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How to Fix Pixelated Pictures in Photoshop

Published: 29/06/2023

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Poor printing, downloading, and resizing can result in pixelated photos. Pixels create distracting distortions that may not show the beauty of a property. I'm teaching the different ways how to fix pixelated pictures in Photoshop to keep your real estate shots looking sharp.

How to Fix Pixelated Pictures in Photoshop

You can use the Sharpness tool or Gaussian Blur or create a soft layer to fix pixelated images in Photoshop. You'll need to resize the picture and use various tools to sharpen individual pixels. Altering exposure, contrast, light, and shadow can also mask pixelated portions.

Blurry and grainy images can cause various negative impacts on your content. Nonetheless, you can quickly fix pixelated photos with Photoshop. Let’s learn how to fix a pixelated image in Photoshop using various methods.

Fixing Pixelated Pictures Using the Sharpness Tool

Adobe Photoshop's first method of removing pixelation from any image is using the Sharpness tool. Here, I will cover fixing pixelated photos by blurring and sharpening the image.

Launch Photoshop and Resize the Pixelated Image

Go to Image, then click on Image Size. Increase the size by entering higher values in the resulting dialog box. Make sure that the values you add are according to your image requirements.

Duplicate the Layer

Duplicate the layer to keep the original image intact while editing the duplicate layer.

  1. Go to Layer, then click on Duplicate Layer.

Select the duplicate layer from your Layers panel. The layers panel is usually at the bottom right corner of your Photoshop screen. If you are unable to see it, go to Window, and choose Layers.

Selecting the Surface Blur option in Photoshop

Adjust the Blur

After selecting the Duplicate layer, go to the menu bar present at the top of your screen. On the menu bar, click on Filter.

From the drop-down menu, navigate to Blur, and then select Surface Blur from the cascading menu. As you click on the surface blur option, a window will appear. Adjust the blur of your image by changing the values of the Radius and Threshold.Now that you have adjusted the blue, it is time to adjust the sharpness. Click on the Filter option on your menu bar. Navigate to Sharpen, then click on Smart Sharpen.

Using the Smart Sharpen tool to fix a pixelated image

Add a Layer Mask

Add a Layer mask by the layer mask icon on the bottom of the layers panel. This icon looks like an empty circle placed inside a rectangle.

  1. Invert this layer mask. You can do this by navigating to Layer, choosing New Adjustment Layer, and clicking on Invert.
  2. Pick the Brush tool from the toolbar to reduce the blurriness of your image.
  3. Fix the color balance of the image. You can skip this step if the image's color is what you want.
  4. To adjust the color balance, go to Layer, click on New Adjustment Layer, and select Color Balance. You can keep changing the setting until you reach your desired color scheme.

Fixing Pixelated Pictures Using the Gaussian Blur Method

The first method may seem lengthy and time-consuming. For a simpler and quicker method, you can opt for the Gaussian Blur feature in Photoshop. It averages the neighboring pixels' colors and gives them a smoother look.

  1. Launch Photoshop and open up your pixelated image.
  2. Go to the menu bar present at the top of the workspace and click on ‘Filter.’
  3. From the drop-down menu, navigate to Blur, then click on Gaussian Blur.

From the window, move the slider until you reach your desired outcome, and then click OK.

Using the Gaussian Blur tool in Photoshop
  1. Go to the menu again and click on Filter. From the drop-down menu, navigate to Sharpen, then select Unsharp Mask.
  2. Adjust the scroll bar until you find your desired outcome, and then click OK.
Selecting the Unsharp Mask option to fix pixelated pictures

Fixing Pixelated Pictures by Creating a Soft Layer

Photoshop offers another way of fixing pixelated images with ease. This method involves the creation of a new layer.

Create a New Layer

Launch Photoshop and open up your pixelated image.

  1. Click on the new layer icon at the bottom of your Layers panel.
  2. Go to Layer, click on New, and select Layer.
  3. Copy your image from the background layer to this new layer.

Set the Blending Options

You will find a drop-down menu for blending options within your layers panel. Click on it and select the Soft Light option from this menu.

Using the Soft Light option in Photoshop
  1. Go to the top menu bar and click on Filters.
  2. From the drop-down, navigate to Noise, then click on Despeckle. Repeat this step until the pixelation of your image clears.
  3. Once you get rid of pixelation in your image, go to the menu and click on Image.
  4. Go to Adjustments from the drop-down.
  5. Select Brightness/Contrast from the cascading menu. Adjust it till you get a high-quality image.
Using the Despeckle tool to fix pixelated pictures

Understanding Pixelation and What Causes It

Digital images are made of tiny square dots known as pixels. The size and density of pixels in an image determines its quality and level of detail. For instance, an image with a higher number of pixels has greater detail and clarity. 

This greater detail and clarity is usually known as high-resolution. Pixelation refers to a visual effect where an image loses resolution, and it appears blocky and distorted. 

Pixelation is noticeable when you zoom in on an image, and you can see the individual pixels as blurry, blocky squares. Some of the common reasons why an image can lose resolution and become pixelated include:

Downloading Low-Res Images

When you download an image, you are transferring the image file from a remote location, such as a website or server, to your local device, such as a computer. If the original image has a low resolution, it may appear pixelated when viewed on displays with higher resolutions or enlarged. 


Image files are often compressed to reduce their file size for easier storage and faster downloading. Compression techniques, such as lossy compression, discard some image details to achieve smaller file sizes. If an image is heavily compressed, it may lose significant amounts of information, leading to a loss of image quality and pixelation.


When you resize an image and increase its dimensions, the program performing the resizing operation needs to interpolate the existing pixels to fill in the additional space, reducing the overall resolution of the image. The loss in resolution results in the loss of image detail, causing pixelation.

Bad Printer Settings

If you scale up the image to fit a different size than its original dimensions in the print settings, the printer may perform interpolation, resulting in pixelation and a loss of image quality. 

Additionally, most printers give you the option of choosing low, medium, or high-quality printing. Selecting a lower print quality setting can reduce the sharpness and clarity of the printed image, resulting in pixelation.

How to Resample a Picture and Enlarge It

If you want to resample and enlarge an image in Photoshop without pixelation, open the image in Photoshop by going to File, choosing Open, and selecting the image file. Duplicate the original image layer by selecting the layer in the Layers panel and then pressing Ctrl + J on Windows or Command + J on Mac.

With the duplicated layer selected, go to Image and choose Image Size. In the dialog box that appears, uncheck the Resample option if it is checked. This ensures that any changes made will maintain the original pixel dimensions of the image. Enter the desired dimensions or resolution for the enlarged image. 

Ensure that the Constrain Proportions option is checked to maintain the original aspect ratio. Check the Resample option in the Image Size dialog box and choose an appropriate resampling method from the dropdown menu. Click OK to apply the changes and resize the image.

How to Enhance a Picture in Camera RAW

Open the RAW image in Camera Raw by double-clicking the RAW image file. In the filmstrip, right-click on the image and select Enhance. Usually, the Enhance Preview dialog box will appear. Check the Super Resolution box in the Enhance Preview dialog box.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Fix Pixelated Text in Photoshop?

You can fix pixelated text in Photoshop by adjusting the text layer's anti-aliasing. Right-click on the text layer in the Layers panel and choose Blending Options. In the Layer Style dialog box, select Smooth or Sharp for the anti-aliasing option, then save the image using a high-resolution file format such as TIFF or PNG.

Why Is My Real Estate Image Pixelated?

Incorrect resizing, low-resolution of original images, and wrong camera settings can make images pixelated. Unsuitable image compression, corruption of the file, and loading pictures on incompatible image viewers can also result in pixelated images.

How Can I Avoid My Real Estate Shots From Getting Pixelated?

Applying the appropriate camera settings and keeping your camera steady can minimize the risk of pixelation in images. You can also avoid pixelation by following the proper resizing protocol.


Using the Sharpness tool and Gaussian Blur, as well as creating a soft layer, can resolve pixelation uses. Pixelated images won't look professional for real estate listings. You need to master this image editing technique in Adobe Photoshop to keep your shots in the highest quality.


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