How to Pixelate or Blur out Part of an Image on Mac

So you wanted to hide a portion of a picture before sharing it? It may be a screenshot you take 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?

pixelate image mac

That’s what we’re going to share with you in this article — four quick ways (and apps) to 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 effort you need to invest. Plus, Photoshop isn’t free.

Anyway, I’m using this bank card as an example. Suppose our goal is: to hide the last four digits on the card.

Below, I’ll show you a number of ways to get that done in just a few minutes (maybe less), depending on how comfortable you are with these Mac apps.

Method 1: Remove Part of an Image via Preview

Preview is a built-in app in Apple macOS. To get started, double-click the picture and open it in the Preview app.

Note: if Preview is not the default app for open pictures, right-click on the image, select “Open With”, and choose Preview.

Then move your cursor, click, and drag to select the area to include the four digits.

Hit the “delete” on your keyboard. This will remove the selected area, and the digits should be gone. Now press the Command + S keys to save the image.

Method 2: Override Part of an Image 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, adjusting its size to cover the last four digits area. You may also need to adjust the color to override the area fully.

Method 3: Pixelate an Image in Skitch (Third-party App)

Skitch is a free Mac app made by Evernote that allows you to capture screenshots and annotate them easily. Personally, I feel it’s much more powerful than Preview.

One of the main features of Skitch is to pixelate an image. Here’s how:

Step 1: Get the Skitch app from its official website or the Mac App Store. 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 and editing screenshots. Initially, it was designed for Windows only; now it’s also available for macOS.

To blur out an image, follow this step-by-step tutorial:

Step 1: Get Snagit from its official TechSmith site here and install it on your Mac. Open the app and drag the image to the main panel. Then click on the “More” icon, and select “Blur.”

Step 2: Now move the cursor to the last four digits section, 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 an icon like this, there you can slide the bar to adjust the degree of “blurriness.”

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

Snagit isn’t freeware, but you can try the full version for 15 days without any functional limitations. Once the trial period is over, you’ll need to pay to keep the app on your Mac.

Which Method Is The Best?

Well, it all depends on your needs and how complex it is. For me, I really like the “Pixelate an image” feature in Skitch because it makes the image look more natural and professional after blurring.

Snagit can 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-week trial.

Mac Preview is also great, especially when you are in a hurry and don’t want to download any third-party apps. But the quality of the edited image tends to be a bit low (in other words, unnatural) because of the missing or overriding part.

So, choose the method that best fits your situation. Anyways, I hope you find this guide useful. If you happen to know another solution to blur a photo on Mac, leave a comment below and let us know.

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  • Nihad

    Thank you so much. This is really helpful.

  • Deb

    Thank you – so helpful and so easy to follow your instructions.

  • Marco

    nice very helpful.. thanks

  • Jacqueline

    Thank you for this tip! Great for clarity and ease!

  • Screenshotguy

    Skitch is only available for iOS, SnagIt costs money (trial version wants your email). I recommend Gimp. It’s a full fledged image editor, it’s free and it’s only half the size of SnagIt which brings it to more than 700MB for a fuckin screenshot tool.

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      Thanks for sharing GIMP!

  • Alex

    Many thanks for this – Skitch does exactly what I needed it to do (pixelate). Was n’t aware of it before, so this was super helpful.

  • Line

    Thanks Chris for the simple, easy to follow instructions.

  • Kim Bischoff

    Thank you for such a helpful and informative post! Didn’t have to read any further than Skitch. Such a hug help!

  • Adam Carnol

    That’s perfect even we need to take an extra care while want to pixelate things like bank account numbers, personal id numbers, Social security numbers, or something else that can be recovered with the other tools, again.

  • JW

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve done and could pixelate with Skitch.

  • Kelly

    Great info!!! Well written and so clear. Easy to follow

    • Avatar photo
      AnySoftwareTools Team

      Thanks Kelly 🙂

  • Louisa Ho

    Thank you, it really help.