Use the Healing tool

Remove unwanted aspects of a photo in a few simple steps with the Healing tool.


Starting with the May release of the Lightroom Classic version (13.3), the Heal tool has been renamed to Remove
Generative AI by (Adobe) Firefly is now available in Lightroom Classic with generative remove. This feature lets you quickly and easily remove unwanted objects from an image. The identified distraction can be highlighted and refined using the brush mask, and Adobe Firefly will automatically remove the object and blend it into a flawless frame. Check how to use Generative AI to learn more.

About the Healing tool

The Healing tool in Lightroom Classic lets you repair a selected area of an image by sampling from the spot and a different area of the same image. For example, you can clean up a landscape picture by removing any unnecessary objects (people, overhead electrical wiring, and more).

Removing person from a landscape photo using Spot Removal tool in Lightroom Classic CC
The photograph of a landscape contains a person (image left). The person can be removed from the scene using the Healing tool (image right).

Using the Healing tool

  1. In the Edit panel in the Loupe view, select the Remove icon. 

  2. Select one of the following:


    Removes spots and objects using Generative AI by (Adobe) Firefly and fills the selection with generated content.


    Matches the texture, lighting, and shading of the sampled area to the selected area.


    Duplicates the sampled area of the image to the selected area.

  3. Change the size, feather, or opacity of the selected healing tool as necessary.

    • Size: Specifies the diameter of the brush tip in pixels.
    • Feather: Controls the soft-edged transition between the brushed area and the surrounding pixels in the target area. This option is only available for Heal and Clone.
    • Opacity: Controls the opacity of the adjustment applied to the target area.

    You can scroll up/down to increase/decrease the radius of the tool. Or, your can use the bracket keys on your keyboard to change the brush size:

    • Left bracket ([) reduces the tool radius size.
    • Right bracket (]) increases the tool radius size.
  4. In the photo, click and drag the part of the photo to retouch.

    • A white marquee area designates your selection.
    • For Heal and Clone, another white marquee area with an arrow pointing at the selection designates the sampled area. 
    Using the Spot Removal tool to retouch a photo in Lightroom Classic CC
    Identify the part of the image to clean (the person, in this case), and then use the Spot Removal tool to paint the area. Use the pins (image right) to reposition the selected or sample areas.

  5. (Optional) To change the sampled area that is selected by default, do one of the following:

    • Automatically Click the handle of a selected area, and press the forward slash key (/). A new area is sampled. Press the forward slash key until you find a sample area that fits best. You can also click Refresh to automatically sample a new area.
    • Manually Use the handle of the sampled area to drag and select a new area. This is applicable only for Heal and Clone. For Content Aware Remove press Cmd/Ctrl and drag an area on the image while a Content Aware Remove spot is selected.

    When you select larger portions of an image using longer strokes, the right sample area match is not found immediately. To experiment with various options, click the forward slash (/), and the tool auto-samples more areas for you.

  6. To remove all the adjustments made using the Healing tool, click the Reset button below the toolstrip.

Keyboard shortcuts and modifiers

Circular spot:

  • Single click creates a circular spot, and automatically finds a source.
  • Control/Command + click to create a circular spot; drag to set the source of the spot. This option is only available for Heal and Clone.
  • Command/Control + Option/Alt + click to create a circular spot; drag to set the size of the spot.
  • Command/Control + Option/Alt + Shift + click to create a circular spot; drag to set the size of the spot.

Delete a selected area or spot:

  • Select a pin, and press Delete to remove the adjustment.
  • Press Option/Alt and click a spot to delete it.
  • Press Option/Alt and drag the mouse to draw a marquee, and automatically delete spots that are within the marquee.

Cleaning up a photo with the Visualize Spots feature

When you print a photo at full resolution, the printed output may contain many imperfections that were not visible on a computer screen. These imperfections may include dust on a camera sensor, blemishes on somone's skin in a portrait, or tiny wisps of cloud in an otherwise blue sky. At full resolution, these imperfections can be distracting.

The Visualize Spots feature helps you see and fix these imperfections before you print.

When the Healing tool is selected, the Visualize Spots option and slider are available below the image. When you select the Visualize Spots option, the image is inverted, and you can see imperfections more clearly. You can vary the contrast levels using the slider, to look for imperfections in greater or lesser detail. You can then use the Healing tool to remove distracting elements.

  1. Select the Healing tool from the toolstrip, and then select the Visualize Spots checkbox from the toolbar.

    The image is inverted, and the outlines of the elements of the image are visible.

    Using Visualize Spots option when the Spot Removal tool is selected in Lightroom Classic CC
    Visualize Spots option is off (left). When you select the Visualize Spots option (right), more details becomes available for cleanup using the Spot Removal tool. For example, specks of dust on the hat in the photo are more clearly visible in this view.

  2. Use the Visualize Spots slider to vary the contrast threshold of the inverted image. Move the slider to different contrast levels, to view imperfections like dust, dots, or other unwanted elements.

  3. Use the Healing tool to clean up elements of the photo. Clear the Visualize Spots checkbox to view the resulting image.

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until satisfied.


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