How to Remove a Background from an Image Online or in Photoshop

Remove Background from an Image Online

Let’s cut to the chase: You want to remove the background from an image – and you want it to be quick and easy, right?

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to remove background images.

Whether you’re a technophobe looking for a quick fix or a budding Photoshop user looking for an in-depth tutorial, we’ve got you covered.

Plus, you’ll also learn about five background remover tools that give you more control over your edits and allow you to remove backgrounds from images in bulk.

Sound good?

To dive in, just check the menu below and jump to the section most relevant to you.

The Best Free Background Remover Tool: Remove.bg

You’ve probably realized by now how tedious and frustrating it can be to remove a background from an image – especially with complex photo editing software.

Perhaps you’ve already tried one of the many free background remover tools online only to be disappointed with the results.

Enter Remove.bg.

This website does one thing, and one thing only: remove backgrounds from images. Plus, it uses artificial intelligence (AI) to do all of the hard work for you.

As a result, this is our favorite way to remove a background from an image online on the fly. It’s simple, it’s fast, and the results are pretty darn good.

Here’s an example of what Remove.bg can do:

Remove.bg Example

Not bad, hey?

Still, Remove.bg isn’t flawless.

Like all AI selection tools, it struggles when an image doesn’t have a distinct separation between the foreground and background of an image.

Here’s an example:

Remove.bg Issue

It’s also worth noting that Remove.bg only works with photos featuring at least one person. This means it doesn’t work with photos of animals or objects.

As a result, if you try to use the service to remove the background from an image not featuring a person, you’ll receive this error:

Remove.bg Issue

In this next example, I was hoping to remove the background of the image and to be left with just the skater. However, as you can see, Remove.bg has also left the other people featured in the image:

Remove.bg Example

Still, in many cases like this, it wouldn’t be difficult to remove unwanted parts of the image with another photo editing tool.

Aside from these small hiccups, Remove.bg is pretty fantastic and well worth bookmarking.

Now, let’s run through exactly how to use it.

How to Remove a Background from an Image Online for Free

1. Go to Remove.bg in your web browser.
2. Select your image or enter an image URL.
Remove.bg
3. Complete the verification process.

Verification Process

4. Review your results and download your new image.

Download Image Remove.bg

It’s that simple! Okay, now it’s time to get creative.

How to Change a Photo Background Online with Canva

You might like to use your new image as it is with an invisible background. This is particularly useful when using your photo as part of a larger design, such as a website or poster.

However, removing a background from an image opens up a range of creative opportunities. Plus, it’s easy to change a photo background online with a free tool like Canva.

Change Background of Image in Canva

Here’s how to do it:

1: Go to Canva and Log In

If you don’t already have a Canva account, don’t worry – it only takes a minute to set one up.

Canva

2. Create a New Design in Canva

Once you’re logged into Canva, click the big green button in the upper left corner of the screen to create a new design.

Canva provides tons of awesome templates.

Scroll through the templates on show or use the search bar to find the type of template you need. Alternatively, click “Custom dimensions” in the upper left corner of the screen.

Canva Templates

3. Upload Your Image to Canva

To upload an image to Canva, click “Uploads” in the left-hand sidebar menu and then click “Upload an image.”

Then, locate the image you downloaded from Remove.bg with the background already removed.

Upload Image in Canva

To add your image to your design, simply click on it and drag it across to the edit window:

Select Image Canva

4. Change Photo Background

The easiest way to change a photo background in Canva is to click “Background” in the left-hand sidebar and select one of the premade backgrounds.

There are tons of premade backgrounds available.

Plus, it’s easy to edit them to your liking using the settings at the top of the edit window:

Edit Background of Image in Canva

5. Add an Image as a Background

It’s also simple to add an image as a background.

If you don’t have a great image to use as a background, again, there are tons of great images available for free.

Start by searching for background images within Canva.

To do this, click the “Elements” tab, then scroll through the images or use the search bar to find something in particular.

Search for Images Canva

Alternatively, you could also use one of the many free stock photo websites, like Shopify’s Burst or Unsplash.

If you do this, you’ll need to download the image to your computer and upload it to your Canva edit, like in the example below.

Once you’ve found an image, drag it across to your edit window, resize it, and make sure it’s in the right position.

Upload Image to Canva

6. Make Your New Image the Background

You’ve probably noticed that the new image is now covering up your previous image.

To send this image to the background, click the image to select it, then click “Position” and “Backward.”

Send to Back Canva

This will reveal your previous image with the background removed:

Change Background of Image in Canva

You can also use Canva to customize your image with text and graphics.

Congrats, you’re a design pro!

5 Awesome Background Remover Tools

Although Remove.bg is great for quick edits and Canva is great for changing a background, there are plenty of other background remover tools out there with more features and functionality.

Here are five more awesome background remover tools:

Background Remover Tool #1: Photo Scissors

Best for: When you need more control than Remove.bg allows.

Photoscissors Online

Photo Scissors is a free online background remover tool that’s very similar to Remove.bg.

The key difference is that Photo Scissors provides more control on which parts of your image you keep and which you erase.

It also keeps things extremely simple: Just highlight areas to keep in green and areas to remove in red.

Then, the tool’s AI will kick in and guess what you’re trying to achieve. Here’s an example:

Photoscissors Example

Pricing: Photo Scissors is free!

Background Remover Tool #2: Clipping Magic

Best for: Those who need more tools and editing options to refine their images.

Clipping Magic

Clipping Magic provides even more features and tools than Remove.bg and Photo Scissors.

With this background remover, you can select the areas to keep and delete just like with Photo Scissors.

However, you can also use dedicated tools to refine the edges of your image. Plus, Clipping Magic lets you adjust the colors or your image, and add shadows and reflections.

Pricing: Clipping Magic’s Light Plan costs $3.99 for 15 image downloads per month. Their Standard Plan costs $7.99 for 100 credits per month.

Background Remover Tool #3: PicMonkey

Best for: Those who also need a basic, entry-level photo editor.

PicMonkey

PicMonkey is a simple online photo editor that allows you to remove backgrounds from images.

It also provides all of the photo editing features and tools you might need for basic edits, such as a text tool and color adjustments.

Plus, the program provides plenty of design templates and graphics to add to your edits.

Pricing: PicMonkey plans start at $9 per month for the Basic plan, $14 per month for the Pro plan, and $37.50 for Teams.

Background Remover Tool #4: Auto Clipping

Best for: Those who need a bulk image background remover tool.

Autoclipping

Auto Clipping is an online background remover tool that allows you to remove backgrounds from images in bulk.

This could be especially useful for those editing product photos for an ecommerce store.

Pricing: Auto Clipping provides a ton of different pricing options depending on your needs – including pay-as-you-go pricing and monthly plans. The service charges $14.99 for 200 downloads pay-as-you-go and monthly payment plans start at $2.99 per month for 15 downloads.

Background Remover Tool #5: Fotor

Best for: Those who would like a basic photo editing tool with an emphasis on creating collages.

Fotor

Fotor is an all-in-one online photo editing and design tool that also allows you to remove backgrounds from images.

Just like PicMonkey, Fotor provides all of the basic photo editing and design tools you’ll need for simple edits.

Plus, the service also has a range of collage templates.

Pricing: Fotor costs $8.99 per month or $39.99 per year.

How to Remove a Background from an Image in Photoshop

If you’re looking to take your photo editing skills to the next level, it’s essential to learn how to remove a background from an image using the professional graphics editor Photoshop.

Photoshop requires us to break the process down into manual steps.

This provides you with a lot more options and control over your final edit. However, it also means that the process is far more labor-intensive than using a background remover like Remove.bg.

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to create an Adobe Creative Cloud account and download Photoshop. If you’re just getting started, Adobe provides a free seven-day trial of Photoshop.

Okay, let’s jump in.

1. Set Up Your Photoshop Edit

To begin, click “Create New” to create a new session and import your image. Alternatively, simply click “Open” and select your image to begin a new session.

Create New Photoshop

If you’ve never used Photoshop before, your edit window should look something like this:

Photoshop Editor

2. Use “Select and Mask”

Once you’ve created a new session with your image, you need to select the right tools. To do this, click “Select” and then “Select and Mask…”

This replaces Photoshop’s tools with just the ones you actually need, including the:

  • Quick selection tool
  • Refine-edge brush tool
  • Brush tool

3. Select the “Onion Skin” View

Next, you need to select the right session view. Under “Properties” in the right-hand sidebar, click the drop-down menu next to “View.”

Then select the “Onion Skin” view – this makes the image partially transparent.

Photoshop Change View

Before continuing, make sure the Transparency slider bar underneath is set to 50%.

4. Use the Quick Selection Tool

Now, use the Quick Selection tool to paint the areas of the image that you want to keep. This tool is very intuitive, which makes this process fairly simple.

Photoshop Tools

Thanks to the Onion Skin view, it should be easy to tell which parts you’ve selected and which you haven’t.

Make sure to zoom in to select any areas you’ve missed.

5. Use the Refine Edge Brush Tool

Once you’ve done your best to select the areas of the image you want to keep, it’s time to use the Refine-Edge Brush tool. You can find this in the top left-hand toolbar.

Photoshop Refine Edge Brush Tool

This tool is great for capturing fine details such as hair or splayed fingers – compared to the image above, notice the difference between the model’s hair in the image below:

6. Change the View to “On Black” to Continue

At this point, you’ll need to thoroughly check your selection. To do this, change the view setting to “On Black.”

Then change the transparency level to 100%. This will clearly show you which areas are most in need of attention.

7. Use the Brush Tool to Select Any Areas You’ve Missed

In this view, it’s much easier to notice the areas you’ve missed.

In the example below, large portions of the model’s striped shirt weren’t picked up by the Selection tool earlier on.

Select Image Photoshop

Make sure to select all of the areas you’ve missed before continuing.

8. Remove Selected Parts of Your Image

Once you’ve selected all of the areas of the image you want to keep, it’s time to remove the parts of the image selected by accident.

For example, when using the Refine Edge Brush tool earlier, some of the background was also selected.

Refine Edges Photoshop

To remove these parts of the image, simply hold the “Alt” key on Windows, or the “Option” key on Macs to select the areas of the image you don’t want to be included.

Remember, if you ever select an area of the image by mistake, just click “Edit” and “Undo.”

9. Save Your Edits as a Layer Mask

All done? Great – just make sure to save your edits as a Layer Mask.

You can do this in the bottom right-hand side of the window under “Output Settings.” Using the drop-down menu next to “Output to,” select “Layer Mask,” then click “OK.”

Photoshop Save as Layer Mask

10. Change Background of Photo in Photoshop

Congratulations – you’ve successfully removed the background from an image using Photoshop!

To save your image with a transparent background, click “File” and “Save As.”

Save Image Photoshop

Then, make sure to save your file as a PNG file.

Save As Photoshop

Remove Background from Image: Summary

Removing the background from an image can be the difference between a standard photo and a striking visual.

Plus, it doesn’t have to be difficult, time-consuming, or costly.

In summary, here are the tools we’ve covered that you can use to remove backgrounds from images:

  • Remove.bg: Best for quick and simple background removal on the fly.
  • Photo Scissors: Best for when you need more control than Remove.bg allows.
  • Clipping Magic: Best for those who need more tools and editing options to refine their images.
  • PicMonkey: Best for those who also need a basic, entry-level photo editor and design interface.
  • Auto Clipping: Best for those who need a bulk image background remover tool.
  • Fotor: Best for those who would like a basic photo editing tool with an emphasis on creating collages.
  • Photoshop: Best for those in need of a comprehensive design tool.

Which tool is your favorite? Did we miss a great background remover? Let us know in the comments below!

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