How to Make Background Transparent in Paint 3D (and Paint)

Transparent images have a PNG file format

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Key notes

  • To create a transparent background in Paint, you just need to select the object and cut it from an image.
  • Paint 3D also supports transparent background, and it’s usually a better option for image editing.

Paint is the image editor included with Windows. Most photographers probably overlook MS Paint or new Paint 3D for editing photos as they have relatively limited tools compared with the likes of Photoshop.

However, one thing you can do is make a transparent background in Paint and Paint 3D on Windows 10 as well as Windows 11.

How to make a transparent background in Paint?

1. Add transparent backgrounds to images

  1. Open Paint by clicking the Cortana button.
  2. Enter the keyword Paint in Cortana’s search box, and select to open Paint.
  3. Next, click File, then Open, and select an image to open.
  4. Press the Select button, and then click the Transparent selection option.transparent background in Paint on Windows 10
  5. Select the Free-form selection option on the Select button’s menu.
  6. Trace around a foreground area to preserve from the original picture with the cursor by holding the left mouse button.
  7. The rest of the picture left outside the traced area will be a transparent background.transparent background in Paint on Windows 10
  8. Right-click within the rectangle that appears around the selected area.
  9. Select Cut on the context menu to remove the selected foreground from the picture as in the snapshot below.transparent background in Paint on Windows 10
  10. Now open an entirely new image in Paint.
  11. Press the Ctrl + V hotkey to paste the foreground area you traced from the first image.
  12. As that picture now has a transparent background, you can see the rest of the second image behind it as shown below.
  13. Now left-click the pasted foreground image, and drag it to a suitable position on the background picture.

If you ever wondered how to remove background in Paint, this is one of the ways to do it. And if you’re not satisfied with the result, choose a product from this list of free photo editors since they may help you.

2. Alternative methods for adding transparent backgrounds to images

  1. Go to the Layers tab on the right pane, right-click your image, and select Duplicate Layer.
  2. Make sure to hide the newly created bottom image layer.
  3. Select the original picture in the Layers tab, and then select the Magic Wand tool from the toolbar on the left pane.
  4. Select and mark the background in your image that you need to turn transparent.
  5. Click the Delete key on your keyboard.
  6. Press File, and hit Save as...
  7. Give your newly-created image a name, and save it in the PNG format.

When it comes to digital graphics design, few programs have a more resounding name than Adobe Photoshop.

Among the many features that this program boasts, it can also help you in your effort to create transparent backgrounds.

This is thanks to the fact that Adobe Photoshop supports the use of image layers, allowing you to overlap images for great effect.

If you want to know to create a transparent background in Adobe Photoshop, follow the steps above.

Of course, this is just one of many tools and useful tricks that you can perform in Adobe Photoshop.

As such, if you are an avid graphics designer and feel like adding a bit of extra life to your photography, then a tool like Adobe Photoshop is the right thing for you.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a professional image editing software that you can use to easily remove the background from any image.
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3. How do you make the background transparent in Paint 3D?

1. Enter Paint 3D in Windows 10’s or 11’s search box and press Enter to launch the app.

paint 3d open

2. Navigate to the Menu section in the top left corner of the app.

3. Go to Open > Browse files and select an image to open in Paint 3D.

browse files paint 3d guide

4. Press the Crop button, and then drag the selection rectangle over an area of the image that you want to keep.

5. Click Done on the menu when you finish making the selection.

6. Click on the Canvas button from the top menu.

paint 3d canvas

7. Toggle the Transparent canvas setting on.

transparent canvas paint 3d setting

8. Navigate to the Brushes section from the top-down menu, and select the Eraser.

paint 3d transparent background brushes choose eraser

9. Use the eraser around the object you want to set a transparent background to.

set a transparent background in paint 3d eraser

10. After you finish, click Menu > Save as > Image.

11. Enter a file title in the text box that opens and select the PNG format.

12. Press the Save button when you finish. The image now has a transparent background.

paint 3d save 2d image

4. Add a different background in Paint 3D

  1. Enter Paint 3D in Windows 10’s search box.
  2. If you haven’t had the Creators update, add the app to Windows 10 from this website page.
  3. Select to open the Paint 3D app below.
  4. Click Menu, then Open and Browse files, and select an image to open in Paint 3D.
  5. Press the Canvas button to open the sidebar shown directly below.
  6. Click the Transparent canvas setting on the sidebar.
  7. Press the Select button, and then drag the selection rectangle over an area of the image to delete.
  8. Press the Ctrl + X hotkey to cut out the area from the picture as in the snapshot below.
    • That leaves the picture with a blank transparent area that any background layer can fill.
  9. Click Menu > Save as, and select the 2D PNG option.
  10. Enter a file title in the text box, and press the Save button.
  11. Click Menu > New to open a blank canvas.
  12. Select Menu > Open > Browse files, and select to open a background layer image for the transparent picture you just saved.
  13. Click Menu > Insert, and select to open the transparent image that you saved.
  14. The transparent image will open on top of the background layer as shown in the snapshot directly below.transparent background in Paint on Windows 10
  15. As you can see, the background image layer now fills the transparent area in the overlapping picture.
  16. You can resize the overlapping picture by moving the cursor to one of the selection border’s corners, holding the left mouse button, and then dragging the cursor.transparent background in Paint on Windows 10
  17. To rotate the foreground picture layer, hover the cursor over the rotation circle at the top of the selection border and hold the left mouse button. Drag the cursor left or right to rotate the selected layer clockwise or anti-clockwise.

Cutting the foreground out in Paint leaves a blank area in the original picture. However, that does not become a transparent region in the original picture when you save the image.

Consequently, the area cut out remains blank when you open the image and utilize layers in other image-editing software.

Should you encounter any issues with Paint 3D on Windows 10 or Windows 11, this guide dedicated to fixing Paint 3D if it’s not working will help you to get it up and running in no time.

However, Paint 3D in Windows 10 & 11 does save transparent areas in images, and you should be able to make a transparent background in Paint 3D using this method.

If you need more ideas on how to make transparent selections in Paint & Paint 3D, we’ve written an awesome tutorial with some quick tips & tricks.

So, that’s how you can add transparent backgrounds to images with Paint on Windows 10 & 11. Then you can combine the transparent images with other pictures by pasting the selected foreground or overlapping them with layers.

Alternatively, in case you may want to remove photo background images without using any photo background remover software, check out this guide about erasing photo backgrounds for more information.

Please, feel free to give us any information, tips, and your experience with the subject in the comment section below.

More about the topics: All the Windows 10 tips you need to Know, paint 3d, photo editors