Microsoft's Photos app just copied this great feature from Paint, which will allow it to play catch-up with third-party editing tools

Microsoft Photos app
(Image credit: Kevin Okemwa)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's Photos app now supports image background removal and replacement.
  • The feature is rolling out to Windows Insiders running version 2023.11110.8002.0 of the app.
  • Users will be able to initiate slideshows easily. 

Microsoft is finally living up to its promises. In August, our Senior Editor, Zac Bowden, reported that the company was working on bringing generative AI-baked capabilities to the Microsoft Paint and Photos apps

According to Windows sleuth, PhantomOfEarth on X(formerly Twitter), Windows Insiders running version 2023.11110.8002.0 of the app should have access to a much-anticipated feature, the image background removal and replacement capability.

This addition might sound a tad familiar because Microsoft started testing the background removal feature in Paint in September. According to Microsoft's description of the feature:

"With background removal, you can now remove the background of any image automatically in just one click, leaving a smooth cutout of the subject. Background removal can detect the subject from the entire canvas or from a selection using the selection tool."

Microsoft has also made some subtle yet notable changes to the Photos app. First up, the zooming and full screen have been relocated from the top to the bottom right. You'll also notice that a new button for toggling the filmstrip has been incorporated into the bottom left.

Finally, Microsoft has also updated the app's context menu when clicking on a folder with a new option allowing users to initiate a slideshow quickly.

It's not new, but we love it

Photos background blur

(Image credit: Future)

In the past few months, Microsoft has doubled down on its efforts to improve the Photos app's user experience. While not entirely new, the image background removal and replacement capabilities are great additions to the platform. 

Users will no longer need third-party apps to fine-tune their images (at least for background removal and replacement), ultimately saving time. The feature might not be available for everyone just yet, as it is still in the testing phase, though it should ship to broad availability soon. 

Do you use the Photos app to edit your images? If so, are you a fan of this new addition? Let us know in the comments. 

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.

  • ShinyProton
    It's interesting to see Microsoft putting back some meat into the native tools provided with Windows.

    Unfortunately, their ecosystem was so much damaged by bad decisions and a lack of features in these native apps that the OS lost a tremendous amount of supporters/consumers/developers.
    The amount of efforts required to bring the market back is so much greater than what we see now, it's unlikely to happen anytime soon.