Use One-Click Background Eraser to Remove Photo Backgrounds Fast

PicMonkey lets you remove the background of a photo with a single click so you can make layered designs, clean up product photos, and create gorgeous social posts.

There are many reasons to remove the background of a photo: to get rid of clutter, to clean up a product pic for display, or to cut out an object or person in the foreground to use in a new layered design. We’re seeing lots of everyday use of background erase — especially in YouTube thumbnails, Instagram Stories “shop my picks” type posts, and of course, product photos. 

Pro PicMonkey subscribers have access to our one-click Background Eraser tool found in the Graphics palette. Once an image is converted to a layer, all you need to do it is select the image layer and click the Remove background button on the Graphics palette. It’s really simple and fast, plus only PicMonkey lets you further tweak your erasure afterwards by painting back on parts of the background, or using the eraser tool to remove just a little bit more. 

How to use Background Eraser in PicMonkey

Quick steps to remove a photo background:

  1. Open your photo on PicMonkey.com.

  2. Click the Layers button (three stacked squares at bottom left of editor window), then click Convert to layer on the Layers palette.

  3. Click your image layer and the Graphics palette will open.

  4. WIth your image selected, click Remove background on the Graphics palette.

  5. Your image will automatically be saved to Hub with a transparent background. 

Note that removal may take a few seconds. In the case that your image isn’t a good candidate for removal the feature will give you an error message.


Replace an erased background with color, photos, or a texture

When the background is successfully removed, the Remove background button will be grayed out. 

After the photo background is removed, you’ll see a gray and white checkered background underneath your image. You can now create a new background for your image, or you can download your image file as a PNG — it's the file type that will preserve the transparency.


Create a colored background

If you want to make your new background a solid color, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Edits tab in the left menu.

  2. Select Background Color.

  3. Use the color swatches to create a colored background underneath your image. 

  4. Click Apply.


Create a textured background

If you’d like to make a texture your new background, follow these steps:

  1. To apply a texture as a your background, you first need to create a colored background (see above). 

  2. Select the Color Background layer on the Layers palette.

  3. Go to the Textures tab in the left menu. 

  4. Choose a texture to apply to the background. 

  5. Adjust the Fade slider according to how much of the texture you want to show. 

  6. Click Apply.


Create a photo background

To make the background a photo, follow these steps:

  1. To apply a photo as a your background, you first need to create a colored background (see above) because you’ll apply a photo as a texture to the Color Background layer. 

  2. Select the Color Background layer on the Layers palette.

  3. Go to the Textures tab in the left menu. 

  4. Click Add your own texture at the top of the panel. 

  5. Choose the location of your photo. 

  6. Adjust the Fade and try a Blend mode to finish off your design. 

  7. Click Apply.


Create a multi-layered design with Background Remover

Once you’ve cut the background from your image, you’re ready to place it over a new background. Your image will be saved in Hub so you can grab it when you’re ready to start a new design. 

To create a multi-layered design, follow these steps:

  1. Open an image you want to use as your new background in the editor.

  2. Add your backgroundless image to your canvas by selecting Add an image

  3. Adjust size, orientation, or add an outline or a drop shadow from the Graphics palette.

  4. Add graphics or text to your design if desired. 

  5. Your new design is auto-saved in Hub as a multi-layered file so you can continue to adjust or edit it later on. 


Tips for getting the best results with your image

While the background eraser feature is amazingly magical, it may not work every time. Here are some guidelines for ensuring a successful background erase:

  • Photos with a clear subject in the foreground will work the best. Think: photos of people, animals, products, houses, cars, etc. close to the camera.

  • Images with good contrast between background and foreground are ideal.

  • Plain backgrounds are better than busy backgrounds.

  • Images with just one or a small handful of people work better than images of large groups of people.

  • Images where the subject is cut off at the edge of the photo’s frame will look the best as opposed to images where the subject is cut off in the middle of the frame (behind a desk, for instance) which will look odd with the background removed.


Remove a photo background on the PicMonkey mobile app

One-click background remover is also available in the PicMonkey Mobile App for iOS users! It’s a Pro subscriber feature, so if you already have a Pro subscription then you have unlimited access. If you don’t have a Pro subscription, you can upgrade or buy one here: PicMonkey Subscription Plans

How to use the background remover app

First you’ll need to download PicMonkey from the App Store. If you already have the app, be sure to update it to use the new feature.

  1. Open the PicMonkey Mobile App. 

  2. Choose a photo to edit. 

  3. Tap BG Remover in the bottom toolbar. 

  4. The tool may take a few seconds to apply the background remover. 

  5. If PicMonkey removes too much background, tap Manual and use the paintbrush to restore. Alternately, you can use the eraser tool to remove even more of your photo. 

  6. Tap the checkmark when you’re finished. 

  7. Tap Save to save and/or share.

You can use the additional BG Remover suite of tools to fine-tune:

  • Manual gives you a paint brush and eraser to further clean up your background. Zoom in to fine-tune your edits. 

  • 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.

How to cut out a background using shapes

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.

Rocket to the top of photo editing mastery with a PicMonkey.

This article was written by PicMonkey Staff, a multicellular organism of hive-minded sub-parts who just wanna get you the ideas and information you crave, so you can make powerful images that level up your business.