How to Use the New Paint app on Windows 11

Microsoft Paint Logo

The new and improved Paint app is a sight for sore eyes with its visual evolution.

MS Paint has been a part of Windows since forever. There are many memories users associate with the app who have been using Windows for quite some time now. Nostalgia is, in fact, part of the appeal of the app. Users who began using Windows in the 90s or 2000s had their first brush with making art on a computer with Paint.

But times changed, and Paint barely did. And a majority of users stopped using it, especially since there are a plethora of apps available now.

But even though it went through some difficult times to the point when it appeared it won’t be a part of the OS any longer, it made it through to the other end. And it won’t be wrong to say that it has come out even stronger.

What’s New in the Paint app in Windows 11?

Paint is making a comeback with a remodeled finish in Windows 11. It is still built on the classic Paint app but has a modern take to it. To be precise, it goes hand in hand with the new UI and design changes in Windows 11.

One of the main reasons Paint lost its popularity was that it gave off the feeling of still being stuck in the 2000s when using it. With a window with beautiful round corners and Fluent UI toolbar icons that match the visual evolution Windows 11 has gone through, the new Paint app is a visual treat.

It even has a round color palette and drop-down menus for brushes, stroke size, and flip/ rotate controls that bind this whole evolution together.

But the changes are much more than visual. The improvement in visuals eventually lead to better ease of use. Paint also has a new option that makes it easier than ever to insert text into your creations.

Paint will also boost a dark theme, centered canvas, and refreshed dialogs pretty soon in the upcoming updates.

Dark Theme preview in upcoming updates to the Paint app.

How to Get Paint in Windows 11?

Windows 11 is still a few days away from release. Ahead of the public release, the new Paint app has been released to Windows Insiders in the Dev channel. If you already have the Paint app on your system, all you have to do is update to the latest build.

Once Windows 11 comes out, the app should be available to download from the Microsoft Store officially. Paint won’t come shipped on new Windows 11 PCs as pre-installed, so Microsoft Store would be the only way to download the app without any hassle.

If you try to currently download it on Windows 11 from the Microsoft Store, though, nothing might show up. In that case, you can download Paint from Microsoft Store through this link.

How to Use Paint in Windows 11?

Even though the Paint app has been redesigned, donning your artist hat is still the easiest task with the app. Part of the beauty of Paint lies with its simplicity so you don’t have to spend eons trying to figure it out.

To open Paint in Windows 11, go to the ‘Search’ option from the taskbar and search for ‘Paint’. Then, click the Paint app under Best Match to open it.

The Home menu option from previous versions of the Paint app is a permanent toolbar. So all of the tools you need for the drawing will always be within reach.

The tools have labels according to their categories on the toolbar. The most basic and important tool you’d need is the Paint Brush. Go to ‘Brushes’ and click on the downward arrow to expand the drop-down menu. You can then select the stroke of the brush.

At the very end of the Toolbar is the color palette. There are no more labels for ‘Color 1’ and ‘Color 2’ so it can be confusing for new users. Color 1 is the primary color that is active with the left click of the mouse. The two bigger circles on the left of the color palette are Color 1 and Color 2. The one on the top is Color 1. The one at the bottom is Color 2. Color 2 is the secondary color that you can activate with the right-click of the mouse.

You can also create custom colors. The last line of the color palette is reserved for your custom colors. To create a custom color, click the ‘Edit Colors’ button (rainbow wheel).

A dialog box will open. Here, you can either select one of the Basic colors or create a custom color from the options available. Click ‘OK’ to add it to your color palette.

To change the stroke size, i.e., line thickness, go to ‘Size’ (the option to the left of the color palette) and select a size from the drop-down menu. Use this to increase/ decrease the size of everything: brush, pencil, eraser, and shapes.

You can draw shapes by selecting an option from the Shape category.

In Tools, there are more options like the basic pencil, Fill brush, eraser, magnifier, color picker, and text. Although you can use the eraser to delete anything from the canvas, use Ctrl + Z to undo any recent mistakes that the eraser might mess up. Click the ‘A’ to enter text in your creation.

Then, create the textbox on the canvas by dragging your left mouse button and enter the text in the textbox. To change the font face, size, or other formatting of the text like bold, italic, etc., go to the text-specific toolbar that appears beneath the main toolbar when the textbox is active.

The Image category has options for selecting, cropping, flipping or rotating, or resizing your image.

To copy/ paste anything onto your canvas in Paint, copy the item (from another software or another session in Paint) while the Paint app is open. Then, either use Ctrl+V to paste it or click the ‘Paste’ button from the toolbar.

Finally, to save an image in Paint, use the Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut or click on the Floppy icon from the menu bar to save your image.


Now that you know your way around the new Paint app in Windows 11, it’s time to go create your artwork. No matter how simple the options in Paint are, you can still create amazing things; just see famous Beatle Ringo Starr’s Paint artwork!