How to Remove Background in Photoshop

Learn how to remove background in Photoshop with this comprehensive guide. Discover step-by-step techniques, useful tips, and expert advice to achieve professional-looking results. Get ready to enhance your image editing skills and create stunning visuals!


Are you looking to remove the background from an image using Photoshop? Whether you’re a professional graphic designer or an amateur photographer, mastering this skill can greatly enhance your image editing abilities. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through various techniques, tips, and tricks to help you achieve seamless background removal in Photoshop. By the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge and expertise to create stunning visuals with ease.

How to Remove Background in Photoshop: A Step-by-Step Guide

Removing the background in Photoshop may seem daunting at first, but with the right techniques and tools, it can be a straightforward process. Let’s dive into the step-by-step guide to remove backgrounds in Photoshop:

1. Open the Image in Photoshop

To begin, open the image you want to work on in Adobe Photoshop. Simply navigate to File > Open and select the image from your computer.

2. Select the Background Eraser Tool

Next, select the Background Eraser Tool from the toolbar on the left-hand side of your screen. This tool allows you to erase the background while preserving the foreground subject.

3. Adjust the Brush Settings

Before you start erasing the background, it’s essential to adjust the brush settings for optimal results. Click on the brush settings icon in the options bar and modify the brush size, hardness, and spacing according to your image requirements.

4. Choose the Sampling Method

Photoshop provides three sampling methods: Continuous, Once, and Background Swatch. The Continuous sampling method continuously samples the color under the crosshair as you drag the brush. The Once sampling method samples the color only when you release the mouse button, while the Background Swatch samples the color from the initial sampling point whenever you release the mouse button.

5. Set the Limits

Setting the limits determines how the Background Eraser Tool interacts with the pixels it encounters. You can choose between Discontiguous and Contiguous. The Discontiguous option erases pixels throughout the image, regardless of their proximity. The Contiguous option erases only adjacent pixels of similar color.

6. Begin Erasing the Background

With the brush settings, sampling method, and limits in place, start erasing the background by clicking and dragging the brush over the areas you wish to remove. The Background Eraser Tool intelligently removes pixels based on the color and texture you brush over, leaving the subject intact.

7. Refine the Edges

After removing the majority of the background, it’s time to refine the edges for a more polished look. Select the Refine Edge Brush Tool from the toolbar and carefully brush over the edges of the subject to create smooth and accurate selections.

8. Use the Quick Selection Tool

If the Background Eraser Tool doesn’t provide the desired results, you can try using the Quick Selection Tool. This tool allows you to make selections based on color and texture by simply dragging over the areas you want to keep.

9. Fine-Tune the Selection

Once you have made the initial selection, use the Add and Subtract from selection options in the options bar to fine-tune the selection. Adding to the selection includes more areas within the selection, while subtracting removes unwanted areas.

10. Refine the Selection Edges

To refine the edges of your selection, use the Refine Edge dialog box. This feature offers various adjustment options such as Feather, Contrast, and Smooth, allowing you to create precise selections with smooth edges.

11. Output the Selection

After making a precise selection, it’s time to output it for further use. You can output the selection as a new layer, a layer mask, or simply delete the background. Choose the option that best suits your editing needs.

12. Save Your Work

Once you’re satisfied with the background removal, don’t forget to save your work. Go to File > Save As and select your desired file format. It’s recommended to save your image in a format that supports transparency, such as PNG.

Tips and Tricks for Background Removal in Photoshop

Now that you’re familiar with the basic steps of removing backgrounds in Photoshop, let’s explore some expert tips and tricks to help you achieve even better results:

1. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Photoshop offers a wide range of keyboard shortcuts to streamline your workflow. Memorize frequently used shortcuts like Ctrl/Cmd + Z (Undo), Ctrl/Cmd + Alt + Z (Step Backward), and Ctrl/Cmd + D (Deselect) to save time and improve efficiency.

2. Adjust Brush Opacity

Experiment with the brush opacity settings to create seamless transitions between the subject and the background. Lowering the brush opacity can help you gradually erase the background, resulting in more natural-looking selections.

3. Zoom In for Precision

When working on detailed areas or fine edges, zoom in on your image for better precision. This allows you to make accurate selections and refine the edges more effectively.

4. Utilize Layer Masks

Instead of permanently erasing the background, consider using layer masks. Layer masks provide non-destructive editing, allowing you to hide or reveal parts of the image as needed. This way, you can make adjustments later without compromising the original image.

5. Experiment with Different Tools

Don’t limit yourself to a single tool or technique. Explore different tools like the Magic Wand Tool, Pen Tool, or even the Select and Mask feature to find the method that works best for your specific image.

6. Take Advantage of Photoshop Plugins

There are various plugins available for Photoshop that can simplify the background removal process. Plugins like Topaz Mask AI and Fluid Mask 3 offer advanced algorithms and automated features to help you achieve professional-level results.

FAQs About Removing Backgrounds in Photoshop

Here are some frequently asked questions about removing backgrounds in Photoshop:

1. Can I remove the background from a complex image? Yes, you can remove the background from complex images in Photoshop. However, it may require more advanced techniques like the Pen Tool or Select and Mask feature. Complex images with intricate details and fine edges may take more time and effort to achieve precise results.

2. How can I remove the background from a transparent object? To remove the background from a transparent object, you can use the Pen Tool or the Select and Mask feature in Photoshop. Carefully trace the edges of the object, creating a precise selection. Once the selection is made, you can delete or hide the background as needed.

3. Is it possible to restore the original background after removing it? If you have saved your work with transparency intact, you can easily restore the original background in Photoshop. Simply create a new layer and place the original background image below the edited layer. This allows you to switch between the edited and original backgrounds whenever needed.

4. Can I remove the background from multiple images at once? Yes, you can remove the background from multiple images simultaneously in Photoshop by using batch processing. Create an action that includes the necessary steps for background removal and apply it to a folder containing the images. Photoshop will then automatically process each image using the specified action.

5. How do I deal with hair or fur when removing the background? Hair or fur can be challenging to isolate when removing the background. To achieve better results, use the Select and Mask feature in Photoshop. Adjust the settings to refine the edges and preserve the fine details. Additionally, using plugins like Topaz Mask AI can significantly simplify the process of removing backgrounds with hair or fur.

6. Can I remove backgrounds in Photoshop Elements? Yes, you can remove backgrounds in Photoshop Elements using similar techniques. Although the tools and options may vary slightly compared to the full version of Photoshop, you can still achieve satisfactory results by following the steps outlined in this guide.


Removing backgrounds in Photoshop is a valuable skill that can elevate your image editing capabilities. By following the step-by-step guide and implementing the expert tips and tricks provided, you can achieve seamless background removal and create stunning visuals. Remember to experiment with different tools, explore advanced techniques, and practice regularly to refine your skills. With time and experience, you’ll be able to effortlessly remove backgrounds in Photoshop and unlock a world of creative possibilities.