How to Remove Background in Photoshop – A step-by-step guide

how to remove background in photoshop

In the previous article, I spoke about 10 Best Photo Editing Software for Photographers in 2019 which can help you in providing the high quality output to your clients. But one name that immediately pop ups in everyone’s head when we talk about the best photo editing tool is nothing but – Adobe Photoshop. In this article, I will be discussing how to remove background in photoshop.

Photoshop comes with a wide number of techniques that help in removing the background from an image. In case of simpler backgrounds, you can always use the standard magic wand tool that helps in selecting and deleting the background, which may prove to be adequate. For complicated backgrounds, you can use the background eraser tool. But, if you want to know how to remove background in photoshop then you have come to the right place.

This particular tool has made it possible to create images that are highly creative and can make an impact on the audiences more than the normal images. As photoshop comes with different features, you can alter the images according to your creativity and understanding. If you are new to the tool, then you must check out the tutorial videos to get an idea about the usage of the software. You actually do not need the skills of a professional to use the tools available in the software and can always start as a novice.

Consider the subject of your photo has a different background which you might have designed from the ground-up by using your imagination. Before you happen to place the subject in a new landscape, you can avoid the background of the image first. Removing the background can prove to be tricky and requires more than just an eraser tool, but it is not necessary that you have to be a graphic designer if you want to learn to use Adobe Photoshop CC.

Essential Steps on How to Remove Background in Photoshop

When it comes to removing the background in Photoshop, there are a few steps that you need to follow in order to achieve this task, which are as follows. Carry them out in a sequential order to achieve the task at hand:

Step 1: Start with Your Tool

Photoshop Background Removal Step 1

First and foremost, you will need to open the photo in Adobe Photoshop. If you want to remove the background, you can select ‘Quick selection tool’ that is present in the tools panel.

In case you are unable to find the Quick selection tool, you can use the ‘Magic Wand Tool.’

When you are choosing ‘Quick selection tool,’ you can open the context-sensitive menu on the top of your workspace.

Before you start using the tool, you will need to select the ‘Add to Selection’ option. In addition to that, you can also open the ‘Brush Picker’ and reduce the size of the brush which depends on the size of the photo that you want to edit with the tools available in the software.

Step 2: Removing the Background Image with the Selection Tool


When the tool is ready, you can click and drag the mouse in the unwanted background. When this is done, a dotted selection line would appear in the background. You will need to work around the subject and add the lines as you proceed further.

There are times when you find some areas where you want to include the selection. You can hold down the ‘Alt’ or ‘Option’ key if you want to toggle the subtraction mode present in the tool after which click and drag the mouse button around the background area where you want to remove it. Once done, you can release the ‘Alt’ or ‘Option’ key when you are ready to add the selection again. You can also make choices among the addition and subtraction modes as per your work.

If you want, you can zoom in closer to work over the tougher areas which can include both the subject as well as the background. You can add details such as shoestrings which you are not required to include. However, you can reduce the brush to 1 px, which can help in capturing the smallest details. Once you are done with the selection process, you are ready to make a move.

Step 3: Refining the Edges of the Image

Photoshop Background Removal Step 3

When the selection is complete, you can right-click over the selection line and select ‘refine edge’ from the pop-up menu.

The refine edge dialogue that you find can help in fine-tuning the selection for getting the best results. You can then change the view mode to ‘On White’ or any other option that will give a contrast when you are making a selection. When you achieve, you will also be able to see the parts of the edge that would need a lot of your help.

Under the Adjust Edge option, you can increase the smooth value slider if you wish to soften the jagged edges of the selection process. You will also need to adjust the additional sliders and smoothing can help you a lot in this particular aspect. Once you are done with this, you can click OK when you have finished.

Step 4: View then selection process on a new layer

Photoshop Background Removal Step 4

Once you are done with the final step, you can review the result easily. Right-click in the selection area and choose the layer using the copy option. Once you are done, the selection that you make will be given to a new layer without background and editing your original photo.

Another thing that needs to be done is to toggle off the visibility of the background layer and view the entire piece against the original image.

You can remove the background of the image in the very first step itself if you want to achieve success. When you have removed the background, you will be able to create completely new surroundings for your subjects by using your creativity. Removing the background of an image will give you a chance to create a new piece altogether. When you have removed the background, you will be ready to create a new surrounding for your subject using your own creativity.


Well, these were some essential steps that you can follow when you want to remove background in photoshop and want to present it in a better manner. It is advised that you check out the official website to get an idea about the features and usage of the tools that are present in this software.

Did I miss out on any steps? Feel free to comment below & let me know.

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