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How To Use The Magic Wand Tool To Remove Background In Photoshop

How To Use The Magic Wand Tool

In this post, you will learn how to use magic wand to change backgrounds. It can be frustrating to use the magic wand but when you get used to it, it is one of the easiest tools to use. It is a selection tool to select similar tones and colors.

Step 1 : Duplicate The Background Layer And Select The Magic Wand Tool

Duplicate the background layer using Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (Mac). Then, select the magic wand tool in the Tools panel left of the screen. After selecting it, adjust the tolerance as 25 (for this example).

The most important option is tolerance. It determines how much the tool will include the different toned, colored pixels. That means if the tolerance is low only very similar pixels will be selected, if it is high then wide range of toned,colored pixels will be selected.

If contiguous option is selected then only the pixels next to your selected one will be included in the selection of the tool.  That means when you click somewhere, the tool look for pixels next to click point and if they are tolerated then they will be included in the selection.

If contiguous option is not selected then all the pixels in the image that are similar (tolerated) to the one you selected will be included in the selection of the tool. The tool looks for all the pixels that are close to the clicked pixel and puts them in selection if they are tolerated.

In this example I clicked once with tolerance 25 and holding shift key couple times with 10 to not select the building but select the rest of the sky. Put a red dot to the clicking points.

If the tool selects some parts of the image that you want to keep, change the tolerance accordingly and click on the parts that you want to remove from selection holding Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key. This way you will only select the part that you want. In the last image I selected the whole sky as you can see.

Step 2: Delete The Selection And The New Background

Delete the selection pressing delete button while selected the area.

Now you can add the background that you want to add. It is blue sky with clouds in this case. Change the size of the background and put the layer behind the main one.

As you can see there is 1 px transparent frame around my image, so I trimmed that part.


This is how you can use the magic wand and change background using Photoshop. You can learn this and much more from a professional photo editing course called Learn Photo Editing with more details. To see my learn photo editing review go to the main page . Thank you for reading!