How To

Learn how to make a background transparent in Paint

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.

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If you want to know to create transparent background in Adobe Photoshop, follow the steps below:

  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

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 into your photography, then a tool like Adobe Photoshop is the right thing for you.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a professional image editing software that you can use to easily remove the background from any image.

3. Add transparent backgrounds to images in Paint 3D

  1. Enter Paint 3D in Windows 10’s search box. If you haven’t had the Creators update, add the app to Windows 10 from this website page.
  2. Select to open the Paint 3D app below.
  3. Click Menu > Open > Browse files, and select an image to open in Paint 3D.
  4. Press the Canvas button to open the sidebar shown directly below.
  5. Click the Transparent canvas setting on the sidebar.
  6. Press the Select button, and then drag the selection rectangle over an area of the image to delete.
  7. 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.
  8. Click Menu > Save as, and select the 2D PNG option.
  9. Enter a file title in the text box, and press the Save button.
  10. Click Menu > New to open a blank canvas.
  11. Select Menu > Open > Browse files, and select to open a background layer image for the transparent picture you just saved.
  12. Click Menu > Insert, and select to open the transparent image that you saved.
  13. 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
  14. As you can see, the background image layer now fills the transparent area in the overlapping picture.
  15. 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
  16. 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.

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

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


Paint 3d isn’t working on Windows 10? This guide will get you up and running in no time.


By following the steps written above, you should be able to turn any backgrounds transparent in Microsoft Paint.

If you need more ideas on how to make transparent selections in Paint, we’ve written a similar guide on the subject. Check it out here.

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


FAQ: Learn more about Microsoft Paint

Yes, Microsoft Paint is completely free-to-use, at some point even came pre-installed with Windows 10.

  • Where can I download Microsoft Paint?

Microsoft Paint is now downloadable as an app via the Microsoft Store. However, if you are looking for some professional alternatives, there are some other great graphics editors out there.

  • Are there any alternatives to Microsoft Paint?

There are plenty of alternatives to Microsoft Paint, some of which are professional-grade graphics design tools. These include Krita, GIMP, Adobe Photoshop, as essential graphics & design software tools.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in October 2017 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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