There are plenty of reasons you might want to remove a background in Photoshop. Whether you’re creating a collage, cutting out some distracting scenery or dropping yourself in a new location, here’s how to do it in a few easy steps.
While there are a number of ways to get rid of backgrounds in Photoshop, Adobe has only made it easier in recent years with Adobe Sensei-powered tools like Remove Background and the Object Selection tool using AI to automatically pull the subject out of a scene. Then, all you need to do is use the brush tools to perfect the edges if you’ve got any details you want to keep.
We’ll be using the Remove Background tool in this how-to guide, but scroll down to the Troubleshooting section at the bottom of the page to learn how to delete backgrounds with the Object Selection feature, along with a list of alternative tools you can use to remove them in Photoshop.
What you’ll need:
- A computer with Photoshop
- An Adobe Creative Cloud subscription
The Short Version
- Open the image in Photoshop
- Unlock the layer
- Open the Properties tab
- Click Remove Background to mask the background
- Make any adjustments to the mask with the Brush and Refine Edge Brush tools
- Click OK
How to remove a background in Photoshop
Open your image in Photoshop
This can be any image you want to remove the background from.
Right click on the image layer
This should be in the bottom right corner of the screen or wherever you keep your layer tab.
Click Layer From Background
This will unlock the layer.
You can also rename the layer at this stage if you want.
Open the Properties tab
This should also be on the left hand side.
Hit Remove Background
Photoshop will automatically detect and remove the background from your subject by creating a mask. You can stop here if you’re happy with the image, or continue with the following steps to make any adjustments.
Click the mask icon
This can be found below the Properties header.
Click Select And Mask
You might find you need to scroll down a bit to find this option.
Choose the Refine Edge Brush tool
This is the second brush on the left.
Use the Refine Edge Brush to soften the edges of the mask
You can also use the regular Brush tool to get rid of any parts of the image you don’t want to see or to reveal parts the Remove Background tool hid.
Once you’re done making adjustments to the mask, click OK
That’s it! You’ve removed the background from an image.
You can also use the Object Selection tool to remove a background. To do this, simply click on the tool using the icon on the left and click and drag your curser to select the object. Photoshop will automatically detect the edges around the object, meaning all you need to do is hit the mask icon and make any adjustments to the edges.
There are variety of tools you can use to select your subject and mask out the background if the above aren’t working for you (this might be the case if you’re using an older copy of Photoshop).
Alternate options include the Magic Wand, the Lasso and the Pen tool.