Kill White is a Photoshop Filter that actively removes white from an image (unlike the ‘Multiply’ blend mode), perfectly leaving the rest of the image, whether the image is black-and-white or color.
However, this is not simple masking. Pixels that are partly transparent are altered so as to only remove the white portion. Shadows and gradients will remain in the image, only white is removed.

I made this Filter with my good friend Yael Martiz.






websites (and pngs),
white Background removal,
sketch and drawing clean up,
cleaning images with alpha (can remove white halos),
art effect.


Video Tutorial:


Kill-White (32bit Filter)

32bit Filter is compatible with all 32bit PC versions of Photoshop. compatibility list


Creative Commons License
KillWhite by Mikeal Simburger and Yael Maritz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at


95 Responses to “KillWhite”

  1. Sean says:

    Kicking ass Thomas Link! This works perfectly on Adobe PS 5.1 on MBP Snow Leapord

  2. Mike says:

    Yes, sorry my blog didn’t alert me to your post. The 32 bit version only works on pc, and pixel bender doesn’t work with Elements. So its not going in the case, sorry.

  3. John says:

    This is such a great filter: thanks for creating something I’ve used so many times. Do you have any plans to port this to CS6, sans Pixel Bender, which they are no longer supporting?

  4. Antonio Walder says:

    Hey, is there any solution for PSCS6?
    totally upset, that PixelBender is discontinued.


  5. Kelly says:

    So – now that I am in need of what looks like just the most perfect and amazing solution… am stymied about getting it to work with CS6 Photoshop Extended (64-bit) – am I missing something?

  6. Gates Bradley says:

    Any plans to update for CS6?

  7. […] a trick you can do with the Photoshop filter Mike and Kael’s Kill White (which is an awesome filter for several […]

  8. […] time to use the most useful free plug-in there is for an illustrator working with line drawings: Mike and Yael’s Kill White.  First off, make sure your image mode is RGB color and that you’re not working on the […]

  9. I use your Kill White filter all the time. I just finished telling a whole room of SCBWI illustrators about it last weekend and I posted two different blog posts today that talked about it. I think Kill White is the most important Photoshop filter I have. I can’t tell you how much time that one filter has saved me! Thank you for creating it and for making it available for free.

  10. […] is a Photoshop Plug-in by Mikeal Simburger and Yael Martiz. Read more about the KillWhite filter. Okay, it may not be the coolest tool ever, but it’s close. If your are an illustrator, or […]

  11. Marie says:

    Is the Kill White filter compatible with Photoshop CS6? Thanks for your help.

  12. Paul says:

    I have upgraded to the 64 bit version of Web Creative Suite 5.5 and realized I can’t get the eliminate white filter to work. I have read dozens of web sites and blogs to figure it out. I have placed the DLL msvcrt10 in bothe the photoshop folder and the plug-ins folder. Each time I restart PS the filter does not appear. My folder system looks like this:

    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 (64 Bit)\Plug-ins.

    Can anyone shed some light on this. I suspect I am putting the filter file in the wrong folder but I have dropped it in many different placed as a trial & error effort.

    Thank you in advance,


  13. Mike says:

    Sorry about the delay,
    Due to a change in CS6, its no longer compatible with 64 bit. I don’t have cs6, but as I understand it the 32 bit version still works. I’ll need to do something very different to get 64 bit compatibility, so it will probably be a while.

  14. Mike says:

    @Antonio Walder
    I think the 32bit version should still work in CS6. As far as 64bit /mac goes, I wont have anything for a while. Its a tough nut.

  15. Mike says:

    I don’t currently have the programming chops to make that happen. I do want to expand comparability somehow. These are my current thoughts on it:

  16. Mike says:

    The 32bit version should be compatible on windows. There is no current way I can support this on CS6 Mac.

  17. Sandy says:

    Hi guys, thank for your hard work.
    32bit version works fine in cs6

    Greetings from Mexico.

  18. Camilla says:

    I had some trouble installing this (for CS5), but finally found this tutorial: Just a tip to anyone else that might be pulling their hair. 🙂 Looking forward to finding ways to put what seems like a fantastic plugin to use!

  19. […] on this filter. The filter I use the most in Pixel Bender is from an outside source and is called Kill White – it takes out all the white from an image in a single click. Very handy! (Mike at […]

  20. Aunt Betsy says:

    Thank you so much for your kill white filter. I’m using it with a program called ArtRage. All I had to do is drop the file in the filter folder and restart the program and I was good to go. I had one image I wanted to remove the background from but it was very intricate around the edges and even with a magic wand it would have been quicker to recreate the image, this time remembering to make to background transparent before exporting and merging layers. But with your filter I was able to save the image and I only had to replace some white highlights in some glass balls. That was very easy from a layer below. I loaded a copy to my website in case you would like to see the image.

    One a side note I read your bio and my youngest niece just got her US Navy wings for fixed wing and helicopters earlier this month so I could relate to the love of aviation.

    I learned about your filter from the ArtRage forum.

    Thanks again.

  21. Tele says:

    Hi ,
    i m looking kill white for cs6 photoshop could any one help me out???

  22. Mike says:

    Unfortunately it will only work on 32bit cs6. As a bit of an amateur the built in api for filter programming is a bit daunting. Adobe removed compatibility for making filters with scripting (the easiest way). I’m trying to come up with a method that will do the processing outside of photoshop, once that works 32/64 mac/win wont matter any more. Its taking much research but it will happen.

  23. […] get the final effect, the image had to be opened in Photoshop CS5 so Mike’s Kill White filter could be run from Adobe’s Pixel Bender filter which only runs on CS4 and CS5. This is one of […]

  24. […] part. Since my picture of River Song has a white background, I took a Pixel Bender Filter called KillWhite and applied it to a duplicated layer of the picture of River. I then took both layers and pasted […]

  25. I’ll right away seize your rss feed as I can’t find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please let me understand so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

  26. Mike says:

    I do not have a newsletter as this is a very impromptu development effort. The rss feed would be best to monitor for updates.

  27. […] Painted Textures Summer Balloons texture and the white color was removed using an action called Mikes3D Kill White so the black level showed through in the white areas (note: to use this filter the best way, you […]

  28. Jill Menzies says:

    Hi Mike,

    Do you have any plans to release a new version for CS6 64bit at all? I really miss Killwhite!


  29. Mike says:

    I’m currently working on a stand alone version and expect to have a few new features with it. Once that is complete I will take look at getting a 64 bit version running.

  30. […] The plants by the skyline are also similarly improved, and the alien-like strange reeds that pop up every so often near the cliffs in particular look even freakier.  I didn’t re-render anything, I just went back to my source rendered images and then scale and post-processed them differently.  Even the post-processing is mostly the same technique, but it’s applied in a slightly different way and has one critical new component: KillWhite. […]

  31. Johanna says:

    Hi! This looks interesting, but what does Kill white do that Multiply does not?

  32. Natalie says:

    Hi Mike,

    I am also looking forward to the new version!

    Thank you,


  33. Mike says:

    It gives you a transparency. Multiply combines your layer with the background, that’s the biggest difference. You can use it like a multiply but it will look slightly different some people have found value in that difference. For instance:

  34. Brendan says:

    I can’t believe this finally exists!! I only wish I found out about it sooner!!!! Fraggin Amazing Thank you!

    -_== draws on paper colors on computer


  35. Anders says:

    I just want to say that you guys deserve an award every single day for the rest of your lives. I used to use a filter called “Eliminate White” but this hasn’t been updated for years, and doesn’t work with any versions of Photoshop released the past two centuries. So for a very long time I have struggled with manually removing white from images.

    A few times each year I would google for an update to Eliminate White – or another filter that would do the same job.

    But never did I have any luck. Life seamed bleak and work cumbersome.

    And then, a few days ago, I stumbled upon KillWhite. Instantly, the sun’s rays once again found their way through the clouds. A bird started tweeting. I heard the soothing sounds of running water. A spurt of joy burst from my chest and filled the entire room. I was free. Emancipated. No longer constrained by technological shortcomings. My 5-year old daughter sensed something had happened, looked at me and saw a tear running down my cheek.

    “Daddy,” she asked, “are you sad?”

    “No, honey”, I replied. “Daddy is finally at peace.”

    I love you.

  36. Fernanda says:

    Does it work with CC?

  37. Navarro Parker says:

    Adobe killed off Pixel Bender with CS6. What are your plans for a CC2014 64-bit (and Mac) version?

  38. Mike says:

    My plans are to review this after I get married. Weddings are seriously difficult.

  39. Gates Bradley says:

    I would happily pay for an updated CC-Compatible version. You have no idea how much I miss this thing you made. I’ve tried every other solution I could find, and none give the quality results that yours does. Maybe you could offer it through Adobe Add-ons? Really glad to see you keep this thread open. And congratulations on getting married!

  40. Lydia Haworth says:

    I would also happily pay for a CC version!! Please kept me updated if there are any plans to! & happy wedding 🙂

  41. Jill Menzies says:

    I would too!

  42. Mike says:

    I need testers for 64bit!
    please see this post for more info:

  43. Mike says:

    I’ve only tested on one computer but so far yes.