5 Easy Ways to Remove the Background From a Picture

Rahul Saigal Updated 13-12-2019

Users might want to remove the background from an image for different reasons. If you’re selling things online, creating presentations, or even making collages, you can remove the background from a picture to highlight the object of the photo or to remove the distracting details.


Instead of trying to accurately enclose a region with the Lasso or Magic Wand tools in Photoshop, you can easily remove the background with these web apps. The bonus being they’re either free or affordable for most people.

1. ClippingMagic

ClippingMagic interface

ClippingMagic is a simple web app to remove the background from any image. When you navigate to the homepage, you’re immediately presented with the upload options. Click the Upload Image button to upload the photo from your computer. When it’s done, you’ll see two adjacent panels with your image on the left and a blank panel on the right.


Use the green tool (+) to mark the object and red tool (-) to mark the background of the image. You don’t have to precisely mark every edge of the object, show the app what you want to keep, and the tool will do the rest. As you mark the object and the background, the right panel shows you the results in real time.

In areas where the edges are too faint or noisy for the algorithm, click the scalpel tool to manually adjust the clips. Then, click the Review button to inspect the image in detail and apply touch up marks if needed. You can always undo edits or choose Edit > Clear all marks to start from the beginning.


ClippingMagic also offers several tools to let you further refine the image. You can add drop shadows, adjust the color, change the background color, fine-tune the edges, and much more.

Pros and Cons

If you want to sell things online, then ClippingMagic lets you upload a large number of images and clip them in rapid succession. Be sure to set up the default settings, resolution, and crop settings before starting a bulk job. You can upload and edit any number of images, but to download you’ll need to subscribe. Check out the pricing page for further details.

Since the uploading and processing of images takes a bit of time, you always need a constant internet connection to work with the app.

2. FotoFuze

FotoFuze interface


FotoFuze is a specialized photography tool that removes the poor quality background How to Change the Background of a Photo in Photoshop Want to change the background of a photo in Photoshop? Adobe has made it quite easy to edit the background of a photo. Read More from a photo with the white background in just a few steps. Click the new album button, type in the name, and start uploading your images.


Once you upload the image, click the magic highlighter tool to highlight the object. As you finish highlighting, FotoFuze will show you a mini live preview of the image. If your fuze didn’t come out as expected, then check the useful error overlay box. Areas marked in red often suggests that there were problems while fuzing the photo.

FotoFuze also lets you color correct the image, fix exposure related problems 5 Easy Ways to Lighten Dark Underexposed Photos in Photoshop We all shoot underexposed photos from time to time. If you're shooting in low-light or high-contrast conditions it can be unavoidable. Fortunately, it's easy to fix in Photoshop. Read More , auto-crop the picture, and more. If the photo still doesn’t meet your expectations, try changing the background clarity, brightness, and sensitivity. Click the Finish button to fuze the picture.

Pros and Cons

FotoFuze has built-in support for the Etsy platform. In addition to the image cleanup, you can create, update, draft, and copy your listing directly from the FotoFuze. You can fuze multiple photos without any delay, download high resolution photos, and much more with an affordable FotoFuze subscription.


FotoFuze does not work correctly with textured or uneven backgrounds. It needs a gray, black, or texture-free background.

3. PhotoScissors Online

PhotoScissors Online interface

PhotoScissors online is a free web app to remove the background from any image with just a few steps. Right away, you’ll see an Upload Image button to upload the image. The web canvas has two adjacent panels, with your picture on the left and a blank panel on the right. The app also guides you with a quick interactive tutorial for newbies.


PhotoScissors uses the same selection mechanism as ClippingMagic. Use the green tool (+) to mark the object and red tool (-) to mark the background of the image. You do not have to carefully select the area, just ensure to put the green marker within the lines of the object you want to cut out. Once you mark the image, let the algorithm take care of the details.


If you think you made a mistake, click the Undo button and repeat the procedure. The app also gives you the option to smooth and offset the boundary. You can swap the background with an alternate image or solid color, move the object, and add shadow effects.

Pros and Cons

With just a few mouse clicks, PhotoScissors gives you reasonably accurate cut-out images. But where it lacks is precision. The online image editor lacks sophisticated tools to refine the image. Consider using these free web apps to edit photos 5 One-Click Websites to Make Your Photos Look Better These one-click photo enhancers can help if you want to make your favorite photos look better. Read More .

There’s also a limit on the image size and resolution. You cannot upload a photo bigger than 5MB or with a resolution of greater than 2.1 megapixels. To remove these restrictions and get more features, purchase the desktop app for Mac or PC.

4. Background Burner

Background Burner interface

Background Burner is a free and intuitive web app to remove the background from any image. As usual, you start by uploading your photo to the app. It’ll then try to remove the background from your image automatically. Once finished, it outputs 3–4 copies of the processed images. Out of these, you choose the best picture.


If the photo you uploaded isn’t complex, you’ll most likely find the perfect image. Click the Select button to download the image. The app also gives the option to touch up a nearly perfect image. Click the Touchup button to open the new editing window. Behind the scene, the app uses the ClippingMagic mechanism.

You can choose from three brush sizes, undo the steps, and zoom images to mark them with precision. Then, click the Pixel Tools button to manually erase the background (or restore the foreground), or use the polygon shaped tools to fine-tune the edges.

Pros and Cons

Background Burner does pretty much all the heavy lifting itself. Since the app is free to use, you can save both time and money. If you’re planning to remove the background from several pictures, then this app should be your first choice.

When it comes to images that are a bit more complex, the automatic results are not as good in comparison to other apps. Background Burner lacks complex editing tools to fine-tune the images, bulk clipping mode, and custom settings.

5. Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office interface

If you have Microsoft Office 2016 installed, you have another easy method to remove the backgrounds from images. The process is identical for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.


To get started, insert the picture into a document. Now choose Picture Format > Remove Background (in case of Mac). The app will then try to figure out the background, and mark them in purple. If the image is simple, it’ll easily cut out the background. For more complex images, use the Mark Areas to Keep and Mark Areas to Remove button to fine-tune the selection.

The marker is not intuitive to use. It just lets you draw straight lines around the object you want to keep or get rid off. Once you’re done, click the Keep Changes button to save the image.

Pros and Cons

If you’re looking for a quick way to remove the background from photos and that too offline, then Microsoft Office is the best choice. But you shouldn’t buy or subscribe to Microsoft Office just for this purpose. Also, the marking tools are a little hard to use, so they may not give you the best result on your first try.

Learn to Take Better Photos

Removing background from photos is not an impossible task. Using one of the tools mentioned above, you too can remove the background from any picture without learning how to use Photoshop. These tools cover only one part of the process—though we have looked at how to remove backgrounds in Photoshop too.

If you fail to take good photos in the first place, then removing backgrounds might be more difficult. See our top photography tips for beginners to learn the fundamentals of good photography.

And if you’re a beginning designer, take a look at our explanation of how to change image DPI 3 Ways to Change the DPI of an Image In this article, we explain everything you need to know about DPI and how to change the DPI of an image in different ways. Read More  and why it’s important for you to know.

Related topics: Image Editing Tips, Image Editor, Microsoft Office Tips.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. annie
    November 2, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Thank you for helping me out. I was totally truck with some problem and could find a way out. So, I was searching to find some solution to the problem and this article just helped me out. I really liked your ideas.

    • Rahul Saigal
      November 3, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you Annie.

      Glad you liked the article.

  2. Nasko C
    May 30, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    Remind me to get ya a drink, tonight in the pub! The MS word thing worked charm. Cheers!

  3. fuk u
    May 28, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    these all cost money...

  4. sinha
    May 18, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Today I have got more valuable idea here. I really got exact resources and it's really creative and more helpful. thank you so much for this good idea. I am also following this website to find update idea about photo editing tips

  5. Mona
    April 6, 2018 at 5:49 am

    I love you! Was totally stuck with this issue and your last suggestion worked like magic! For a total novice, it was so helpful :) thanks a million!

  6. peeter
    March 29, 2018 at 10:47 pm would also be a useful addition to the list

  7. Ishan
    March 23, 2018 at 7:44 am

    If you are looking for softwares providing PURE white backgrounds I would suggest to go for ZenFotomatic: Clear-cuts, Auto Crops, Whitens Backgrounds, Resizes and Enhances Product Photos. where the software takes care of everything for product photography - from auto whitening backgrounds to auto cropping and retouching ….everything in just ONE CLICK. It is a Japanese online editing platform which focuses exclusively on product photography and creating a PURE WHITE BACKGROUND within seconds …LITERALLY!
    It has got some pretty big clients like Ocado and Rokit (from UK), Diamond Head & CrownJewel (from Japan) So the quality is guarenteed, and it serves other smaller customers worldwide as well.

  8. Scot
    November 11, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    All the pain and suffering I have experienced over the last 20 years trying to get a single image to save as a picture without a background and in 5 minutes you enlighten me with tools I have had all along. It is embarrassing and wonderful. I am indebted to you. Thank you doesn't express the 'happiness' running through my mind.

  9. Steve
    September 27, 2017 at 5:21 am

    Well, it's September 2017 and the latest version of Office is 2016 so I guess that when this article, written in 2013, says "Office 2017" it must mean 2007. Indeed, my copy of Office 2010 has the features mentioned.

  10. Elizabeth
    September 12, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    I tried the MS Office one for transparent background. I must not have 2017 because I could not get it to work. I also tried Clippingmagic which by the way isn't free. I did the whole red/green painting part then went to download. I couldn't figure why it was taking so long? It turns out that you have to subscribe monthly. I already do that for Illustrator so no thanks.

    • Jakk
      September 26, 2017 at 5:56 am

      That site SUCKS! I sat on there trying to clear the background from a photo for 30 minutes or so and failed. Screw that!!

    • Victoria
      May 18, 2018 at 1:10 am

      Thank you for this article. I am thrilled with what I am going to be able to do with this knowledge. :)

  11. Skellington
    May 23, 2017 at 1:13 am

    This may have been useful to others, but I don't have Excel, Word, or Powerpoint on my computer, and all of these are quite expensive. All I have is a white background for my image. Any free software for windows that can do the same things as these programs you mentioned? Thanks! :)

    • khadija
      August 22, 2017 at 7:32 am

      i can do the white background removal for you(without any charge) at photo shop, just mail me the picture

      • Phunmz
        September 4, 2017 at 10:20 am

        Dear Khadija, kindly help with your email address.

  12. Noah
    May 17, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Thank you so much! I used Clipping Magic. SO EASY!

  13. Trish
    March 6, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Thank you very much for this helpful and clear resource!


  14. Jane
    February 21, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Quite good, I would also look at this new think I found, Malabi ( the prices are lower than clippingmagic, and for me it seems like it's faster and more accurate.

    • Catherine
      January 20, 2018 at 2:35 am

      I just tried Malabi and I love it. Thanks for the suggestion!

  15. C newman
    January 22, 2017 at 6:56 am

    What really irritates me is that windows computers don't have a simple, built in way of editing photos like macs do. On a Windows all you can do is crop and change the contrast.

    • welko
      August 12, 2017 at 4:39 am

      It's possible no problem with MS paint to make invisable backgrounds, play around with it and figure it out, welko

  16. Jennifer
    January 18, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks for this incredibly useful post! It was a great help to me. I was able to do what I needed to do very quickly in Word following your instructions.

  17. Jennifer
    January 18, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Thank you for this incredibly useful post! I was able to go right into Word and follow your instructions to remove my photo background quickly. I greatly appreciate it.

  18. Laura
    December 27, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    But can I use the image in other applications after removing the background in Microsoft word?

    • Roger
      January 10, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      I tried and I was not able to.

      • Chris
        October 6, 2018 at 12:40 pm

        Right-click on image within MS Word - save as - choose destination.

  19. mohamed
    December 25, 2016 at 6:11 pm


  20. john shah
    December 20, 2016 at 5:10 am

    This is an awesome post about photo background removal.i have proud for your this informative content.thanks for this best effective post.

  21. Jas
    November 21, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    Yes, clipping magic is super easy and just what I needed. But you spend so much time perfecting it all just to go download the image and asks you to sign up monthly in order to do so. UGHH so annoyed!

  22. Dee
    November 16, 2016 at 5:14 am

    thank you the recolor worked however, if the image has white in it, that changes as well how do you keep the white parents from the images from turning transparent

    October 19, 2016 at 8:17 am

    boss you are the best and love the website

  24. Eve Penman
    October 17, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Thank you so much for this helpful information -- it worked!

  25. H
    October 14, 2016 at 5:08 am

    Hello Creator!

    I do not know if you will ever see this, but just let me say, this article has saved me so much headache. I have been searching for hours for a way to do this without Photoshop or some other program, using an image i created in Paint.

    Thank you for creating this article and restoring some of my sanity


  26. Heidi
    October 11, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you, very helpful!! For some reason, I found the last option worked better when I saved the image as a PNG instead of a JPEG.

  27. NightCat
    September 16, 2016 at 12:11 am

    Clipping Magic is NOT FREE!!!!!1 ARGGHH

  28. Lenny
    September 12, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    This is amazing. Thanks

  29. Angie
    September 1, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Uh, thank you! Totally solved my issues for work. :)

  30. julia
    July 17, 2016 at 10:46 am

    There are many tools for automatic removal like (Camera51) which is much faster or ClippingMagic which is semi-automatic.....I own a marketplace, and it works great for my users

      August 17, 2016 at 6:35 am

      I didn't see anything free in It says free but there is not even trying it. Am I missing something?

  31. prut
    June 28, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Clippingmagic requires online subs and it......tell me somethng free

  32. jow
    June 13, 2016 at 2:52 pm


  33. jow
    June 13, 2016 at 2:51 pm


  34. Greg
    June 2, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Needed to make a transparent myself, and besides finding this article doing google search, found a tool called lunapic (url actually with 169 after www???)

    In any case, it worked great for me, since I just had to upload image and it did all the work for me online. Likely wont work good with many different color background since tool was semi limited, but overall very useful

  35. Heikki
    April 26, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    this site is not free, it requires a subscription to download

  36. benjamin
    April 18, 2016 at 3:26 am

    you should update this or something cus I just spent almost a half hour constructing an image until realizing its a pay to play thing. I was upset for a second, but I should have read the date on your article, it would be helpful for people in the future

    • Heather
      April 26, 2016 at 10:56 am

      I was going to say exactly the same thing. ClippingMagic is totally dishonest.

  37. Reese
    April 15, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Thank you so much! I have graphics software but I am still trying to learn it. I wanted to see if there was a shortcut. Apparently there is. You are awesome!

  38. JoJo
    April 9, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    THANK YOU!!!

  39. John
    April 7, 2016 at 2:05 am

    Great post! :) I also had tried the first online tool but found it a little too expensive. Powerpoint did the job.


  40. Neel Sangani
    March 31, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Dude, You hate Graphics software and We Love Graphics software, the only difference in us and you is, that A Designer can survive without a developer (through Banners posters web contents designing, movies matte painting digital paintings for scenes, animations, etc) BUT, ..... A developer cant survive without a DESIGNER.

    Keep these words in mind

    • Sabbir@ onlineworkagency
      May 14, 2017 at 1:37 am

      Dude, You hate Graphics software and We Love Graphics software, the only difference in us and you is, that A Designer can survive without a developer (through Banners posters web contents designing, movies matte painting digital paintings for scenes, animations, etc) BUT, ..... A developer cant survive without a DESIGNER.

  41. Kal El's Hub
    March 23, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Thank you so much..

  42. siddartha
    March 14, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Thank you, thank you so much. I didn't knew there was so simple method of removing background color in MS Powerpoint- 2007. You saved my life!!!

  43. Amy
    February 16, 2016 at 12:19 am

    THANK YOU for this! So helpful!

    • Austin
      March 7, 2016 at 3:13 am

      Power Point has very powerful background removing tools before you spend money on clipping magic.

  44. Anonymous
    February 14, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Thank you very much

  45. Beatriz Azevedo
    January 30, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    You redeemed me! I do love graphic design and I use some graphic tools but except for a few epiphany moments I truly hate them and just by force of necessity I started using Power Point a lot for working with images and I never stop being how useful power point is. Thank you for the tutorial.

  46. Danielle
    January 13, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    The Clipping Magic tool has another con- it costs money. A monthly fee is required, and I know that it's only a few dollars a month, but I only plan on using the software once.

    • Taimoor Ahmed
      January 21, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      Yeahhh I was just about to say that... :)

    November 15, 2015 at 10:34 am

    hi IN my MS office word 2007 I do not see the remove background in adjust so please let me know how to show that

  48. Anonymous
    September 29, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    useful techniques to remove background with ms word. but clippingmagic is paid service.

  49. Anonymous
    September 29, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks a lot................

  50. Anonymous
    July 25, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    It's so stupid that you have to pay just to download a transparent image on ClippingMagic.

    • Chris Harris
      February 7, 2016 at 12:35 am

      So stupid people want to be paid for the work they do, everything should be free. #feelthebern

  51. Anonymous
    July 17, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Thanks man! Very nice! =)

  52. Anonymous
    July 3, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Saved me loads of trouble.
    Had to design a logo and that standard white background was creating a problem.
    Thank you so much!

  53. Jenét M.
    May 2, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    So glad I happened across this post! I have been on the verge of a nervous breakdown trying to figure how to remove the background from my jewelry pics. To think the answer has been in my MS Office suite this whole time!

  54. Susan McL
    April 8, 2015 at 5:44 am

    This was very helpful. A Note: On Clipping Magic, the 7 background color options are a starting point - you can choose an infinite number of background colors. Click on the blue, for example, then click on the color # in the box to the right. That opens up the infinite color palette and you can choose any color you can imagine.

  55. Sam
    March 11, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Thanks for the info Yaara. Very helpful information

  56. Misty
    March 2, 2015 at 6:42 am

    I couldn't use clipping magic b/c of it not being free, but luckily I have Microsoft Powerpoint so I was able to remove the background AND save it. I already knew about the removing background feature, but not the part about saving it without the background. Thanks for the tip!

  57. Anon
    February 27, 2015 at 3:28 am

    I tried using clippingmagic, and it got the job done amazingly fast.
    Except there was an issue I had at the end...
    It wouldnt let me save it without paying money. I don't know if I took too long or what, but it is not letting me save it without telling me I need to pay them money.

  58. jelena
    February 24, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    I am using Magic Edge
    It works both, offline and online on my server. Awesome!

  59. Anonymous
    November 20, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Great!!! Very helpfull. Thanks!

  60. humayun
    October 19, 2013 at 7:02 am

    fantastic... the method of powerpoint ...


  61. harry
    October 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    how do i add another background ?

    • Yaara L
      October 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      The easiest way to do what would be to simply take your background-less image and paste onto a new background using an image editor.

  62. CP
    October 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Thank you for your helpful tips! I've been struggling for more than an hour on photoshop.... Clipping magic did it for me in less than 2 minutes!

  63. Elaine
    October 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Hey thanks for replying. I need it for t-shirt transfer? So that when the writing is printed on the transfer paper, then ironed on the fabric it reads correctly. Just can't seem to find out how to do it without Photoshop or such. I'm on MS Office 365 and was hoping to find a simple solution there but been unable to. You totally solved the white background thing for me so figured you were good to ask. The link above doesn't get it quite right.

    Wasn't happy with my email for some reason? No idea why. Only half of the error message was displayed too.

  64. Elaine
    October 4, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Yaara do you know of anything as simple and succinctly put where I can mirror text? Thank you! Slightly off topic sorry - tried leaving a question but unable to sign up for some reason?

    • Yaara L
      October 5, 2013 at 9:57 am

      When you say mirror text you mean something like this?

      Also, what happened when you tried to sign in?

  65. Elaine
    October 4, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Brilliant simple info. Thanks! :)

  66. Cindy
    September 13, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    You solved my problem. Thank you very much :)

  67. wiigreen
    June 16, 2013 at 11:05 am

    i use clippingmagic now thanks to this's amazing!

  68. Indronil Mondal
    June 13, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    amazing !!!!

  69. Bob Bennett
    June 12, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Clipping Magic might work if I could upload a pic. Tried in Chrome and IE and no joy. Waste of bandwidth

    • Yaara Lancet
      June 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      Sorry it didn't work for you, I had no problems with it using Firefox and Chrome. Might be worth another try!

  70. Anil Singh
    June 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Didn't knew about this feature of MS Office. Thanks

  71. Enter your full name here
    June 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Never knew about this feature of Microsoft Offiice. Thanks

  72. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    June 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Nah, I usually use Photoshop or GIMP to remove the backgrounds, but I tried ClippingMagic when MUO featured it several days ago. I must say I was impressed. I picked some pictures with complex background and CM did its job well. If you have good internet connection and don't like suing heavy-duty programs just for this, then ClippingMagic will be your best option.

  73. Ricky Splinter
    June 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    i rater use gimp then online porgrams

  74. Paul G
    June 12, 2013 at 6:03 am

    I was not impressed by the online Clipping Magic, too alpha behavior for me!

    I use a combination of different software, most of them freeware.

    These include: InstantMask from CPSSoftware ( ), This is a freeware but there is also a pro version with more tricks!

    My main "go to" program is Paint Dot Net, I just use the magic wand @ 15% tolerance and by clicking with the wand and erasing with the delete key along with zooming closer for fine details like hair, I remove the colors one by one (sometimes a lengthy process) but it does a better job than most, you can find it here:

    A new freeware I just came across is Labography from Axpha ( )

    One slight warning: The site and video tutorials are only in French but the program itself is bilingual (Français/English) since February 13th of 2013.

    Hope this helps a few of you! ;)

    • Yaara Lancet
      June 14, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      Thanks Paul! I believe Clipping Magic is aimed at users who don't want to mess with graphics software of any kind. You suggestions sound great for anyone looking for something a bit more professional.

    • Ema
      January 12, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      Some like it complicated :)

  75. Kay Fritz
    June 12, 2013 at 4:33 am

    I always wanted to know how that works and with Clipping Magic I recently tried it and was impressed how fast and good it works.

    Now the next article should be "how to place people in images for fun". Since I don´t have any bad intentions I only want to know how it´s done quickly and not perfect (so nobody could say if it´s fake or not).

    • Yaara Lancet
      June 12, 2013 at 6:49 am

      Good idea, Kay. :) Thanks!

  76. Rigoberto Garcia
    June 12, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Great tips and tools Yaara. Thanks

  77. Nuala Betts
    June 12, 2013 at 12:47 am

    I don't have one - I avoid all tasks like this at all costs, and delegate to the creative types - who have neglected to point out how easy it seems to have become. All awe is now retracted!