How to Separate Photos Stuck Together

How to Separate Photos Stuck Together

Photos get stuck together for various reasons, such as humidity or spilled liquids. This can be frustrating and time-consuming to fix, but it’s not impossible. In addition, there are various methods you can use to separate the photos without damaging them. One method is using photo editing software that has the ability to cut out sections of content from one image and place it onto another image with some overlap so that they fit together nicely.

You may also try carefully separating them using your fingers if there isn’t too much glue on either side of the photo paper or by soaking in warm water before attempting any removal techniques. This blog post will show you more methods on how to separate photos stuck together without damaging them. So read on to know these methods.

5 Reasons Why Photos Get Stuck

1. When a photo is pasted to another photo using the Paste Into function, the edge of one or both photos can be dragged during the final stages of pasting. If it isn’t dragged far enough in one direction, then the photos can become stuck together.

2. If the edges of both photos are dragged too far in opposite directions, then it will stick to an edge.

3. If a photo is pasted on top of another one and there’s a part that doesn’t want to be covered up, then parts can get stuck together during the final stages of pasting. This also applies to cropping a photo in the middle, where similar problems will occur. Dragging the edges far enough is also important to avoid this.

4. When dragging photos around using the Move tool with the Pick Tool Options set to Select-Object (which you should always use for moving objects), it’s possible to not drag a photo far enough away from another photo before releasing the mouse button. This can result in photos getting stuck together.

Overlapping Photos

5. If you have two overlapping photos and try to move one of them, then the other might stick to it because it’s selected at the same time as the photo you’re moving. So make sure that both photos are deselected before trying to move either of them.

10 Methods  on How to Separate Photos Stuck Together

1. Straighten and Separate

Use your fingers to straighten the photo. Then, use a credit card or plastic spoon, scrape the back of the photos.  Do not use metal because it can damage the photos.  Be careful, do not remove any extra pieces other than the photo(s). Gently run your fingers along the inner edge of the photo to get rid of any white residue. If needed, you can use a credit card or plastic spoon to scrape off any extra pieces.

2. Put Photos in Warm Water

Place photos in warm water, soak for several minutes.  This is beneficial because

a) Some adhesives are soluble in water;

b) Exposure to moisture acts as a catalyst on certain adhesives;

c) It can soften the adhesive and make it more pliable;

d) Sometimes, an unsightly stain can be removed

3. Use Rubbing Alcohol and Soak

Pour rubbing alcohol on a piece of paper towel or cloth until it is wet but not dripping.  Place the photos in the alcohol for one minute.  Gently pull them apart and use another dampened paper towel to remove excess alcohol (do not directly wipe the photos).  Let it air dry as you check to be sure photos are not sticking together. Photo splatter is not a perfectly precise process, but I’m okay with that. I like the randomness of it and the way it looks to me.

4. Heat with a Hair Dryer

Use a Hairdryer Set

Use a hairdryer set on the low or cool setting to warm up and soften adhesive. Gently pull photos apart while they are warm.  Use a clean, dry cloth to remove residue and fingerprints from the back of photos. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the back of the photo. Use a soft bristle brush to gently brush off any dust or dirt from the front of the photo. If you want to store your photos in an archival-safe way, consider putting them in polyethylene sleeves. Polyethylene is a plastic that is rated for archival storage and it can be found at many craft stores.

5. Freeze with Ice Cubes

Freeze photos with ice cubes for a few minutes, then try pulling them apart. You might also want to try using a popsicle stick or tongue depressor to separate the photos. You can also use a knife if you’re careful not to damage the photos. Try the Scotch tape-on-the-wall trick. This works best if you have a wall or surface that is well-lit, or if you can use sunlight to light it up. You will need some thumbtacks and scotch tape.

6. Soak in Water and Baking Soda

Add baking soda to warm water until it’s very soapy, then soak for about five minutes.  Dry thoroughly with paper towels or a clean towel.  Be careful when handling the photos after they have been wet, as fingerprints and smudges will show. If you want to touch up the photos, such as adding text, use a dry cotton swab with rubbing alcohol or a soft paintbrush with clear nail polish.

7. Use a Soft Brush to Separate Photos

Gently brush the top of photos with a soft paintbrush (from a craft store) to separate.  Do not rub or scrub, as this can scratch the photo.  This method works best on photographs and other types of paper that are flat, not thick. Saturate a cotton ball with nail polish remover, and apply it to the back of your photo. Rub the cotton ball along the glue until it is no longer sticky. For photos that are particularly important to you, bring them to a photo restoration company.

8. Use Sticky Tape to Peel Back Adhesive

Peel the adhesive from one corner of the photo with a piece of invisible or clear tape.  Slowly continue peeling up the rest of the sticky lint and dirt, careful not to tear photos.  If you need more tape, make sure to lightly press down on each strip as it is peeled back, so the adhesive doesn’t stick to the roll.

9. Spread Wet Photos On Paper Towels 

Wet photos stuck together might be separated if you first spread them out on paper towels and let them soak for ten minutes.  In addition, the water may help dissolve some of the adhesives.

10.Pull up The Moistures

Use a damp cloth to gently lift dirt, lint, and other debris from the back of photos.  Be very careful not to scrub or damage anything on the front of photos.

How Do I Unstick Old Photo Albums?

Photos Glued Together

Separating photos stuck together can be a difficult and frustrating task, especially if they have been glued together haphazardly with different types of glues. But it’s not impossible; you need to know how to separate old photos carefully without doing any damage.

If your photo album does not come apart, the only way to separate the photos is to cut them out. However, if your photo album comes apart, this would be a good time to take all those loose photos and put them in a new photo album.


The best way to separate photos stuck together is with a hairdryer. Hold the dryer about six inches from one photo and slowly move it along the surface of both pictures, being careful not to let them touch each other. This should loosen up any adhesive that may have been used for mounting or framing the images.

Remember that this technique will only work on paper-based materials such as photographs, paintings, posters, etc., so don’t use it on anything made out of plastic! Nevertheless, we hope these methods on how to separate photos stuck together could help you get rid of your problem for good! Remember that if you have valuable photos, it’d be better to take them to a professional. Good Luck!

Read Our Another Article on – How to Stick Two Papers Together

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