How to make a background transparent in Paint on Windows

Images with transparent backgrounds are very useful. You can find them all over the internet and when you use it on files, it does not overlap other content with unwanted background clutter. This is a (Portable Network Graphics) PNG image.

All of us have used it at some point in our history with computers and image editing. This image format does not take up much space and is easy to position on other pictures or on presentations.

We may have gone through thousands of these PNG images but have you ever wondered about what goes on when an image without a background is being created or how to create it?

If you are curious, continue reading this article and we’ll tell you about the easiest ways to make your own background-free, transparent images within seconds. 

MS Paint and Paint 3D

Microsoft Paint was a huge part of our early schooling days. Everyone has fond memories of drawing things we liked on this application. The Microsoft Paint tool is what we will be using today to give your image transparent backgrounds.

MS Paint is a built-in Windows graphics editor, with a very simple interface, that can be used to make paintings and scrawlings on a blank screen. This has been an unforgettable part of all Windows Operating System (OS) versions, since 1985.

It got a progressively modern User Interface (UI) and newer features over the ages. As time flew by, this tool’s usage declined, and therefore, Microsoft listed it under the underappreciated apps list and so the developers decided to replace it with a better tool, which was named Paint 3D.

However, they also announced a major upgrade to the paint tool in the Windows 11 OS.

MS Paint interface for Windows 10

Paint 3D is the faster, smoother, and more accurate sibling of the MS Paint tool, that allows three-dimensional rendering of objects also, along with the attributes of the original Microsoft Paint application.

It is an advanced combination of the MS Paint app and 3D graphics rendering engines. With a lot of patience and minimal understanding of this tool’s working, you can make any three-dimensional application in Paint 3D.

Though it offers a variety of services, it is a very light application that comes with Windows 10. There were rumors circulating that this tool won’t be available on Windows 11. 

Paint 3D main page with a blank canvas

One common attribute of these two applications and images is that both of them can be used to remove the existing background of the image and get a transparent background for the image, leaving behind the main subject. These are the two tools we’ll be using to get a transparent background on your computer. 

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What does Transparent Selection mean In MS Paint and Paint 3D?

Microsoft Paint and Paint 3D are usually used to add elements to a new blank document or a picture. Little do a lot of people know that this tool can also be used to erase parts of the image, that are not wanted by the users. These features are recommended to be used on small files as the tools might not be convenient to use on images of higher resolution or quality.

Erasing a color in MS Paint

When you erase a part of the picture off, what happens is that you will remove background color from the pixels of the picture in the editing utility’s foreground area. 

How To Make A Transparent Image Background On Windows 10?

If you have a computer that is powered by the Windows 10 Operating System (OS), there are three different sets of techniques to create an image with a transparent background. You will be using these tools to isolate the subject from the background and remove the background completely from the image. 

To process this task, you can use two utilities that are pre-installed in the Windows 10 OS – 

  1. MS Paint
  2. Paint 3D

If you are not familiar with the working of these variants of the paint tool, you can choose to get this job done through third-party applications or websites that can make a picture transparent. 

Tricks To Remove Background Opacity Of A Picture

You will have to be very cautious while following the below steps and it is okay to make minor mistakes and undo them (Ctrl + Z). Proceed with these guaranteed-to-work techniques.

Making A Picture’s Background Transparent With MS Paint

Let us start with the pioneer of all graphics editing tools on computers, the Microsoft Paint application. Though the process to make a white background transparent through this infamous utility is quite long, it is very simple. 

You can use these steps to make a background-transparent picture through MS Paint. 

  1. Launch the Paint tool. The latest versions of the Windows OS have this tool titled Paint when the classic ones have their Windows graphics editors named MS Paint. 

You can open this tool through the Start menu or with the help of the search bar at the bottom of your screen. If you are willing to, you can open the File Explorer (Windows + E) and go to this directory:

C:\Windows\System32\mspaint.exe

mspaint executable file in the System32 directory
  1. Once the Paint window opens, you will be able to see the workspace and some menu tabs at the top of the window. Click on the File menu and watch the menu drop-down.
Open option in the File Menu
  1. Select the Open option. This will make a small browse window appear on your computer. 
Open window for selecting image to edit
  1. Navigate to the directory which contains the image, the background of which you want to remove using the transparent selection process. 
  2. Select the image and click on the Open button. You will now see the image on your Paint screen instead of the blank, white canvas. 
  3. Click on the Color 2 menu in the Menu bar and select the Eyedropper tool. 
Color 2 palette and the Eyedropper tool
  1. Then, click on the background color. This could also be the color that is predominant all over the picture. This will select this specific color. 
  2. To isolate this color from the rest of the shades on the picture, click on the Select button.
  3. From the drop-down menu, select the Transparent selection option. 
Transparent selection option in the Select menu
  1. Once this option is checked in the Select menu, choose Rectangular selection or Free-form selection, in the Selection section. 
Select Menu and the selection tools in it
  1. Trace around the object, animal, or person that you want to make the background transparent by pressing the left mouse button. 
  2. Now, right-click on the selected area, and from the context menu, choose Cut or Copy.
  3.  When the selected object is in your clipboard, open a new picture (Ctrl + N) and paste it onto the white background of your MS Paint Canvas. 
  4. When you save images after this process, make sure you do it in the PNG format. For this, Click File > Save As > .PNG > Save.
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Making A Transparent Background In Paint 3D

There are three methods to make a transparent background on the Paint 3D tool. If you prefer the Paint 3D tool over the classic Microsoft Paint tool, follow these methods. 

1. Paint 3D Magic Select

The Alpha blending feature of the Paint 3D application can be used to make the picture’s background transparent with the help of the following instructions. 

  1. Select Canvas, which is located in the Paint 3D toolbar
  2. Enable the Transparent canvas option and save the file as a PNG file.
Canvas menu on the right side of the window

If you wish to select a specific part of the image and make it transparent, you can use the Eraser tool and the Magic select tool. 

Magic Select option in the Brushes section
  1. Open the image and select the Magic Select tool.
  2. With a left-click and drag, select a portion of the image, the background of which you want to remove. 
Magic Select area in Paint 3D
  1. Click on the Next option, after the selection rectangle is over the part you didn’t want.
Magic select section in Paint 3D
  1. If there are any changes to be made inside the selection, do them. It is quite helpful that you can make these corrections continuously.
  2. Disable the Autofill background option and select Done, when you are. 
Autofill background checkbox in the Magic Select section
  1. Click Delete option (trash bin icon) to remove the selected part of the image. 
Delete option in the Edit section
  1. Now, keep using transparent selection and deleting parts of the image to make the transparent background for the image. 
  2. Select the object that is present on the image, after making the background transparent, using the Magic Select tool. 
  3. In the Edit section, click on the Copy option, from the top-right corner of the window. 
Copy option in the Edit section

This will take the selected subject to the clipboard.

  1. Now, set the image to be used on a transparent canvas and paste (Ctrl + V) it.
  2. Lastly, Click Menu and choose Save as.
Save as option in the Menu
  1. Select PNG from the Save as type drop-down menu and hit Save.
PNG image format for saving image

2. Eraser Tool

Erasing unwanted parts of the image to create a transparent background is a long process. If you can be willing to wait it out, you will have an image with an accurately selected transparent background. 

These are the steps to erase parts of an image out on Paint 3D. 

  1. Open your Paint 3D tool and prepare the background canvas for image translucency.
  2. Locate and click on the Brushes option from the set of tools on the top-left corner of the window.
  3. From the different brushes available, click on the Eraser one. 
Eraser brush in the Brushes section
  1. Click and drag this brush over the parts of the image that have to be removed to make a transparent background. 
  2. After all the transparent area of the image is removed, save the image as a PNG format or GIF format file.
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3. Removing A Three-dimensional Object

If you are working with a 3D object on Paint 3D and you want to remove a certain part of it from the render, this is the procedure to do so. 

  1. From the Paint 3D tools section, click on the 3D shapes option. 
  2. Choose the Select option and click on the 3D element that you no longer want on your three-dimensional image. 
Select option in the 3D shapes section
  1. After it is selected, click on the Delete option under the Edit sub-section in the Selection section. 

If there is no object behind the removed one, you will have a transparent canvas instead of a color or any other 3D object. After you see the image transparent and without an image background, save it as a PNG image. 

Alternate Ideas To Get A Transparent Background Picture

If you find the above methods complicated, you can use these two tools.

1. Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a very popular tool that is used for large and small-scale photo editing and graphic detailing. This tool has a Magic Wand tool that can be used to select a certain color and remove it, easily.

The only setback of this tool is that it has to be purchased, while the other options are free or pre-installed. You can use this tool if you are into professional photo editing. 

2. Photo-editing Websites

There are several online photo-editing websites that can be used to make the background transparent on an image. Users will simply have to upload the image and wait for the website to process the image, in order to download it.

Not all websites may let users upload and make transparent backgrounds for all sizes of images. Most of these online tools have size and format limitations. 

These are the different methods that a Windows 10 user can employ to make the white background transparent in Paint and Paint 3D. All of these steps were created exclusively, by the developers to create transparency or translucency in the Paint tools.

FAQs

How Do I Make A Background Transparent In Paint?

To make the background transparent in Paint, you have to select the unnecessary parts of the image in the Paint canvas with the free-form selection tool, delete them, and copy-paste the remaining subject in a new image. Save this image as a PNG file and you will have an image that is only the subject. You can also use Adobe Photoshop or Paint 3D to do this.

How Do You Get Rid Of The White Background In Paint?

Open Paint and browse files to open a new image. 
Select the free-form selection tool and highlight all the unnecessary bits on the picture.
Then, delete these parts and copy the remnant subject.
Paste this object onto a new image and save the file as a .PNG image.