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How to Extend Background in Photoshop: 2 Easy Ways [2024, Free]
AI Image Generation

How to Extend Background in Photoshop: 2 Easy Ways [2024, Free]

May 16, 2024 · 3 minutes read
How to Extend Background in Photoshop: 2 Easily Ways [2024]

Have you used Photoshop's AI tools to extend an image background?

Recently, I needed to resize some photos and was searching for tools to enlarge them without distortion. While using Photoshop, I discovered 2 AI tools for this purpose: "Generative Fill" and "Content-Aware Scales".

However, not many people are aware of them.

I am writing this article to share my experience using these powerful tools and to demonstrate how to use them through an easy step-by-step tutorial.


▲ Try extending your images online with a free Photoshop alternative AI tool

Additionally, if you don't have Photoshop, I will also introduce how to extend image background without Photoshop for you.

With them, you don’t have to worry about the image becoming distorted after stretching it.

How to Extend Image Background Using Photoshop’s AI Generative Expand

The first Photoshop tool, 'Generative Expand', was launched in early 2023.

It utilizes Generative AI to expand images by generating new content to fill the missing space. All you need to do is extend the canvas and let it expand the image background while preserving details.

Let’s delve into the process!

Step 1. Open an image in Photoshop

Step 1. Upload Your Photo to Photoshop

Start by launching Photoshop and opening the image you want to extend the background for. You can do this by navigating to "File"- "Open" and selecting your desired image from your computer.

Step 2. Set up the Crop tool and Generative Expand

Step 2. Look for the "Generative Expand" Tool

Once the image is opened, select the Crop tool from the toolbar on the left-hand side. In the options bar at the top, locate and click on the dropdown menu and choose "Generative Expand" from the list of options.

Step 3. Adjust the Image Size

Step 3. Adjust the Image to Your Desired Size

With the Crop tool still selected, click and drag on the image to create a cropping border. Then, adjust the size of the cropping border to encompass the area you want to extend the background into.

Step 4. Click the Generate button

Step 4. Click "Generate" to Start Generative AI Expansion

Finally, locate and click the "Generate" button in the options bar at the top of the screen. Photoshop will then use its AI-powered Generative Expand feature to seamlessly extend the background of your image based on the surrounding content.

How to Extend Image Background Using Photoshop’s Content-Aware Scale

The second tool is one that has been widely discussed before: Content-Aware Scale.
It's very similar to Generative Expand, but it functions differently.

Let's explore how to use it and understand its operation!

Content Aware Scale

Step 1. Open an image in Photoshop

Begin by launching Photoshop and opening the image you wish to extend the background for. Simply go to "File"- "Open" and choose your desired image from your computer.

Step 2. Select "Edit"- "Content Aware Scale"

After the image is opened, navigate to the top menu and select "Edit" followed by "Content-Aware Scale" from the dropdown menu. This will activate the Content-Aware Scale feature, allowing you to stretch the image while preserving important content.

Step 3. Stretch the Canva Size

Click and drag any of the corner handles of the image to stretch the canvas size in the desired direction. Photoshop's Content-Aware Scale feature will intelligently analyze the image content and extend the background.

What's the Difference Between Generative Expand and Content-Aware Scale?

You can consider Generative Fill as the advanced edition of Content-Aware Scale.

Generative Expand was newly released in May 2023, utilizing Generative AI to fill in missing spaces by generating details of the image background, while Content-Aware Scale sometimes results in distortion of the image background.

Both Generative Expand and Content-Aware Scale preserve the appearance of the main object in the photo, but Generative Expand excels in generating a natural image background.

How to Extend Image Background for Free Without Photoshop

Photoshop's Generative Expand is a powerful tool for Photoshop enthusiasts.

However, its price is considerably high, and it requires basic photo editing skills.

In addition to Photoshop, we recommend a free alternative AI image extender for both mobile and online users: YouCam Enhance.


YouCam Enhance is a versatile AI photo editing app that features various Generative AI capabilities, including AI Image Expansion, AI Generative Fill, and Generative AI Object Removal, all of which share many common AI features with Photoshop.

Free & Easy to Use Mobile AI Image Extender


YouCam Enhance offers a user-friendly and free mobile AI image extender, serving as a convenient alternative to Photoshop's Generative Expand feature.

With this app, I can directly upload my captured photos and utilize its AI Image Extender feature without needing a computer.

If you're a beginner with Photoshop or unfamiliar with its usage, I highly recommend giving this free tool a try!

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