Photo editors can do a lot, but one thing they often won’t do easily is remove a background. Most built-in photo editors fall short on helping you remove a distracting backdrop — even popular third-party options like Snapseed. You’ll find plenty of results on the App Store when you search for a background remover tool, but most of them are laden with ads. And if you want to download the image without a watermark, you need to pay up.
The best free background-removal tool
Erase.bg is an incredibly simple background remover tool that was first created for companies to use for e-commerce projects. But it’s also available for free to use for anyone. You can use the iPhone or Android app, or you can use it directly on their website.
How to use erase.bg
Once you open the app, give it access to your photo library. Next, tap the “Upload Image” button and choose the image from your library. While you can use any image you want, the app seems to work best when the subject or focus of the photo is properly lit. Give the app some time to upload and transform your image.
Once it’s done, scroll down to see the image with its background removed. Want to simply download the image with the transparent background? Tap the “Download Original Size” button.
You can also edit the background in the Erase.bg app using the “Edit” button. You can keep it clear if you want, or choose a background colour. What’s neat is that you can upload any image to use as the new background using the “Upload” button. Once you’re happy with the edits, tap the Download button in the top-left corner.
It’s a simple, one-tap, no-frills way to remove the background from images. That said, the app has a big limitation: It can only transform one image at a time. If you want batch processing, or if you want to remove the background from hundreds or thousands of images at once, use the PixelBin product from the same company. Here, you’ll be able to erase 250 images per month for free, and the $US40 ($56)/month plan will get you 2,000 image transformations.