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How to Remove Objects in Lightroom: A Quick and Easy Guide

How to Remove Objects in Lightroom: A Quick and Easy Guide

Quick and Easy Guide on How to Remove Objects in Lightroom

Have you ever captured the perfect photograph, only to later realize there’s an unwanted object or distraction in the frame? With Adobe Lightroom, you can quickly and easily remove these pesky intruders! Whether it’s a dust spot, a stray piece of trash, or an unwanted photobomber, Lightroom offers a variety of tools and techniques to help you achieve cleaner images. In this guide, we will introduce you to the Healing Brush, Clone, and Content-Aware Remove tools, as well as discuss advanced techniques and common challenges in “how to remove objects in Lightroom”.

Imagine the possibilities: transforming a cluttered image into a visually appealing masterpiece, or making a subtle change that shifts the entire focus of the photograph. Read on to discover how to effortlessly remove objects in Lightroom and elevate your photography skills.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand Lightroom’s Healing Brush, Clone and Content-Aware Remove tools for object removal.

  • Adjust tool settings to achieve seamless results when removing objects.

  • Stack healing tools and combine multiple tools together for complex object removal scenarios.

Understanding the Tools for Object Removal

Object Removal Tools for Adobe Lightroom

Before we proceed to the detailed guide, take some time to familiarize yourself with the Lightroom tools designed for object removal. These tools include the Healing Brush, Clone, and Content-Aware Remove. Each tool serves a specific purpose, and knowing when to use them will help you achieve the best results.

The Healing Brush tool works wonders on minor distractions and blemishes like skin imperfections or dust spots, as well as removing distracting objects. The Clone tool, on the other hand, is useful for duplicating objects to cover unwanted elements or even remove objects completely by replacing them with a similar background.

Lastly, the Content-Aware Remove tool is an AI-powered solution that excels at removing larger or more complex objects from intricate backgrounds.

Healing Brush Tool

The Healing Brush tool, found in the Develop module, is perfect for tackling minor imperfections and distractions. This powerful tool functions by sampling pixels from a similar area and blending them with the original pixels when painting on an area. This effectively conceals any distracting elements with minimal effort. It’s like having a digital “band-aid” to patch up small blemishes in your images.

To adjust the size of the Healing Brush tool, use sliders or the left square bracket key for reduction and the right one for enlargement. To access the healing brush settings, simply press the H key on your keyboard when using the Healing tool.

Clone Tool

Think of the Clone tool as another potent ally in your quest for object removal. This tool duplicates objects in an image, making it useful for covering unwanted elements or removing an object entirely by replacing it with a similar background. It works by copying pixels from one area of the image and pasting them onto another area. For example, if you have a distracting telephone pole in a landscape, the Clone tool can help you erase it by replacing the pole with a piece of the sky or grass.

How to Remove Objects in Adobe Lightroom Classic and CC

Adjusting the Clone tool settings is simple. To delete a clone adjustment, select the blue pin overlay and press the Delete button (Mac) or Backspace button (Windows). Remember, if you’re not satisfied with the healing result, trying the Clone tool as an alternative might be the key to achieving the desired outcome. 

How to remove objects in Lightroom with Clone Tool

Sometimes layering different object removal tools is the best option. In this case we used content aware fill in a second step to remove some of the unnatural looking edges. The process is really simple and the results speak for themselves.

Stacking tools to remove objects in Lightroom

Content-Aware Remove Tool

For more complex objects and backgrounds, lean on the Content-Aware Remove tool. This AI-powered tool is designed for removing objects in large continuous areas, such as a person from a group photo or an unwanted sign from a building facade. It analyzes the surrounding pixels and intelligently fills in the area where the object was removed, resulting in a seamless and natural-looking result.

The Content-Aware Remove tool is simple to use. If the selection isn’t satisfactory, try hitting the refresh button. Additionally, pressing the ‘H’ key will enable you to reveal or hide selections.

If the Content-Aware Remove tool isn’t effective on a particularly complex image, manually cloning the image in Photoshop may be the best option.


How to Remove Objects in Lightroom with Content Aware Fill

Lightroom did a great job with removing the person, but we still have the shadow on the sand. 

Layering Multiple Content Aware Fills

We are now layering a few more brush strokes of content aware fill over the beach to get a realistic looking result.

How to remove a person in Lightroom


Retouching workflow with Presets

For an efficient workflow when removing objects in Lightroom using the content-aware object removal tool and presets, we recommend following a structured approach.

Start by making basic adjustments such as exposure and white balance to ensure the overall image is balanced. Next, proceed with object removal and retouching to eliminate unwanted elements seamlessly. Once your retouching is complete, apply a preset to your image. Now you can go ahead with further adjustments to fine-tune the image, if needed.

This allows you to fine-tune the stylistic elements and tones of your photo, ensuring a cohesive and polished final result. By following this sequence, you'll achieve a more organized and effective editing process in Lightroom.

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Unwanted Objects

After familiarizing yourself with Lightroom’s object removal tools, let’s delve into the step-by-step process of eradicating unwanted elements. This involves preparing the image, selecting the appropriate tool, and adjusting the tool settings. By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to creating cleaner, more professional-looking images.

Whether you’re dealing with a small blemish or a larger distraction, the process begins with creating a selection over the object. This is done using the appropriate tool, such as the Healing Brush, Clone, or Content-Aware Remove tool. Once the object is selected, Lightroom will work its magic to seamlessly blend the surrounding pixels and eliminate the unwanted element.

Step 1: Preparing Your Image

Before you start removing objects in Lightroom, make sure to prepare your image. This means importing the image into Lightroom and making fundamental adjustments, such as exposure, contrast, and white balance. Properly preparing your image will make the object removal process, and overall retouching in Lightroom, more efficient and effective.  

Another crucial aspect of preparing your image is understanding the complexity of the object and its background. This will help you determine which tool is best suited for the task. For example, the Healing Brush tool may be ideal for removing a small blemish on a uniform background, while the Content-Aware Remove tool might be necessary for removing a larger object in a complex scene.

Step 2: Selecting the Right Tool

Prepare your image for retouching

Selecting the appropriate tool for object removal is key to achieving your desired outcome. As we mentioned earlier, the Healing Brush, Clone, and Content-Aware Remove tools each serve different purposes and are best suited for specific scenarios. To select the right tool, consider the type of object and the background it’s on.

For small objects on a similar background, the Healing Brush tool is ideal. On the other hand, for larger objects on a complex background, the Content-Aware Remove tool is more suitable. If the object requires duplicating another part of the image to cover it, the Clone tool is the way to go.

By carefully assessing your image and the object you want to remove, you can confidently select the best tool for the job.

Step 3: Adjusting Tool Settings

After choosing the right tool, proceed to tweak the tool settings for the best results. This includes:

  • Customizing the brush size, feathering, and opacity

  • Adjusting the brush size can be done using sliders or by using the left square bracket key to decrease the size and the right square bracket key to increase the size

  • Feathering and opacity can also be adjusted using sliders in the toolbar.

Feathering determines the intensity of the brush effect, while opacity adjusts the transparency of the item being eliminated. By tweaking these settings, you can achieve a more seamless and natural-looking result. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different settings to find the perfect balance for your specific image and object removal needs.

Advanced Techniques for Complex Object Removal

At times, object removal in Lightroom might be more difficult than expected. In these cases, advanced techniques may be necessary to achieve the best results. Complex object removal often requires stacking healing tools and combining tools to effectively eliminate unwanted elements.

Such advanced techniques empower you to handle complex object removal tasks that may be challenging with just one tool. By understanding how to stack and combine tools, you can tackle even the most daunting object removal tasks with confidence.

Stacking Healing Tools

Stacking healing tools involves combining multiple healing brush tools, such as the Healing Brush, Clone, and Content-Aware Remove tools, to address intricate object removal. This approach is particularly advantageous for removing objects with intricate shapes or small objects that may be difficult to eliminate with a single healing tool.

When stacking healing tools, follow these steps:

  1. Start with the Healing Brush tool to eliminate most of the object.

  2. Next, fine-tune the area using the Clone tool to cover any remaining artifacts or imperfections.

  3. Finally, use the Content-Aware Remove tool to blend the edges and achieve a seamless result.

By combining the strengths of multiple tools, you can tackle complex object removal and object completely with ease, including the ability to remove unwanted objects.

Combining Tools

Combining tools, like using the Clone and Content-Aware Remove tools in tandem, is another strategy for intricate object removal. This approach is especially useful when the Healing Brush tool isn’t sufficient for removing an object on a complex background.

Begin by using the Clone tool to duplicate a portion of the background and cover the unwanted object. Then use the Content-Aware Remove tool to blend the edges and ensure a natural, seamless result. Combining tools in this manner allows you to achieve more precise object removal, even in challenging situations.

Removing Objects in Lightroom Mobile

Besides the desktop version, the Adobe Lightroom mobile app also enables on-the-go object removal. While the capabilities of Lightroom Mobile may be more limited compared to the desktop version, you can still achieve great results using the Healing Brush tool. In this section, we’ll discuss how to remove objects in Lightroom Mobile and understand its limitations and workarounds.

While Lightroom Mobile is indeed a robust tool, remember it may not be suitable for every object removal scenario. Understanding the limitations of the mobile app and finding alternative solutions can help you achieve the best results, even when you’re away from your desktop computer.

Using the Healing Brush Tool in Lightroom Mobile

To remove objects in Lightroom Mobile, follow these steps:

  1. Open the app and import the photo you wish to edit.

  2. Select the Healing Brush tool from the toolbar (represented by a plaster icon).

  3. Adjust the size of the brush using the slider.

  4. Tap on the area of the photo where the unwanted object appears.

  5. Lightroom will analyze the surrounding pixels and blend them to eliminate the object or blemish.

For more detailed editing, you can customize the opacity and feathering of the brush using the sliders in the toolbar. Once you’ve completed your modifications, select the checkmark icon to apply the changes.

Limitations and Workarounds

While Lightroom Mobile is a powerful tool for on-the-go editing, it does have some limitations when it comes to object removal. The Healing Brush tool in Lightroom Mobile has limited functionalities and may not be able to erase intricate objects or handle extensive issues on certain surfaces.

One workaround for these limitations is to use the desktop version of Lightroom to tackle more complex object removal tasks. Alternatively, you can try stacking healing tools or combining tools, as discussed in earlier sections, to address the limitations of the mobile app.

By understanding the limitations of Lightroom Mobile and finding alternative solutions, you can still achieve impressive object removal results on your mobile device.

Common Object Removal Challenges and Solutions

As you navigate object removal in Lightroom, you may face challenges that call for specific techniques and focus. Some common object removal challenges include dealing with edge issues and handling large objects.

In this section, we’ll address these challenges and offer solutions to help you overcome them and achieve professional-looking results. By understanding the common challenges associated with object removal in Lightroom and implementing the suggested solutions, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle even the most difficult object removal scenarios.

Dealing with Edge Issues

Edge issues may occur when removing objects in Lightroom, depending on the complexity of the background, the size of the object, and the amount of detail present in the image. To address these edge issues, you can use tools like the Spot Removal tool, Adjustment Brushes, and Content-Aware Fill to seamlessly blend the edges of the object with the background.

With edge issues, closely inspect the areas of the image showing a stark contrast between the object and its background. Adjust the tool settings, like brush size, feather, and opacity, as needed to achieve the best results. Lastly, zoom in on the image and evaluate any artifacts or imperfections to ensure a clean and seamless object removal.

Handling Large Objects

Handling large objects in Lightroom can be complicated because of the image’s background, size, and detail level. To handle large object removal, you can use the Spot Removal tool, Adjustment Brushes, and Content-Aware Fill to blend the edges of the large object with the background.

Access the Develop Module in Lightroom and select the Spot Removal tool, represented by a plaster icon.

  1. Modify the size of the brush using the slider.

  2. Create a selection over the object.

  3. Lightroom will then automatically fill in the selection with content from the surrounding area.

If necessary, fine-tune the area using Adjustment Brushes or Content-Aware Fill for a seamless result.


In conclusion, object removal in Lightroom is a powerful skill that can greatly enhance your photography by eliminating distractions and unwanted elements. By understanding the various tools and techniques available, such as the Healing Brush, Clone, and Content-Aware Remove tools, as well as advanced techniques like stacking healing tools and combining tools, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any object removal challenge.

Don’t let unwanted objects ruin your perfect shot. With the knowledge and skills gained from this guide, you can confidently remove objects in Lightroom and elevate your photography to new heights.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I remove an object from a photo in Lightroom?

Yes, you can remove an object from a photo in Lightroom with the help of the Content-Aware Fill, Clone, and Healing Brush tools, which offer powerful masking and removal features.

The Heal tool functions like an eraser and allows for quick content aware removal.

How do I cut out an image in Lightroom?

To cut out an image in Lightroom, select the photo, open the Crop tool, adjust the Crop Overlay and Straighten if needed, then apply the Crop and export the photo.

Bracket keys can also be used to resize the brush and drag over the object to remove it.

How do I choose the right tool for object removal in Lightroom?

When selecting the tool for object removal in Lightroom, take into account the type of object and background it’s on to ensure the best results.

Are there any limitations to object removal in Lightroom Mobile?

Yes, there are limitations to object removal in Lightroom Mobile due to the limited functionalities of the Healing Brush tool, which may not be able to erase intricate objects or handle extensive issues on certain surfaces.

However, with the right techniques and a bit of patience, it is possible to remove objects from photos using Lightroom Mobile. For example, you can use the Clone Stamp tool to clone parts of the image and cover up the unwanted object. You can also use the Adjustment Brush to make adjustments.

What advanced techniques can be used for complex object removal in Lightroom?

Advanced techniques such as stacking healing tools and combining tools can be used in Lightroom to efficiently remove complex objects.

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