How Do I Blur a Picture in Paint?

By Carol Finch

Microsoft's Paint program doesn't have a blur setting, but you can make a picture look blurred by decreasing its size and then increasing it again to add pixels to it. Although this does blur the image in a basic way, the end result may not look great. If you have access to one of Microsoft's Office programs, such as Word or PowerPoint, you can use a dedicated blur tool for a more subtle and blended effect.

Blur an Image in Paint

Step 1

Open the picture in Paint and select **Save As** to save it as a copy if you want to keep the original image intact. Alternatively, paste the picture into the Paint window and save the file.

Step 2

Select **Resize** and then check the **Pixels** button. Make a note of the pixel numbers in the Horizontal and Vertical boxes -- you need these later. Select **Percentage** and change the numbers in the Horizontal and Vertical boxes. You may need to experiment here, depending on the size of the image. If you set the numbers to **5**, most images will be very pixelated. Smaller images with pixel measurements in the hundreds may work best if you input **20** in both percentage boxes; images with pixels in the thousands may be better with a smaller number, say **10**. Select **OK** to decrease the size of the image.

Step 3

Select **Resize** again and then **Pixels**. Put your original pixel numbers back in the boxes. If the numbers keep changing when you enter them, uncheck the **Maintain Aspect Ratio** box and then select **OK**. The picture will go back to its original size but will now be blurred.

Blur an Image in Microsoft Office Programs

Step 1

Copy and paste the picture into your document and select it. Go to **Format** in the Picture Tools tab.

Step 2

Select **Artistic Effects** and go to the **Blur** option. As you hold your mouse over it, your image previews the blur effect. If you're happy with the level of blurring, select the option to apply the change. To reduce or increase the blur, select **Artistic Effects Options** to customize the effect.

Step 3

Select the **Blur** option from the **Artistic Effects** drop-down menu. Use the slider button or the up-down arrows next to the number until you get the effect you want. Select **X** at the top of the Format Picture menu to apply the blur.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you aren't happy with the level of blur you get in your first attempt with Paint, start over. Use a lower number when you decrease the picture's size for a more pronounced blur; use a higher number to make it less obvious.
  • You can also blur parts of an image in Paint by using "Select" to highlight a specific area and then following the steps in Section 1.
  • Free image editors, such as GIMP, Paint.net and LunaPic, have additional blur filters as well as basic blur effects. For example, all three have a motion filter that gives the appearance of movement. GIMP adds a selective blur that works on similar pixels and Paint.net has radial, zoom and unfocused blurs. GIMP and Paint.net are downloadable editors; LunaPic is an online editor. (See Resources)