How To Remove Background In Photoshop

If you don’t like your subject’s background image in a photo, you can easily remove it using Adobe Photoshop CC. Background removal is tricky, but you don’t have to be a professional graphic designer to get it done. There are several ways to delete the background from an image in Photoshop but we want to keep it simple, for the sake of this article.

Luckily in the latest versions of Adobe Photoshop CC, there are some fantastic tools to get the job done in a few steps. We will be talking about removing background from an image is the “Quick Selection Tool.” The Quick Selection Tool icon can be found on the left side tool panel. It is a brush surrounded by a dotted line. You can also use the Quick Selection Tool shortcut by pressing “W” on your keyboard.

Now that we showed how the Quick Selection Tool looks like and how can you get it to work, let’s get to how to use it to remove the background:

Remove Background In Photoshop With Quick Selection Tool

Step 1: Set Up The Quick Selection Tool

Open Photoshop on your Windows PC or Mac. Pull up the image you want to remove the background from by clicking “File.” Click “Open” from the top menu bar to pull the image in Photoshop. Choosing the ‘Quick Selection Tool’ will open a context-sensitive menu at the top toolbar. Before using the Quick Selection tool on your image, you may need to go to the ‘Brush Picker’ and adjust the brush size depending on your image’s size.

Step 2: Remove The Background Elements Through Selection

With the ‘Quick Selection Tool’ ready, click and drag the mouse on the photo you want to separate from the back or the background you want to remove. As you click and drag the mouse on the image or the background that you need to remove. You’ll see a selection that resembles a group of marching ants. Keep working around your subject and add to the selection as long as you want.

As you work around the image, you’ll find some sections you don’t want to add to your selection. To remove the selections, hold down the ‘Alt’ key in Windows or ‘Option’ key in Mac. You see, the tool has change into a subtraction mode. Gradually, click and drag your mouse around the photo or background area you want to remove. Release the ‘Alt’ or ‘Option’ key when you’re done.

You may need to alternate between addition and subtraction modes depending on the photo’s complexity as you work. You may need to zoom in sometimes in certain areas that include both the subject and background. Here’s a pro tip: To add small or delicate details like handbag straps, reduce your brush to 1px.

Once you’ve selected your subject entirely, you can progress to the next step.

Step 3: Refine the Edges

Just adding your subject isn’t enough to get the desired result. You need to refine the selection to ensure the smaller details are included. After completing the initial selection, right-click on the dotted lines or the marching ants, and a pop-up menu will appear. Choose ‘Refine Edge’. You can find the ‘Refine Edge’ option on the top of the taskbar. The Refine Edge helps you fine-tune your selection for improved results.

First, choose the View Mode to ‘On White.’ You might need to change it into something else, depending on your image. This step will give you a preview of all the edges of your image that needs work.

Now, under Adjust Edge, move the slider to increase the Smooth value. It will soften or smoothen the uneven edges of your selection. You may also use the other sliders for better results, but smoothing is enough for the most part. Hit ‘OK’ when you’re done.

Step 4: View The Selection On a New Layer

This is the final step—review your result—Right-click on your selection and select ‘Layer Via Copy’ from the pop-up menu. Your selection will be transferred to a new layer. Click on the layer, and you’ll see the selection, minus the background. You can also see your original photo without the editing under the new layer.

That’s it!

This is how you remove the background from an image in Photoshop.

Andrew Editor


I am a philologist. I have a background in telecommunications and digital content creation. I love photography and storytelling. Joined the team to bring the project to the next level.

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