Why Does Your PNG Have a Checkered Background?

Why Does Your PNG Have a Checkered Background?

PNG images are widely used for graphics, icons, logos, etc., which typically require versatility in how they are used. You may want to put your image on merchandise, a business card, or your company website. Whatever the platform or product, there are key characteristics of PNG that make it the ideal format for this— like its lossless compression style or its color depth or editability.

Your PNG has a checkered background because that grid signals that your image has a transparent background. It’s common to see a checkered background for a PNG image if you have it open in a design program like Photoshop.

Now that you’re aware that a checkered background signals transparency, what is next? If transparency isn’t what you intended, or perhaps the image was sent to you, and the checkered background is separate from the transparent background. Keep reading for ways to fix or adjust these issues.

How to Remove a Checkered Background Attached to Your PNG

Image files are exchanged all the time, especially in the design industry. When opening the file, you may notice some components or layers that are not needed. If that is the case and you receive a PNG image with a checkered background attached, there is a way to remove it.

There are two reasons you may see an attached checkered background. The file was saved as a screenshot, retaining the checkered background as part of the image, or the background may have been added to show what the image asset looks like for web purposes.

An attached checkered background is simple to remove in Photoshop with the following steps:

  1. Select and unlock your image layer.
  2. Click on “Windows” in the menu at the top of the screen, then select “Properties.”
  3. At the bottom of the panel, under “Quick Actions,” choose “Remove Background.”
  4. The “Remove Background” option will automatically select your image and remove the background via a layer mask.
  5. Add a different background or export your PNG by clicking on File>Save A Copy.

If you export your image, ensure the format is set to PNG to preserve transparency. If you save in another format that does not support transparency, like JPEG, it will automatically place a white background around the image.

If you don’t use Photoshop, the steps to remove a checkered background attached to your PNG may be a little different. Each design program contains different menus and functions for performing tasks.

How to Add a Background to a Transparent PNG

The checkered background of a PNG simply shows that the image has a transparent background. You will only see this while the image is opened in a program like Photoshop. Once you export the image, the checkered background will no longer be present, and you can put your graphic or logo on any mockup or website with ease.

If you received a PNG with a transparent background and you would like to add one in Photoshop, use the following steps:

  1. Click on “Layer” in the menu at the top of the screen.
  2. Scroll down to “New Fill Layer” and select one of the following options: solid color, gradient, or pattern.
  3. A dialogue box will appear that names the new layer; press “ok.”
  4. Now you can select your background color, gradient, or pattern.
  5. The new layer will automatically appear over the image layer. Click and drag the new layer to be below the image layer.
  6. Save your image as a JPEG, PSD, or both.

Again, if you’re looking for a simple white background, the easiest way to accomplish this is by saving your image as a JPEG. If you want an image as your background, you can also add that as a new layer. Be sure to click and drag it below your transparent PNG.

If you don’t use Photoshop, the steps to add a background to your PNG may be a little different. Each design program contains different menus and functions for performing tasks. Check the instructions on the software website.

For example, on Placeit.net simply select the background color dropdown and choose the checkered box to make any design’s background transparent, or choose a color to change the background to a solid color.


Most likely, if you’re working with a PNG file, you want a transparent background, and now you know that the checkered background you see in a design application is exactly what you should be seeing. If not, now you have options on removing the checkered background if it doesn’t represent transparency or adding a background if the image requires one.