A lot of photo upload destinations have very strict file size & image dimension limits – anyone who's tried to share multiple photos via email, change a profile avatar, or upload high-resolution document scans knows this issue all too well. And while many online services allow you to convert your image file, or crop out certain parts, it's difficult to find a program that allows you to reduce your photo file size reliably and precisely.

A screenshot of a photo size limit notification.
Photo size limits are common on all platforms. 

In this article, I'm going to go over the simplest, most reliable way to make any photo smaller and fit exact dimensional requirements using a free, online editing software called Kapwing. You can use any device and any browser to resize your pictures, and you'll need to know just 3 steps:

  1. Upload your photo to the Kapwing Studio
  2. Resize it to the perfect dimensions
  3. Publish & download

Step 1: Upload your photo to the Kapwing Studio

You can find your photos anywhere on the Internet (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Images, Google Drive, etc.) since Kapwing lets you easily import pictures from almost any site. All you need to do is copy the link to the photo or its webpage. And if you’ve saved your pictures onto your device, just make sure you know where they’re located. If you're uploading photos from your desktop, it's a good idea to have your file browser open, so you can click & drag your content into the Kapwing Studio.

A screenshot of a user copying a link from Google Drive.
For online content, just copy a shareable link!

To upload your content, just go to Kapwing.com and click “Get Started.” Or, if you're already signed in, click "New Project," then "Start with Studio." This will take you to the Kapwing Studio, where you can use all of Kapwing’s editing tools in one place. Once you’re in the Studio, either select “Click to Upload” and search in your file browser, or paste the link to the picture you want to upload. If your picture is easily accessible, you can also drag & drop it into the Studio window, and it will upload automatically.

Step 2: Resize it to the perfect dimensions

Once your photo has been uploaded to the Studio, it's simple to make it smaller. Just click anywhere outside the photo and select "Custom Size" from the right-hand menu. If you're resizing the photo to make the file size smaller, select the button that says "Original Image" near the bottom of the resizing window, then the button that says "Lock Proportions." You'll see the image's current dimensions in the "width" and "height" fields. Change either of these fields to a smaller value, and the other dimension will automatically adjust so your picture's aspect ratio remains the same.

A screenshot from the Kapwing Studio exact resize tool.
Quickly make your photo smaller, while keeping the same proportions. 

If you want to resize your photo to fit precise parameters, rather than simply reducing its file size, you can select one of the preset aspect ratios and adjust your photo's dimensions the same way. And if you want to export your photo in an aspect ratio that isn't listed, make sure that the "Lock Proportions" button is deselected and enter the precise width and height that you want.

While you're in the Studio, you can also complete any other edits that your photo needs:
Add & edit text
• Add pictures, overlays, & audio
• Add shapes
• Add text animations
• Crop & filter

Step 3: Publish & Download

Once you've edited your photo to perfection and selected the optimal dimensions, click "Publish" in the upper right-hand corner. Kapwing will automatically work its magic and your picture will be ready to download in under a second!

When your picture is finished processing, click “Download” from the right side of the screen. If you’re using a mobile device, you’ll need to download the very small Kapwing mobile app from the App Store. The app doesn’t require any login – it’s only meant to help you download your content! To download your photo on your iPhone, just copy the URL of the download page and paste it into the URL field in the Kapwing app.

A screenshot of the Kapwing download screen.

To make sure your picture is within all file size limits, you should find the file in your downloads or file browser. On a Mac, for example, go to your browser's downloads, right click on the picture you just downloaded (its name should be "Image" and [number]), and select "Show in Finder." Your file browser should provide all relevant information on the image, including file size, resolution, and type.

If your file is still too large, return to the image in your Kapwing workspace, select "Edit" from the download page, and click the "Settings" button in the upper right-hand corner of the Studio. In the Settings window, change your output quality from "High" to "Standard." This will dramatically decrease the size of your output file.

A screenshot from the Kapwing Studio, demonstrating how to change output quality.
Change your output quality to "Standard" for even smaller file limits. 

Remember to tag us @KapwingApp whenever you share your content on social media– we love to see what our creators are passionate about! And be sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page – we’re constantly writing new tutorial and features to help you make the most out of Kapwing.


Related Articles:
How to Make a Twitter Header
The Best Photo & Video Sizes for Social Media
How to Fit the Whole Picture on Instagram
Photo Resizer