How to Make a Picture Smaller for Twitter

By Shea Laverty

Using imaging editing software like Paint, GIMP or Paint.net, you can shrink down just about any picture to fit your Twitter profile.

For your header photo or profile picture to fit properly with Twitter's layout, you more than likely need to make some adjustments to your pics. Using free software like Microsoft's Paint, GIMP or Paint.NET, resizing photos to match Twitter's recommendations only takes a few minutes.

Tip

Twitter recommends that for header photos, your picture be 1,500 pixels wide by 500 pixels tall, with a maximum file size of 5MB. For profile pictures, Twitter recommends a 400 by 400 pixel picture, with a maximum file size of 2MB.

Header and profile pictures for Twitter must be saved in the JPG, GIF or PNG formats. Other formats, including animated GIFs, are currently not supported by Twitter.

Warning

These size recommendations are current as of publication, but may be subject to change in the future.

Microsoft Paint

Microsoft Paint ships with every Windows computer, so it's the go-to choice if you're not looking to download any software. However, its editing tools and options are limited compared to other software.

Step 1

Find the picture you want to use in your folders and right-click it. Select Open With, followed by Paint.

The context menu, set to open the file with Paint.

Step 2

Click Resize from the tool bar.

The Resize button highlighted.

Step 3

Select the Pixels radio button and un-check the Maintain Aspect Ratio check box. Change the Horizontal and Vertical values using the text fields, using the recommended values from Twitter. Click OK when finished.

The Resize and Skew tool.

Step 4

Click Save when finished.

Paint, with the Save button highlighted.

GIMP

GIMP is a free editing tool that features more options than Microsoft Paint. The interface takes a little practice to get used to, especially for novices unfamiliar with image editing software. However, it does offer several effects and tools that can give your pictures a little extra visual panache.

Step 1

Find the picture you want to use in your folders and right-click it. Select Edit with GIMP.

The context menu, with Edit with GIMP highlighted.

Step 2

Click Image, followed by Scale Image.

The Image menu, with Scale Image highlighted.

Step 3

Click the button shaped like a chain to unlock the aspect ratio, then change the Width and Height values to match the values recommended by Twitter. Then click Scale.

The Scale Image tool.

Step 4

Click File, followed by Save to save the image.

The File menu, with Save highlighted.

Paint.NET

Paint.NET is another free image editing tool. Much like GIMP, it has more options than Microsoft Paint and a variety of effects to create a more visually appealing image.

Step 1

Find the picture you want to use in your folders and right-click it. Select Open With, followed by Paint.net.

The context menu, set to open with Paint.net

Step 2

Click Image followed by Resize.

The Image menu, with Resize highlighted.

Step 3

Uncheck the Maintain aspect ratio check box. Change the Width and Height values to match the values recommended by Twitter. Then click OK.

The Resize menu.

Step 4

Click Save to save the changes.

Paint.net with the Save button highlighted.

Upload to Twitter

When your picture is ready, upload it to Twitter. Use the profile editor to upload both your header photo and your profile picture to your Twitter profile.

  1. Go to the profile editing page.
  2. Click Add a profile photo, followed by Upload photo.
  3. Select your profile photo and click Open.
  4. Use the slider to zoom the picture in, and drag the picture around to reposition it and click Apply.
  5. Click Add a header photo.
  6. Use the slider to zoom the picture in, and drag the picture around to reposition it and click Apply.
  7. Click Save Changes to apply your new pictures to your profile.