In the digital age, editing images has become an essential skill for both professionals and hobbyists. One of the most common tasks in photo editing is background removal. While there are many advanced tools available, Microsoft Paint, a simple and widely accessible program, can also be used for basic background removal. This guide will walk you through the steps of removing backgrounds in Paint, as well as answer some frequently asked questions to help you get the most out of this handy tool.

Why Use Paint for Background Removal?

  1. Accessibility: Paint comes pre-installed on all Windows computers, making it easily accessible to a wide range of users.
  2. Simplicity: Paint is straightforward and easy to use, ideal for beginners or quick edits.
  3. No Cost: Paint is free to use, making it a cost-effective option for basic editing tasks.

Steps to Remove Backgrounds in Paint

Step 1: Open Your Image in Paint

  1. Open Paint by typing “Paint” into the Windows search bar and selecting the application.
  2. Click on “File” and then “Open” to select the image you want to edit.

Step 2: Select the Background Area

  1. Click on the “Select” tool in the toolbar.
  2. Choose the “Free-form selection” option from the drop-down menu. This allows you to draw around the area you want to keep.
  3. Carefully draw around the main subject of your image. This can be done by holding down the left mouse button and tracing around the subject.

Step 3: Remove the Background

  1. Once you have selected the area you want to keep, right-click within the selected area.
  2. Click “Invert selection” to select the background instead of the subject.
  3. Press the “Delete” key on your keyboard to remove the background.

Step 4: Refine Your Image

  1. Use the “Eraser” tool to manually clean up any remaining background pixels.
  2. Zoom in on the edges to ensure a clean cut between the subject and the background.

Step 5: Save Your Image

  1. Click on “File” and then “Save As” to save your edited image.
  2. Choose your desired file format (such as PNG for transparent backgrounds) and save the image to your computer.

Advanced Tips for Better Results

  1. Use High-Resolution Images: Higher resolution images provide more detail, making it easier to select and remove the background accurately.
  2. Zoom In for Precision: Use the zoom function to closely inspect and refine the edges of your selection.
  3. Combine with Other Tools: If you need more advanced editing features, consider using Paint in conjunction with other free tools like GIMP or online background removers.


Q1: Can I achieve professional-level background removal with Paint?
A1: Paint is a basic tool and is best suited for simple edits. For professional-level background removal, more advanced software like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP is recommended.

Q2: Is Paint available on macOS?
A2: No, Paint is a Windows application. Mac users can use alternative tools like Preview or online editors.

Q3: Can Paint handle complex images with intricate details?
A3: Paint can handle simple images with clear contrasts between the subject and the background. For intricate details, more advanced tools are preferable.

Q4: Is it possible to add a new background after removing the old one in Paint?
A4: Yes, you can add a new background by copying and pasting your edited subject onto a new background image within Paint.

Q5: What file format should I save my image in after background removal?
A5: Saving your image as a PNG is recommended if you want to maintain a transparent background. JPEG is suitable if you do not require transparency.


While Microsoft Paint may not offer the advanced features of professional photo editing software, it is a versatile and accessible tool for basic background removal tasks. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can efficiently remove backgrounds from your images, making them suitable for various creative projects. Whether you are a beginner or need a quick edit, Paint can be a valuable tool in your image editing arsenal.

This page was last edited on 24 June 2024, at 4:41 pm