How to Resize an Image without Photoshop

Photoshop is an amazing image editor, but using it for something as basic as image resizing is a little bit excessive, especially if you don’t need to apply any other edits or adjustments. Opening Photoshop can take a few valuable seconds, even on a high-end desktop machine, and there are simpler ways to resize an image. 

The simplest way to resize an image is usually with your operating system’s default image viewer, which means that the instructions vary a little bit from Windows to macOS. 

If you’re on a different operating system like ChromeOS or Linux, you may be able to use a web-based editor to resize an image without Photoshop.

It’s important to note that these methods are only applicable to images stored in a common file type such as JPG, GIF, PNG, and so on. If you need to resize a RAW image file or a PSD file without Photoshop, you’ll need to use one of the web-based editors listed below. 

Resize an Image on Windows 10

If you’re using Windows 10, there are several ways to resize an image, but the simplest way is to use the Photos app. 

Locate the image file you want to resize using File Explorer, and right-click on it. From the popup menu, select the Open with submenu, and then click the Photos app from the list. 

Attentive users will note that there’s also an option Edit with Photos, yet this method does not allow you to resize your image. 

Once your image is open in the Photos app, open the app menu by clicking the triple-dot icon in the top right corner of the interface (shown below) and then select Resize from the menu. 

The Photos app will open a dialog window showing you the current size of your image in megapixels (for some ridiculous reason that I cannot fathom), as well as some preset options for resizing. 

You can also click the Define custom dimensions option at the bottom of the list to input a new size in pixels. Adjust any other settings as needed (they will vary a bit depending on the file format you’re using), and click Save resized copy

Congratulations, you’ve just resized an image without Photoshop! As many of you will be quick to point out, there are lots of different apps that can do this job, from the humble MSPaint to the complex IrfanView, but the Photos app is the simplest choice for Windows 10 users. 

It’s worth pointing out that while the Photos app is great for basic resizing of JPG, PNG, GIF, and other common file types, it won’t work for every situation. 

The RAW image files created by DSLR cameras and other proprietary file types may require a more advanced image editor for processing, so be sure to check out the section below on resizing images using Photopea

Resizing an Image on macOS

Similar to the Photos app on Windows, the Preview app in macOS allows you to quickly and easily perform basic edits like resizing an image. 

To get started, open your image in the Preview app. Locate the file in Finder, right-click on it, select the Open with submenu, and click Preview

Once your image is displayed in Preview, open the Tools menu, and select Adjust Size…

The Preview app will open a dialog box to allow you to select from a series of preset dimensions or input a custom option of your choosing. 

If you’re resizing your image to fit within a specific file size limit, it’s helpful to note that Preview will calculate the resulting file size before you actually finalize the resize operation. 

Resizing an Image on the Web 

Thanks to the impressive advances in internet speeds and cloud computing infrastructure over the last decade, it’s now possible to do basic image editing using a web-based image editor. 

There are now quite a few different web-based editors available, although they each have their own strengths and weaknesses.  

When you need to resize an image on the web, Photopea is one of the simplest options available. 

You don’t need to create an account to resize an image, and the user interface will be immediately familiar to anyone who’s used Photoshop. They even re-use a lot of Photoshop terminology to help keep things familiar.

To resize an image with Photopea, visit www.photopea.com and click the Open From Computer button. Browse to find the image you want to resize, and click Open

If you’d prefer, you can also drag and drop your image file onto the main editing area of the Photopea interface to speed things up even more. 

Once your image is open in Photopea, open the Image menu and click Image Size (you may notice that Photopea even supports keyboard shortcuts!)

The Image Size dialog box opens, allowing you to enter a new size in pixels, percent, millimeters, or inches. Enter your desired dimensions and click the OK button. Your image should now be resized! 

To save the resized image back to your computer, open the File menu, select the Export As submenu, and select the file type you want to use. Photopea supports an impressive range of filetypes, although some of them won’t be useful for resizing images. 

Photopea does offer a paid plan, but the free tier is more than capable enough to resize almost any image you may have. PSD files, AI files, XD files and even RAW photos can be edited and resized, which makes it more capable than any of the built-in image editors you’ll find on your Mac or PC. 

Photoshop Alternatives

If you’re planning to do more complex edits but you want to do them without Photoshop, there are many different Photoshop alternatives that may be better suited to your needs. Here are a couple of the best multi-platform options.

Affinity Photo

One of the first programs to directly challenge Photoshop after Adobe switched to a monthly subscription model, Affinity Photo offers a lot of powerful image editing tools, but its layer system still isn’t quite as polished as what you’ll find in Photoshop. 

Available for Windows and macOS from Serif Labs for $54.99 USD. 

GIMP

This open-source image editor is completely free and offers an impressive suite of image editing tools. The user experience leaves a lot to be desired, and it’s missing some of the more modern features found in Photoshop, but it’s still a decent Photoshop alternative for many users. 

GIMP can be downloaded free from the developer’s official website for Windows, macOS, and Linux. 

A Final Word

As I said in the introduction, Photoshop is an extremely powerful image editor, but there’s no need to bring out the big guns just to do a simple resize operation. No matter what type of image you want to resize, there are plenty of ways to resize an image without Photoshop – as long as you know where to look. 

Happy resizing!

About Thomas Boldt
Thomas started his Photoshop career way back in 2000. After exploring Photoshop 5.5 in a high school computer lab, he developed an enduring passion for photography, design, and technology that carried him through a Bachelor of Design degree and into the wild world of tech startups.

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