Ultimate Guide: How to Get Rid of JPEG Artifacts in Photoshop

how to get rid of jpeg artifacts in photoshop

As a digital photographer or designer, you may have encountered JPEG artifacts in your images. These are unwanted pixelated distortions that occur when JPEG images are compressed or saved multiple times. Not only do they diminish the overall quality of your images, but they can also be a frustrating problem to solve. In this section, we will guide you through the steps to effectively eliminate JPEG artifacts in Photoshop using various techniques and tools.

Key Takeaways:

  • JPEG artifacts are unwanted distortions that occur when JPEG images are compressed or saved multiple times.
  • Eliminating JPEG artifacts can enhance the overall image quality of your digital photos.
  • Photoshop offers various tools and techniques to remove JPEG artifacts, such as the Clone Stamp tool, Healing Brush tool, and filters and plugins.
  • Manual editing and advanced techniques such as frequency separation and content-aware fill can be employed for more complex cases of artifact removal.
  • Batch processing is a useful technique for efficiently removing artifacts from multiple images.

Understanding JPEG Artifacts

Before we dive into the steps to remove JPEG artifacts, it is important to understand what they are and how they occur. JPEG artifacts are visual distortions that occur when an image is compressed using the JPEG format. They are typically seen as blocky or blurry areas in an image, which can be distracting and reduce overall image quality.

The amount of JPEG artifacts in an image depends on the compression level used when saving the image. Higher compression levels result in more artifacts, as the compression algorithm removes more data from the image to reduce its file size.

To address JPEG artifacts, it is important to first understand the different types of artifacts that can occur. Some common types of artifacts include blockiness, color banding, and blurriness.

Eliminating JPEG artifacts in Photoshop involves using a combination of tools and techniques to improve the overall image quality. Let’s explore some of the methods used for JPEG artifact correction in Photoshop.

Tools and Techniques for JPEG Artifacts Removal

When it comes to removing JPEG artifacts in Photoshop, there are various tools and techniques available to achieve the desired results. These tools range from basic to advanced, and each has its unique strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the most effective tools and techniques for removing JPEG artifacts in Photoshop:

Clone Stamp Tool

The Clone Stamp tool is a basic tool in Photoshop that is useful for removing small JPEG artifacts such as dust, scratches, or other imperfections. This tool works by copying pixels from one area of the image and then pasting them over the artifact. The Clone Stamp tool can be accessed from the toolbar or by pressing the S key on your keyboard.

Healing Brush Tool

The Healing Brush tool is an advanced version of the Clone Stamp tool that can be used to remove larger JPEG artifacts such as spots, blemishes, or other imperfections. The Healing Brush tool works by blending pixels from the surrounding area to create a seamless patch over the artifact. This tool can be accessed from the toolbar or by pressing the J key on your keyboard.

Content-Aware Fill

The Content-Aware Fill is an incredibly powerful tool that can be used to remove even the most stubborn JPEG artifacts. This tool works by analyzing the surrounding pixels and then intelligently filling in the artifact with similar pixels from the rest of the image. To use this tool, select the artifact with any selection tool (such as the lasso tool) and then go to Edit > Fill > Content-Aware. This tool is only available in Photoshop CC and newer versions.

Noise Reduction

Noise reduction is a basic technique in Photoshop that can be used to eliminate graininess or noise in an image, which can often be mistaken for JPEG artifacts. This technique works by selectively smoothing out the noisy areas of the image while keeping the sharpness and details intact. To access the noise reduction tool, go to Filter > Noise > Reduce Noise.

Selective Adjustments

Selective adjustments are a set of advanced techniques in Photoshop that can be used to selectively adjust the brightness, contrast, or color of specific areas of an image. These adjustments can be used to reduce or eliminate JPEG artifacts in areas of the image where they are most prominent. To access the selective adjustments tools, go to Image > Adjustments.

By utilizing these tools and techniques, you can effectively remove JPEG artifacts and significantly improve the image quality of your digital photos. However, it’s important to note that each image is unique, and the best tool or technique for one image may not be the best for another. Experiment with different tools and techniques to find the one that works best for your image.

Manual Editing for JPEG Artifact Removal

While Photoshop offers a range of tools and techniques for removing JPEG artifacts, in some cases, manual editing may be necessary to achieve optimal results. Here, we will provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to manually edit your images to reduce and remove JPEG artifacts.

Note: Before starting the editing process, make sure to duplicate your original image to avoid any irreversible changes.

Step 1: Noise Reduction

The first step in manual editing for JPEG artifact removal is noise reduction. Most JPEG artifacts manifest as noise, so reducing the noise levels will also reduce the visibility of the artifacts.

In Photoshop, navigate to Filter > Noise > Reduce Noise. Adjust the settings according to the level of noise in your image, but be careful not to overdo it as this can also result in loss of detail.

Step 2: Sharpening

After reducing noise, the next step is to sharpen the image. The sharpening process enhances details and edges, which can help to eliminate any remaining artifacts.

Navigate to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. Adjust the settings to achieve optimal sharpness while avoiding any visible artifacts or halos around edges.

Step 3: Selective Adjustments

In some cases, artifacts may only be present in certain areas of the image. In such cases, it may be useful to make selective adjustments instead of applying broad edits to the entire image.

Use the Lasso Tool or Quick Selection Tool to select the area where the artifacts are most visible. Then, use the Healing Brush Tool or Clone Stamp Tool to replace the problematic areas with clean pixels from other parts of the image.

Note: Be careful when using the clone stamp tool as it can result in repetitive patterns if overused. Use smaller brush sizes and different source areas to avoid these patterns.

Step 4: Fine Tuning

After applying noise reduction, sharpening, and selective adjustments, zoom in on the image and carefully examine any remaining artifacts. Use any of the above techniques or a combination of them to eliminate these artifacts and fine-tune the image to achieve optimal quality.

With this manual editing process, you can remove even the most stubborn JPEG artifacts and improve the overall image quality in Photoshop.

Using Filters and Plugins for JPEG Artifact Correction

When it comes to correcting JPEG artifacts, filters and plugins can be powerful tools in Photoshop. These software add-ons can help enhance image quality and eliminate artifacts with just a few clicks. Here are some popular filters and plugins that can help you get rid of JPEG artifacts in Photoshop.

Noiseware Plugin

The Noiseware plugin is a popular choice for reducing noise and JPEG artifacts in digital photos. This software uses advanced algorithms to analyze your image and remove any unwanted artifacts. It also allows you to adjust the level of noise reduction to achieve your desired results.

Topaz DeNoise

The Topaz DeNoise plugin is another excellent tool for reducing JPEG compression artifacts and other types of noise in digital photos. This software uses advanced AI technology to analyze and remove noise while preserving details and clarity in your images.

Camera Raw Filter

The Camera Raw filter is a built-in feature in Photoshop that can be highly effective in reducing JPEG artifacts. This filter allows you to adjust various settings such as noise reduction, clarity, and sharpness to improve your image quality. It also offers presets that can be useful for quick adjustments.

By using filters and plugins in Photoshop, you can quickly and easily enhance your photos and eliminate any unwanted JPEG artifacts. These tools can help you achieve professional-level results with minimal effort.

Advanced Techniques for JPEG Artifact Removal

For more complex cases of JPEG artifact removal, advanced techniques can be employed. These techniques require a deeper understanding of Photoshop tools and methods, but they can effectively eliminate stubborn and persistent artifacts.

Frequency Separation

Frequency separation is a technique that separates an image into two layers: a high-frequency layer that contains details and a low-frequency layer that contains color and tone. This technique can be helpful in removing JPEG artifacts that are located in high frequency areas, such as hair or patterns.

To use this technique, duplicate your image twice, and name one layer “low” and the other “high.” Then, apply a Gaussian blur to the low layer to blur the color and tone, while leaving the details intact on the high layer. Merge the two layers and use the clone stamp or healing brush tool to remove the artifacts from the high layer.

Content-Aware Fill

Content-Aware Fill is a powerful tool in Photoshop that can remove unwanted objects from an image. It works by analyzing the surrounding pixels and filling in the removed area with similar content. This tool can be used to eliminate large JPEG artifacts, such as a large area of color banding or noise.

To use this tool, select the area with the artifact using the lasso or marquee tool. Then, go to Edit > Content-Aware Fill and adjust the settings as needed. Photoshop will automatically analyze the surrounding pixels and fill in the selected area with similar content.

By mastering these advanced techniques, you can effectively eliminate even the most persistent JPEG artifacts and improve the overall image quality.

Batch Processing for Efficient JPEG Artifact Removal

If you have multiple photos with JPEG artifacts, it can be time-consuming to remove them individually. Batch processing is a useful technique in Photoshop to remove artifacts from multiple photos simultaneously.

The first step is to select the images that require artifact removal. Then, go to the “File” menu and select “Automate” followed by “Batch.”

In the dialog box that appears, select the appropriate options for your images, such as the source folder and destination folder. Under “Action,” choose the action that you want to apply to the images, which may be a pre-recorded action or a custom action that you have created. Finally, click “OK” to initiate the batch process.

Photoshop will automatically apply the chosen action to each of the selected images, saving the edited versions in the specified destination folder.

This technique can be a huge time-saver for photographers and graphic designers who work with large volumes of images. By automating the artifact removal process, you can save time and ensure consistent image quality across your entire collection.


Congratulations! You have now learned how to effectively remove JPEG artifacts in Photoshop and enhance your image quality. By following the techniques and tools discussed in this guide, you can ensure that your digital photos are free from unwanted artifacts.

Remember, understanding the causes and impact of JPEG artifacts is crucial in identifying them during the editing process. From there, you can utilize Photoshop’s range of tools and features, such as the Clone Stamp tool, Healing Brush tool, and various filters and plugins to remove artifacts.

For more complex cases, advanced techniques such as frequency separation and content-aware fill can be helpful. And if you’re dealing with multiple images, batch processing can save you valuable time.

Mastering these skills will elevate your digital photo editing abilities and help you create visually stunning images. Keep practicing and experimenting with different techniques to find what works best for your images.

Thank you for reading this ultimate guide on how to get rid of JPEG artifacts in Photoshop. We hope you found it informative and helpful.

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