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How Do You Remove Dust and Scratches From a Picture in Photoshop?

Last updated on September 24, 2022 @ 1:08 pm

Assuming you’re talking about dust and scratches on a scanned image, the Dust and Scratches filter does a pretty good job of removing them. You can find it under Filter > Noise > Dust and Scratches. The filter works by basically blurring the image and then comparing each pixel to neighboring pixels.

If it finds a pixel that is significantly different than its neighbors, it assumes that pixel is part of a scratch or piece of dust, and replaces it with an average of the neighboring pixels.

You can control the radius of the pixels that are analyzed as well as the threshold level. A higher threshold means that fewer pixels will be replaced, while a lower threshold means that more pixels will be replaced. You’ll have to experiment to find the right settings for your image, but generally, a radius of 2 or 3 and a threshold of 1 or 2 works well.

PRO TIP: If you are not familiar with Photoshop, or do not have a steady hand, we do not recommend using this method to remove dust and scratches from your pictures. Photoshop is a very powerful program that can easily damage your photos if you are not careful.

Once you’ve applied the filter, you may find that there are still some scratches or pieces of dust remaining. In that case, you can try using the Clone Stamp tool.

Select the tool and then Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac) on an area of your image that doesn’t have any scratches or dust. Then, just paint over the scratches or dust with the Clone Stamp tool. The Clone Stamp tool basically copies the area you selected and “stamps” it over the scratches or dust.


The Dust and Scratches filter is usually the best way to remove dust and scratches from an image in Photoshop. However, if there are still some remaining after using the filter, you can try using the Clone Stamp tool to remove them.

Morgan Bash

Morgan Bash

Technology enthusiast and Co-Founder of Women Coders SF.