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How to Fix Pixelated Pictures in Photoshop

Published: 17/06/2021

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A pixelated image looks low in quality and is often unable to deliver the message properly. Thankfully, there are many tools through which you can easily fix this issue. Here, we will show you how to fix pixelated pictures in Photoshop using different methods.

How to Fix Pixelated Pictures in Photoshop

When it comes to editing and resolving issues in images, Photoshop is the undisputed champion. It offers various remarkable tools and features to perform all kinds of image editing procedures easily. Likewise, it also provides various methods of removing pixelation from images.

Pixelated pictures can be quite a disturbing problem, especially today when high-quality images are extremely important. Blurry and grainy images can cause various negative impacts on your content. Therefore, learning how to remove pixelation is essential. In this tutorial, we will learn multiple easy methods of fixing pixelated images in Photoshop.

What are Pixelated Pictures?

Essentially, an image is pixelated when its individual pixels are easily seen by the naked eye. Whenever the resolution of an image is low and it becomes blurry or grainy, it is said to be a pixelated image. Nonetheless, this issue can be easily fixed with Photoshop. Let’s learn how to do that using various methods.

Fixing Pixelated Pictures Using the Sharpness Tool

The first method of removing pixelation from any image in Photoshop is by using the sharpness tool. Here, we will fix this issue by blurring and sharpening the image. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Photoshop and open up your pixelated image.
  2. Before starting with fixing the pixelation, the first thing is to resize your image. As the pixelated images are usually low in quality and low in resolution, you would have to increase their size before editing them. To alter the image size, go to Image > Image Size. Increase the size by entering higher values in the resulting dialog box. Make sure that the values you add are according to your image requirements.
  3. Now, we will have to duplicate the layer so that our original image remains safe while we make changes to the duplicate layer. For this, go to Layer > Duplicate Layer.
  4. Select the duplicate layer from your Layers panel. The layers panel is usually present at the bottom right corner of your Photoshop screen. If you are unable to see it, then go to Window > Layers.
  5. Now, once you have selected the Duplicate layer, go to the menu bar present at the top of your screen. On the menu bar, click on ‘Filter.’ This will open a drop-down menu for you. 
  6. In this menu, navigate to ‘Blur’ and then select ‘Surface Blur’ from the cascading menu.
Selecting the Surface Blur option in Photoshop
  1. As you click on the surface blur option, a window will appear. You can easily adjust the blur of your image by changing the values of ‘Radius and Threshold.’
  2. Now that you have adjusted the blue, it is time to adjust the sharpness. To do that, click on the ‘Filter’ option on your menu bar. This will open a drop-down menu for you.
  3. Now, navigate to Sharpen > Smart Sharpen.
Using the Smart Sharpen tool to fix a pixelated image
  1. You will then see a window pop up. Move the sliders to adjust the sharpness of your image.
  2. Now, you have adjusted the blurriness and sharpness of your pixelated image. Yet, the image would still look somewhat blurry. This is because we increased the image size in the beginning. At this point, we will have to fix that through a layer mask. To do that, follow the steps below:
  • Add a Layer mask by the layer mask icon on the bottom of the layers panel. This icon looks like an empty circle placed inside a rectangle.
  • Now invert this layer mask. You can do this by navigating to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Invert.
  • Now, pick the ‘Brush Tool’ from the toolbar to reduce the blurriness of your image.
  1. At this point, you will fix the color balance of the image. This step can be skipped if the color of the image is what you want. To adjust the color balance, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance. You can keep changing the setting until you reach your desired color scheme.

Fixing Pixelated Pictures Using the Gaussian Blur Method

The first method may seem lengthy and time-consuming. For a simpler and quicker method, you can opt for the Gaussian Blur feature in Photoshop. It averages the colors of the neighboring pixels and gives it an overall smoother look. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Launch Photoshop and open up your pixelated image. 
  2. Now go to the menu bar present at the top of your Photoshop workspace and click on ‘Filter.’ This will open a drop-down menu for you.
  3. From this menu, navigate to Blur > Gaussian Blur.
  4. This will open up a window, having a slider. Move this slider until you reach your desired outcome, and then click OK.
Using the Gaussian Blur tool in Photoshop
  1. After this, go to the menu bar again and click on Filter. From the drop-down menu, navigate to Sharpen > Unsharp Mask.
  2. Adjust the sliders until you find your desired outcome, and then click OK.
Selecting the Unsharp Mask option to fix pixelated pictures

Fixing Pixelated Pictures by Creating a Soft Layer

Photoshop offers another way of fixing pixelated images with ease. This method involves the creation of a new layer. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Photoshop and open up your pixelated image.
  2. First, you will have to create a new layer. You can do this by:
  • Pressing on the new layer icon present at the bottom of your layers panel.
  • Go to Layer > New > Layer.
  • Simply press the keys Shift + Ctrl + N.
  1. Now, copy your image from the background layer to this new layer.
  2. You will find a drop-down menu for blending options within your layers panel. Click on it and select the ‘Soft Light’ option from this menu.
Using the Soft Light option in Photoshop
  1. Now, go to the menu bar and click on ‘Filters.’ This will open up a drop-down menu for you.
  2. From this menu, navigate to Noise > Despeckle. Repeat this step until the pixelation of your image totally clears. 
Using the Despeckle tool to fix pixelated pictures
  1. Once you get rid of pixelation in your image, go to the menu bar and click on ‘Image.’ Now, from the drop-down menu, go to ‘Adjustments’ and then select ‘Brightness/Contrast’ from the cascading menu. Adjust it till you get your desired outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Image Pixelated?

There are various reasons that may cause your image to become pixelated. Some of the most common reasons include:

  1. Incorrect resizing
  2. The low-resolution of original images
  3. Wrong camera settings
  4. Unsuitable image compression
  5. Corruption of the image file
  6. Loading pictures on incompatible image viewers

These are only some of the causes behind a pixelated image. There are many other reasons that may make your picture pixelated.

Can I Avoid My Picture From Getting Pixelated?

Yes, you can avoid your pictures from getting pixelated, but not always. Some of the best practices to minimize the risk of pixelation include:

  1. Do not use low resolution images
  2. Follow the proper resizing protocol
  3. Apply appropriate camera settings
  4. Keep your camera steady

Which of These Methods Are Best to Fix Pixelation in Photoshop?

The best method to fix pixelation in Photoshop is not just one. You can use any one of these pixelation removing techniques, based upon your personal preferences, your requirements, and the level of pixelation in your image.


All the methods of fixing pixelated images in Photoshop explained above are fairly simple and help you achieve amazing results with minimum effort. From now on, if you ever come across a pixelated image, you won't have to worry. You can easily follow the steps we have shown to fix that image quickly.