Online, small images that still look crisp are a must—on websites and in email signatures, for instance. Find here reviews of the best sites to compress an image online for free. Expect to save some 70%–90% without easily noticeable differences in appearance.
First, a Bowl Full of Tomato Juice Is Enough
When hands and fingers smell like the cooking they have done, it is good to have both tomato juice aplenty and a few minutes on, well, hand.
For a well-known and promising-enough folk remedy:
- Pour the tomato juice in a large salad bowl.
- Dunk your hands in the bowl and juice.
- Wait 5 minutes.
- Take your hands out smelling fresh and almost cleans.
They say it also works to get the smell out of smelly dog’s hair.
Either way, now that we can touch the keyboard and screen again, let’s get the smelly size out of our image files (for less than the price of tomato juice):
The 5 Best Sites to Compress an Image Online for Free
To make images smaller, say for your email signature, you can reduce their resolution (make them smaller in quite literal a sense), or you can reduce their visible quality—or you can reduce their size at the same resolution without messing with the quality visibly.
The latter is possible with, of course, sacrificing detail and information; smart algorithms mean the lost information will mostly not make a discernible difference for a casual look at the image: perfect for images that need to look good at a glance and be very small.
Many a powerful tool exists for the job of reducing image file size for any platform. For the odd image, free online image compressors work marvels. Here are the four free sites that best combine easy use with smooth compression:
1. ShortPixel – Best Tool to Compress an Image Online for Free
ShortPixel is a massive image optimization software-as-a-service powerhouse that will resize, lazy-load, convert and compress images on the fly for your website with plug-ins and APIs, a command-line interface and what not.
It will also smartly compress the odd image for you just as you need it with peerless compression.
“Lossy,” though dangerous it may sound, is just about always a safe choice with ShortPixel. (Note you do get the choice of sacrificing size reduction for an increase in quality.)
Used anonymously, ShortPixel lets you compress up to 10 MB, a (free) account nets you 100 bigger images per month.
With a drag-and-drop interface, ShortPixel is easy enough to use—and in parts needlessly convoluted and fuzzy perhaps. The lightbox that lets you compare before and after hides behind an eye, for instance, and you have to make sure you pick the compression level before uploading files.
It’s a pity ShortPixel’s smarts are not applied to picking the perfect image format, or to converting at all. Many a PNG image without transparency would profit from a conversion to JPEG, for instance.
Either way, even out of the box without settings, account and configuration, ShortPixel truly shines with amazingly compressed JPEG and PNG files returned in an instant.
- Highly optimized file compression
- Lets you choose between lossless and lossy compression
- Free account lets you compress images exceeding 10 MB
- Does not pick or suggest most suitable file type on its own
- Will not resize images
2. Compressor.io – Best Alternative to Compress an Image Online
Drag and grab is all you’re here for? It’s what Compressor.io is there for!
In an amazingly simple workflow, Compressor.io lets you drop a file and pick it up right after in highly compressed form.
You still get to choose between lossless compression and one that slightly reduces quality and up- as well as download multiple files in bulk, all within easy reach. Helpful further tools (resizing images, say, and renaming them in bulk) are, alas, limited to paid accounts.
Everyone gets another another gorgeous tool, though: a big lightbox to compare the compressed image to its original.
- Impressive file compression for images up to 10 MB in (original) size
- Works seamlessly with JPEG, PNG, GIF, WebP and SVG files
- Includes a comparison lightbox
- Conversion between image formats is not supported
- Image resizing requires paid version
3. Img2Go Compress Images Online – Includes Resizing, Conversion, and More
If you do one thing, you might as well also do the other; and then the third?
With Img2Go, you can. In a first step, it will dutifully and quite handily compress your PNG or JPEG image. Other free online compressors may offer better compression, but what comes next makes Img2Go particularly useful.
In a next step, you can feed the compressed image to Img2Go’s other tools and resize them, crop or watermark perhaps. You can also compress and convert between PNG and JPEG in one go.
The added functions add a tad of complexity—which, in turn, would be swell to have for building repeatable workflows that include multiple steps. Previews of the resulting images would be a nice addition, too.
- Lets you convert to JPEG or PNG and compress in one step
- Makes it easy wo further work on the image: resize, rotate, crop,…
- Images are not compressed to the utmost level
- Added functionality adds a bit of complication to the interface as well
4. TinyJPG – Simple Online Image Compression Alternative
Drag your humongous image, download your tiny image.
TinyJPG started as TinyPNG and has grown to compressing both PNG and JPEG files in Photoshop, on websites, through desktop applications—and, still, by letting you upload a graphic.
Free use is, alas, restricted to files up to 5 MB, and you will not get a preview or before/after comparison; you will not get to pick any options and compression levels either or a way to resize images for further size reduction.
What you get is your image (or images, up to 20 in one go) back in compressed form. The results are not stellar but most useable, and TinyJPG has a happy panda to keep you company while your images are shrunk.
- Offers solid reduction in image file size
- Easy to use with little frills
- Free version only processes files up to 5 MB in size
- No options or compression levels are available
- Does not resize images or convert them to another format
5. Imagify – Great Image Compression with Size Limits
Do you have the odd image to optimize—provided it’s not too big in the first place?
The compression itself as well as the choices you get are as good as any. You can pick from three levels of compression and have Imagify strip EXIF metadata as well as resize images. Compression levels are solid, though you get no easy way to compare the compressed image to the original.
Where Imagify comes a bit short and what makes its use a tad cumbersome are the restrictions: for the occasional use with a free account, you get to upload only images up to 2 MB, so you probably have to resize, resample and perhaps compress the image before you can even use Imagify on it. Free accounts are also limited to 20 MB of data per month.
Still, for an image compressed here and there, Imagify is both useful, swift and performant.
- Compresses images very well
- Can strip metadata and resize images on the fly
- Free accounts only processes images up to 2 MB
- No comparison of original and compressed image
- Free accounts do not convert images formats
(Best free sites to compress an image online updated July 2022)