Is there an easy way to blur an image in Windows? I'm not looking for something fancy, I'm only looking to smudge the text in an image.

3 Answers 3


GIMP (which is viewed by many as a replacement for Adobe's Photoshop) can do this, or if you need to automate this you could use ImageMagick (which, in addition to its assortment of excellent command-line tools, is supported by a variety of diverse and powerful languages such as Perl).

  GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program; free and open source)

  GIMP tutorial on how to do blurring

  Image Magick (free and open source)

  Image Magick instructions for blurring

  • 1
    I thought the GIMP tutorial was overkill for my needs.To only blur part of an image in GIMP, use the select tool to highlight an area with your cursor, then choose a blur from the "filters" in the menu bar. Use "export" rather than save in the file menu to get a PNG.
    – geneorama
    Oct 30, 2017 at 19:06

Facepixelizer (Website): Free online web app for quickly blurring out text in an image. It has an "intelligent" text blurring tool that changes the amount of blurring based on the font size of the text being blurred.

Simply upload your image, select some text, then click blur.

Facepixelizer - Pixelated text

GIMP (Windows, macOS, Linux): The built in "Smudge" tool can be used in a pinch for manually redacting text. The tool is a bit finicky, since there's no option to smudge an entire selection at once, but it should get the job done.

Gimp - Smudge tool

Skitch (macOS, iOS): One of the simplest offline solutions available. It's a simple annotation markup program with a built in Blur Tool. Just use the blur tool to select any area you want redacted.

Skitch - Blur tool
Screenshot by Ian C.

  • 1
    The Gimp "smudge" tool works great! But, for some reason, the Gimp "blur" tool is pretty lousy--doesn't hardly do anything. Apr 27, 2021 at 3:44
  1. If you don't need anything fancy like Photoshop or Gimp, try Picnik. Its got some pretty cool features and its fast, free and pretty easy to use for beginners.
  2. If you need something offline Paint.Net looks pretty awesome to me.
  3. I think Picasa has an option to blur images as well and is quite user friendly.
  4. IrfanView is another one I have used for basic stuff.
  • 2
    Want something I can use offline.
    – soandos
    Jul 3, 2011 at 7:42
  • Also, this product is not entirely free -- the free version is an introductory version, and then there's a premium version that costs $24.95 according to the web site. Since products under these types of "pricing arrangements" usually present notices to the user to encourage them to upgrade (this is sometimes categorized as "nagware"), I don't consider this to be entirely free. Jul 3, 2011 at 7:52
  • Paint.Net and Picasa are well-respected solutions that fit the question very well. IrfanView is new to me, but also looks very interesting. +1 for adding those three to your list. Jul 3, 2011 at 8:25
  • As of April 19, 2013, Picnik is no longer operational.
    – Stevoisiak
    Apr 24, 2017 at 23:28
  • Paint.net is a good answer for this question. Just put a colored solid rectangle over the text, same color as the background. Jul 19, 2017 at 21:03

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