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How to Fix Blurry Header and Profile Pictures on Twitter

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One of the common frustrations with social media is blurry header and profile pictures. You can spend hours perfecting your profile images, only to find they look pixelated and lacklustre when you upload them to the site. 

twitter logotwitter logotwitter logo

In this quick tip, I reveal the secret to banishing blurry Twitter header photos and making them look crisp and sharp. You won’t believe how easy it is to do once you know how!

Looking for social media images to adorn your profile? Discover amazing landscape-orientation photos, which will suit header image proportions. 

Twitter Header Photo Sizes & Recommendations

Twitter’s support page recommends sizing your header pictures to 1500 x 500 pixels, and keeping the file size to under 2 MB. Twitter also points out:

Here are some additional tips for updating your profile:

  • Photos can be in any of the following formats: JPG, GIF, or PNG. (Twitter does not support animated GIFs for profile or header images.)
twitter profile pagetwitter profile pagetwitter profile page

Let’s experiment with uploading a header image in each of these formats and check out the result (note: only one of these formats will upload as an unblurred picture).

Experiment 1: Uploading the Photo as a PNG

Step 1

I’m using Adobe Photoshop to resize my Twitter images. To create the Profile photo, I create a new document 400 by 400 pixels in size. I File > Place my image, and then go to File > Save for Web (go to File > Export > Save For Web (Legacy) in Photoshop CC), saving the image as a PNG file. 

profile pic preppedprofile pic preppedprofile pic prepped

When I go to upload my Profile photo to Twitter I have no problem with the resolution of the image—it comes out crisp and clear. 

upload photoupload photoupload photo
profile photo profile photo profile photo

Step 2

To set up the Header image I create a new document 1500 by 500 pixels in size. 

I File > Place my image, then File > Save for Web and save as a PNG file. 

new documentnew documentnew document
placed imageplaced imageplaced image
PNG image preppedPNG image preppedPNG image prepped

Step 3

But when I go to upload the PNG it looks a little...

uploaded PNGuploaded PNGuploaded PNG

...well, blurry.

final PNG logofinal PNG logofinal PNG logo

Don’t panic, let’s soldier on...

Experiment 2: Uploading the Photo as a JPEG

Step 1

I repeat the steps, preparing my image in Photoshop, then going to File > Save for Web. This time I save the file as a Maximum Compression Quality JPEG file.

save as jpegsave as jpegsave as jpeg

Step 2

Unfortunately, I’m still not totally happy with the uploaded result—there’s still quite a bit of visible blur on the image.

uploaded JPEGuploaded JPEGuploaded JPEG
JPEG resultJPEG resultJPEG result

I have just one final resort...

Experiment 3: Uploading the Photo as a GIF

Step 1

I head back to the Photoshop image, and this time choose GIF from the file format options.

save as GIFsave as GIFsave as GIF

Step 2

When I go to upload the image to Twitter, the result is noticeably better, without any of the more visible blurring you have with PNG or JPEG images. Success!

GIF imageGIF imageGIF image
final GIFfinal GIFfinal GIF

The Verdict

Our trio of experiments lead to one definite conclusion—uploading your Header photo as a GIF file, rather than the more common PNG or JPEG formats, is the best way of minimizing blurring and keeping your images looking crisp and sharp. 

Do you have any more tips for getting the most out of your social media images? We’d love to hear about them. Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.

Looking for social media image inspiration? Browse thousands of cool landscape-orientation photos, which are easily adaptable to Twitter’s header picture proportions. 

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