How To Remove the Background in GIMP

Removing the background of an image and making it transparent or changing it to another color is a challenging process for many. Fortunately, there are lots of photo editing apps that can help you resolve this issue quickly – one of which is GIMP.

How To Remove the Background in GIMP

In this article, you’ll learn how to use GIMP to remove the background colors and edit the background of an image.

How to Remove a Background Color

GIMP has some fantastic color control tools which can help you easily remove colors from an image. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Open the image in GIMP and go to the “Layers” menu.
  2. Add an “Alpha Channel” for transparency.
  3. From the “Tool” Menu, click on the “Fuzzy Selection” tool.
  4. Select the color you want to remove and create a selection around it.
  5. Click “Delete” to remove the color.

The background color will be removed immediately.

How to Remove Background from an Image

GIMP allows you to remove background from an image. Luckily, there are different methods which are straightforward and easy to follow.

The Fuzzy Selection Tool

A fuzzy selection tool is a common tool for removing background from an image in GIMP. It allows you to select parts of an image with similar colors. Note that you should choose a good starting point to correctly select the background. If not, you’ll get a different result than desired.

  1. Select and open an image you want to remove the background from.
  2. Add an “Alpha Channel” by clicking on the layer you’re working on or go to the “Dockable Dialogues” in “Layers.” You can also add alpha channels through the “Add Alpha Channel” menu in the transparency option.
  3. Select the “Fuzzy Select” tool or click on “U.”
  4. Apply the “Fuzzy Select” tool on the image background by clicking on it until you see the desired changes.
  5. After the background selection, click on the “Delete” key to delete the image background.
  6. Repeat the process until you’ve removed the entire image background.
  7. You can now add your preferred background to the image, either a color or pattern.
  8. Select “Save” to implement the changes.

This action will remove the original image background and make it transparent so you can save the image without a background or fill it with another background. It’s important to zoom while making the selection to avoid mistakes. If any part of your main object is deleted, you can fix it using the “Clone” tool.

The Free Select Tool

The “Free Select” tool is similar to the “Lasso” tool in photoshop. It allows you to freely make selections by selecting different points on the image canvas or drawing polygonal lines around the object you want to retain.

This method is best for simple objects with definite shapes, as it requires time and patience to make the perfect selection.

  1. Select the image you want to remove the background from.
  2. Add an “Alpha Channel” by clicking on the layer you’re working on.
  3. Go to the “Tool” menu and select the “Fuzzy Select” tool.
  4. Select the first anchor point on the image.
  5. Hover your mouse around the object you want to extract from the background. Ensure you select short distances to avoid making mistakes.
  6. Click on the first point where you started to close the shape and make it a selection.
  7. Inverse the selection by clicking on the “Select” Menu.
  8. Select objects outside the background.
  9. Click on the “Delete” key to remove the background.

Now you have a transparent background to apply as desired.

The Path Tool

A “Path Tool” is an essential tool for editing images in GIMP. It allows you to specify the path in an image by selecting a region. Note that it’s more of a manual way of deleting the background of an image.

This method gives you accurate results, but it is time-consuming and requires patience. It’s best used on images that don’t have adequate contrast between the background and the object. Follow the steps below to remove an image background with the Path Tool in GIMP.

  1. Open the image you want to edit and add an “Alpha Channel.”

  2. Select the “Path Tool” from the “Tools” menu.
  3. Now click repeatedly on the object in the picture to select the path or place individual points outlined on the object. Note that it’s important to zoom the image when creating the path.
  4. Create a curved line by dragging down the middle of the line and moving the right or left handle towards the center of the line. Click on the most recent point. Hold “Ctrl” at the first point you made simultaneously to close the outline.
  5. Hit “Enter” to create the selection with the outline.
  6. Go to the “Menu.” Invert the image to select its background.
  7. Click “Delete” to remove the background.

The Select by Color Tool

The “Select BY Color” tool allows you to select similar colors in an image. This method is a little easier than the other methods outlined above. Once you select a starting point, it will automatically select all the pixels with similar colors on the entire image canvas.

  1. Activate the “Select by Color” tool on the “Tools” Menu or use “Shift + O” to activate it faster.
  2. Make sure to enable draw mask and anti-aliasing options.
  3. Open the image you want to remove the background image from.
  4. Add “Alpha Channel” and enable the “Feather Edges” option.
  5. Select a starting point on the image. It will choose colors similar to the one on the start point you selected.
  6. Click “Delete,” and repeat the process until you’ve deleted the entire background.

  7. Now you’ve removed the original background of the image, you can replace it with whatever you choose.

The Foreground Select Tool

The “Foreground Select” tool lets you contrast the background and the foreground to get the desired results. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Open the image you want to remove the background from.
  2. Tap the “Foreground Select” tool from the “Tools” Menu.”
  3. Left-click and hold the button down while you trace the outline of the foreground.
  4. Click “Enter” to make the foreground a selection, and then the image will turn blue.

  5. Click and hold the left button on your mouse again, and apply through the selected foreground. Make sure you go over only the colors you want to be selected and avoid the background colors.
  6. Release the left mouse button, and the non-selected areas will be blue.
  7. Tap on the “Enter” key to see the preview of your foreground selection.
  8. If you’re satisfied with it, click “Select” in the foreground selection window.
  9. To delete the background, click “Select” in the upper menu and invert the selection. Click “Delete” to remove it.


TinyWow is a hassle-free online tool that works in removing background images. Also, it contains free file conversion tools as well as many pdf tools.

Here are the steps on how to remove a background using TinyWow: 

  1. Open your favorite browser and visit
  2. Hover your mouse to the “Image” tab and click “Image Background Remover”.
  3. Click “Upload from your PC or Mobile” or “Drag some files”.
  4. Once the photo is uploaded, you can now click the “Remove” button.
  5. You can now “Download” the image that has successfully removed the background image.

Remove Any Background Color Effortlessly

Whether you’re a professional image editor or want to edit some family photos, the methods outlined above will help you remove any image’s background. Also, you can use some other tools to successfully remove the background from an image, such as the “Alpha Channel Mask” and the “Layer Mask.”

Have you ever tried removing background color using GIMP? If so, did you used any of the methods from this article? Let us know in the comments section below.

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