Microsoft Paint is getting updated with one of Photoshop's most commonly used tools

Microsoft Paint Background removal tool being demonstrated.
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is working on giving its venerable Paint app the ability to remove backgrounds from an image with one click. And I for one am happy to see the option outside of Photoshop.

A preview is available in the latest Windows Insider builds. Microsoft announced the update on its blog (via Neowin). It's currently available via the Canary and Dev Channels (version 11.2306.30.0).

As you can see in the images above, Microsoft added a Remove Background option at the left of the top ribbon. It will automatically remove the background from the image. You can also use the select tool to remove only a portion of the background of the selected area. You might want to remove your ex from the pictures of both of you standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, for example. Oops.

It's great to see Microsoft adding some additional functionality to Paint. MS Paint is never going to encroach upon the Photoshop user base, but some basic extra functionality certainly is very welcome. Nearly everyone has a camera and takes photos, but most of us don't need, or want to pay for Photoshop. 

Background removal is one of those tedious work tasks I frequently undertake. While you have been able to do it in Photoshop since, well, forever, Photoshop is overkill for what, these days is a fairly basic task. If this Paint option works as described, my Photoshop use could easily drop by half.

But background removal isn't always all smooth sailing. Complex backgrounds with multiple colors, intersecting lines and lighting can all make it a difficult process. If it was so easy, Microsoft would have introduced it years ago. It'll be interesting to see how effective it is with a wide range of images over time. I know I'll be trying it out once it's available to the wider public.


Windows 11 review: What we think of the latest OS.
How to install Windows 11: Guide to a secure install.
Windows 11 TPM requirement: Strict OS security.

Chris Szewczyk
Hardware Writer

Chris' gaming experiences go back to the mid-nineties when he conned his parents into buying an 'educational PC' that was conveniently overpowered to play Doom and Tie Fighter. He developed a love of extreme overclocking that destroyed his savings despite the cheaper hardware on offer via his job at a PC store. To afford more LN2 he began moonlighting as a reviewer for VR-Zone before jumping the fence to work for MSI Australia. Since then, he's gone back to journalism, enthusiastically reviewing the latest and greatest components for PC & Tech Authority, PC Powerplay and currently Australian Personal Computer magazine and PC Gamer. Chris still puts far too many hours into Borderlands 3, always striving to become a more efficient killer.