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How to Compress Images in Photoshop

Published: 28/01/2021

Image compression refers to the method of reducing the size of a file without degrading the quality of a photo. As a result, you get an efficient image size and format for transmitting or storing data.

You may want to compress your image size to save computer space when storing images or get the best resolution when you want to print photographs. Likewise, you may need compress images to share files from your computer to your website to increase load speeds and boost SEO!

Steps for Compressing the Image Size in Adobe Photoshop 

As opposed to third-party image compression tools, using Photoshop gives you better control and customization for adjusting resolution and image size. Learn quick steps for how to compress images or a single photo using Photoshop.

Reducing the Size of a Single Image in Photoshop

Here are the easy-to-follow steps you need to take to convert a single photo's format without impacting the resolution.

Photoshop step on how to reduce single image
  1. Open one photo, then press File > Export, style="font-weight: 400;"> then select Save for Web window.
  2. Once in the Save for Web window, adjust the image size in the Image Size dialog box. Measure your photo in Pixels, and click OK after resizing the dimensions.
  3. Tick the sRGB checkbox to see the actual colors for your web page.
  4. Click the 4-Up tab to show the image at the Maximum Quality, High Quality, and Medium Quality versions.
  5. Use the Magnifier Tool in the upper left menu to see slight differences between the original and optimized photos. Click the Hand Tool and drag the image until you can view all sections.
  6. Select a compressed image to view several image compression options located at the Save for Web window's upper right corner. Tick the Optimize box in the Save for Web window to reduce the size further.
  7. Click Save. Type a filename different from the original image filename. Choose whether you like to compress images as a JPEG, GIF, or PNG file. Click Save.
  8. Close the original file without saving it.

Compressing Multiple Images in Adobe Photoshop

You can use Photoshop to optimize a batch of photos on your computer.

Photoshop step on how to compress multiple images
  1. Open Adobe Photoshop, select File > Scripts > Image Processor.
  2. Click Select Folder to choose the folder where the images are located that you want to compress.
  3. Select the location you want to save your processed images. This can either be in the same location your current images are, or you can choose a new folder.
  4. Adjust the settings to reduce the size or calculate the appropriate dimensions of your image file. Check the Resize to Fit and set the maximum height and width if needed. 
  5. Choose a setting between 1 and 12 in the Quality field. 
  6. You can use one of the common image formats: JPEG (used for quick image transfer), TIFF (to retain all information), or PSD (for those working with images and using layers).
  7. Similar to editing batch photos on Lightroom, you can edit images with a single action during export. Click Run Action to view actions available.
  8. Press Run to process and save your files automatically. 

FAQ Section

What Is the Difference Between Lossy and Lossless Compression? 

Lossy compression refers to the method of discarding some non-essential data to get a much smaller file. On the other hand, lossless compression allows you to resize while preserving everything. You can combine both to optimize the overall document compression.

What Are Other Ways of Compressing a File Size?  

Unlike Photoshop, plugins and extensions enable you to compress images without opening a different application. For example, Optimus is a WordPress plugin that lets you convert an image format upon uploading. Meanwhile, Easy Image Resizer acts as a web extension for reducing file size by pixel dimensions.


Once you learn how to resize documents using Photoshop, you will save a lot of editing time when preserving image resolution and pixels. Although it looks overwhelming at first, this is the best image compression method to convert the document format, image size, and improve your optimization process.

Devon Higgins
Latest posts by Devon Higgins (see all)

14 comments on “How to Compress Images in Photoshop”

  1. I find it much easier to use Lightroom to change a group of photos to a new size, aspect ratio, etc

    Say you want to compress and change aspect ratio on 25 pictures. Select them all and create new virtual copies of of the group. Then put each group into a new collection. Then for each collection, crop, compress, aspect change or whatever to the entire group at once. Then if the new aspect changes the composition too much of individual photos, just correct the shots that need it. Photoshop, on the other hand, would be a torture session, IMHO, for this repetitive task. Lightroom is very easy to do this, once you get the hang of it.

  2. I just do two exports in Lightroom. First, full size and the next reduced, to their own separate folders. If not changing the file name (original camera file name), label the folder by size. Ideally, if changing the name to job address or similar, add "dash file size" to end and the number sequence will be the same for each. For example, 123 Main-3 and 123 Main-1500px-3 are the same subject photo, third in the sequence delivered. I usually only deliver the 1500px but the full size are available for request when developing brochures and they can say #12 #17 and #22 rather than 'the kitchen' and have me going which one.. Plus, I need the 1500px for assembling tours.

  3. When I edit my images in Lightroom, I upload them at 1800 x 1200, 300 dpi to PFRE tours. They in turn, re-size and create the tours, then send the links to download all photos in two sizes MLS and for printing.

    if I am not doing a VT I just upload the 1800 x 1200 @300dpi up to the agencies FTP site for their marketing people. so far I haven't had any issues.

    I know many people use and love tour buzz which offer many options. What size files do they require from the photographer?

  4. If you are going to do this for the web, your first step should be to resize the images to that needed for the site. There is no reason to compress a 3000x2000 image when the site calls for an 1800x1200 image. This is likely to reduce the file size more than compression.

    Also, skip the Optimized setting in favor of the progressive setting. (You can't select both). The Optimized setting will save you around 10k, a trivial amount on today internet. The progressive setting will allow your images to download in stages. That can be far more important on slow or poor internet connections than a 10k larger file.

    Also, talk with your web designer, it's possible that compressing your images will do little to affect your site speed. Google PageSpeed module resizes, compresses and selects a format all based on information supplied by the browsers visiting your site. It then caches the results for future use. Now, you may still have to watch out for storage limits, storage charges, and uploading times.

  5. Back in the days of dial up (if anyone can even remember that far back) we had to size our images to the exact size they were to appear on the website, then "optimize" them using Photoshop's now termed Legacy (File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy). This will take a 10 meg image and reduce it to 1 meg or less. You can set the quality level of the final image and see it much as described at the top of this post. It will also turn out GIFs with transparent back grounds and so while I seldom need to make those photo reductions anymore I still pass my headers and tail credits for video through the GIF system that will sit on top of any video clip and have a clear background through which you can continue to see the video. Call me old fashion. Or just old. But it works.

    Otherwise I just batch select my high res images in Bridge, go to the Menu bar > Tools > Photoshop > Image Processor. There I can set the the file formats, sizes etc and where to put the subsequent files. Very fast. I use this to create full size JPEGs from my PSD files and 1800x1200 versions for use on the internet. Many ways to skin a cat but I am used to this, been using it for years, and I don't have to think about what I am doing.

  6. My company uses an image optimization tool which allows to resize all the original images to the maximum size limit and then compress these accordingly. In this case, it is all automated and we do not need to resize all the images manually. The product we use is

  7. The issue I have with "Save for Web" in Photoshop is that it strips out a lot of the metadata. I want all of my metadata kept intact.

  8. Aren't we talking about two things here? The first is resizing which the Photoshop "image processor" does. The second is compression which is what JPEG conversion and the "save for web" do. I've noted that resizing without compression can still result in very big files.


  9. When you save for web there is an option for what metadata you want saved to the image. It's right above the color table and below preview.

  10. There are so many different file sizes needed for the same image (MLS, website, portfolio, etc.) that it really is worth taking time to understand how to properly compress images. Good guide.

    Wyatt Kern

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