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How to reduce a PNG file size

How to reduce a PNG file size

PNG or Portable Network Graphics file is one of the most popular image formats. It is best suited for high-quality digital images like photos and prints, and is often used on the web for logos, banners and product images.

A PNG format supports over 16 million colours and is best known for its alpha channel feature - transparency. For example, a logo with a transparent layer seamlessly blends with a website’s background.

PNG is a lossless compression format where the file size is significantly larger, taking up valuable storage space. For this reason, users may want to reduce the PNG file size, and in this article we’ll discuss several easy ways to do so.

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Reduce a PNG file size by compressing it

PNG files are great for their quality. While they are a preferred file format for crisp and clear images, PNG file sizes may need file compression to save storage space while keeping the image dimentions.

Lossy PNG compression

Today’s technology allows file compression tools to use high-end algorithms to reduce PNG files to the smallest size possible while retaining the quality of the image. Here are the steps to compressing PNG file size with the online compression tool by TinyIMG:

1. Open TinyIMG on your web browser

tinyimg online png compression tool interface on desktop

2. Drag and drop the PNG files you want to reduce in size. You can upload up to 10 images at a time for bulk compression. The max size of each file cannot be more than 3MB

drag and drop the png files to the online compression tool

3. The PNG file is available for download once the compression is complete

png file is compressed and available for download

4. You can see the difference in the file size of the original and reduced image before you download it.

comparison of the png file size before and after compression

Lossless PNG compression tools

Here are some common tools used for lossless compression of a PNG file. These tools do not compromise the quality of the image file, instead they re-compress the file and remove metadata.

  • ImageOptim – A Free and Open source application for only Mac systems
  • PNGGauntlet – An application for Windows systems
  • Trimage – A cross platform GUI and command-line application
  • Pngcrush - A command-line application for UNIX, LINUX or MS-DOS

With lossless compression, the PNG file size is only marginally reduced. However, if you want to compress the image a lot more, then you may want to consider a lossy compression.

Suggested article: How to compress a JPEG file

How to reduce a PNG file size in Photoshop

Unlike using the default image editing programs on Windows or Mac devices, Photoshop offers extra features to compress a file. For example, you can resize and compress image files using Photoshop.

  1. Open the PNG file you want to reduce on Adobe Photoshop. You can drag and drop the image into Photoshop or use File > Open to find the image file
  2. Select Image > Image Size or press Ctrl+Alt+I
  3. In the Image Size Dialog box, reduce the Height/Width of the image to compress the size. Make sure that the button for constraining the proportions is selected.
  4. Click on the Resample button and choose Bicubic Sharper from the list to keep the sharpness of the image while compressing it
  5. Click OK to close the Image Size dialog box and save the image

How to reduce PNG file size on Windows or Mac

Built-in tools don't offer control over the quality of the PNG file size to compress it, so here are some ways you can reduce the file size of PNG images on your Mac or PC:

  • Reduce the dimensions of the image
  • Reducing the depth of colours (save a 32-bit image as a 24-bit or 8-bit image)
  • Convert PNG to JPEG (using Export or Save As)
  • Remove the alpha channel/transparency layer, or
  • Use a 3rd party online compression tool like TinyIMG

Frequently asked questions

How do I reduce the size of a PNG?

You can use online compression tools, downloadable software, built-in software or applications, plugins and other ways to reduce the size of a PNG. While many compression tools offer size reduction of only one PNG image file at a time, some tools provide bulk image compression options.

How to make a PNG smaller without losing quality?

You can reduce the file size of PNG files by reducing the dimensions of the image or by using tools designed explicitly for lossless compression.

Can I reduce a PNG file size on Mac?

Yes, you can reduce a PNG file size on Mac computers. Use one of the default image editing applications, special image software like Photoshop, or online compression tools. Preview on Mac compresses images by changing the dimensions. However, 3rd party online tools like TinyIMG compresses PNG file sizes while keeping the dimensions.

How much of a PNG size can I reduce?

You cannot control the exact level of compression of the final image with PNG files. However, you can shrink the file size by reducing the depth of colours to 8-bit or 24-bit, or removing transparency.

Can I reduce a PNG file size on Windows?

You can reduce a PNG file size on Windows. However, with the built-in image editing tools, you can only resize the dimensions of the image to reduce the size of the file. Alternatively, you can use 3rd party applications and online tools like TinyIMG to get the smallest file size.

About the author
Gillian Jane Mercylin
Gillian is a versatile digital specialist who has managed and consulted for innovative businesses, globally. She is a digital design, marketing, advertising and SEO specialist. Yes! She is a cluster of creativeness with unrivaled knowledge and deep rooted understanding in the digital industry. When she writes, she does so with passion to share her knowledge with those who can benefit from it.