How to Use Healing Brush in Lightroom

Have you ever attempted to conceal skin imperfections or eliminate dust and dirt from your images? It takes time to look for the perfect editing tools that serve your needs. This photo retouching tutorial is tailor-made if you’re using the Healing Brush in Lightroom Classic.

The Healing Brush in Lightroom is poised to save you considerable time during your retouching endeavors, and the outcomes will undoubtedly speak volumes.

What Is the Healing Brush?

How to Use Healing Brush in Lightroom

The Healing Brush is a spot-removal tool in Adobe Lightroom, specifically in the Develop module. It’s designed to help photographers quickly remove imperfections from their images by blending them seamlessly with the surrounding pixels. 

Think of it as a digital eraser that allows you to retouch your photos with precision and finesse.

How to Use Healing Brush in Lightroom

Accessing the Healing Brush

How to Use Healing Brush in Lightroom

First, navigate the Develop module to use the Healing Brush in Lightroom. Select the image you want to edit and press the D key on your keyboard. 

Once in the Develop module, locate the toolbar on the right-hand side of the screen. The Healing Brush tool icon looks like a bandaid and can be accessed by clicking or pressing the Q key on your keyboard and using that active spot.

Choosing the Brush Size

Before healing, adjust the brush size to fit the area you want to retouch. You can do this by using the scroll wheel on your mouse or by pressing the left and right bracket keys ([ and ]) on your keyboard to increase or decrease the brush size, respectively. 

Aim for a brush size slightly larger than the imperfection you want to remove.

How to Use Healing Brush in Lightroom

Selecting the Sample Area

With the Healing Brush tool active, click and drag over the imperfection you want to remove and press delete. Lightroom will automatically sample an area of pixels surrounding the imperfection to use as a reference for retouching. 

how to use the healing brush in lightroom

If the sampled area doesn’t blend seamlessly with the rest of the image, you can manually choose a new sample area by holding down the Alt key (Option key on Mac) and clicking on a different part of the image.

Adjusting Opacity and Feathering

You’ll find sliders in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen for adjusting the brush’s opacity and feathering. The opacity slider controls the strength of the healing effect, while the feather slider determines how soft or hard the brush stroke edges are. 

Experiment with these settings to achieve the desired look for your retouching.

Healing vs. Cloning

The Healing Brush in Lightroom offers two modes: Heal and Clone. Lightroom blends the sampled pixels with the surrounding area in Heal mode, creating a seamless repair. 

How to Use Healing Brush in Lightroom: clone in lightroom

In Clone mode, Lightroom copies the sampled pixels to the target area without blending them. Use Heal mode for most retouching tasks, and switch to Clone mode for more precise edits where blending isn’t necessary.

Fine-Tuning Your Edits

After applying the Healing Brush, take a moment to inspect your edits and make any necessary adjustments. You can use the Undo command (Ctrl + Z) to revert any changes you’re not happy with, or you can refine your edits further by selecting the brush again and making additional adjustments.

Tips When Using Healing Brush Tool

When using the Healing Brush tool in Lightroom, consider these valuable tips to enhance your retouching workflow and achieve professional-looking results:

  1. Start with Small Brush Sizes: Use smaller brush sizes for precise retouching. It allows you to target specific imperfections without affecting surrounding areas unnecessarily.
  2. Adjust Brush Hardness: Experiment with the brush’s hardness to control the edges’ softness or sharpness. A softer brush is ideal for blending seamlessly into the surrounding pixels, while a more complex brush is helpful for more defined edges.
  3. Use Multiple Strokes: For larger imperfections or areas requiring more extensive retouching, consider using multiple strokes with the Healing Brush tool. It helps to build up the retouching effect and gradually achieve smoother results.
  4. Sample from Different Areas: Avoid repetitive patterns by sampling from various areas of the image. It prevents noticeable cloning or healing patterns and ensures a more natural-looking result.
  5. Blend Colors and Textures: Pay attention to color and texture when sampling and retouching with the Healing Brush. Aim to match the color and texture of the surrounding pixels for seamless integration.
  6. Adjust Opacity and Feathering: Fine-tune your retouching by adjusting the opacity and feathering settings of the brush. Lowering the opacity allows for more subtle retouching while increasing feathering, which helps to blend the edges smoothly.
  7. Toggle Between Heal and Clone Modes: Take advantage of both Heal and Clone modes offered by the Healing Brush tool. Heal mode blends the sampled pixels with the surrounding area, while Clone mode copies the sampled pixels directly. Switch between these modes as needed for different retouching tasks.
  8. Zoom In for Detail: When working on intricate areas or fine details, zoom in on the image to ensure precise retouching. It allows you to accurately target and remove imperfections without affecting other parts of the image.
  9. Use Undo and History: Don’t hesitate to use the Undo command (Ctrl + Z) or access the History panel to revert to previous states if unsatisfied with the results. It provides flexibility and allows for experimentation without fear of making irreversible changes.
  10. Practice and Experiment: Like any skill, mastering the Healing Brush tool requires practice and experimentation. Take the time to familiarize yourself with its capabilities and explore different techniques to find what works best for your specific images.

Removing backgrounds in Lightroom and blurring a Background in Lightroom are other straightforward techniques you may find intriguing besides the healing brush. Our straightforward article is for everyone, should you wish to explore it further.


The Healing Brush tool in Lightroom is a powerful ally for photographers seeking a content-aware removal tool to enhance imperfections and images. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can master the art of retouching and take your photography to the next level.

So, the next time you encounter a dust spot or blemish in your photos, reach for the Lightroom healing brush and let the magic work.

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