How to Turn Color Pictures to Black & White

By Jason Artman

Although black and white photography is largely unused in today's era of affordable digital cameras, you might like the look of black and white photos, or may simply be looking for a way to do something different with a picture that you are uploading to a social networking website. Whether you have a Windows PC or a Mac, you already have the tool that you need to convert your color photos to black and white.

Creating a Black and White Photo in Windows

Step 1

Press the Windows logo and "R" keys simultaneously, and then type "mspaint" in the "Run" dialog box and press "Enter." Alternatively, select "Paint" from the Start menu.

Step 2

Click the "File" menu at the top of the Paint window, and select "Open." Browse to the location of the photo that you would like to convert and double-click it. Alternatively, drag the photo into the open Paint window and drop it.

Step 3

Click the "Image" menu at the top of the Paint window, and select "Attributes."

Step 4

Select the radio button labeled "Black and White" and click "OK." Click "Yes" to confirm.

Step 5

Click "File," then click "Save As." Save your image to a new location to preserve the original photo. Changing a color photo to black and white in Paint changes it to a monochrome image with only two colors. This may cause some loss of detail. To change the photo to a more natural looking grayscale image instead, see Section 2.

Creating a Black and White Photo on the Web

Step 1

Browse to the Pixer website using the link in the "Resources" section of this article. Click the "Browse" button. Navigate to the location of the photo you would like to convert, and double-click it. Click "Upload & Edit." The picture appears in the main area of the window.

Step 2

Click the "ColorFX" button on the top row of the page.

Step 3

Click the "Grayscale" button to change the colors in your photo to shades of gray, or the "Sepia" button to give it a brown tint. If you are not happy with the change, click the "Undo" button in the top row.

Step 4

Click the "Save" button to save a copy of the black and white photo to your computer.

Creating a Black and White Photo on a Mac

Step 1

Launch iPhoto from the dock or "Applications" folder. If you haven't added the photo to your iPhoto library already, drag the photo to the open iPhoto window to import it.

Step 2

Click the photo that you want to convert to black and white, and then click the "Edit" button at the bottom of the window. A larger version of the photo appears in the window.

Step 3

Click the "Effects" button at the bottom of the new window.

Step 4

Click the "B&W" button to convert the photo to a grayscale image, or the "Sepia" button to add brown tones. The color will change immediately. If you are unhappy with the new appearance of the photo, click the "Original" button in the middle of the "Effects" window to revert the image.