Microsoft Paint for Windows 11 gets a fresh new look — Here's a sneak peek

Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft picked up its brush and canvas to redesign the legacy Paint app for Windows 11. Teased in a photo posted to Unsplash, the software for artists was modernized with a fresh look that uses the principles of Microsoft's Fluent design language. Gone is the ribbon-style UI and in its place is a more organic selection of tools and features. 

Paint has been included on every version of Windows but hasn't received significant updates in several years. Most artists have moved on to more feature-filled drawing apps while other Windows users might jump into Paint for simple tasks like pasting a print screen or cropping a photo.

The new-look Paint for Windows 11 could get some users to return to using the built-in app instead of using a third-party or web-based graphics editor. Microsoft didn't walk us through any of the changes coming to Paint, but the single image the company posted reveals a new interface with a simplified toolbar. Instead of being siloed into a ribbon, tool icons float in a clean header. Here, you'll find Clipboard, Images, Tools, Shapes, Colors and more.

There don't seem to be any major additions in Paint. Only basic operations are visible in the toolbar. These include choosing a drawing instrument, changing shapes, picking a color, copy, paste and a few other tasks. Another change is that the file size appears at the bottom of the app. Overall, Paint in Windows 11 looks more like Paint 3D, which was originally set to replace Paint in 2017 until Microsoft chose to rescue the doomed app after an "incredible outpouring of support and nostalgia." 

The photo also reveals touch support for Paint; the user in the press image is using Samsung's S Pen (and not a Surface Pen for whatever reason) to interact with the app. 

Windows 11 is in beta so the new Paint app should be revealed soon or it will be a fun Easter egg for longtime Microsoft users when the OS arrives. Paint won't replace Photoshop, even with its new UI, but it could go back to being the go-to app for drawing a quick sketch or whipping up a silly photo for friends or colleagues. 

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.