4 Quick Ways to Pixelate or Blur out Part of an Image on Mac

So you wanted to hide a portion of a picture before sharing it out?

It may be a screenshot you've taken on a Mac or a scanned image of your personal ID or credit card.

The question is: how to blur the parts that only include private information you don't want to expose?

That's what we're going to share with you in this article — 4 quick ways (and apps) to hide or pixelate an image on macOS, without using Adobe Photoshop.

Yes, you read it right, we all know you can get that done in Adobe Photoshop. But, we don't recommend the software, in this case, considering the time and efforts you'll need to install it. Plus, Photoshop isn't freeware.

Say our goal is to hide the last four digits of this bank card.

Below are a number of quick ways to achieve the goal in just a few minutes, maybe less depending on how comfortable you're using apps and navigating macOS though.

Method 1: Remove the section in Preview

Double click the picture to open it in Preview app (if Preview is not the default app, right click on the image, select "Open With", and choose Preview).

Then move your Mac cursor, left click and drag to select the area that contains the four digits.

Hit the "delete" on your keyboard. This will remove your selected area and the digits are gone. Now press Command + S to save the image.

Method 2: Override the section in Preview

Likewise, open the image in Preview first.

On the menu, select Tools > Annotate > Rectangle.

Now a new rectangle shape will add to the image, adjust its size to cover the last four digits area. You may also need to adjust the color to fully override the area.

Method 3: Pixelate a section in Skitch app

Skitch is a free Mac app from Evernote that makes it easy to capture screenshots and annotate them. Personally, I feel it's much powerful than Preview. One of the cool features is to pixelate an image. Here's how:

Step 1: get the Skitch app from its official website here. After installation, open the app. On the menu, select File > Open and load the image. Alternatively, you can simply drag the image and drop it into the app zone.

Step 2: Once the image is loaded, click the Pixelate icon on the left panel.

Step 3: Left click to select the last four digits area, then release. Now the area will be instantly blurred like this.

Method 4: Blue part of a picture with Snagit

Snagit is a fantastic app for taking screenshots and editing the images. Initially, it was designed for Windows only, now it's also available for macOS.

One of its features is blurring an image, here's how:

Step 1: get the app and install it on your Mac. Open it and drag the image to the main panel. Then click on the "More" icon, select "Blur".

Step 2: Now move the cursor to the last four digits section, left click and select the area. Soon it'll be blurred out. Note: Snagit also allows you to define how "blur" you want that area to be. Simply click on it and you'll see this icon (below), there you can adjust the degree easily.

Step 3: Don't forget to save the edited image. On the top left, select File > Save As…

Which method is best for me?

Well, it all depends upon your personal preferences.

For me, I really like using the "Pixelate an image" function in Skitch because it makes the image look more natural and professional after blurring. Snagit allows you to do the same thing and the app is more powerful than Skitch in terms of screen capturing and editing. But keep in mind that Snagit isn't freeware though it does have a two weeks trial without any function limits.

Preview is also great especially if you are in a hurry and don't want to download any third-party apps. But the quality of the edited image tends to decrease due to the missing or overriding part. So, choose the method that best fits your situation.

Anyways, I hope you find this guide useful. If you ever explore another easy solution to blur a photo on Mac, leave a comment and let us know.

Chris Hwang

Chris is a certified computer technician since 2008. He writes everything related to computer issues and loves helping people solve problems. Currently, he's extending his interests into cloud computing.

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