How to resize multiple images in Photoshop

Digital Arts

Here, as part of our beginner's guide to Adobe Photoshop, we show you how to use actions and batch processing to resize multiple images.

If you've got a folder full of images that you want to resize, you might be dreading how long it's going to take to open up each image in Photoshop, resize them, resave them and close them all again. However, there is a way to make resizing multiple images in Photoshop really quick and easy, but it takes a bit of work to set up first. 

First things first, you'll want to make sure all of the images you need to resize are in one folder. Within that folder (or wherever you would prefer your resized images to end up) create another folder called something like "Resized Images".

Now, open up one of the images in Photoshop (here, we are using Photoshop CC, but this process will work in older versions of Photoshop too).

Create an action

Go to the actions panel. If you can't see it, go to Window and click Actions.

At the bottom of the actions panel, between the trash can and the folder icons, there's a square 'new' icon. Click it, and you'll see the New Action window appear.

Choose a name for your action. Here, we're resizing our images to 512 pixels wide, so we've named it 'Image Resize - 512px'. You can then choose whether you want the action to be stored within the 'Default' set or a separate one you've created. (Create new sets by clicking the folder icon mentioned earlier).

If you'd like to create a shortcut to make the action easier to perform, you can do so by choosing a function key from the drop-down menu, and checking shift and/or command. You can also colour-code the action if you want to.

Once you've chosen the name of the action, the set, the shortcut and the colour, you now need to record your action.

Press the record button, and then go to Image > Image Size to bring up the Image Size window (below).

Here, choose how you want to resize your images. You can change dimensions to show in different measurements, such as percentage or pixels, and you can choose the width and resolution too.

Once you're done, click "OK".

Now, go to File > Save As, and then choose your "Resized Images" folder. Don't change the file name of your image.

Click "Save".

Choose your image options, and then click "OK".

Finally, close your image and then, in the actions panel, click the square 'stop' icon next to the red record button.

Your action should now appear in your actions panel.

Test your action

Just in case you've messed something up somewhere along the line, it's best to check your action before you attempt to carry it out on multiple images.

Open another image that you would like to resize, and then select your new action.

Now, click the 'play' icon. Your image should disappear from your window, but you should now find it, resized, in your "Resized Images" folder.

Resize multiple images by batch processing them

Worked? Great!

Now you can batch process your images to resize them all. To do this, open Photoshop, then go to File > Automate > Batch.

You should now see the Batch window. Choose the set that you created your action in, and then choose your action.

Where it says "Source," you'll want to choose "Folder" and then click the "Choose…" button to pick the folder that all of your images are in.

You don't need to choose a destination because you've built that into your action.

(NOTE: If you would like to add an extension onto your images' file names, you can do that by choosing "Resized Images" as your destination folder, and then check "Override Action "Save As" Commands". Now, type in the extension (in our case, it could be "_512" to represent the size of the image)).

Now, click OK.

Now, you should find all of your images, resized, in your "Resized Images" folder.


enamul hoq said: Wow!!!!! very beautiful. thanks for detailing step by step..background remove

DJ dVo said: Thank you! Thank you so much! You save a gazillion minutes from my life!!! I was struggling with this on the first batch and thought to myself there gotta be a way and sure enough I came across to your tutorial! MAGICAL!!!

aida said: Is there any way to change color of multiple images in photo shop? I need too change 3000 files to one color. Is it possible????? Pleas help

Student said: Awesome tutorial!!! Thank you for this!

html5beginners said: Awesome post, i came to know about this first time for automate in photoshop. Thanx

Martin Edmundson said: This was brilliant thank you!

melanie Bradshaw said: Hello. Thank you. It didn't work for me. Mine is filled out identical to yours except with my file names and this pops up. Please help. thank you Melanie :)"Please choose a document name, serial number, or serial letter so the destination name is different for the different input files.""

Pingbat said: Brilliant, great tutorial saved me a tonne of pain :-)

Mimi said: This tutorial was so helpful! Thank you! :)

Alex said: Thanks so much! Really helpful

binhtran44 said: omg!!thank you so much!!!

vasu said: awesome

Jeffrey Feelgood Nardi said: How do i Stop this from removing the extra whitespace.

drew said: Doug,The command is still there but, oddly, in the File>Automate tab--you can see it in the second to last illustration in the tutorial: "Fit Image," grayed out. It will allow you to specify the maximum dimensions the image must fit within, and constrains proportions by default. Why this tool isn't part of the Image Size tab is a mystery known only to those in the Adobe kiva.

kang Deni Bandung said: Thank you. This was amazing and help me a lot.

Mike said: I am creating 2 actions. The first action sets the width of the images to 904 pixels then saves them to a subfolder on my computer. That works fine. I then need to crop the image height so that the image output becomes exactly 904px by 403px. However, on my second action (that will crop down the height of the image), I'm getting stuck on the crop tool it seems. I create the action and start recording. I click on the crop icon which provides a crop dashed outline around the image. At top is a crop bar and in it I set the width to 904 px and height to 403 px and resolution to 72. I then click on the canvas area and a popup comes up saving if I want to crop. I click Yes. I then do File > Save As and save the image. I close the image, then stop the recording. However, when I open the image the image is mostly black and the image is very small in the top left corner. Any ideas what I could be doing wrong?

Doug Havens said: in CS6 there was a command in the FILE menu called "Fit" I think.. I could put in 800 and my file would be scaled to fit inside of a 800x800 square - landscape images became 800 pixels wide, portrait became 800 tall - and photoshop figured it out for me - so batch resize was super cool. Was that command called "fit"? (the downside to actions is you forget what they are doing exactly). I think I started using this feature in CS4, so it's been around for a while.How do I perform a similar function in CC? Thanks in advance for your input.

Rebeckah Ferger said: Thanks a million! This is just what I needed. :D

ascott said: Hello, is there a way to record "save as" command in the action, leaving the folders' path empty?

Kate said: THANK YOU so much!! This is amazing.

Rockwell18 said: Tim, after lots of searching, this is much better! I figured some things out - if you put the "MAX" dpi you want the long side of the files, place that number in both the w box and h box. Also, if you don't want another folder created in the "select location to save" and you choose to select your own folder, put a check in the "Keep folder structure" box. This will put the files directly in your chosen folder!Hope this helps others!

ru said: Fantastic, easy and great time saver! thanks for sharing so clearly step by step

Dejan Baric said: Thank you!

Veen said: I want to reduce the weight of my all images in photoshop. Is there any tool for this..

Dev... said: Thanks...........

Tim said: This "action" is already built into Photoshop, it's called Image Processor.File > Scripts > Image ProcessorJust use that one and you won't have any problems.

Tim said: This "action" is already built into Photoshop, it's called Image Processor.File > Scripts > Image Processor

Amy said: SO thankful for this! Now I won't have to waste so much time doing this one by one.

Jayashree said: You saved my life with this at work and having to resize so many pictures- 10:10 pm and I get to go home. THANK YOU!!!!!

John said: thank you

Greg said: It is because you renamed your picture name while recording the process, so it repeat the same command the next time

Starr Zizza said: I am having a problem with this. When I try to resize another picture, it saves with the same name and replaces the first one.

Fom Towler said: If you're on mac you can use automator. It'll resize every image in a folder without you needing to open photoshop.

Espen Nilsen said: Thanks alot!!! I feel like the weight of the world just has been lifted off of my shoulders :D

SaraP said: hi, thanks for the advice. i'm rescaling about 195 images aswell as changing them to CMYK. I've gone through all the actions and the OK button is pulsing away... does this mean its still doing its thing? how long would you expect 195 images to take? thank you

Anon said: Thanx...alotsaved nearly 1 hour...

Carol said: Thank you so much! It's like magic! haha :)

Sam said: Really helpful, thank you.

Tara said: thank you that was so helpful and easy to follow!

Pooya said: Thank you. That was magic!

Kaitlin said: This was incredibly helpful! I need to resize about a hundred images for our company. This will save me so much time... Thank you for posting this!!

Ikram Rao said: love you brother you save my many hours :)

IeuanD said: Excellent! Thank you!

Omar said: Thanks a lot! This is amazing!

vjspin3 said: Didn't work (as usual—any time I try to create an action, it never works as advertized). First, I had to quit Photoshop (CS6) and reopen to have the action work and then I get an error message for each of the commands saying that command is not currently available. I deleted the action, tried again to the same results.

TriMark Press said: Great help! Thanks!

lauren1713 said: Thank you so much. Got up at 5am as i thought this would take a couple of hours but resized 350 Huge images in 20 mins. brilliant, thanks again.

Utkarsh said: Thank you very much . You get full 100 marks

Alex Villapalos said: Bravo!!! Thanks you a lot!! 1 million of thanks, excellent explanation

Sandeep Tawaniya said: Awasome Trick !! Made my whole day from editing the images :p :) Thank you so much for sharing

nyan // tanaditya said: thank you so much! really helpful to resize my travel photos at once! xx

Salisha Malin said: I tried all this, but it's still asking me to specify an extension. I would like them to be jpegs, but when I write in .jpg it still is asking to specify an extension for the output files. HELP!

bfmrad said: finally a tutorial that does what it says and easy to follow.

Reeko said: Brilliant! Thanks alot man, saved me countless hours of tedious time wasting resizing!

Jared said: Great Tutorial! Thank you so much! Saved me hours of work and saved my computer from some bloatware!

Jason said: thanx

Constantina said: Thank you! :-)

Sarah said: Thanks! Saved me heaps of time of re-opening and saving each images as i do this a lot at work! :DDD

Indu said: Thank you so much... I was struggling to do this for a long time.... thanks a lot for the help'''

Evrim Sen said: You've made my life like 500% easier from now on and into the future. Thank you, this was a great tutorial! :D

Karen said: Wow! This was massively helpful to me and really easy to follow! This is going to save me hours in my job. Thank you!

Dumbo said: Thanks! Works great! ^^

Vikas said: Hey thanks a lot....very detailed explanation....thanks again

Clare said: Great help! I used to dread resizing 100s of images. Now, it's a breeze!

Carrie A Deane said: Thank you!!

artsinekart said: you're a king

Dave said: Brilliant tutorial. Has saved me tons of time at work resizing graphics.Many thanks,Dave

Ankit said: Great Tutorial.Thanks Buddy..

Nico said: Perfect it helped me a lot. I made it export for web so they will be optimized for my site. now i won't be penalized for scaling big images via html.