Removing the background from a picture can be a useful skill to have, whether you’re looking to create a transparent image, isolate a subject, or create a composite. Adobe Photoshop provides powerful tools and techniques to accomplish this task. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of removing the background from a picture in Photoshop.

Step 1: Open the Image in Photoshop

Start by launching Adobe Photoshop and opening the image you want to work with. Go to File > Open and select the image file from your computer.

Step 2: Select the Background Eraser Tool

In the toolbar on the left side of the screen, select the Background Eraser Tool. If you can’t find it, right-click on the Eraser Tool and choose the Background Eraser Tool from the dropdown menu.

Step 3: Adjust the Tool Settings

With the Background Eraser Tool selected, you’ll need to adjust the tool settings to achieve the desired result. The key settings to pay attention to are:

  • Tolerance: This determines how similar in color the pixels need to be before they are erased. A lower tolerance will remove only pixels that closely match the sampled color, while a higher tolerance will remove a broader range of colors.
  • Brush Size: Use a smaller brush size for detailed areas and a larger brush size for larger areas.
  • Hardness: A harder brush edge will create a sharper transition between the erased and non-erased areas.

Step 4: Start Removing the Background

Position the cursor over the background area you want to remove and click and drag to start erasing. The tool will automatically sample the color under the brush and erase similar colors within the tolerance range. Be careful not to erase any parts of the subject you want to keep.

Step 5: Refine the Edges

After removing the majority of the background, you may notice some areas that still have remnants of the background. To refine the edges, you can use the Refine Edge tool. Select the subject using any selection tool (e.g., the Quick Selection Tool or the Polygonal Lasso Tool), then go to Select > Refine Edge. Use the available options to fine-tune the selection and make it blend seamlessly with the new background.

Step 6: Save the Image

Once you are satisfied with the result, save the image in a format that supports transparency, such as PNG or TIFF. Go to File > Save As and choose the desired format.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I remove the background from any type of image?

A: Yes, you can remove the background from any type of image as long as it has a distinguishable foreground subject and background.

Q: Are there alternative tools or methods for background removal in Photoshop?

A: Yes, Photoshop offers other tools like the Lasso Tool and the Polygonal Lasso Tool that can be used for selecting and removing the background. Additionally, you can also use advanced techniques like layer masks and the pen tool for more precise selections.

Q: Can I remove the background from multiple images at once?

A: Yes, you can use Photoshop’s batch processing feature to apply the same background removal steps to multiple images. This can save you time when working with a large number of images.

Tips for Better Background Removal

Here are some additional tips to help you achieve better results when removing the background from a picture in Photoshop:

  • Zoom in and work on the image at a higher magnification to ensure accuracy and precision.
  • Make use of keyboard shortcuts to speed up your workflow. For example, pressing the “[” key will decrease the brush size, while pressing the “]” key will increase it.
  • Experiment with different blending modes for the Background Eraser Tool to see which one works best for your specific image.
  • If you accidentally erase part of the subject, use the History panel or the Undo command (Ctrl/Cmd + Z) to revert back to a previous state.
  • Take advantage of Photoshop’s selection tools to create more precise selections before using the Background Eraser Tool.


Removing the background from a picture in Photoshop can be a bit challenging at first, but with practice and the right techniques, you can achieve professional-looking results. Remember to experiment with different tool settings, take advantage of the Refine Edge tool, and follow the tips provided to enhance your background removal skills. With time, you’ll become more proficient in background removal and be able to tackle more complex images.

Now that you know how to remove the background from a picture in Photoshop, you can unleash your creativity and explore the endless possibilities of image editing.