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How to Remove People from Photos for Free [Desktop, App & Online]

Last Updated on Mar. 3, 2022 – by David Morgan
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How to Remove People from Photos

There's no worse feeling than looking at a near-perfect photo taken earlier in the day, to realize that a stranger was passing through in the background right as you were taking the shot. Luckily, you don't need a time machine to correct this oversight since photo editing software allows you to remove someone from an image with just a few clicks.

This how-to guide will walk you through how to remove people from images quickly and seamlessly.

One of the easiest ways to achieve this is through PhotoDirector software/app. It's free to download and includes a wide range of other editing tools, so you only need to download one program for all your editing needs.


What Tools Are Used to Remove People from Pictures?

Photo editing programs typically offer multiple editing options to remove an object from a photo, such as a clone stamp tool, selection tools, or a healing brush. However, the main drawbacks to these include needing extreme precision for selecting the pixels that need to be replaced, encountering difficulty in preserving areas with sharp edges, and running the risk of having the texture of the area take on an inconstant appearance.

Thankfully, there's a more efficient way to remove unwanted objects from an image using a content-aware removal tool offered through software programs such as PhotoDirector. These editing tools still rely on using samples from the surrounding object as a replacement for what was removed, such as unwanted visitors, but are quick and easy while giving you more control for fine-tuning the result.

In addition, there is another way to erase people from a photo by replacing the background of an image. For more information on this technique, check out our breakdown of the 9 Best Free Transparent Background Makers.

How to Remove People from Photos on Windows and Mac

Removing unwanted people or objects from an image can be done quickly and easily using a laptop or desktop computer. Simply follow the instructions below to learn how to easily remove a person from a photo using PhotoDirector.


  1. Open PhotoDirector on Windows or Mac in Full Mode to access the full range of editing tools, including Content-Aware Removal.
  2. To import a new photo from your computer, start by clicking on the Library tab at the top of the screen, then click on the plus symbol (+) next to Project on the left-hand corner of the screen. You will be prompted to select and open a photo.
  3. Once your photo appears in the main editing window, click on the Guided tab at the top of the screen.
  4. From there, scroll down to the section labeled Improve/Remove on the left-hand side and click on the button labeled Content-Aware Removal.
  5. PhotoDirector - Improve/Remove

    Tip: To hide the organizational tools in the main editing window, click on the mountain icon directly below the Guided tab.

  6. Once you click on Content-Aware Removal, the brush tool is already selected. You can change the size of the brush by using the slider under Brush Settings. Then, highlight the object you want to remove from the photo. Get as close to the object's edge as possible for best results.
  7. PhotoDirector - Content Aware

    Tip: If you've highlighted too much of the object's background you intend to remove, click the brush with the minus symbol next to it (-) to adjust your selection.

  8. Click Apply, then wait for the photo to process. Then click Save As at the bottom of the menu to export the image to your computer in the format of your choice (PNG, JPG, or TIF).
  9. PhotoDirector - Apply Removal

    Tip: To view a comparison of the results, click on the split-screen icon at the bottom left-hand corner of the editing window.

    PhotoDirector - Comparison

How to Fine Tune People Removal Results on Windows and Mac

Occasionally, the removed person or object was replaced by a sample of the image that just doesn't blend in. If your object removal didn't give you the results you were looking for—don't worry—the steps below will show you how to fine-tune the adjustments so that you can get the desired results.

  1. After you've highlighted the object you want to remove from the photo and applied removal, click on the icon labeled Sampling Brush Tool.
  2. PhotoDirector - Brush Tool
  3. To indicate the section of the image that you want to use as a replacement for the removed object, use the masking tool to remove the green highlight from any parts of the image you do not want to sample. Then click OK at the bottom right-hand corner of this screen.
  4. PhotoDirector - Green Highlight Select

    Tip: If there is only a small section of the image you want to sample, increase your brush size using the slider to complete this step quickly.

How to Remove People from Photos on iOS and Android

If you're looking for an app to remove people from a photo, look no further than PhotoDirector, which offers a wide range of photo editing tools, including content-aware removal.

  1. Open PhotoDirector on your Android or iOS device and tap on the Edit button. Then, either select a photo from your library.
  2. After you've selected a photo, tap on the Tools button on the bottom left-hand

    corner, then on the icon labeled Removal.

  3. PhotoDirector App - Removal Tool
  4. Highlight the person or object you wish to remove from the image, then click Remove at the bottom of the screen.
  5. PhotoDirector App - Removal Selection

    Tip: If your object removal didn't give you the results you were looking for, click Retry at the bottom of the screen.

    PhotoDirector App - Removal Selection
  6. Once you've created the desired effect, tap on the checkmark icon on the top right-hand corner of the screen to save your work. Once you've completed all your edits, click on the down arrow at the top right-hand corner of the screen to download the edited image to your device or share it on social media.

How to Remove People With an Online Tool

If you're looking for a fast way to remove people from pictures without downloading software, you can use a free online editing tool through cleanup.pictures.

  1. Click on or drop a photo into the box to start the removal process.
  2. Select the brush size using the slider at the bottom of the screen, then using your curser or mousepad, highlight the person or object you want to remove. Once you complete this step, the object will be automatically removed.

    cleanup.pictures - Highlight Removal
  3. Click Download at the top right-hand corner of the screen to save as a JPG.
  4. cleanup.pictures - Download Image

Best Tool to Remove People from Photos [Free Download]

Capturing the perfect shot can sometimes be challenging, especially when a person walks into the frame without you noticing. Thankfully, advanced editing programs can remove people or objects from an image without learning complicated software or shell out an expensive monthly subscription fee.

PhotoDirector is free to download and is a solid choice for an all-in-one photo editor. Along with content-aware removal tools, the program also offers photo effects, beautify touch-up tools, and the ability to organize your photos by tags, labels, and even faces.

Remove People from Photos FAQ

1. What Types of Images are Best for Content-Aware Removal?

Certain types of images can be challenging to remove objects from, so to get the best result, use the below guidelines when deciding to use the removal tool:

  • When there is a lot of distance between the subject of the photo and the objects in the background
  • When the object or person that you're trying to remove does not overlap with the subject of the photo
  • When you intend to blur or have already blurred the background of a photo

2. How Do I Add a Person from a Different Image to a Photo?

You can add a person to an image using the PhotoDirector app.

  1. Tap Edit and choose a photo with the person you want to add.
  2. At the bottom of the screen scroll over and tap on Cutout. The person will automatically be cut out of the photo.
  3. Tap on the first option in Background, the Add Image icon, and choose the image you want the person to be in.
  4. Position the person in the image and tap the checkmark in the top right.

3. How Do I Move a Person or Object in a Photo?

From your desktop or laptop computer, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open PhotoDirector on Windows or Mac in Full Mode, select the photo you want to edit, and open it in the Guided tab at the top of the screen.
  2. From there, scroll down to the section labeled Extract/Compose on the left-hand side and click on the button labeled Content-Aware Move.
  3. Once you click on Content-Aware Move, the brush tool is already selected. Highlight the object you want to move using the brush tool, then click Next.
  4. Click on the selected object to move, resize, or rotate it, then click Apply.

From your Android or iOS device, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open PhotoDirector on your Android or iOS device and tap on the Edit button. Then select a photo from your library.
  2. After you've selected a photo, tap on the Tools button on the bottom left-hand corner, then on the icon labeled Move.
  3. Highlight the person or object you wish to move, then click Move at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Using your fingertip, move the object to the desired location, then click the checkbox at the top right-hand corner of the screen.

4. How Do I Duplicate a Person or Object in a Photo?

From your desktop or laptop computer, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open PhotoDirector on Windows or Mac in Full Mode, select the photo you want to edit, and open the Guided tab at the top of the screen.
  2. From there, scroll down to the section labeled Extract/Compose on the left-hand side and click on the button labeled Content-Aware Clone.
  3. Once you click on Content-Aware Clone, the brush tool is already selected. Highlight the object you want to duplicate using the brush tool, then click Next.
  4. Click on the selected object, drag it to the desired location, and click Apply.

From your Android or iOS device, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open PhotoDirector on your device and tap the Edit button. Then select a photo from your library.
  2. After you've selected a photo, tap on the Tools button on the bottom left-hand corner, then on the icon labeled Clone.
  3. Highlight the person or object you wish to duplicate, then click Clone at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Using your fingertip, drag the selected object to the desired location, then click the checkbox at the top right-hand corner of the screen.

5. How Do I Use Face Swap to Make Everyone Have a Smile in a Photo?

From your desktop or laptop computer, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open PhotoDirector on Windows or Mac in Full Mode, then select the photo you want to edit and open the Guided tab at the top of the screen.
  2. From there, scroll down to the section labeled Photo Merge on the left-hand side and click on the button labeled Face Swap.
  3. Drag the photos you want to use from the photo viewer window into the main editing window. The first photo you use should be considered your main photo. Then, click Merge on the bottom of the editing window.
  4. Using the generated boxes, click on the face you want to change. Click OK below the box, then click Save As at the bottom of the screen.

6. What Are the Best Apps to Remove People from Pictures?


  1. PhotoDirector
  2. YouCam Perfect
  3. TouchRetouch
  4. Adobe Photoshop Fix
  5. Snapseed
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