Windows 11 is giving MS Paint a fresh coat of, well, paint

Ms Paint Windows
Ms Paint Windows (Image credit: Microsoft / Panos Panay)

Everyone loves MS Paint. Despite the fact MS Paint has fallen far behind competing drawing tools, the simplicity, speed, and ease of use makes MS Paint a mainstay of memery and fun doodles on Windows for the past few decades. Rumors that Microsoft was planning to axe the tool in favor of Paint 3D were met with a furious backlash, which led to Microsoft confirming they had no plans to remove it in the first place.

Windows 11 is giving the OS a big makeover later this year, refreshing the UI with improved visuals and consistency, complete with a new, but familiar Start Menu, and a range of other improvements. It seems some of those classic apps are going to get some love too.

Windows and Surface chief Panos Panay shared a quick video showcasing how MS Paint will look in Windows 11, which will ship to insiders "soon."

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It doesn't look as though the new version of MS Paint has any new features at a glance, but instead picks up a refreshed UI, complete with dark mode. The "Edit in Paint 3D" button seems to have been removed, though, indicating that Paint 3D might not be long for this world. I've argued in the past that MS Paint should pick up some of the cooler features from Paint 3D, such as the impressive background removal tool. It would also be neat if MS Paint had layering capabilities for enhanced editing and collaging, but alas, we can't always get what we want.

With MS Paint getting a refresh, it's fun to imagine what else could be on the docket. Microsoft's current implementation of the dead Groove Music, Photos, and Movies & TV for playing media is more than a little inconsistent, shall we say, so bringing music and videos into a single app more than makes sense at this point, I'd argue. Time for Windows Media Player 11? What about Windows Movie Maker 11? MSN Messenger 11?! CLIPPY 11?! Okay, maybe not. A man can dream, though.

In any case, Panay says that the new MS Paint app will come "soon" to Windows Insiders running Windows 11 builds, so keep your eyes peeled.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!