How to Deselect in Photoshop (5 Quick & Simple Methods)

Deselecting an area in your Photoshop file is an important skill to learn, and thankfully it's dead simple. Here are 5 ways to do it.

Selection tools are everyone’s best friend when editing, allowing you to work on a chosen area using one of the various selection tools, but what happens when you want to deselect an area?

Luckily, just like there are many ways to select an area in Photoshop, there are also different ways to deselect a chosen area.

Deselecting the entire area is easy and quick, but you can also deselect just a small portion of an area, allowing you more control when editing.

This is particularly helpful if you have spent a long time meticulously creating a selection path around an object only to discover a segment was mistakenly included.

Below we have a tutorial that will walk you through how to deselect in Photoshop using different techniques to remove all or only part of an active selection. 

Download Adobe Photoshop

Download the latest version of Adobe Photoshop to follow along with this simple tutorial.

Start a free 7-day trial today


How to Deselect in Photoshop (Entire Area)

When your editing job is done, and you no longer need a selected area, you can deselect it instantly with a simple click.

Here are three methods to use, but first, make sure the selected layer you wish to edit is selected in the Layers Panel.

Method 1 – Use the Top Bar Menu

On the top menu bar, click on Select, and a drop-down menu will appear beneath. From the drop-down menu, chose Deselect.

When you click deselect the marching ants creating the selection path will instantly disappear.


Method 2 – With a Right Cursor Click

Possibly the quickest way to deselect objects is using your cursor.

Hover your cursor over the selected area, Right Click and choose the Deselect option. This will instantly remove the selected area.

Method 3 – Keyboard Shortcut

Alternatively, use a keyboard shortcut by simultaneously pressing Command and D (for Mac) or Ctrl and D (for Windows).

When the keys are pressed, the area will be successfully deselected.

Now you have learned the quickest methods how to deselect in Photoshop, but if you need a more intricate detailed focused technique, read on. 

How to Deselect Part of an Active Selection in Photoshop

You can deselect objects or any area of an active selection area using the magic wand tool.

This is useful if you discover you have made an error, possibly you have over-enthusiastically used the lasso tool (or another selection tool), and you have mistakenly included unwanted background areas. 

Method 1 – Deselect with the Magic Wand Tool

From the toolbar to the right of your image window, select the Magic Wand tool. When selected, navigate to the top menu bar and click on the subtraction icon.

You can now use the Magic Wand tool to perfect your selection by clicking on it to subtract unwanted areas from the selection area without losing the entire selected area. 


Method 2 – Deselect with the Quick Selection Tool

Alternatively, you can use the Quick Selection Tool. Select from the toolbar or press W.

When you have selected the tool, hold Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) and drag the quick selection tool over the areas you wish to deselect.

Note: If you accidentally deselect an area, don’t worry press down Command Z (for Mac) or Ctrl Z (for Windows), and your last action will be reversed.

Final Words

Now you know how to deselect in Photoshop. Deselecting an active selection in Photoshop can be easy and satisfying, especially after you have spent hours meticulously working in a selected area.

Selection tools are every editor and designer’s first champion, but we know deselecting tools come in as a close runner-up.

(Especially when you need to remove only a  small unwanted area accidentally included in your otherwise perfect selection path.)

Next time you have completed a time-consuming selection path and realise the marching ants have wandered too far afield, you now know how to deselect in Photoshop, and you’ll be able to realign them without losing too much time.

How do you deselect in Photoshop? Any tips or techniques you are willing to share? And don’t forget to send us any questions you might have. 

Shotkit Writer & Photoshop Expert

Judyth is an experienced studio photographer and glass artist. When she isn’t Photoshopping comedians into the bellies of sharks, you can find her cooking delicious treats for her guests.

Leave a Comment



Enter your email to be sent
today's Welcome Gift:
19 Photography Tools

🔥 Popular NOW:

Shotkit may earn a commission on affiliate links. Learn more.