Microsoft Paint is a free graphics editor that’s been bundled with Windows for decades as a tool for creating, editing, and viewing images. It’s long had a reputation for not being all that good a tool… but Microsoft is rolling out an updated version of Paint to Windows Insiders that could actually make the app worth using from time to time.

The latest version of Paint for Windows Insiders on the Canary and Dev Channels adds a one-click background removal feature.

While you can also use a variety of free or paid software like GIMP or Photoshop to remove the background in images, Microsoft is serious about making this a one-click process in Paint, which could make background removal a lot simpler for folks who don’t want to learn all the bells and whistles of those tools.

Microsoft says all you need to do is click the background removal option and Paint will “detect the subject from the entire canvas or from a selection using the selection tool.”

In other words, you can let the app guess which item is the subject of the photo and which items should be removed, leaving just that item on an otherwise blank canvas. Or you can draw a rectangle around the item you want to keep, but it won’t have to be all that precise.

I suspect that the results will vary depending on the image, but when it works, it will likely be a big time saver.

Microsoft had actually announced plans in 2017 to deprecated Paint as an app included in Windows and instead offer it as an optional app that could be downloaded and installed from the Microsoft Store. The plan, at the time, was to instead offer Paint 3D with Windows.

But the company later reversed that decision. Paint 3D is no longer bundled with Windows, but Paint is. And it looks like the company is continuing development of the Paint app with the addition of new features like background removal.

While the feature is only available to members of the Windows Insider program at the moment, it will most likely roll out to all users at some future date.

via Windows Insider Blog

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  1. Microsoft has a history of releasing programs that are just “good enough to get the job done” but are in reality terrible. Take WordPad for instance. They deliberately made it so you can’t do page breaks. Want page breaks to write professional documents, or be a writer, well you need Office for that.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they find an excuse to kill Paint too. Microsoft has always been mediocre in that department. Office is actually their bread and butter. $30 windows licenses from computer manufacturers when you buy a new computer are nothing compared to the cash heap they get from Office.

    I hope Microsoft fails as a company. I despise them and their anti-competitive practices that continue to this day. I’m really surprised they’ve been able to skirt a second anti-trust case in the US given their behavior.

    Microsoft, Intel, Meta, Google and Apple, I wish would all be relics of the past and go under. I hate those companies. They do nothing but hurt consumers.

    1. I’m going to tell you all a little secret. My college has a contract with Microsoft. Guess what? I’m taking a psychology class as part of my required prerequisites for my program of choice, and we have to use PowerPoint to make presentations.

      I found out in Computer Information Systems class, that my school has a contract with Microsoft, and guess what? Have an Apple or a Chromebook or Linux, you cannot fulfill your class requirements because they require you to use Microsoft software, classes that are carefully crafted to use Microsoft software – to pass your classes.

      I hate them for that too. I have to have Windows on my school computer just to be able to do my classes. That makes me seeth. Cause I’m an open-source advocate and prefer opensource when ever possible. This behavior is also anti-competitive. I HATE getting online with my Windows 11 school computer because it is required, but I have no choice.

      Believe me, when I graduate, I’m not not only recycling this POS school computer, but am keeping Debian on my main gaming laptop. Windows wont touch it!!!!

    2. Microsoft and the Big Five only care about themselves, they don’t care about you, the consumer.

      1. lol…. @ microsoft bad & chilidog; was just speaking my mind. Take it or leave it, I couldn’t care either way. 😛