How to make background of images transparent in Microsoft Paint [Tip]

In MS Paint, you can usually create and edit images in quick and simple ways. The problem is it doesn’t fully support transparency. So if you want to crop an object from a photo and then place it on top of another image, you need to think of a way to make its background transparent. After all, you can only use the MS Paint select tool to crop in rectangular and free-form shapes.

So without further ado, just read the steps below to get started.

How to make the background of an image transparent in MS Paint

  • On your Windows desktop, click the “Start” button then go to “All Programs”. Find the folder for “Accessories” then find and click “Paint”. This will launch your MS Paint interface.
  • Once you’re on MS Paint, open the photo or image that you want to crop and place on top of another image.
  • On the toolbar, go to the “Image” tab then click the small arrow right below “Select”. Choose the “Free-form selection” tool instead of “Rectangular selection”.
  • Next, make sure to check the option for “Transparent Selection”.

make the background of an image transparent in MS Paint

  • Using the free-form selection tool, carefully trace the object that you want to place on top of another image. Make sure to exclude all of the elements and colors that you do not want to see. When tracing, just left-click and hold your mouse. Do not release until you’re done.
  • Once you’re done, you will notice that the traced portion of your image will be enclosed inside a rectangular box (selection box). Just right-click on any portion inside the box then select “Cut”. This action will cut your traced object so you can finally transfer and place it on top of another image.

make the background of an image transparent in MS Paint b

  • Moving on, just discard your first image and open another image. After which, enter “Ctrl + V” on your keyboard or simply click “Paste”. This will paste the image that you cropped from the first image on your second image.

make the background of an image transparent in MS Paint c

  • Move the image to your desired position and that’s it!

As you can notice, the background of your cropped image has become transparent. It’s a great option for cropping and merging certain image parts into one.

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  1. Menace

    Check out your startup and services to see what’s defaulted to run. I forget what the name of the folder was but there is one that was installed under program files. Look through your stuff to see what doesn’t look familiar and just remove it.

  2. Tommy McColley

    This is not making transparent background of in image. You just cropped the image. However, I am using the Paint Transparent Tool for this and that’s how I am make the background of an image transparent. If you want to get it you can download it from here. >>>>>PAINT TRANSPARENT TOOL (UPDATED) <<<<< PS It's not mine and I am just sharing it here to help on the people how to make transparent background of an image.

  3. Corny bones

    Well, apart from .png, MSPaint won’t export a transparent “background” as it doesn’t have *layer support*…meaning another program or file, once it’s pasted into MSPaint, after its deselected, it’s “baked into” the image. Additionally, even when it exports a transparent background, if a second/ third party app does not support transparent importing, it won’t work that way either. How about the best option is to leave the Stone Age and use a far more feature loaded, robust freebie like GIMP or if you don’t want to spring for higher tier apps.

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  5. Tez

    This is awful, simply awful. You pretty much didn’t do a single thing – what you mentioned is common knowledge and you spent too much time explaining what people already know! Transparency my arse.

  6. todd

    [@Peaches] Both Peaches and Doofy are right. You didn’t make ANYTHING transparent – you simply did a free-from selection, then cut & pasted it – you can tell by the still ‘shitty-looking’ ragged edges around the freaking apple. If it’s true “transparent selection,” (obviously it’s not), then you could crop it as a ‘rectangle,’ and not even worry about ‘free-form’ selection, and it would make the background transparent. FAIL!

  7. Airick

    Thank you, this works great for me, but I am only having 1 problem. When I try to save my cropped image as itself, a pop-up box shows: “Any transparency of the image will be lost. Continue?” I want to be able to save my image and keep its transparency! I save it as a .PNG file, but I don’t know if the file format would have anything to do with not saving transparency, could you help me to fix this please?