Windows Photos gains Google Pixel-like feature in Generative erase

Windows Photos icon with AI sparkle flourish
(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

Microsoft's AI overhaul of the Windows platform is far from over. Having recently brought Copilot to the desktop and dozens of generative features to the platform (including background removal and Cocreator image generation to Paint), Microsoft has recently announced on the Windows Insider blog that another AI tool heading to the platform — Generative erase.

Generative erase for Windows Photos is an AI-assisted image manipulation tool that allows users to seamlessly trim unwanted elements out of pictures. Think, Adobe's content-aware fill or the magic eraser feature found on Google Pixel devices.

The tool, currently rolling out to Windows Insiders, will be found within Windows Photos' editing mode and replaces the current spot fix tool within the retouch tab. Users can use the tool to 'draw' out image elements and magically erase them from scenes, as showcased in this example that uses Generative erase to remove the lead from a dog.

GIF animation of new Generative erase function for Windows Photos being used to erase the lead from a photo of a dog at a beach.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Generative erase is currently available to Windows Insiders, though a general release is expected in the coming months. The tool joins other recent Windows Photos additions such as background blur, removal, and replace—the first batch of AI-backed features made available within the app—which, as part of the current update will now also debut on Windows 10 and Arm64 Windows devices.

Microsoft is harnessing the power of AI give certain apps within the Windows platform a real glow-up of sorts, with Photos being one of many to receive these generative AI upgrades.

Since the Windows 11 2H23 update, apps and tools like ClipChamp, Paint, and even the Snipping Tool have all been granted a new lease on life thanks to AI. With the advent of the AI PC, Microsoft will no doubt be looking to further expand on Windows' AI capabilities in this years Windows 11 2H24 update too.

We've already seen that Microsoft plan to give Copilot a generous boost in functionality as part of the coming update, and we can reliably expect AI tools to feature prominently in other apps as Microsoft bring a fresh lick of paint to its Windows app suite.

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Rael Hornby
Content Editor

Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.