How to Remove White Background in Illustrator

Instasize Team
June 28, 2024

How to Remove White Background in Illustrator

Removing a white background in Adobe Illustrator can make your designs cleaner and more professional. Whether you're preparing images for web use, creating detailed graphics, or optimizing for print, this guide will walk you through the essential methods for removing backgrounds efficiently.

Using the Magic Wand Tool

The Magic Wand Tool is a straightforward method for selecting and removing white backgrounds:

  1. Open Your Image: Open your image in Illustrator.
  2. Select the Magic Wand Tool: Click on the Magic Wand Tool from the toolbar or press Y.
  3. Adjust Tolerance: If needed, adjust the tolerance in the options bar to ensure the tool selects all the white areas.
  4. Select the White Background: Click on any white area of the background; the tool will automatically select all connected white areas.
  5. Delete the Background: Press Delete to remove the selected white background.

Using the Pen Tool

For more precision, the Pen Tool allows you to manually trace and remove the background:

  1. Open Your Image: Load the image you want to edit in Illustrator.
  2. Select the Pen Tool: From the toolbar, select the Pen Tool or press P.
  3. Trace the Object: Carefully click around the edges of the object to create a path. Close the path by connecting the last point with the first.
  4. Create a Clipping Mask: Select the path and the image together, then right-click and choose Make Clipping Mask.

Using Image Trace Tool

The Image Trace Tool can quickly convert a bitmap image into a vector and remove the background:

  1. Open the Image: Load your image into Illustrator.
  2. Image Trace: Go to Window > Image Trace to open the Image Trace panel.
  3. Select Preset: Choose a preset that best fits your image from the dropdown menu.
  4. Adjust Settings: Fine-tune the Trace settings to ensure only the object is traced, excluding the background.
  5. Expand and Ungroup: Once satisfied, click Expand to convert the trace to vector paths, then right-click and Ungroup.
  6. Remove Background Path: Select and delete the white background paths.

Using Clipping Masks

Creating a clipping mask is another effective way to isolate your object and remove the background:

  1. Open the Image: Start by opening your image in Illustrator.
  2. Draw a Shape: Use the Rectangle Tool or create a custom shape around your object.
  3. Rearrange Layers: Ensure the shape is above the image in the layers panel.
  4. Create Clipping Mask: Select both the shape and the image, then right-click and choose Make Clipping Mask.

Cleaning Up Paths and Erasing

Refining your paths and cleaning up any leftover areas is essential:

  1. Direct Selection Tool: Use the Direct Selection Tool (press A) to select and refine individual anchor points and paths.
  2. Erase Extra Elements: Use the Eraser Tool to clean up any remaining unwanted areas.

Exporting with Transparent Background

To ensure your image maintains transparency when exported:

  1. Export as PNG: Go to File > Export > Export As, then choose PNG format.
  2. Enable Transparency: In the PNG options, make sure to check Transparent Background.

Using Instasize for Background Removal

Instasize offers a user-friendly way to remove backgrounds for quick edits:

  1. Open Instasize: Download and launch Instasize on your device.
  2. Upload Image: Select the image for background removal.
  3. Use Tools: Instasize’s background removal and editing tools can help you achieve clean results.
  4. Save and Use: Export your finished image with a transparent background.


Removing a white background in Adobe Illustrator can be done using several methods, from the Magic Wand Tool to more advanced techniques like Clipping Masks and the Pen Tool. By following this guide, you can achieve clear and precise results, ensuring your designs look their best. Instasize also provides a quick solution for background removal, making your editing process even smoother.

Happy designing and enjoy your background-free images!