Microsoft rolls out Paint app for Windows 11 Insiders with Dark Mode and Zoom Controls

Jun 2, 2023
Windows 11 News

Microsoft has added support for Dark Mode in the Paint app for Windows 11 Insiders. Let's take a closer look at it.

Microsoft Paint gets Dark Mode

The new mode is not a pure black theme per se, it is sort of a high contrast theme similar to the one that File Explorer has.

Dark theme in Microsoft Paint

The Dark Mode makes it easier on the eyes to view the various tools that are available at the top of the image editor's interface. The menus in the app also support the dark theme, as do the brush and palette selection views. The canvas is of course white, but it looks a lot brighter than usual when you enable dark mode in the app.

Dark Mode palette in MS Paint


To enable the Dark Theme in Paint, head to the new Settings section in Paint by clicking on the button in the top right corner. The Settings page only has one section for now, and it lets you set the theme. You may choose between the light theme and the dark theme, or set the app to follow the system's settings automatically.

How to enable dark theme in Microsoft Paint

The Image Property dialog in the new version of the Paint app matches the Windows 11 design standards. The Redmond company says that it has improved access key and keyboard shortcuts in the app for accessibility, you can view them by pressing the Alt key on your keyboard.

Access Keys in MS Paint

Zoom Controls in Microsoft Paint

There are 2 new buttons on Microsoft Paint's status bar. The first one allows you to fit the image to the screen, this is not the full screen view that you can trigger with F11. The other option that has been added to the app is a drop-down menu that you can use to select the zoom level in the app, it goes from as low as 12.5% and all the way up to 800%. It is functionally similar to the zoom slider that is right next to it, but the menu has various presets that you may find handy if you want to set a zoom level quickly. Microsoft has also changed the Zoom in and Zoom out icons on either side of the slider, they are no longer just a plus and minus symbols, the new icons have a magnifying glass with the symbols inside them.

Microsoft Paint new zoom controls menu

Want to try Dark Mode in the Paint app? It is available in version 11.2304.17.0. You may update to it from the Microsoft Store, or sideload it by downloading the fast channel version from The app's product ID is 9PCFS5B6T72H. If you wish to roll back to the stable version, you will need to download and install 11.2302.18.0 from the retail channel.

On a side note, Microsoft has released Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23471 to the Dev Channel. It brings an option to Add Phone Photos to File Explorer's Gallery. The new button is available on the Command bar, clicking on which will display a QR code that you may scan with your phone's camera to start the import process. The new version of Windows 11 also adds the ability to tear tabs (drag out) from File Explorer and to merge tabs to a window.

Microsoft rolls out Paint app for Windows 11 Insiders with Dark Mode and Zoom Controls
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Microsoft rolls out Paint app for Windows 11 Insiders with Dark Mode and Zoom Controls
Windows 11 is adding support for Dark Mode in the Paint app.
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  1. John G. said on June 3, 2023 at 5:56 pm

    What’s Paint useful for? I am asking it seriously.

    1. VioletMoon said on June 3, 2023 at 11:24 pm

      It seems the list would be endless–maybe check with Bing Chat, but here goes:

      There is at least one reason in the batch, I find, that makes MS Paint invaluable.

      “That’s why it’s better for beginners to start with a simple program, like MS Paint.”

      I’ve found that once I’ve really learned a simple program, all programs become somewhat similar and easier to master. For instance, mastering WordPerfect as a university student and a paralegal spoiled me to no end when MS Word became a preferred program.

      A devoted MS Excel user challenged me to a complicated chart making race; I was to use Quattro Pro [and she was good, good]. I finished about five minutes before she could figure out some oddity. I found Quattro Pro so much cleaner and nonsensical that I always demanded the program on my computer wherever I worked.

      [One will still see WordPerfect used in most law offices.]

      So, MS Paint is useful to some; Photoshop for others.

      I’m wondering now: The tool or the ability and creativity of the user to do things a different way. I think I would choose and hire the candidate who answered: “MS Paint is my preferred tool, but if you use a different program, I’m okay with that.”

      Transfer of learning . . . it’s why Windows 11 hasn’t been an issue for me. Since I learned anything and everything on XP, every version has been the same in essence. Once a learner knows the way developers “think and develop programs,” all other programs become slight variations on a theme.

      Learning the underlying dynamics of any given subject.

      Novels, movies, [plot structure].






  2. basingstoke said on June 2, 2023 at 10:26 am

    Never understood the big buzz over dark mode theming for everything. People’s obsession with it (and their complaints when an app/program doesn’t have it) reminds me of the arachnid creatures from the Metro games – they live in dark underground areas and are defeated by shining a flashlight directly at them, it burns their flesh and makes them run away.

    1. owl said on June 2, 2023 at 11:26 am

      > Never understood the big buzz over dark mode theming for everything.

      I am an elderly person, so I am aware of the decline in physical capabilities that comes with aging.
      It is inevitable that living organisms “have metabolism, eventually age, and die”.
      This is also true for the intensity of light (glare).
      That is why I prefer a “dark” background.
      I was fine with it until I was 50.
      Everyone changes with age.

      1. basingstoke said on June 2, 2023 at 11:51 am

        Ok, well whilst that seems perfectly valid, I can assure you 100% that the spread of dark mode is not done under the guise of accessibility for the older people – if anything it seems very much like a trend driven by the younger people, actually, and I have seen numerous bits of evidence to support this notion. The fact that it can be beneficial to the elderly is, I suppose, an accessibility bonus that I didn’t see.

        With that said, my original point still stands, I don’t understand the big buzz over dark mode theming of everything.

      2. Tsami said on June 2, 2023 at 11:34 pm

        I believe that dark mode may reduce battery drain in portable devices.

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