How to Remove a Background in Photoshop

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Removing backgrounds in Photoshop can either be easy or complex. Easy for images that don’t have a lot of detail along the edges of the area that you want to cut, otherwise removing the background on a very complex image (such as along hair, multiple angled images, feathers, colors, etc) can be quite challenging and tricky.

There are several tools that can help you to remove a background in Photoshop, but the easiest and fastest way is the Magic Wand tool and the other easy and efficient option you have in Photoshop is by applying the Extract Filter on your image. Depending on your preference, both techniques can effectively remove the background of an image.

Remove a Background in Photoshop Using Magic Wand Tool

Below are the basic steps in extracting a background from an image using the Magic Wand tool:

Step 1: Open the image file and unlock the background layer.

Step 2: Select the “Magic Wand Tool“.

Select the "Magic Wand Tool"
Select the “Magic Wand Tool”.

Step 3: Using the Magic Wand Tool, click on the background to select it.

Click on the background to select it.
Click on the background to select it.

Step 4: Hit “Delete” to remove the background. The background will become transparent and you’ll notice that not everything from the deleted background was removed completely (in between objects/letters).

Hit "Delete" to remove the background
Hit “Delete” to remove the background.

Step 5: To remove the remaining background, click on the “Magic Wand Tool” again and select the remainder by holding on the SHIFT key while clicking. Holding the SHIFT key adds the newly selected object to your recent selection. This is useful if you want to select a background that has different locations on the image (like in this example, the letters O).

Remove the remaining background
Remove the remaining background.

Step 6: Once you’ve highlighted the remainder of the background, hit “Delete” once again. The entire background will be transparent now. You may now save this as a PNG file for future use.

Hit "Delete" once again
Hit “Delete” once again.

Step 7: To move the recently extracted object to a new background, click on “Select” > “Inverse“.

click on "Select" > "Inverse".
Click on “Select” > “Inverse”.

Step 8: Drag your newly cut object anywhere you like by clicking on the “Move Tool“.

Drag your newly cut object anywhere you like by clicking on the "Move Tool".
Drag your newly cut object anywhere you like by clicking on the “Move Tool”.

You have now transferred the selected image to a new background using the Magic Wand Tool.

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