PicMonkey Help & Support

How to Use the Background Remover Tool

PicMonkey Pro and Business subscribers have access to background remover. This feature automatically determines what constitutes the foreground or subject of your photo, so it can remove the background pretty much instantaneously. And you can do custom fine tuning with the erase and paint tools.

We'll show you how to remove backgrounds on a photo that sits in a larger design and how to do it if you're editing a solo photo.

How to use background remover on a photo by itself

  1. Click Create new and choose a photo to edit — or grab one from Hub.

  2. In the Background Tools section of the left panel, click the Remove bkgnd button.

You're done!

How to use background remover on a photo that's part of a design

  1. Click Create new and choose a design or template to edit — or grab one from Hub.

  2. Select the photo layer by clicking it in the Layers panel on the right, or by clicking it on the canvas.

  3. Click Remove bkgnd from Image tools, which opened in the left panel when you selected your photo.

You're done!

Fine tuning your erasure with Erase controls

If you want to remove more of the background or less of the background than the tool chose for you, click the Erase button among the tools in the left panel. In the controls that appear to the right, choose the paintbrush tab (see icon up top) to paint back parts that were erased, and the eraser tab to continue erasing more.

Move the sliders to adjust hardness and size, and then drag your mouse over the parts in your image you want to erase or add back. Click Apply when you're done. You likely won't need to adjust Spacing, Strength, or the fancy-shaped brush tips, but sometimes the triangle tip is helpful if you're working with really fine edges. In that case, the Rotation slider can be helpful too.

What kinds of images work best with background remover?

  • JPG or PNG, less than 12 MB

  • Photos with a clear subject in the foreground: photos of people, animals, products, houses, cars, etc.

  • Images with good contrast between background and foreground

  • Plain backgrounds are better than busy backgrounds

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

  • Images in which the subject is cut off in the middle of the frame (behind a desk, for instance) will look odd with the background removed, but images where the subject is cut off at the edge of the frame will look fine

Still need help?