How Do I Pixelate an Image Using Microsoft Paint?

By David Weedmark

While every image on a computer screen is composed of pixels, we refer to an image as pixelated only when the individual pixels are noticeable. When you purposely pixelate an image, you can see the square blocks of color that create the picture. Pixelating part or all of an image makes faces or information in a photo anonymous and creates interesting art or photo effects.

Zoom Out, Zoom In

A quick way to pixelate an entire image in Paint is to reduce its size, save it and then expand it to its original dimensions. When you open the image, make a note of its dimensions displayed at the bottom of the window. 1. Click the "Resize" icon in the Ribbon.2. Click the "Percentage" button and change the Horizontal and Vertical dimensions to 10 percent. Click "OK."3. Click the "File" menu, select "Save As" and save the image with a new name.4. Open the "Resize" window again. Click the "Pixels" option and enter the original image dimensions.

Working Pixel by Pixel

When you have a small image or want to pixelate only a small portion of a larger image, you can pixelate it one pixel at a time. To do this, zoom in to the image at the maximum 800 percent and select the "Pencil" tool. After selecting a color, click on the image to change the color of a single pixel. Even a tiny icon 20 pixels high by 20 pixels wide covers 400 pixels in total, so this is a time-consuming process. Use one of the brush tools, which can cover several pixels at time with a single dab for a quicker method.

Using a Natural Pencil Shape

The Natural Pencil option for a shape's fill and outline can create an interesting pixelated effect, which can be useful if you want to pixelate a part of an image, like someone's face. First select the "Eyedropper" or "Color Picker" in the Tools section of the ribbon and then click on the area you want to pixelate. After you select a color, click a shape such as a rectangle and then change both the Fill and Outline to the "Natural Pencil" option. When you drag the cursor across the image, the shape creates a pixelated effect.

Faster Alternatives

There are several websites that pixelate images faster than Paint. Upload an image to one of these websites, select the pixelation option and then download the altered version of the image. Ribbet and Lunapic, for example, both include a pixelation filter in their large libraries of filters. If you choose Ribbet, click the "Editor" tab, upload a photo and select the "Effects" button to find the Pixelate option in the left menu. With Lunapic, the Pixelate option is under the Adjust menu. A third website for online image effects is This website adds a watermark to downloaded images, but you can avoid the watermark by registering for a free account.