Abstract: In microscopic particle image velocimetry (micro-PIV), correlation averaging over multiple frames is often required, leading to a loss in temporal resolution, therefore limiting the measurement accuracy for unsteady flows. Here, we present a new PIV method suitable to study steady and unsteady laminar flows between parallel plates (i.e., Hele-Shaw flow), which is a common flow configuration in microfluidic applications. Our method reduces the effective seeding density and yields similar if not higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) compared to conventional micro-PIV. We call this algorithm Ψ -PIV. Ψ -PIV requires a much smaller number of frames to reach the same SNR compared to the widely used correlation averaging method. This leads to a significant improvement of the temporal resolution. The Ψ -PIV algorithm is used in an experimental investigation of steady and unsteady flows in a Hele-Shaw cell. Our experiment shows that Ψ -PIV reduces the number of required frames by 8 times and 30 times compared to the frames required by conventional PIV for steady and unsteady laminar flow, respectively. In this study, PIV and Ψ -PIV use a single-pass cross-correlation to present the underlying difference between the two approaches. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].