Slice and dice your photos by cropping them on PC or Mac

Learn how to crop a photo quickly and easily with these tips and tricks

It can be frustrating when you take a photo of a precious moment, only to realize it’s ruined by a stranger looming in the background. While you could forget you ever captured the image — and risk losing the memory forever — you could also crop the stranger out of the frame. Luckily, there are tons of photo-editing applications available for both desktop and mobile platforms, all of which will allow you to crop a photo with ease. Below, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to crop a photo, whether you prefer Windows, MacOS, or mobile platforms.

While you’re it, take a look at our picks for the best free photo-editing software and our detailed guide on how to remove a background image.

How to crop a photo using Paint (Windows)

Microsoft Paint isn’t exactly the most robust piece of image-editing software. Even the new version in the Windows 10 Creators Update — which packs plenty of useful features — leaves much to be desired.

Still, the software has come pre-installed on all Windows machines since the company released Windows 1.0 in 1985. It’s not laden with advanced tools or impressive capabilities, but it does provide a proficient cropping tool for making simple to crop a photo Elephants in Paint

Step 1: Open the Paint application and use File>Open to open the image you want to edit within it. While viewing the image within the Home tab, click the Select button and drag the tool to encompass the portion of the image you wish to crop.

how to crop a photo making a selection in Paint

Step 2: Once you’re satisfied with your selection, click the Crop button directly right of Select.

how to crop a photo cropping in Paint

How to crop a photo using Photos (MacOS)

Photos is a photo-management and editing app exclusive to Apple’s MacOS, one that works in a similar fashion to the now-defunct iPhoto. Like Preview and Photo Booth, the minimalist image software comes pre-installed in the latest iterations of MacOS, meaning anyone with a machine running MacOS Yosemite or later has access to the app. Using the aptly titled Photos, you can easily group photos into albums, tag them, categorize them and crop them.

Step 1: Open the picture you wish to edit in Photos. Click the Edit Photo button in the upper-right corner (you may be prompted to add the picture to your library at this point). You’ll now get three buttons at the top of the app: Adjust, Filters and Crop.

Crop a picture in Photos on a Mac

Step 2: Click Crop at the top of the app. If desired, click Aspect to choose an aspect ratio for the resulting crop. Otherwise, adjust the rectangle to fit the portion of the image you wish to crop.

Crop a picture in Photos on a Mac

Step 3: Click the yellow Done button in the upper-right corner once you’re satisfied with your selection. 

How to crop a photo using Photoshop (Windows/MacOS)

Though Photoshop isn’t necessary if you merely need to crop an image, it remains the most well-known piece of photo-editing software. Though the premium software is expensive, you can always opt for the free trial if you’d like to test out it’s remarkable capabilities. When it comes to cropping, Photoshop lets you do it in just a couple of steps.

Step 1: Open the picture you want to edit in Photoshop. Next, select the Crop tool from the left-hand toolbar — it resembles a square with several lines protruding from two of the corners — and adjust your selection so it captures the portion of the image you wish to keep.

how to crop a photo cropping in Photoshop

Step 2: Once you’re satisfied with your selection, click the check mark at the top of the window — it should be located on the right-hand side of the Crop tool to crop a photo crop photo in Photoshop

How to crop a photo using Pixlr (Web-based/iOS/Android)

Pixlr is a capable mobile and web-based editor, one perfectly suited for cropping images within your browser window or on your smartphone. The freemium software requires you to do little more than to upload an image or plug in a URL for a photo before cropping the image, and like Fotor, the process for doing so is nearly the same across platforms.

Step 1: If using the web-based software, navigate to the main Pixlr website and click the Open Pixlr Editor option on the left-hand side (note you’ll need to enable Adobe Flash if it’s disabled in your browser). Afterward, select Open image from computer button near the top of the window and choose the photo you wish to crop from its designated save location.

Pixlr Editor open box

Step 2: Click the crop icon located in the upper-left corner of the toolbar, represented by a square with a lines protruding from the corners. Next, click and drag the selection to the area of the image you wish to keep. You can also use the menu directly right of Constraint in the upper-left corner to set specified proportions for the resulting output size and aspect ratio.

how to crop a photo cropping a photo in Pixlr

Step 3: Double-click the inside of the rectangle once you’re satisfied with your selection to apply the changes.

how to crop a photo cropped photo in Pixlr

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