How To Crop A Photo Into A Circle In Canva

Have you ever seen a photo online in the shape of a circle and wondered what kind of digital magic it takes to pull off this effect for your own image? Well, the good news is there’s no magic required, and it’s effortless to crop a photo into a circle in Canva.

Cropping an image into a circle with most graphic design programs usually requires using different layers and complicated tools for novices. In Canva, it’s a simple drag-and-drop process. In the following guide, you’ll learn how to crop a photo in the shape of a circle with and without a customizable outline.

How To Make A Photo Circular In Canva

Cropping your image into a frame with Canva is as simple as using a Frame, then making the necessary adjustments. This section will guide you through this simple process.

Step 1: Add A Circle Frame To Your Canvas

The Frame is the main element you need to crop a photo into a circle in Canva. A Frame allows you to crop your image by simply dragging and dropping your picture inside it.

To find the frame you need, select Elements in the left sidebar, then scroll down to the Frames section. Click See All to browse your options.

You can now see all the frames that Canva provides. The Circle Frame should be the first one at the top of the list. Drag the Frame from the Side Panel to your Canvas.

Step 2: Find The Image You Want To Use

You have two options for finding an image for your cropped photo: add your own image to Canva or find a picture on Canva itself. 

To upload your own image to Canva, select Uploads, then click Upload Files. You’ll be directed to search through your hard drive to find the file you want to upload. Once you upload the image, you’ll find it in the Uploads section.

To find an image in Canva, select Elements, then scroll to the Photos section. Click See All to browse all the photos available on Canva.

With the photo section open in the Side Panel, you can scroll down until you find the best image for your project. If you’re a free Canva user, look out for photos with little gold crown icons on them. These crowns mean you will need Canva Pro to use the image.

If you’re a free Canva user and want to filter out the Pro images, you can click the Filter button next to the search bar.

Once the options open up, make sure Free is ticked on to filter out all Pro images from your search result. Also, make sure to tick on Static to eliminate any animations from showing up.

You will now have all of the available free images from Canva at your fingertips.

Step 3: Place Your Image Inside The Frame

Now, it’s time to add your chosen image to the circle frame. To do this, simply drag the image from the Side Panel onto the frame itself. Canva will automatically fill the frame with the picture, cropping it into a circle.

Step 4: Adjust, Scale, And Position Your Image

One of the most convenient parts of using a frame is how easy it is to adjust the image inside the frame, adjust the size of the frame itself, and position the frame somewhere else on the canvas.

To adjust the image inside the frame, first double-click the image. You will see a half-transparent version of your image that you can drag to the left or the right.

While adjusting the image inside the frame, you can use the white lines to help center the image.

Once the image looks good inside the frame, you can adjust the frame’s size by first selecting the frame to reveal the corner handles, then dragging one of the handles until the frame is the size you need it.

Once your frame is the size it needs to be, make sure to center it in the middle of the Canvas. While dragging the image around, use the pink lines to help you center the image.

Step 5: Export The Image To Your Computer

Your image is now officially cropped into a circle, and the last thing left is to download it to your computer. This way, you can place your cropped image wherever you need to.

To start this process, select the Share button at the top right of the screen, then click the Download button in the menu that pops down.

In the Download options menu, ensure that PNG is selected under File Type, as PNG will maintain the required transparency needed to remove the background. Also, make sure that Transparent Background is checked on as well. Keep in mind that this option is only available for Canva Pro users.

When ready, click Download.

Your image is now downloaded to your computer. To check if the exporting process worked, locate the file on your hard drive and double-click it. When the file opens, you should see your image with no background behind it. If you see the background, you’ll need to repeat the exporting process and ensure the correct options are selected.

How To Crop A Photo Into A Circle With An Outline In Canva

Sometimes, when cropping a photo into a circle, you may want an outline around it to make the image pop out more. This is easy to do in Canva and is similar to cropping an image without an outline.

Step 1: Add An Outlined Circle Frame To Your Canvas

Instead of adding a circle element behind your cropped photo to create the illusion of an outline, you can make life easier for yourself by adding a frame to your canvas that already has an outline on it.

To find an outlined circle frame, select Elements, then scroll down to the Frames section. Click See All to browse through all of the available Frames.

In the Side Panel, you can scroll through every Frame in Canva and look for an outlined circle Frame. Even though this is possible to do so, it can take a lot of time. Instead, you can save minutes of browsing by searching for circle in the search bar at the top of the Frames option bar.

Next, you’ll be presented with all the available circle Frames in Canva.

For the size of your outline, you can choose the Frame that fits the thickness you need. You won’t be able to change the outline’s size later, so make sure to choose wisely.

Once you’ve decided which Frame works the best, drag it from your Side Panel to the Canvas.

Step 2: Add Your Image To Your Outlined Circle Frame

Once you’ve decided on the photo you want to use, either by uploading a new image to Canva or by browsing through Canva’s images, drag the image from the Side Panel to the Frame. The image will crop itself to the shape of the circle.

Step 3: Adjust, Scale, And Position Your Image

If the image needs to be more centered inside the Frame, double-click it, then drag the slightly transparent image where you need it.

With the image centered, you can change the size of the frame by selecting it, then dragging the side handles.

Then, you can quickly center your image by using the quick guides.

Step 4: Change The Color Of The Outline (Optional)

One of the best parts about using an outlined circle Frame is how easy it is to change the outline’s color. To start the process, select the frame, and click the Color Picker above the canvas.

In the Side Panel, you can now choose from the long list of available colors. This includes the Photo Colors section, which includes a palette of the most prominent colors in the image. This section is great if you want your outline to blend in with the photo.

The outline will automatically change once you click on your chosen color.

If the color you’ve chosen doesn’t quite fit your vision, you can adjust the saturation by clicking the Add A New Color button. A new color picker will pop up, allowing you to stay in the same range but also letting you choose a brighter or less saturated version of your chosen color.

Step 5: Export The Image To Your Computer

Your image is now officially cropped, and you’re ready to export it. To start the process, select the Share button, then click Download in the menu that pops down.  

In the Download options menu, ensure that PNG is selected under File Type and that Transparent Background is checked on.

When you’re ready, click Download.

Once you’ve downloaded the image, make sure to locate the file on your hard drive and preview it. If the background is missing, then you’re good to go.

Ultimately, if you can think of a shape for a photo, there is often a frame found for it in Canva. Be sure to look at your different frame options and play around with all the unique options available beyond just circles! Plus, if you’re a Canva Pro user, you’ll have access to even more drag-and-drop frame options to make your life easy.


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Article By

Brendan Williams

Hey, I'm Brendan! I'm a professional photographer and photo retoucher who has spent the majority of his career shooting or retouching outdoor lifestyle and social media campaigns for brands like G-Adventures, xoxo Bella, P&G, Fitbit, Chevy, Tourism California, and more. These days I primarily focus my efforts on this site, creating guides and tutorials that I wish I had earlier in my career. Each week I publish new tutorials on Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Canva to help you unlock new skills and bring your creativity to new levels! Everything you learn here is backed by real experience, so you can finally skip the fluff and focus only on what matters.

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