How to Quickly Make Many Pictures Smaller/Reduce File Size in Adobe Photoshop CS5

batch reduce file size in photoshop
batch reduce file size in photoshop
Small size equals speedy page loading.

One of the best ways to get people to read your blog posts, apart from having something interesting to say, of course,Β  is by incorporating pictures into each one. Visitors can become quite put off by large blocks of uninterruptedΒ  text, so getting royalty-free pictures from sites such as iStockphotoΒ or to spice things up a bit is worth it.

The problem is, these pictures are huge, so they will eat up your bandwidth and cause your pages to load slowly. You have to make them smaller–much smaller. One could open each one individually in a photoediting program and manually resize them, but when you are dealing with a bunch of pictures, this can get tedious.

So, being lazy, I like to use the Image Processor in Adobe Photoshop CS5 to batch reduce the file size of a bunch of pictures at once.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Put all of the pictures you want to make smaller in ONE folder on your computer. The Image Processor processes all of the files within a single folder, it does not allow you to pick and choose from all over the place.

2. In Adobe PhotoShop, go to File–>Scripts–>Image Processor.

3. Click on “Select Folder” in the top section.

4. Select the folder your pictures are in, then hit “OK”

5. Choose where you want to save the new images. I usually pick “Save in Same Location.”

6. Choose your quality. I pick “1” for lowest file size, and the images still come out great. Alternately, you can choose to resize to a specific length and width if you want to go through the trouble. I don’t.

7. Hit “Run.” Photoshop will open up each image and process it automatically. Sit back and relax.

8. When you are done, your images will be placed in a subfolder called “JPEG” in the folder you selected in step 3.

Check out the file reductions in this side by side comparison of before and after processing:

Much better, right? I hope this tip saves you some time.

143 Responses to “How to Quickly Make Many Pictures Smaller/Reduce File Size in Adobe Photoshop CS5”

  1. Thanks a lot dear….. its really awesome………. unbelievable……. where were you yaar……. u r d god of photoshop……. really…… thnk u so much once again….

    1. You are welcome. Its surprising how many visitors I get from all over the world for this specific post. Maybe I should do some more.

  2. Thanks a ton! I was able to edit 215 pictures in 5 minutes!!

    I had to do 15 before that manually for 30 minutes! Wish I did this google before that grrrr

  3. Thanks so much for this super helpful trip. I just returned from a South African safari and was dreading the prospect of having to resize each photo (I took hundreds) to share with my participants. Now I will easily be able to upload to our website! Thanks again.

    1. Sorry for the delay, was on vacation. Both will be reset to the size you specify under the “Resize to fit” option, with predictably poor results if your folder is mixed. So, if you enter 1200 for width and 800 for height on a portrait image, your image will turn into a landscape, distorted image. If you want to specify specific sizes, you should put the landscape ones in one folder, and the portrait ones in another. If you resize using “Quality” instead of specifying dimensions under “Resize to fit”, then your folder can be mixed.

  4. After looking for a long time, I am relieved to find something that explains in simple language how to reduce file size in Photoshop. Thanks for providing the step-by-step breakdown, the vast majority of ‘how to’ sites on these issues provide overly technical explanations and it can be very frustrating.

    1. Yes, it does, but not by much. The pics still look great on web pages, but you would want to use the original photo if you intend on printing it.

  5. Thanks you very much dear for sharing of such a great information. i had to make 2000 pictures separately but now i will do all together. thanks you again for posting an awesome solution…..

  6. So it looks like the cs5 version is no longer available, just the cs6 extended version and the free trial only lasts 30 days. Are there any other alternatives out there. OR maybe you can still download it but I could not find it.

    1. I haven’t upgraded yet, but I believe this should still work in CS6. If you only need Photoshop for a short while, you can rent it on a month to month basis rather than pay for it all at once.

  7. Hi, this is great advise and works exactly like I wanted BUT I am working with PNG files that have transparency. Is there any similar way to do this with PNG files to keep the transparency? Unfortunately saving to JPG flattens the image. THANK YOU!

  8. Willie – many thanks. That’s a life changer. I’ve been frustrated at manually shrinking thousands of photos – manually, one at a time based on living with an aged Mac. Finally bought a new one and knew there had to be a better way with current Photoshop.
    You de man. Thanks.

  9. Hi,

    just wanted to say YOU ARE AWESOME and thank you. YOu explained things very well, and not being “tech savy”, I was able to do it!


    1. From what I know, you’d have to create an action and apply that action to the images using Batch.

      Open a sample image, then open the Action Palette, press “record,” do the steps to round the corners, stop recording, and then use the Automate>Batch menu to select the images and action.

  10. Thanks so much for this post! Had 25 pictures that was the same size that needed to be reduced by 90%. With your instructions, worked like a charm! Thanks much!

  11. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! My daughter had to upload photos of her artwork to submit them for her AP Art Test and they were too big, we followed your instructions and it worked perfectly!!!
    (I had just downloaded Photoshop cs6 a couple days ago for a free trial…what a coincidence!!) Thanks for taking the time to share the info:)

  12. Geez, man!

    Thanks a ton for this.

    Its amazing how so many other articles talk about all sorts of technical stuff, when talking about reducing file size, so much so that one becomes none the wiser for it.

    You’ve just bucked the trend.


  13. Hi..
    If I need to resize all of the images at the same time, but I need the height to be 5 pixels bigger (I know that it will stretch a little, but it’s really not noticeable) how do i do that?
    -I hope you can help! Thanks..

      1. Yeah but when I need to resize from W:2000 H:2600 to W:768 H:1004 it comes out W:768 H:999… Is there another way, so the processor doesn’t contrain the proportions? πŸ™‚

  14. Thank you for posting this information, it was very helpful letting me email a lot of pictures in a single email. I tried quality settings 1-5 just to see the differences in the folder size when it was done. The output folder kept getting steadily smaller as expected. Then I looked at the pictures with quality = 1 and they looked great so that is what I sent even though the files were still small enough to send as a group with a setting of 2 but why waste the bandwidth!

  15. this was very useful..
    thnx a lot

    but after processing images I found that original image and new image have same pixels,dpi…
    then can u explain how it reduces size..

  16. this is such a big help. tried to download file compressing programs and one i tried kept installing nasty toolbars onto my browser. you’re a godsend. thanks again! πŸ˜€

  17. Hey Wellie, I found your post very helpful as i hv to resize the 800 images and now i can done in a single shot. I have read all the questions asked and and how sincerely you are answering it. Great man to evaluate the Adobe photoshop feature. Hats off to you.

  18. Thanks a lot !! Please do more tips and tricks on PS and LR πŸ™‚ Will be very helpful to people like me πŸ™‚

  19. This was so easy! I just got a DSLR and my Etsy photos were taking FOREVER to load. This has saved me! I’m going to start doing it for my blog now too. Thanks so much!

  20. Stumbled upon your post and it really helped me a lot, more than a lot really!

    Thank you for saving my time, bandwidth and all! This has always been my problem whenever I import images taken from my digital camera. Life saver! πŸ™‚

  21. ok, really strange problem hwew. I used this technique and set it to Quality 1 and it made the files sizes larger than the original images… any ideas?

  22. Thank you so much for this – it’s a lifesaver! I keep the url saved in my e-mail inbox and have shared it with others. So easy but I would never have known unless you were willing to share your time and expertise to post this for all!

  23. Dear Mr. Pena,

    Thanks for all info about How to Quickly Make Many Pictures Smaller/Reduce File Size in Adobe Photoshop CS5.
    I have additional question:
    All my photos are in about 400 directories. Each directory holds about 500 photos. Total is about 200000 photos.

    In turn, my 400 directories are in 20 directories (kind of super directories). That is about 20 directory in each super directory.

    How can I reduce a resolution of all photos in one go. Is it possible or will I have to do it one directory at the time? I will be getting CS6.

    Ludvik Kindl

  24. Brilliant… Was searching for this for so many days, asked many people who work on photoshop day-in and day-out… but no one ever gave this simple way of doing it!! thanks…

  25. Wow man, I have been using paint for way to long.

    Simple article, and it had PICTURES:) for us visual learners!
    haha thanks Will!

  26. Thank you so much for making a difference in my day! I had 1000 wedding images – it would have taken forever

  27. Willie, this is amazing. I have asked several people how to do this over the years and no-one seemed to know. You are THE BEST!! Thank you very, very much.

  28. Is it possible to do this for a certain file size? I’m working on a Flash utility to convert many JPGs into SWFs for banner ads but I need all the JPG files at 35k.

  29. I really can t say that the quality is good using 1, I sell the pictures and most of them in this way are not ok,but a good tip, it can be used also to put logos on images.

  30. Hi there!
    Your post is really helpfull.
    In the same dialog box, there is resize option.Can you tell please how to use it to set only width with constraint proportions options.


  31. Thank you so much; I actually spent years trying to find a simple answer for batch reducing photos I want to shrink and email in customisable quality…never realising it is via PS scripts (don’t use PS much) and so simply done with no need to buy additional programs.

  32. Hi Willie
    Thanks so much for posting this advice. I was recently gifted 600+ photos by the documentary photographer from our show. He didnt’ have enough time to collate and select his photos. I found this discussion via a Google search and I have managed to convert 400/600 very easily. These are the Colour jpeg files. However,noen from the black and white series will convert to lower than 1.2MB [from 1.5, for example] via this method. I’d appreciate any suggestions you may have.
    I input ‘1’ for quality on all conversions/ Even inputting ‘0’ did not significantly reduce the file size

    As some of the b/w files are up to 2MB I need to bring them down to be manageable–in emails, and sharing Powerpoints which include these images.

    thanks heaps for any advice

    Yours gratefully

  33. Hello Willie,

    I like to say that usually I don’t put any comments on the net,but here you deserve all the gratitude you get , and wish you all the best and smoooothest high speed cruise for the rest of your life.

    Yours gratefully

    1. Hi Willie!
      How many more are there to save our time in photoshop when we are dealing with 100s of photos to color correct them in same tone? Is that possible.

      Looking forward to your great Response.

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