How to Round Corners in Photoshop
Learn how to give your photo rounded corners in Photoshop with this easy step-by-step tutorial. Now updated for Photoshop 2024.
In this tutorial, I show you the best way to add rounded corners to your photo with Photoshop. I also show you how to add a border to your photo after rounding the corners. And at the end, I cover the most important step which is how to save the result with the transparency in the corners still intact.
Here’s an example of what the final rounded corners effect will look like when we’re done. I’ve placed the photo on a black background just to make the corners easier to see. The final result will have transparent corners so you can use any background you like.
Which Photoshop version do I need?
I’m using Photoshop 2024. You’ll need a recent version of Photoshop to follow along.
For older Photoshop versions, check out my original Rounded Corners tutorial.
The document setup
I’ll use this photo from Adobe Stock but you can easily follow along with your own image.
Let's get started!
Step 1: Unlock the Background layer
Click the layer’s lock icon to unlock it. Photoshop will rename the layer to
Layer 0 and the lock icon will disappear.
Video: How to round corners in Photoshop
Step 2: Select the Rectangle Tool
If another shape tool is visible, click and hold on its icon and choose the Rectangle Tool from the list.
Step 3: Set the shape options
In the Options Bar, click the Stroke Color swatch.
Set the color to None which turns the stroke off.
Then press Enter (Return on a Mac) to close the color options.
To the left of the stroke color is the Fill Color swatch.
Any color for the shape will work, so I’ll leave mine set to black (the default shape color).
Also in the Options Bar is the Corner Radius option where we can enter a size for the corners before drawing the shape.
Leave it at 0 for now because we’ll round the corners after the shape is drawn.
Step 4: Draw a rectangle shape
Click and hold in the document and drag out your shape. Don’t worry about the shape’s size or location because we’ll resize it next.
In the Layers panel, the shape appears on its own shape layer above the image.
Step 5: Center and resize the shape
Before resizing the shape, let’s center the shape on the canvas.
In the Options Bar, click the Path Alignment icon.
Change the Align To option from Selection to Canvas.
Click the Align Horizontal Centers and Align Vertical Centers icons.
Then click anywhere in the Options Bar to close the box.
Now that the shape is centered, you can resize it from its center by holding the Alt key on a Windows PC, or the Option key on a Mac, and dragging any of the transform handles.
Step 6: Round the corners of the shape
Notice the small circle in each corner of the shape. These are the Corner Radius controls.
To round the corners, simply drag one of the circles.
All four corners of the shape are rounded together by the same amount.
Rounding corners from the Properties panel
Another way to round the corners is in the Properties panel. This second way is useful when you know the exact radius value you need.
In the Properties panel, go to the Corner Radius options. You may need to scroll down to find them.
Here you can enter values for the corner in the upper left, upper right, bottom right and bottom left of the shape.
To set the radius for all four corners at once, first make sure the link icon is selected.
Then enter a value into any of the boxes. I’ll enter 800 px for the upper left corner.
Press Enter (Return on a Mac) to accept it and set all four corners to that value.
How to round a corner separately from the others
Along with rounding all four corners together, you can round the corners individually.
The easiest way is by holding the Alt key on a Windows PC, or the Option key on a Mac, and then dragging the circle for the corner you want to adjust.
So if I want the corner in the upper right to be sharp while the others remain rounded, I can hold Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) and then drag its circle back to its original location.
And now I have one sharp corner (in the upper right) and three rounded corners.
Another way to adjust a corner separately is from the Corner Radius options in the Properties panel.
First unlink the corners by deselecting the link icon.
Then enter a radius value for the corner. So if I want the bottom left corner to also be sharp, I can enter a value of 0 px.
Press Enter (Return on a Mac) to accept it.
We now have two rounded corners and two sharp corners.
But notice that if I now drag a circle (without holding Alt or Option) to adjust all four corners together, the corners in the top right and bottom left remain less rounded than the others.
Resetting the corners
I’ll drag the circles back up into the corners to reset them so they are all once again sharp.
Then I’ll drag one of the circles to round them all by the same amount, which is usually what you want.
Step 7: Create a clipping mask
Now that we’ve rounded the corners of the shape, we need to move the image into the shape. To do that, we’ll use a clipping mask.
In the Layers panel, drag the image layer above the shape layer.
Then with the image layer active, click the Layers panel menu icon.
Choose Create Clipping Mask.
This places the photo inside the shape, making it look like the photo itself has rounded corners.
And everything outside the shape is now transparent, indicated by the checkerboard pattern.
Step 8: Make final adjustments to the corners
You can still adjust the corners if you need to, even with the image inside the shape.
Just reselect the shape layer in the Layers panel.
As long as you still have the Rectangle Tool (or any shape tool) selected in the toolbar, the circles in the corners will reappear.
Drag a circle to adjust the roundness until you’re happy with the results.
To view your image without the shape controls in the way, select the image layer in the Layers panel.
And to bring the controls back, select the shape layer.
Step 9: Trim away the transparent areas
Before we go any further, let’s trim away the transparent areas around the image that we don’t need, since all we really need is the transparency in the corners.
Go up to the Image menu and choose Trim.
In the Trim dialog box, select Transparent Pixels at the top, and make sure Top, Bottom, Left and Right are all selected at the bottom.
Then click OK.
Photoshop trims away all of the transparency except for what remains in the corners.
Step 10: Add a border around the photo (optional)
If you want to add a border around the photo, make sure the shape layer in the Layers panel is selected.
Click the layer effects (fx) icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.
Choose Stroke from the list.
In the Layer Style dialog box, click the color swatch to choose a color for the stroke.
Then choose a color from the Color Picker. I’ll choose white (with the R, G and B values to 255).
Click OK to close the Color Picker when you’re done.
Back in the Layer Style dialog box, make sure the stroke Position is set to Inside.
Then drag the Size slider to set the width of the stroke. The size you need will depend on the size of your image.
Click OK to close the Layer Style dialog box when you’re done.
Here’s my image with the stroke (the border) added.
Step 11: Save the image
Finally, to save the image and keep the corners rounded, we need to save it in a format that supports transparency. JPEG won’t work. Instead, we need to save it as a PNG.
Go up to the File menu and choose Save a Copy (not Save As).
In the Save a Copy dialog box:
- Navigate to where you want to save the file on your computer.
- Change the file type to PNG.
- Give the file a name. I’ll name it “rounded-corners”.
- Click Save.
In the PNG Format Options, choose the Smallest file size and click OK.
Your image is now saved with the rounded corners.
And there we have it! That’s how to round the corners of your image with Photoshop.
- How to draw custom shapes in Photoshop
- How to crop an image in a circle shape
- How to fill a shape with a photo
Don't forget, all of my Photoshop tutorials are now available to download as PDFs!