How to remove photo background in Photoshop


Updated: 02/01/2021 by Computer Hope

There are many reasons you might want to remove a background in a photo. The main reason is to take a person or object from one photo and place them on another photo’s background. Whatever the reason, Photoshop provides the tools to make it happen. Choose the option below that best suits your needs. The best option, however, may include the combination of all three. In Photoshop, experiment with each of the tools below and see which works best for you.

Photoshop Magic Eraser Tool

Magic Eraser Tool

Photoshop magic eraser tool location

The Magic Eraser Tool erases similarly colored areas with a single click. It is arguably the best tool for erasing the background of a photo, essentially making it transparent. However, it is not perfect. It sometimes erases the surrounding areas of the photo around where you click. If there are many objects in the background, like different colored lines, Photoshop cannot always differentiate those items as background. So you might need to click several times to eradicate the background.

Reviewing the picture below, you can see how the magic eraser works. As shown by the arrows, we’ve clicked twice on the image. One click was in the solid grey area below the keyboard, and the second click is above the monitor in the striped area. Notice how the Magic Eraser Tool changes the background to a transparent area (the checkered areas), leaving the foreground images.

Photoshop Magic Eraser Tool

Photoshop Background Eraser Tool

Background Eraser Tool

Photoshop background eraser tool location

The Background Eraser Tool erases the pixels of a sampled color. When you click around the person or object you want to keep, most of the time it erases the background, keeping the person or object”s outline intact.

As shown in the picture below, we’ve used the Background Eraser Tool, size 84 pixels, and clicked once between the clock and the mug in the image, creating a transparent background section. This tool is not perfect, and sometimes it cannot differentiate between the person and the background, and incorrectly erases part of the person or object.

Photoshop Background Eraser Tool

Photoshop Eraser Tool

Eraser Tool

Photoshop eraser tool location

The Eraser Tool changes pixels to the background color or makes them transparent. It is the most effective tool for removing large areas. However, it doesn’t distinguish between the background and the main image. Wherever you click, it erases that portion of the image. Also, the Eraser tool doesn’t turn the background into a transparent image without some extra effort. It is set to your default Photoshop background.

So, if your background is white, it erases the image to white, and likewise for any other background color. As shown below, we used the Eraser Tool to erase part of the image between the clock and the mug. You can see the Eraser Tool erased part of the clock, the mug, and the background.

Photoshop Eraser Tool

Example of using all three tools

Below is a short clip about using all three tools in one picture to remove the picture’s background.

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