How to erase the background of a photo: The photo you took the day before yesterday would be practically perfect, were it not for the horrible background that ruins it! Come on, do not lose heart, nothing is lost! By resorting to photo editing, in fact, you can remedy the situation by removing the background from the photo in question.
If you give me a few minutes of your free time, I can explain how to erase the background of a photo using some programs suitable for the purpose or, if you prefer, free online services working directly from the browser. And if you really don’t want to put your hand to the computer, you can remove the background from the photos also through apps that can be used by smartphones and tablets, which I will tell you about in the last part of the tutorial.
So, I intrigued you and now would you like to go deeper into the subject? Fantastic! Make yourself comfortable, take your time to read the next paragraphs, try the various solutions listed below and, at the end of the reading, use the ones you think are best suited to your needs. Happy reading and have fun!
Programs to erase the background of a photo
There are various photo editing programs that allow you to erase the background of a photo. Below I will list two very famous software – one free and one paid – that provide useful tools to “cut out” the photos.
GIMP (Windows / macOS / Linux)
GIMP is a very popular free (as well as open source) photo editing program. It is available for Windows, macOS and Linux and is considered by many to be the best free Photoshop alternative.
To use GIMP, you must first download the program to your computer. Then connect to his official websiteclick the button Download xxxx and, on the page that opens, click on the orange button Download GIMP xxxx directly.
Once the download is complete, open the file you just downloaded and, if you use Windowsclick the button Yup and then on the buttons OK, Install And end. If you use a Macinstead, move the GIMP icon to the folder Applicationsright click on the program icon and, from the menu that appears, select the item You open. Don’t worry, you have to perform the operation in question only at the first start of GIMP, to “bypass” the restrictions applied by macOS to software from non-certified developers.
As soon as you have started GIMP, select the entry You open from the menu Fileselect the photo in which you want to remove the background and then select the item Toggle Quick Mask from the menu Select. After the photo is colored red, select it Path tool from the toolbar located on the left (you have to click on the icon of the fountain pen) and traces the perimeter of the subject who not you want to remove. I recommend, try to be as accurate as possible, because the result you will get in the end will depend on this.
Once you have finished this (important) preliminary phase, disable the quick mask by clicking on the item again Toggle Quick Mask from the menu Select and click the button Selection from the path located in the toolbar located on the left. Finally, select the item Invert from the menu Selectin order to invert the selection just made, and remove the background from the photo by pressing the key on the keyboard Canc (on Windows) or the key combination fn + clear key (on macOS).
If you are happy with the result, save the photo you edited by clicking on the item Export as from the menu File and select one of the formats available for saving.
If you want to learn more about the other features integrated into GIMP, read the tutorial in which I explain in detail how the program works.
Adobe Photoshop (Windows / macOS)
When it comes to photo editing, one cannot fail to mention Photoshop, the solution developed by Adobe designed especially for professionals working in the field of photography and graphics. This program integrates advanced tools to act on the images and obtain really satisfying results, even when you need to “only” remove the background from a shot.
As you probably already know, being a professional program, Photoshop is not free. To use it, in fact, you need to sign up for a subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud service, which starts at € 12.19 per month. However, you can download the software on Windows and macOS and use it for free for a 7-day trial period (if you remember, I already showed you how to activate the trial in the Photoshop free download guide).
If you proceed to download Photoshop and decide to retouch your photos with it, please consult the insights in which I show how to use Photoshop, how to make the background of an image transparent and how to cut out with Photoshop. I’m sure these readings will be of great help to you, especially if you’re just getting started with Photoshop.
Online services to erase the background of a photo
Do you need to “cut out” the photos one-off and, therefore, would you prefer not to “flood” your PC by downloading new programs? If so, you can turn to gods online services free to use directly from browser. Below is a list of a couple that might be right for you.
Edit Photos For Free (Online)
One of the most popular online services for erasing the background from a photo is Edit Photos For Freea completely free web application, compatible with all major browsers and which does not require the installation of additional plugins.
To use Edit Photos for Free, connect to his main pageclick on the button Close to close the initial tutorial window, click the blue button Select Image and select the photo you want to act on. As soon as the image upload is complete, click the yellow dot and traces the edges of the subject trying to be as accurate as possible.
Then click on the button green (+) and color the area of the photo you want to preserve; then click on red button (-) and color the area of the image you want to remove, then the background. At this point, click on the ▶ ︎ button located in the center, in order to preview the photo without the background, further refine the edges of the photo (if necessary) and, as soon as you are satisfied with the result, click on the button Download to download the image in PNG format.
Another free solution that might be right for you is FotoFlexeran online service that, unlike the aforementioned Edit Photos For Free, requires the use of Adobe Flash Player (if you do not know how to download and activate the plugin on your browser, read the insights I have just linked to you).
To use FotoFlexer, first connect to his home pageclick on the button Upload Photo located at the top right and, on the page that opens, click on the button Upload to load the photo in which you want to clear the background. Once its upload is complete, click on the tab Geekthen click on the button Smart Scissors and draw a line around the perimeter of the subject that you want to keep and that you want to separate from the background.
At this point, click on the button Create Cutoutredefine the final details using the tool Smart Scissors and, when finished, save the output photo by clicking on the button Save located at the top left. Finally, select the format in which to save the file, click on the button Save To My Computer and presses the button Save Now in the box that opens.
App to erase the background of a photo
You would like to have some app to clear the background of a photo to use if necessary? If you answered yes, try the applications listed below – I’m sure they’ll be to your liking.
- PhotoLayers (Android) – this free app offers the possibility to work on 11 levels and to delete the background present in the photos quickly and easily. If you want to learn more about it, read the tutorial in which I show in detail how to make the background of a photo transparent.
- Superimpose Studio (iOS) – if you use an iOS device and are looking for an app similar to PhotoLayers, try this semi-free solution that allows you to remove the background from photos in a few taps. I define Superimpose Studio as a semi-free app because you have to make in-app purchases starting from € 1.09 to eliminate the advertising banners present in it. For more information about how it works, I recommend reading the deepening in which I explain how to make the background of an image transparent.