Published on June 5, 2022

In this blog I’ll show you the fastest way to blur a background in Adobe Photoshop!

Rather watch the video tutorial? Click here or scroll down to the end of this page. If you want to download the photo I’m using, click here.


Blur a background

Open the photo you want to edit. First make sure properties is selected (navigate to window and check if you’ve selected properties). If it’s not selected, select it.

We’ll use quick actions to blur the background. To use the quick actions, you need to unlock your background layer. To do that, click on the lock icon.

If you want to keep the background layer locked, you can also press CTRL+J to duplicate the background layer.


Under quick actions, you’ll see ‘view more‘. Click on that. A new window opens (the discover window). You’ll see a list of quick actions you can choose from. Select the blur background quick action.


Photoshop will now select (and mask) the background and blur it.


Adjust amount of blur

If you want to make the background more or less blurry, select gaussian blur.


You can now adjust the radius to change the amount of blur. If you select preview, you’ll immediately see how the changes affect your photo.


Refine selection

If you want to refine your selection (the layer mask), select ‘select and mask‘.


Select the refine edge brush tool. Now brush over the areas that you want to refine.


Instead of using the refine edge brush tool, you can also use the brush tool. With the brush tool you can add areas to or subtract areas from the selection.


Adjust blur and mask

If you closed the discover window (where you changed the amount of blur and refined the selection earlier), you can still adjust both. Double click on the gaussian blur layer to change the amount of blur. To refine the selection, select your layer mask and select ‘select and mask’.


And that’s how you can quickly blur a background in Adobe Photoshop! You can see the before and after image below.

blur a background


If you’re using this quick action to blur your background, you may end up with a result that isn’t perfect. You can then also use a more extensive but also more precise method to blur the background. Read this blog if you want to know more about this method!

Want to learn more about editing in Adobe Photoshop? Check out my other blogs or take a look at my YouTube channel

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated! You can find the video tutorial below!


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