How to Remove A Background with Photoshop

You know what most pictures are missing? A giant lizard.
Ash Ash (362)
5 minutes

Photoshop is a professional tool with a lot of useful features. When it comes to removing a background image, Adobe's got you covered. This is the simplest way to select a background and remove it using Photoshop.

This process should work with any version of Photoshop, but you might have to search for specific tool locations—I included keyboard shortcuts to make this easier.

You may also be interested in our guides on how to change a background color and how to make a background transparent in Photoshop.

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Photo open in Photoshop

Open the photo you want to edit in Photoshop. Drag and drop the image file onto the Photoshop workspace or open it using File > Open.

Photoshop Object Selected

This step can be a little tedious, but it’s something you can do much faster with practice! I promise.

Zoom in using CTRL + (plus) for Windows or CMD + (plus) for Mac. Use the lasso tool (found in the tool tray or with L on your keyboard) to trace the background. You can add to the selection by holding the shift key and remove from the selection by holding the alt key (Windows) or option key (Mac).

Try to make the selection as close as possible to the edge of the object without cutting into it. To make my project easier, I'm tracing the lizard and inverting the selection to select the background.

Note: You can use the + and - keys to zoom in and out of your project while using either of the lasso tools.

Feather Selection Photoshop

The edges of our selection—in my case lizard—will need to be refined to look convincing. Once your object is selected, click Select > Modify > Feather. A menu will pop open. I used a pixel density of 2 around the edges of the lizard but you can experiment to see what looks best for your image. This step stops the hard pixel effect on the edge of selected objects.

Remove Background Photoshop

Remove the background image from the photograph by deleting it. You can use the delete icon or the Delete key on your keyboard.

Lizard Photoshopped

Congratulations! You can now place your giant lizard—or whatever it is you’re editing—onto anything you want. The only limit is your imagination.

Let's make this clear.
Ash Ash (362)
5 minutes

Creating a file with a transparent background is possible with every version of Photoshop. The main trick is saving the file in a format that recognizes transparency in an image.