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How to remove the background from images in iOS 16

It’s called Visual Look Up and it’s awesome.

Remove backgrounds in ios 16 with visual look up
Image: KnowTechie

Apple’s latest major mobile operating system, iOS 16, is here. One of our favorite new tools lets you remove the background from images in iOS 16. You can then take that cutout and paste it almost anywhere.

It’s part of Visual Look Up, the AI-powered part of the Photos app that lets you do things like copy text from pictures. That was introduced in iOS 15, but now you can also lift the subject out of any image.

You’ll need an iPhone XS, iPhone XR, or later to use it. Here’s how.

Here’s how to remove the background in iOS 16 using Visual Look Up

You can remove the background in iOS 16 for any image in your Camera Roll. We’ll show you exactly how to do it below:

  1. Open any picture in PhotosScreenshot of visual look up

  2. Touch and hold over the subject of your image

  3. You’ll see a glowing white animation go around the outline and Copy and Share buttons. Tapping Share lets you AirDrop it, save it to your camera roll, assign it to a contact, or other optionsScreenshot of visual look up

  4. You can also drag the subject aroundScreenshot of visual look up

  5. You can drag it into Messages, Notes, or any other program that supports PNGScreenshot of visual look up

The cut-out subject is essentially a transparent PNG file when it’s being dragged around.

Some tips for when you remove the background in iOS 16

While the background cut-out feature works on any image, it works better on some. Those are images of people, pets, or clearly-defined objects like cars.

Those seem to be the things Apple trained the AI that does the cutting out on. Sadly, results may vary on other in-image objects.

If you don’t see anything happen when you long-press, it might not be a good image to use. Possibly it has too many distracting elements, so the AI can’t figure out what the subject is supposed to be.

Other than that, have fun trimming out new profile pictures for your Contacts or sending transparent PNG stickers of your kids/pets/etc. to your family.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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