Remove JPEG Compression Artifacts In Photoshop

Have you recently saved an image from Facebook and it looks badly compressed?

In today’s tutorial, you will learn how to instantly Remove JPEG compression artifacts to improve the quality of an image and make it look better than before!

If you have Photoshop 2021 or newer, then you can try the new A.I. Filter to remove JPEG compression artifacts.

Did you know?

Every time you save a JPEG file, you lose more details of the image because of the file compressions.

As a result, these may ruin a great photo of a once-in-a-lifetime moment. 

That is why I will be tackling how you can save important images with the easy-to-follow steps below!

Note: Click here to download the same photo I used in this tutorial.

Reduce the Noise and Preserve the Details

To Remove JPEG Compression Artifacts you need to start by converting your Background layer into a non-destructive file. To do this, right-click on the layer and select Convert to Smart Object. 

Next, go to Filter > Noise Reduce Noise.

On the Reduce Noise window, enable the Preview checkbox by clicking on it or pressing P key on your keyboard so you can see preview the changes you want to be made.

Adjust the Strength slider to what is necessary. The Strength controls the amount of luminance noise reduction applied to the RGB image channel, this means it blurs the image on all channels at the same time.

Adjust the Preserve Details slider to the point that it’s not too blurry that it affects small details such as fur, pores, or textures in objects. Set the adjustment enough to smoothen the noise in the background, but also sharp enough to keep the necessary details of the subject. 

Click here to learn how to remove backgrounds from subjects with fur!

Use the Sharpen Details slider to bring details back to your image. You have to take not to use the slider sparingly because although it may help to sharpen your subject, it could make the JPEG artifacts more noticeable. 

To Remove JPEG Compression Artifacts you will need to enable the checkbox in the bottom of the window, titled Remove JPEG Artifact.

Checking the box will tell the algorithm to determine which lines or color bleeding were a product of the JPEG compression and will work on removing JPEG compression artifacts.

Click OK to apply the adjustments.

Enhance the Tonal Range and Texture

You can use the Camera Raw Filter (Filter > Camera Raw Filter) to enhance the image further.

In the Basic panel, you will find the Shadows and Highlights sliders to control the amount of detail in those tonal regions.

You can enhance the texture in the image by adjusting the Texture slider, or the Clarity slider. 

Adjust the Saturation and Bring Out the Colors

In the Basics tab, you can adjust the Saturation to amplify the colors while the Vibrance brings out the color of the pixels with less saturation.

On the HSL Adjustment tab, you can adjust the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance of individual colors.

This means you can make a color, like orange, darker or brighter and increase or decrease saturation.

You can even shift the hue over to another color. Apply the necessary adjustments that your photo needs.

Sharpen the Details

Go to the Detail tab and control the amount of Sharpnessyou apply to your image.

Adjust the Masking Slider to keep the sharpening effect from sharpening the JPEG compression artifacts in the background. 

Pro Tip: To see the sharpening effect in action, hold the Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS) key as you drag on the Masking Slider. The entire image will first turn white but as you drag to the right, the edge pixels will turn black.

Just as with a  Layer Mask, the black represents the parts of the image unaffected by the Sharpening effect, whereas the White represents the part where the Sharpening effect will be applied.

Continue to adjust until the only white edges you see are all on the subject and not so much on the background. Release the Alt  (Windows) or Option (macOS) key to return to the original image.

Recover the Soft Pixels

When you blur an image, you lose all the film grain from your photo and it may look too fake or too computer-generated. To avoid this issue, consider adding a bit of film grain to your image.

Go to the Effects tab and increase the Amount slider in the Grain section to add film grain back into your photo for a more natural appearance.

When you have set the adjustment, click OK to save the changes!

And that’s how you remove the bad JPEG compression artifacts and enhance photos that you want to keep!

Tutorial Image

Remove JPEG Compression Artifacts In Photoshop
Frida The Cat

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Joel Preston Smith

Fantastic tutorial. I learned at least 10 new things about editing, even though I’ve been using Photoshop for at least 15 years.