How to Remove a Background from an Image with Free Online Tools

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Two Easy Ways to Remove a Photo Background Online

If you've ever wanted to remove a background from an image but have been frustrated with advanced tools such as Adobe Photoshop, there's reason to rejoice! A few online sites now make it very easy to delete a background. And, best of all, they're free!

With the simple tools provided at Clippingmagic.com and FotoFlexer.com, you don't need to worry about figuring out Photoshop's lasso tool or trying to perfectly outline the image you're editing. Now you can simply mark a few areas on the photo to indicate which sections to keep and which to delete, and the software does the rest.

It's so easy, virtually anyone can do it. Here's how to get started.

Remove a Background with Clippingmagic.com

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Simple tool deletes photo backgrounds quickly

ClippingMagic.com is an online tool that is currently in alpha mode and free to use. The developers (Vector Magic, Inc.) have indicated they might start charging a fee in the future, but for now there's absolutely no charge to use the service, and it's incredibly simple. You won't find other photo editing tools on the site, but if all you want to do is remove a background from an image, this is one of the easiest ways to do it.

To use Clipping Magic, first upload a photo. The site will then display a new screen that shows your original image on the left and a preview of what it's going to look like on the right.

From the upper left toolbar, click the red button with a minus sign and move your mouse over the photo. Click or click and drag your mouse to indicate all the areas of the image you want to delete. These will be marked in red.

Make sure not to accidentally mark any of the areas you want to keep. If the brush size is too large, you can change it. Options are 10px, 20px, 30px or 40px. And if you make a mistake, you can use the eraser to delete any red marks that might have strayed into portions of the picture you don't want to eliminate.

When you've finished marking the background, click the green plus button on the toolbar and mark the selection you want to keep.

A preview of your final image will appear in the right preview panel. Deleted areas are shown with a gray and white checkerboard pattern. You can continue to make edits as needed until the image looks just the way you want. When you're ready, simply click the Download button and your new image will be saved as a .png if you've chosen a transparent background or as a .jpg if you elect to replace the background with a new color.

This is one of the easiest ways to delete a background from a photo, so use it now while it's free!

Delete a Background with FotoFlexer.com

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Remove a background and edit, too

If you want to do more with your photo than delete the background, FotoFlexer is an online photo editing tool that can also help you make adjustments after you've removed the background.

To find the Smart Cutout tool that makes background elimination a breeze, upload a photo and then click the Geek tab. From there, select the Smart Cutout icon. Once you click it, a new window will appear with your photo in it. Like Clippingmagic.com the Smart Cutout tool allows you to simply mark the areas you want to keep or delete by selecting the buttons smartly labeled "Keep" and "Delete."

Click on the Keep button and then click or drag your mouse to indicate the areas that you want to remain in the image. As with the other tool, these will be marked with green. Then click Delete and mark the areas you want to eliminate. These will be marked in red. If you need to change the brush size or get a closer view of what you're doing, look for the Brush Size or Zoom sliders.

When you've finished marking the photo, click Predict Unknown Areas. This will generate a preview of the new image. If you don't like what you see, you can either click Undo at the bottom of the page to start fresh or use the Keep and Delete buttons to refine your work. Then click Predict Unknown Areas again to generate a new preview. When you're happy, click OK at the very bottom of the screen and you'll go back to FotoFlexer where you can continue to edit your image.

Both ClippingMagic.com and FotoFlexer.com are easy ways to remove a background from an image. It takes just a few minutes of time and virtually no skill. If you've been looking for a simply method of deleting a background, be sure to check these out.

Photoshop Elements Makes it Easy to Remove Backgrounds, Too

No Internet? No Problem

If you don't have good Internet access or simply prefer to do your editing offline, Photoshop Elements is another good way to remove a background from an image.

Elements is the much cheaper (under $100) relative of its better-known cousin Adobe Photoshop. Elements can't do everything Photoshop can, but it can do some things better. The Magic Extractor, for instance, works very much like the websites shown above and is only available in Elements. In the full $500+ version of Photoshop, you must use the lasso tool to trace around everything you want to keep and eliminate. The Magic Extractor is much easier!

Photoshop Elements is an all-around great tool for organizing and editing photos. It's currently the number one bestselling photo editor on Amazon, so you know it's good. See the video below to see how to remove a background in less than a minute and a half.

How to Remove a Background with Photoshop Elements

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Have You Tried These Photo Editing Tools? 7 comments

TheKatsMeow profile image

TheKatsMeow 3 years ago from Canada

very useful, I was looking for this exact thing! I am bookmarking this for future use. Thanks.


DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 3 years ago from USA

Good tips and what an easy to follow tutorial! Thanks for sharing - I'm passing this on to others I feel will be interested in this subject as well.


Wakerra profile image

Wakerra 3 years ago

I cannot thank you enough for posting this! I have been working on coloring a series of pictures in Gimp. Last Saturday I had managed the near-completion of my 7th out of 8. Upon attempting an expirament, my computer froze and I had to hard power it down. I booted it back up like normal, and went to open the file. Unlike all the other times it would freeze in my programs, this time the entire file became corrupted and I lost EVERYTHING.

My only other back-up files were a much, much earlier saving of the file, in which I would practically have to start all over, or a previously saved .png version since the last time I'd worked on it, which wouldnt' be so bad, 'cept I saved it with a background color to help it stand out XC. I was planning to spend several long hours and days erasing, blurring, and smudging the main picture to a point where I could move it to a background-less layer, then clip, cut and crop out various sections for make-do layers. This saved me LOADS of time! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!


Ilona1 profile image

Ilona1 2 years ago from Ohio

I always do things the hard way- so thanks for this easier method, I'm going to try it.


synapse 2 years ago

Another tool to remove background is PhotoScissors: http://www.photoscissors.com/


Jason Bay 2 years ago

Another good online tool is the Background Burner. It can remove backgrounds automatically.

http://www.bonanza.com/background_burner

Thanks, Lisa!


Johne207 2 years ago

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