How to Remove Color in Photoshop


Open a color image in Photoshop.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Color digital image

Grayscale Mode: Easy but Limiting

  • Open a color image in Photoshop.

  • Select "Image > Mode > Grayscale." In the dialog box that appears with the question "Discard color information?" click "Discard." For each image pixel Photoshop computes a new luminance value using an internal algorithm and the original color information. It then discards the color channels. The result is a smaller image file but with no way to edit separate color channels.

  • Edit the file as needed, and close the document.


  • Select "Image > Adjustments > Desaturate." This removes all color saturation from the RGB color channels but does not delete the channels themselves. As a result you can still manipulate channels separately to fine tune exposure and contrast. Each pixel in the image retains the same value resulting in a luminance that matches the original.

  • Edit the file as needed, and close the document.

Black and White Adjustment Layer

Channel Mixer in Monochrome

  • Add a "Channel Mixer" adjustment layer ("Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Channel Mixer"). In the "Adjustments Panel" either select the checkbox labeled "Monochrome" or select one of the "Black & White with [Color] Filter (RGB)" options from the drop-down field at the top of the panel. In this mode the "Channel Mixer" layer takes the three color channels as input values and outputs a single gray channel. You can use the red, green and blue sliders to adjust the proportions of each channel, and you can adjust the slider labeled "Constant" to affect all three channels uniformly.

  • Edit the file as needed, and close the document.

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  • Photo Credit from above black and white image by Frenk_Danielle Kaufmann from
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