How to use the background remover in Adobe Photoshop.

See how you can precisely cut out a subject to replace a bland image background with something that pops.

Placing the image of a woman on a new background with the background remover tool.

Learning the benefits of background removal.

Sometimes no single photo captures exactly what you want: In one shot your subject might be blurry and in the next, the background may not show up clearly. You need to combine the photo background of the first image with the subject of the second. That’s where understanding how to remove image backgrounds in a photo editor can be a helpful skill.


Machine learning technology helps separate a subject from the background.

With a single click, Adobe Photoshop’s Select Subject command automatically cuts out the most prominent subjects in an image — making life simpler for any image editor. Just choose Select Subject while editing the image or find it in the Options bar while using the Quick Selection and Magic Wand tools and you’ll be able to adjust the background of an image with ease.


Select content with well-defined edges.

Use the Quick Selection tool to select content with well-defined, high-contrast edges. Then add or subtract from it to capture exactly what you want.


Replace solid colour backgrounds.

If your image includes a subject against a white background like a studio backdrop, you can easily swap out the background using the Magic Wand tool and layer masks. (Remember, with layer masks, none of your photo editing is permanent. You can always go back to your original image file.)

Selecting the image of a boy with wings on his back in a photo editor.
Image of a boy with wings on his back placed on a background of clouds and blue sky.

Remove noncontiguous backgrounds.

Learn how to use the Magic Wand tool to make automatic selections of nonadjacent background areas of similar colour. Uncheck Contiguous and play with the Tolerance field to adjust the level of colour variation that you want to allow within your selection.


Separate subject from background, even where they blend.

Capture fine details like hair or fur by opening the Select and Mask workspace. Use the Lasso or Quick Selection tools to capture a basic outline of the subject and then use the Refine Edge brush to refine your selection. With Edge Detection and Global Refinements sliders, you can fine-tune your selection even more.


Achieve a consistent look.

If the lighting of your new background doesn’t quite fit that of your subject, you can create consistency by duplicating the New Background layer and using the Blur filter to bring them together for a more natural look.


Discover fantastic worlds behind the background.

Go beyond replacing your image backgrounds by combining several images or specific elements from those images, to create scenes from your dreams.


Remove and add objects to your images.

If you want to remove just one element of the background image, you can use the Patch tool to sample a replacement element from another part of the background. You can also use the Crop tool to extend the canvas, fill that void and add more to your composition.

Working with the Patch Tool in Photoshop.

Create a photo composite.

Don’t just remove the background. Try adding elements from a second image to the foreground. Gather several images and use layer masks to combine elements from each one for a surreal collage. You might even create your own realistic visual fairytales.



Whether you want to remove backgrounds to make artistic photo composites, clean up product photos or just remove a photobomber from the background of an otherwise perfect holiday snap, you can do it all with Photoshop.

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