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Why Is My Eraser Not Erasing in Photoshop?

Last updated on January 26, 2023 @ 7:28 am

If you’re using a mouse or trackpad, press and hold the Option key, and then click the eraser tool icon in the toolbox.

If you’re using a stylus, double-tap the eraser tool icon in the toolbox.

Select a brush tip from the Eraser Tool settings in the options bar. The size of the brush tip is relative to the image resolution.

For example, if you’re working on a low-resolution image for a web display, you might want to use a small brush tip. If you’re working on a high-resolution image for print, you might want to use a larger brush tip.

PRO TIP: If you are experiencing issues with your eraser tool not working correctly in Photoshop, there are a few things you can check. First, make sure that you selected the correct layer. Second, check the size, opacity, and flow settings of the eraser. If they are set too low, the eraser will not be very effective. Finally, make sure that your selection tools were not accidentally used.

If your eraser isn’t working properly in Photoshop, here are detailed ways how to fix that:

  1. Check your layers.
    • A list of your layers can be found at the lower-right portion of your screen. Make sure that you have the correct layer selected.

    • Select the layer that you want to apply the Eraser Tool with.

    • NOTE: You can only erase on layers that contain pixels – if you’re trying to erase on a background layer or an empty layer, it won’t work.
    • Another one is to check if your selected layer is locked. If there’s a lock icon, click on it to unlock the layer.

    • Now you can see that the lock has been removed!

  2. 2. Check your Eraser Tool settings.
    • The settings for your Eraser Tool can be found at the top portion of your screen once the Eraser Tool has been selected.

    • Check your brush. Brush size might be too small so the effect of your eraser is barely seen.

    • Adjust the brush size by dragging the white handle to the right up to your preferred thickness.

    • Still in the Eraser Tool settings, make sure that the Opacity and Flow is not too low. This will cause its effect to be barely noticeable.

    • Adjust the Opacity by typing in your preferred percentage.

    • Do the same with Flow.

  3. Check your Selection Tools.
    • You might have accidentally selected an area using other tools such as Rectangular Marquee Tool, Lasso Tool and Quick Selection Tool. A small selected area will already affect your Eraser Tool.

    • To undo this action, click on “Select” at the top menu, then select the option “Deselect”.
      NOTE: You may also use the keyboard shortcut, “Ctrl+D”.

    • Now you can already use your Eraser Tool!

If you’ve checked all of these things and your eraser still isn’t working properly, try resetting your Photoshop preferences. This can often fix strange bugs and glitches.

Kathy McFarland

Kathy McFarland

Devops woman in trade, tech explorer and problem navigator.