How to Remove Background in Photoshop Using Magic Wand Tool

remove background

I’ll guide you through remove background in Photoshop using the Magic Wand Tool in a detailed yet accessible way. Please note that this method works best when your image has a well-defined subject with clear color contrast against the background.

What Is the Magic Wand Tool in Photoshop?

The Magic Wand Tool in Photoshop is like a virtual artist’s brush, but instead of paint, it wields the power of selection. It’s a handy tool that lets you select sections of an image depending on its color and tone. Imagine you have a picture of a bright blue sky with a single, white fluffy cloud. With the Magic Wand Tool, you can simply click on that pristine cloud, and like magic, it selects all the pixels that share a similar color. How does it work its sorcery? It uses a “tolerance” setting, which you can adjust. A lower tolerance selects only pixels that are almost identical in color, while a higher tolerance widens the selection to include a range of similar colors.

Here’s how the Magic Wand Tool works:


Color-Based Selection: The Magic Wand Tool selects pixels based on similar colors and tones.

Tolerance Setting: It uses a tolerance setting to control color-matching sensitivity.

Contiguous Option: The “Contiguous” option determines the pixel selection behavior.

Add and Subtract from Selection: You can add or subtract from an existing selection.

Use Cases: Useful for quick selections of distinct color areas.

Limitations: May not perform well with complex or subtly shaded backgrounds.

Start Using the Magic Wand Tool to Remove  Background

remove background

Open Your Image

Launch Adobe Photoshop on your computer. After you’ve opened the image, go to Window > Layer to get the Layer panel. Making a Duplication Layer of the Background Layer in Photoshop. Pick File at the top of the Menu Bar, then Open and select the image to be edited.

The duplicated Layer must be given a unique name. Giving the Duplicated Layer a name. As a result, you or a team member will have easy access to and use of the file in the future.

Hide the Background Layer

It’s a good idea to hide the original background layer before you begin modifying your image. This allows you to concentrate on your work in the duplicate layer without being distracted.

Go to the Layers Palette, which is normally located on the right side of your screen. Look for the small eye icon adjacent to your original backdrop layer. With a click, the background layer is concealed.


Setting up the Magic Wand Tool

The Magic Wand icon is seen in the Tools Palette. The tools pallet is located on your computer’s left side.

remove backgrond
remove backgrond

Alternatively, press the shortcut key “W.” If you can’t find it in the Tools panel, make sure it’s hidden beneath the Quick Selection Tool, then click and hold it for a few seconds. The tool will appear, and you can then pick it.

remove background

Selection with the Magic Wand Tool:

Using the Magic Wand Tool, you may make color-based selections within a picture. Here’s how it works:

Sample Size: Click on a pixel in the image that represents the color you want to select. This pixel becomes your “sample.”

Tolerance Adjustment: Depending on the color complexity of your image, you may need to alter the tolerance setting to fine-tune your selection. A larger tolerance includes more color changes, whereas a lower tolerance limits them.

Selection: After setting your tolerance, click the Magic Wand Tool on the image area you want to select. It will automatically select adjacent pixels with colors that fall within the tolerance range.

Add and Subtract: In the Magic Wand Tool settings, you can add to or subtract from your selection by using choices such as “Add to Selection” and “Subtract from Selection.” This allows you to refine your selection precisely.

Intersecting Selections: Intersecting selections involve combining multiple selections to isolate specific areas of an image.

Background Selection

Now that you’ve activated the Magic Wand Tool, pick the background you want to delete. To achieve this, place your mouse over a portion of the backdrop and click once. The Magic Wand Tool will select all pixels with a color comparable to the one you clicked on.

If your image has multiple background areas with the same color but not all connected, you can hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click on those areas one by one. This adds those selections to your existing one.

Select and Mask:

From the dropdown menu, choose “Select and Mask.” This time, select “Invert.” This action switches your selection from the subject to the background or vice versa. Inverting is useful when you initially selected the subject, but you want to work on the background or anything outside the original selection. Then click ok and here you see the result.

Save or Export Your Edited Image:

  • Once you’ve made the necessary edits, it’s essential to save or export your edited image.
  • To save it, click on “File” > “Save” or “Save As” and choose your preferred file format and location.
  • If you intend to use the edited image elsewhere, you can export it by selecting “File” > “Export” > “Export As.”
remove background

The Magic Wand Tool is commonly used for tasks such as:

  • Background Removal: It’s useful for quickly selecting a solid-color background in images.

  • Selecting Objects: When objects have a consistent color or tone, you can use the Magic Wand Tool to select them easily.

  • Image Editing: You can use the tool to select and adjust specific parts of an image, like changing the color of an object or applying filters to a specific area.


In conclusion, remove background in Photoshop using the Magic Wand Tool can be an effective and efficient way to isolate your subject. It is important to remember, however, that this strategy works best when there is a strong color difference between the topic and the background. For images with more complex backgrounds or subjects with fine details like hair, you may need to explore other selection and masking techniques for precise results.

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