How to Remove All Background From a Photo

By Meaghan Ellis

Removing a background from a photo is a trendy graphic feature that many like to use. Whether one is a professional graphic designer or editing a photo just for fun, anyone can do this. All you need is access to graphic design software. Excellent editing software is the key to making the entire process work for you.

Things You'll Need

  • Photoshop
  • Extraction plug-in tool

Step 1

Open Photoshop. Click on the application's icon link on your computer's desktop screen. Allow the application to open and load successfully before you attempt any further action.

Step 2

Load the photo into the Photoshop application. Click the "File" tab in the upper left corner of the screen. Select the "Open" action. Locate the photo you desire to remove the background from in the Windows Explorer dialog screen that will pop up. Click on the picture to highlight it, and simply click "Open". The photo will then be transferred to the center of your Photoshop canvas.

Step 3

Move the picture to the Extraction platform. Click on the "Filter" tab in the navigation menu at the top of the screen, and click on the "Extract" action that will be listed in the Filter drop down menu. Your photo will be redirected to the "Extraction" platform.

Step 4

Trace the area of the photo you want to keep. Using your marker tool, outline the portion of the photo you want to keep. Temporary digital paint will appear around the outermost area of the part you want to keep. Once you have outlined the entire area, click the paint bucket icon image in the upper-left corner of the platform. Click once within the area you desire to keep. It will then be filled with paint.

Step 5

Confirm the background removal. Click "OK" in the upper-right corner of the screen to remove the majority of the background. Your photo will be redirected back to the PhotoShop canvas with the background removed.

Step 6

Remove any excess of the background or rugged edges from the photo. Right-click on the eraser image icon in the toolbar on the left side of the screen, and select "Eraser Tool". Clean up the outline of the photo to make its edges cleaner and more precise. If the size of the eraser tool needs to be larger, or smaller, adjust the size of the brush by clicking on the arrow above the brush at the top of the picture. You can make the brush whatever size you desire, by moving its lever from left to right, with the left size being the smallest.

Step 7

Save the newly edited photo. Click on the "File" tab in the upper-left corner of the screen and select the "Save As" option. Name your newly edited photo, by typing the name of your choice in the data form that will be provided. Click "Save" to close the new photo and store it to your computer's hard drive as PSD, which is the Photoshop file extension.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not have an extraction plug-in tool, download one before you attempt to remove the background from the photo, See resources for a download link to a graphic design extraction tool. The page link will also show you how to install the extraction tool so it can be accessible in your graphic design application.For more fine-tuned background removal, you can also use the magic eraser tool that will be listed in your eraser options once you have cleaned the photo up with the eraser tool.
  • These instructions are specifically for PhotoShop, but this action can be done in other graphic design applications, such as CorelDRAW. For more information, see Resources.You must have a graphic design application to do perform this action. Graphic design applications are digitally enhanced for special techniques like this. If you try to do this in any other type of program, you may experience a high level of distortion in the quality of the photo. The background may not be completely removed either.