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How To Minimize A PDF’s File Size

As we all know, PDF is a popular format for documents to be shared and viewed on different platforms. However, one issue with PDFs is that they can have large file sizes, making them difficult to send or upload online. That's why the need for a PDF compressor arises. Fortunately, a good app can minimize the PDF's file size without sacrificing its quality.

You could need to minimize the size of a PDF for several reasons. First and foremost, large ones can take up a lot of storage space, which can be a concern if you have limited disk space or need to store many files. Also, large files can be challenging to share over email or upload to websites or cloud storage platforms, particularly if they have size limitations.

There are various methods of minimizing the size of PDFs. However, it entirely depends on the device you use and the operating system you have installed. So, it would be best to be careful about which method you’re using. In this post, we'll take you through all the methods suitable for each OS!

Step By Step: How To Minimize A PDF’s File Size

One of the best and easiest ways to minimize a document’s size is by using an online tool such as Compress PDF by FormatPDF. This tool allows you to complete the task without installing or downloading any application. You’ll just need a web browser and an internet connection. Make sure to choose the right compression option, and you’re ready.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Go to https://www.formatpdf.com/en/compress-pdf/
  2. Once there, click the "Select PDF File" option. A dialog box will appear; choose the document you want to compress. Alternatively, drag the required document onto the space which says "OR DRAG AND DROP THE PDF FILE HERE."
  3. A new screen will show you the preview of your pages. You will find three compression options in the right column: extreme, recommended, and low compression. Remember to choose the one that suits your requirements.
  4. Once you select the compression option, click the "Compress PDF" button. You will find this button at the bottom part of your screen. That's it! Your new compressed file will be downloaded on your device.

compress pdf mobile

What You Need To Know About Minimizing A PDF’s File Size

Like any PDF-related actions, there are some points to consider while minimizing its file size. These are as follows:

  • It’s typical for the file quality to decline during the compression process. You will experience this with any software, not just online tools. Therefore, you must determine whether you will trade quality for compression.
  • The compression level is important. If you emphasize quality, it's better for you to go either for the "recommended" or "low" option. That's because it will be a medium or low compression, so the quality won't be as negatively impacted as in the "extreme" compression. It all depends on how much compression you need.
  • Along with the compression option, you can use our tool to merge various PDFs. That's very helpful, especially if you want to compress the newly merged PDFs. All you need is to check the "Merge all your files into one PDF" box and click "Compress PDF."
  • Don't worry; when you compress a file, its content won't be modified. The only possible outcome is that the quality of your document may be compromised.

Which Programs Allow You To Minimize A PDF’s File Size

If you don't have access to a browser or an internet connection, then you must use other alternatives to minimize a PDF’s file size. Therefore, in the upcoming sections, we'll discuss different ways to carry out this action on different operating systems, including PC and mobile devices.

Minimize A PDF’s File Size On A PC

Since computers are more flexible when dealing with PDFs, it’s always better to minimize the file size on a computer. We'll start with how to compress PDFs from computer operating systems such as Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Windows 10 And Prior Versions Of Windows

When minimizing the size of PDFs on Windows 10 or prior versions, Adobe Acrobat is always a good alternative. It's a premium program with various functionalities, including compressing PDFs. You must open the required file with Adobe Acrobat and choose the "Compress" option. However, Acrobat requires a hefty subscription to use.


If you’re a Mac user who wants to minimize file size, you can use Mac's in-built app - Preview. All you need is to open the file you want to compress with the program and choose "Export" under the "File" menu. After that, click on "Quartz Filter" and then the "Reduce File Size" option. Finally, save the compressed file.


To minimize a PDF’s size on Linux, you can use some programs such as ps2PDF, GhostScript, and more. Moreover, you can even download Adobe Reader to get your task done. However, you do need to have a paid subscription for that. Still, the best option is to use an online tool such as Compress PDF to minimize the document’s weight.

Minimize A PDF’s File Size On A Smartphone Or Tablet

In case you have to minimize the size of a PDF on a smartphone or tablet, there are various third-party tools that you can use. Simply select a program that’s compatible with your device (Android or iOS).


On Android, you can use paid programs such as Adobe Acrobat to minimize the size of your PDF. Moreover, you can also go for other free alternatives, such as PDF Expert, to complete your task. In fact, you can find tons of apps on the Google Play Store that are specifically designed to compress files. Just install a suitable one.

iPhone (iOS) Or iPad

Like on Android, you can use Adobe Acrobat to minimize a PDF’s size on iOS. However, if you aren't willing to buy a subscription plan, don't worry; other alternatives are available. You can search the Apple App Store for "compress PDF" on its search bar. You will find a list of apps, so select one and install it.

Husain has been around the internet ever since the dial-up days and loves writing about everything across the technosphere. He loves taking tech apart and see what makes them tick, without necessarily putting it all back together.
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