How do your blur faces in a photo using Paint.NET?

blur faces in a photo
Erased from history: nobody wants to be in this photo

You know what it’s like. You’re there, taking a perfectly nice selfie, and some git in a dinner jacket comes along and ruins it. How do you blur faces in a photo so you’re no longer associated with such tomtittery? Here’s how to do so using the wonderful, free Windows software Paint.NET.

How to blur faces in a photo

First, open the photo in Paint.NET. Then choose the Ellipse Select from the tools menu. You can either click on the little icon of a circle with a dotted line or press S on the keyboard.

Now drag an ellipse around the first face you wish to remove. (Obviously, it would normally make more sense to blur out the clown, but stick with us.)

Piers Morgan selfie

If you get it wrong first time, just re-click and drag until you get the right shape.

Once you’re happy the selection is in the right place, click Effects > Blurs > Gaussian Blur. A small window will pop up over your photo with a slider that allows you to alter the strength of the blur. Adjust this until the face is beyond recognition.

Piers selfie blur

Now click OK and repeat this process for any other faces you wish to remove. Susanna has a longer face than Kate, so you have to change the shape of the ellipse accordingly.

Piers selfie blur

Once you’re done, click Edit > Deselect and then save the image. Job done.

You can use the same technique to remove sensitive details – such as usernames, passwords or email addresses – from screenshots. In that instance, you’ll probably want to use Paint.NET’s Rectangle Select tool, rather than the Ellipse Select.

Now read this: how do I print images at a specific size?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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