All sorts of photo editing tasks are really simple to accomplish: cropping, filtering, resizing, rotating, adding text, and flipping can all be done using a number of free online editing tools.

However, some tasks are much harder to accomplish. Sometimes you need to make part of your photo's background transparent, or cut out everything but a face. The applications of a precise background remover are endless, but the tools you can use are pretty limited. Most free tools only have one auto-removal option, which often removes only a part of the background, or removes a bit too much.

What you need is a more versatile tool, that lets you automatically remove large sections of background, and gives you a precise eraser to fine-tune your background removal. I recommend using Kapwing, a free online image and video editor – here's what you'll need to do:

  1. Upload a photo to the Kapwing Studio
  2. Erase any part of the photo
  3. Process & download

Step 1: Upload a photo to the Kapwing Studio

You can find your photos anywhere on the Internet (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Images, Google Drive, etc.) since Kapwing lets you easily import pictures from almost any site. All you need to do is copy the link to the photo or its webpage. And if you’ve saved your pictures onto your device, just make sure you know where they’re located in your file browser.

To upload your content, just go to Kapwing.com and click “Get Started.” Or, if you're already signed in, click "New Project," then "Start with Studio." This will take you to the Kapwing Studio, where you can use all of Kapwing’s editing tools in one place. Once you’re in the Studio, either select “Click to Upload” and search in your file browser, or paste the link to the picture you want to upload. If your picture is easily accessible, you can also drag & drop it into the Studio window, and it will upload automatically.

Step 2: Erase any part of the photo

Once your picture is fully uploaded to the Studio, click on it and select “Erase” from the menu on the right. The first thing you should do is click on a part of the background with the magic wand tool, which will automatically select a large section of the background for you to remove. Double-check the area that is selected and click "Remove Pixels" in the right-hand menu. Click on different parts of the background to remove as much as possible – depending on the picture, it's likely that you can erase the entire background with the magic wand tool alone!

Start removing your background by using the Magic Wand tool. 

If you need more precise control, select "Erase" from the right-hand menu and click & drag your cursor over the sections of your photo that you want to make transparent. If the eraser tool is too large or too small, change its diameter by dragging the “Eraser Size” button to the left or right. And to be extra precise, pinch & drag on your trackpad or phone screen to zoom in on small areas of your photo.

For example, I'm going to recreate the "screaming bird" meme using this picture of a screaming pika. First I removed the background with the magic wand tool, then fine-tuned the background removal with the eraser tool. Finally, I added the "AAAA" to the background, and it's finished!

Step 3: Process & download

Once you've removed the background from your photo, click "Publish" in the upper right-hand corner. Kapwing will automatically work its magic and your PNG picture will be ready to download in no time! When your picture is finished processing, click “Download” from the right side of the screen.

Remember to tag us @KapwingApp whenever you share your content on social media– we love to see what our creators are passionate about! And be sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page – we’re constantly writing new tutorial and features to help you make the most out of Kapwing.


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