Don’t want a watermark getting in the way of your lovely photos? No problem.
If you don’t want to just crop out the watermark, we’ll show you how to remove a watermark from a picture using Photoshop, GIMP, Paint.net, Pixlr X, and Apowersoft Online Watermark Remover.
1. How to Remove a Watermark in Photoshop
Photoshop is pretty smart when it comes to eliminating watermarks from photos. With your photo open, select Magic Wand Tool, which cleverly selects entire areas like the letters and logos of a watermark. You can also use the Pen Tool or Lasso Tool to make your selection.
Draw your cursor over each letter or image—remember to hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Cmd (Mac) as you click to select multiple elements of the watermark.
It won’t be the perfect selection. To fix this, go to Select > Modify > Expand. In the dialog box, choose how many pixels the selection needs to be expanded by.
Since the Magic Wand Tool in our example is close to the edge of the watermark, we’re only shifting the selection up by 2px, but yours may differ. Click OK to confirm.
Click Edit > Fill. This opens a new box, and in the Contents dropdown, choose Content-Aware. Make sure to uncheck the Color Adaptation box.
After hitting OK, your watermark should almost entirely disappear.
If some remnants remain, pick the Clone Stamp Tool. Be sure to change the size of the tool, so that you "clone" enough of the area, but not too much.
Hold down Alt or Option to select an area near any part of the remaining watermark. Doing so samples that area. Now, when you click (for a natural look, don’t swipe or drag) over the watermark, the tool "stamps" this area to mask the watermark outline.
If you need a quick method for adding a watermark to an image in Photoshop, here are seven easy steps.
2. How to Get Rid of Watermarks in GIMP
The easiest but slowest way to get rid of watermarks using GIMP is with the Clone Tool. To get started, open GIMP and select the Clone Tool.
This tool works similarly to Photoshop’s Clone Stamp Tool—you need to sample a part of the image. This time, hold down Ctrl/Cmd, then click on the part of the watermark you want to remove. It’s time-consuming but allows you to be incredibly precise.
However, you can do this all much faster when downloading and installing the GIMP Resynthesizer plugin. This awesome GIMP plugin offers a wealth of image editing options, most notably a version of Photoshop’s Content-Aware tool.
To install it, extract the files in the ZIP file, and copy all of them into GIMP’s plugin folder. From there, select the Free Select Tool or the Rectangle Select Tool.
Draw around the watermark to be removed.
Once it’s highlighted, go to Filters > Enhance > Heal selection. Set the Context sampling width.
As usual, you may need to play around with this figure to make sure you’re only losing the watermark, not too much of the image beyond that. Click OK and let the Resynthesize plugin work its magic.
Once complete (it can take a minute), use the Clone Tool to sample and cover any remaining blots.
3. How to Remove a Watermark in Paint.net
Your method for removing watermarks using Paint.net is fairly limited. Unlike Photoshop, there are no quick and dirty Content-Aware tools; unlike GIMP, you can’t download a plugin to get rid of them.
Instead, you’re limited to the Clone Stamp Tool, so choose this from the toolbar and set the size.
Choose an area of the image close to the watermark, hold Ctrl/Cmd, and click to create a sample. Now, click on the watermark. It should disappear, and get replaced with a sample of the background.
Remember to keep sampling and cloning as you go, to ensure you catch any changes in the image’s texture or lighting. As usual, it’s also best to click to remove for a more natural look (and greater control over watermark removal).
With some photos, it might also help to use the Blur Tool to iron out any visual kinks.
4. How to Remove a Watermark From a Picture With Pixlr X
Pixlr X is an online watermark remover, so you won’t have to download any extra software. Since it’s free, your options aren’t great—once again, you need to use the slow and steady Clone Stamp Tool.
To do this, click Retouch on the toolbar, then pick the Clone Stamp Tool.
Leave the Method as Patch. Set the size, making sure it’s not too large, which can impact the rest of the photo. Hold Ctrl/Cmd to select a source point, then click on the watermark to gradually remove it.
5. How to Delete a Watermark Using Apowersoft Online Watermark Remover
Apowersoft has both an online, browser-based tool and a watermark remover app to sort your photos. It’s not the best option out there, as it leaves behind a hazy blur where the watermark once stood, but it is simple to use.
When using the desktop app, set the Method to AI watermark removal. Click the rectangle next to the word Tools.
Draw a rectangle around the watermark. Click Convert—ignore the popup advertising free trials and pro subscriptions—and collect your near-watermark-free image from your downloads folder.
The online version of Apowersoft is similar. We found it worked best in Google Chrome, and struggled in other browsers.
First, upload your image, and after it’s processed, set the Method to Original. You can use AI, but the outcome isn’t always as reliable.
Drag the rectangle over your watermark. You need to pull at the handles at the corner of the box to resize and fit the watermark within the area. Click Erase and after another round of processing, you can download your image.
Choosing the Right Watermark Removal Tool
There are loads of tools out there for getting rid of watermarks from your photos, but for the best results, opt for Photoshop (if you have a Creative Cloud subscription) or GIMP.
Both software can obliterate your watermarks quickly and simply. Now, sit back and enjoy your new, watermark-free photo.
Even if you have zero skills with a paintbrush, Photoshop can help you create art from your photos.