A lot of photo upload destinations have very strict file size & 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.

A sample screenshot of a message saying "Sorry, your file is too large."
Messages like this one often show up when you're trying to upload a photo that that doesn't fit size requirements. 

In this article, I'm going to go over a simple, 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 or lower its quality
  3. Process & 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. 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 showing how to copy links to images stored in Google Drive.
Copy the link from any picture on the web, and Kapwing will upload your photo. 

To upload your content, just go to Kapwing.com and click “Get Started.” This will take you to the Kapwing Studio, where you can 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 or lower its quality

Once your photo has been uploaded to the Studio, it's simple to make it smaller. Just 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." Change either of the dimensions to a smaller value, and the other dimension will automatically adjust accordingly.

A screenshot from the Kapwing exact resizer.
Resize your picture to the exact size you need

For an even quicker fix, click the gear icon in the upper right corner and change "Video Quality" from "High" to "Standard." This alone will reduce your file size by about 40%!

A screenshot of Kapwing's output quality settings menu.
For an instant size reduction, just change your output quality to "Standard"

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

Step 3: Process & download

Once you've edited your photo to perfection and selected the optimal dimensions, click "Publish" in the upper right-hand corner, and Kapwing will immediately start processing your resized photo. If you're not signed into a Kapwing account, sign in or sign up using your Google or Facebook account – once you've signed into a Kapwing account, the watermark in the lower right corner will be removed from your final image.

A screenshot of the Kapwing download page.

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 [date]), and select "Show in Finder." Your file browser should provide all relevant information on the image, including file size, resolution, and type.

I hope this article helps you fit all photo size requirements and save space on your computer! If you're interested in more content on digital creation and editing in 2021, check out the videos on our YouTube channel Kapwing App. And while you're here, read through some related articles on image editing and photo creation in 2021:

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