I'm facing an issue with my Adobe photoshop 2014 and 2015. When I press Ctrl and click on the thumbnail on a layer from layer pallet then it selects the whole boundary of the image. It's not selecting my particular areas. It's the same when I am pressing Ctrl + Shift + Click or Ctrl + Shift + I + Click. I need to select my expectation areas by this method. I've reset my photoshop by clicking Ctrl + Shift + Alt. But nothing happens.

For better understanding, suppose I've selected an image with a quick selection tool then I removed the background and then I deselected that. Now I want to reselect that selection by pressing Ctrl + left click of mouse on the thumbnail of the layer. When I am doing this it's selecting the whole boundary but I need to select my expectation area. enter image description here

  • 1
    Clearly the thumbnail for "layer 1" (#2 in your image) has no transparency to select.
    – Scott
    Jul 27, 2021 at 6:16

2 Answers 2


Your layer has no transparency or mask. That's why Ctrl+clicking the layer thumbnail isn't working.

I don't have a copy of CC 2015 to go through the background removal tools that were available back then. It's outdated. If you already have Photoshop CC, it's free to update to the latest version. It has some additional tools that make selecting the subject and background removal super easy.

Anyhoo . . .

When you make the initial selection of the model, you should then apply it as a layer mask instead. Then if you want a white background, fill a layer underneath with white.

If you then need to reload the selection you can Ctrl+click on the layer mask. You can also paint on the layer mask directly if you want to edit it. Also note that using layer masks is non-destructive method, which means you don't actually need to edit the original image itself, only make a mask.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Thanks, it worked! Jul 27, 2021 at 11:21

Looks like your image has been 'cropped' and then again merged with another white layer (as somewhat visible from your Layers panel). Or maybe a white background is applied to inverted selection of your initial selection. I haven't used 2015 version, but I feel this is the issue.

Does your image have transparent pixels around it? If yes, it should work like your expectation.

I don't know the actual way you removed your background and proceeded.

One example to reproduce your problem:

(This will probably help you understand the problem better)

Make a selection to your image

enter image description here

Then press Ctrl + J to create a new layer via copy

enter image description here

Then make an inverted selection.

enter image description here

Then press Ctrl + Backspace (fills selection with the background color, which is white for this example)

enter image description here

enter image description here

So we're left with the result you have currently. Now you can't select it again because the cropped person is 'merged' with white.

The edge of cropped image are still be visible to us because the background is white and clear, but Photoshop Ctrl + Click doesn't work that way (the way Quick Selection works). It tries to find transparent pixels.

So technically Photoshop can't find any transparent area when you Ctrl + Click and it's selecting the borders of canvas.

Solution: You can use Layer Mask for hiding the background instead of removing it. Simply select (make selection) the person again the way you did before, and click the Add Layer Mask button in Layers Panel.

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    Thanks :D It worked perfectly :) Jul 27, 2021 at 10:27
  • @Asaduzzaman you mean mask? You used masking?
    – Vikas
    Jul 27, 2021 at 10:27
  • All the methods you described worked perfectly. I applied all of them. Jul 27, 2021 at 10:36
  • But is there any way that after selection when I remove the background by pressing Ctrl+Del then the layer takes a transparent background instead of the white background? Jul 27, 2021 at 10:37
  • @Asaduzzaman you can read Billy's answer for elaboration. And that white background thing I elaborated was not a method, it was an example to reproduce your problem. But masking, which I stated in the end, is a solution to your problem. So you don't have to remove the background by Ctrl + Del. You use mask, which will hide the unwanted part of image. It won't remove everything permanently.
    – Vikas
    Jul 27, 2021 at 10:53

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