Many websites have strict rules that limit the size and type of image format you are allowed to upload. Since JPG is the main file format on the internet, we will look at how you can convert your images to JPG format.

What is a JPG file?

JPG (or JPEG) is a popular file format used for images and graphics – especially on the Internet. It was created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) and uses a compression algorithm that reduces sections of an image into blocks of pixels. It can compress up to a 10:1 ratio without noticeable degradation, depending on your settings. This alone is one of the main reasons why JPG has become the de facto standard for images on the Internet.

CONNECTED: What is the difference between JPG, PNG and GIF?

All that compression doesn’t come without loss, though. JPG files are a lossy file format, which means that during the compression procedure, excess blocks are permanently deleted. The more you compress a file, the more data you lose, and subsequently the worse your final image will look after multiple iterations through the algorithm.

Here is an example of an image that has been overcompressed.

A very pixelated picture of a window.

However, when used correctly, JPG provides decent-looking images with small file sizes. Whether you’re sending one in an email, posting a meme on Reddit, or uploading your vacation photos to Facebook, because of its ability to compress images at such a high speed, your final file is a fraction of its original size.

CONNECTED: How does file compression work?

How to convert an image to JPG format

You can convert an image to JPG format using an image editing application on your computer or one of the many file conversion sites available on the web.

Convert Image to JPG in Windows

Most image editing programs allow you to convert an image to JPG. Unfortunately, the Photos app built into Windows 10 is not one of them. You can do it with Paint (or Paint 3D), or you can download a third-party imaging application.

Our favorite app for working with images quickly is IrfanView. It’s free, can open almost any format, has some good basic editing tools, and is very fast. We’ll use it in our example here, but the process is pretty much the same in most applications.

CONNECTED: Why you should replace your Windows default image viewer with IrfanView

Start by opening the image you want to convert in whatever application you use. All we’re going to do is save the app as another file type, so you should be able to follow along no matter what app you have.

Click the File menu, and then click the Save As command.

In the Save As window, select JPG format from the “Save as type” drop-down menu, and then click the “Save” button.

The default quality is fine if you want to convert directly to JPG, but if you want a bit more control over the compression of your file, Save options the window has a few extras to check out. Choosing the image quality is the same as the compression ratio – the higher the quality, the less compressed your image is and the larger the file. IrfanView also includes a nice feature that lets you set a file size limit.

Choose the settings you want to use when you save the image.

Convert an image to JPG on macOS

The Mac comes pre-installed with Preview, which you can use for more than just viewing image files. It is a great image editing program capable of cropping, resizing and converting files.

To open an image in Preview, select it in the Finder, press the space bar, and then click the “Open with Preview” button. You can also right-click the file, point to the “Open with” menu, and then click the “View” option.

In the preview window, click the File menu, and then click the Export command.

In the pop-up window, select JPEG as the format and use the Quality slider to change the compression used to save the image. Higher compression means a smaller file size, but you also lose some of the image quality. When you’re done, click the “Save” button.

Preview saves the new JPG file to the same location as your original image.

Convert image online

If you prefer to use an online file conversion site instead of a desktop application, then look no further than The site is dedicated to converting images — not just JPGs — while keeping your privacy in mind. ConvertImage does not publish or store any of your files for more than 15 minutes, deleting them from its servers after processing.

First, select the output format in which you want to save your image.

Select JPG from the formats listed.

Then click the “Choose your image” button.

Navigate to the image you want to convert and click “Open”. Note that the site supports images with a maximum size of 24.41 MB.

Now all you have to do is agree to their terms of use and then click the “Convert this image” button.

On the next page, once your image is converted, click “Download Image” and your JPG will be saved to your browser’s downloads folder.

Now that all your images are safely converted to an internet-friendly format, you can take your JPG files and upload them anywhere without worrying about what format they’re in.

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