an already compressed file, you can use software like WinRAR or 7-Zip to create split files of a specific size. Additionally, numerous online tools can help you further reduce the size of pre-compressed files, such as JPEG, MP3, and MP4 files.

      Q. How do I expand a compressed file?

      A. To extract files from a zipped folder, follow these steps:

      1. Open the zipped folder.

      2. Right-click on the zipped file you want to expand on your computer.

      3. Select “Extract All…” to start the extraction wizard.

      4. Click Next.

      5. Click Browse… and choose the location where you want to save the files.

      6. Click Next.

      7. Click Finish to complete the process.

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      About The Author

      Rishabh Singh

      "Rishabh is a senior content specialist at Stellar Information technology where he writes about data care technology. As a technology writer and marketer with over five years of experience, he has covered frontier technologies like AR/VR, IOT, AI, Blockchain and more. Outside of his professional pursuits, he loves reading fiction and critical theory."

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