How to Blur Faces and Text in Photoshop

There are plenty of reasons you might want to blur some part of a photo in Photoshop. Maybe you’re sharing a photo and you want to anonymize some people, or perhaps you want to show off how bad your passport photo is without revealing private information. Whatever the reason, here’s how to blur something in Photoshop.

Open the image you want to blur in Photoshop. I’m going to use this photo of me and a friend on a mountain.

Select the Marquee Tool from the Tool Bar, or with the keyboard shortcut M.

Draw a selection around the area of the image you want to blur. In this case it’s my friends face, but it could also be your passport number, address, or anything else.

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. The Gaussian Blur menu will pop up and you’ll see a preview of the effect it has on the select area.

Dial the radius up until it’s completely blurring the area you want.

Click OK and the effect will be applied. You can now save your new, nicely anonymised image.

Blurring objects is a really useful thing to be able to do in Photoshop. You’ll regularly see screenshots on How-To Geek where private information has been anonymized this way. If you want to make a more accurate selection, you can always combine this technique with some others you know, such as how to use layers and masks.

Harry Guinness writes occasionally when he’s not busy skiing, sailing, partying, lifting weights, or otherwise dodging responsibility. His main areas of interest are himself, gin, and crazy people with interesting stories to tell. When people won’t pay him to write ill-thought-out opinion pieces, he covers photography, technology, and culture. You can follow him on Twitter.