How to Remove Backgrounds with our Background Eraser Tool

How to Remove Backgrounds with our Background Eraser Tool
May 11, 2019 Tanya Friedland

get amazing results with your background erase using our background eraser tool

Photos and text don’t always play well together. Sometimes a photo is central to your design, but you also need an uncluttered background to make the text stand out. We’ve got what you need to solve this problem: background eraser. Watch this video or read the article below it to see how to remove the background from your photo—either with our free mobile app or on


Quick steps for removing backgrounds with PicMonkey mobile

First you’ll need to download PicMonkey from the App Store or Google Play.

  1. Tap Edit a photo to start with your pic.
  2. Tap Edit then tap Cutout.
  3. Tap Smart to let PicMonkey intelligently detect the background.
  4. Drag your finger over the part of your image you’d like to erase, and PicMonkey does the rest.
  5. If PicMonkey takes off too much, tap Restore and drag your finger over the parts you want to keep.
  6. Tap the checkmark when you’re happy with your background erasing.
  7. Tap Save to save and share and keep it in Hub to use it as a graphic overlay.


Tips for perfecting your erasure

erase backgrounds using our smart cutout background erase tool

Use Cutout’s Smart button when you have a photo in which the foreground has clean edges and is pretty distinct from the background. Just tap it, then drag your finger in one broad stroke to indicate where the background is, and watch it disappear. Use Restore and Erase to fine tune. Adjust the size of your finger swipes with the Size slider in the lower right-hand corner of your image. 

Use the Manual button when you have a foreground with less distinct edges. It requires more scrubbing, but it may work better on some  images.

adjust the outline of your background erase by using the adjust background eraser tool

Adjust lets you fine-tune your choices when you’re restoring and erasing. Tap Edges and adjust how sharp or feathered the edges of your image look by moving the slider up or down.

Invert lets you swap the erased part for the non-erased part of your image and vice versa.

Reset wipes away all your changes and returns your image to its original glory.

How to cut out a background using shapes

erase background in different shapes using our background eraser tool

Shape cuts out the background and fits the part you want to keep within the bounds of whatever shape you select. Once you pick a shape, you can adjust its size and placement over your original image.

How to remove your photo’s background on

Watch the video or follow the quick steps below to get a similar look:

  1. Open your photo on
  2. From the Layers palette, click Convert to layer.
  3. Click your image layer and the Graphics palette will open up.
  4. Click Erase, adjust your eraser size, and start erasing the background away.
  5. Paint back parts you might have accidentally erased or click the Undo button in the bottom toolbar.
  6. Your image will automatically be saved to Hub, but if you choose to export it, make sure it’s a .PNG file.

How to swap in a new background

erase background and replace your image in multiple placing using our background eraser tool

Once you’ve cut the background from your image, you’re ready to place it over a new background. Here’s how:

  1. Choose an image you want to use as your new background. If you don’t have an image in mind, try PicMonkey’s stock photo stash (click the Photos tab on the left).
  2. Tap Graphics on the PicMonkey mobile app or click Add your own image at the top of the Graphics panel on and select the cutout photo you saved in Hub or on your computer.
  3. Play around with the image (adjust size, orientation) until it’s in its ideal spot.
  4. Ta-da! You did it.

Go ahead and do some background erasing with our stock photos >

Animal stock photos at picmonkeyAnimal
beach photos freeBeach
moon photos picmonkeyMoon
rose stock photos picturesRoses
Butterfly Stock Photos PicMOnkeyButterfly


marble background photos free picmonkeyMarble
aesthetic background photos free picmonkeyArtsy
heart photos free picmonkeyHearts
galaxy background photos free picmonkeyGalaxy
pink background photo freePink

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Tanya Friedland
Tanya is a copywriter at PicMonkey, a company that has greatly improved her life by allowing her to Zombify her friends and Santa-ify her enemies. A native Seattleite, she dreams of one day being a contestant on The Price Is Right.