How to Improve Pixelated Images

By Sam Orr

Pixelated images are low quality images that appear grainy and unclear. Image pixelation commonly is caused by resizing a small picture to make it larger. When doing this, the size of the image changes, but the resolution does not. Pictures that have been scanned may also appear pixelated. To fix a pixelated image and make it clearer, you simply need to use the blur and sharpen filters in a photo editing program.

Things You'll Need

  • Photo editing software

Step 1

Start a photo editing program such as Photoshop, GIMP or Paint.NET. GIMP and Paint.NET have many of the same tools and filters as Photoshop but can be downloaded for free.

Step 2

Click "File > Open" and open the pixelated image you want to fix.

Step 3

Click "Filters" and find the "Blur" filter category, then select a minimal "Gaussian Blur." This filter will make the image appear smoother by blurring the pixels -- making them less noticeable. Vary the settings of the filter until you are satisfied with the smoothness of the image.

Step 4

Use a filter in the "Sharpen" category to make the image appear less blurry. The "Unsharp Mask" filter works best for this purpose. The filter will detect the edges of objects in the photo and make them appear more outlined to improve clarity. Vary the filter settings until the image is clearer. Then save your changes.

Tips & Warnings

  • The filters needed to improve pixelated images are available in all three photo editing programs.
  • Other "Blur" filters will work for smoothing the image, but the "Gaussian Blur" filter will produce the best result.