How to Remove Background From Picture on Mac

Joel Mason

Mac, Tutorials

Removing the background from a picture can be a useful skill to have, whether you want to create professional-looking graphics or simply enhance your personal photos. If you’re a Mac user, you’re in luck!

Macs come with powerful built-in tools that make removing backgrounds a breeze. In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of removing backgrounds from pictures on Mac.

Step 1: Open the Image in Preview

To begin, open the image you want to edit in the Preview app on your Mac. You can do this by double-clicking on the image file or right-clicking and selecting “Open With” > “Preview.”

Step 2: Select and Remove Background

Once your image is open in Preview, click on the “Markup Toolbar” icon at the top of the window. This will reveal a variety of editing tools.

Select Tool:

Click on the “Select” tool (looks like a dotted rectangle) in the Markup Toolbar. Use this tool to draw a rough outline around the subject of your image. Don’t worry about being too precise at this stage; we’ll refine our selection later.

Instant Alpha:

In the Markup Toolbar, click on the “Instant Alpha” tool (looks like a magic wand). Then click and drag over part of the background you want to remove. Instant Alpha will automatically expand its selection based on similar colors.

Lasso Tool:

If Instant Alpha didn’t select all parts of the background you want to remove, don’t worry! Click on the “Lasso” tool (looks like a freehand circle) in the Markup Toolbar. Now carefully trace around any remaining unwanted areas of background.


Once you’ve made your selection, press the “Delete” key on your keyboard. The selected background will be removed, leaving a transparent area in its place.

Step 3: Refining the Selection

To refine your selection and make it more precise, use the following tools:

Selection Tool:

If you need to adjust or move your initial selection, click on the “Select” tool again. You can now resize or reposition the selected area as needed.

Invert Selection:

If you accidentally deleted part of your subject instead of the background, go to “Edit” > “Invert Selection” or use the shortcut Command + Shift + I. This will reverse your selection so that you can delete the correct areas.

Erase Tool:

If there are any remaining unwanted areas within your selection, use the “Erase” tool (looks like a pencil eraser) in the Markup Toolbar to remove them manually.

Step 4: Save Your Edited Image

Once you’re satisfied with your background removal, it’s time to save your edited image. Go to “File” > “Save” or use the shortcut Command + S. Choose a file format (such as PNG) that supports transparency and click “Save.”


Removing backgrounds from pictures on Mac is a straightforward process with Preview’s powerful editing tools. By using tools like Select, Instant Alpha, and Lasso, you can easily remove unwanted backgrounds and create stunning graphics or enhance your photos.

So go ahead and give it a try! Your images will never be the same.

  • Note: If you’re working with complex images or require more advanced editing options, consider using professional photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop.

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