Which Windows Version is Best for Graphic Design?

There have been many versions of the Windows operating system over the years, each fresh in its way. Graphic designers rely on the capabilities of Windows to do their job, but which Windows version is best suited for graphic design?

The best Windows version for graphic design is Windows 11. Although, this also depends on user preference and what features the designer needs to complete projects.

Windows is heavily used in the graphic design industry. With that in mind, read on to learn more about the best version/s to use and the differences between each.

What Installment of Windows is Most Useful for Graphic Design?

Windows 11 is the newest version of the Windows operating system, and it seems to be very well suited for graphic design based on the following features:

  • A built-in Designer app so that those getting started in graphic design can test the waters. It is similar to Canva
  • Simplified and cleaner user interface that makes it easier for users to find what they need 
  • Small download size leaving more space for your favorite graphic design tools 
  • Compatibility with all major graphic design programs including Photoshop and Illustrator 

Windows 11 was designed with ease of use and functionality in mind, so it is the perfect fit for graphic designers, Whether you are just starting or a seasoned pro, you are sure to get the hang of it quickly.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Operating System for Graphic Design

Microsoft, macOS, and Linux are the three most popular computers and operating systems to date. How can graphic designers go about deciding which operating system is right for them? Here are some points to consider when making your choice.

File Compatibility

Windows systems generally have a more significant number of file formats you can choose from and convert to than Macs. This makes sharing files with clients and uploading to portfolios in different formats much easier. The more file types available, the more possibilities for design.

Storage Capacity

With macOS devices, you generally have to pay for more storage once you have reached the designated storage amount. On the other hand, Windows devices can have at least 400 GB of storage on the hard drive, and you can add external storage devices. This means more room on your computer for everything graphic design.

Pen Support

If you are a graphic designer, you likely need to use a pen to complete your artwork. Microsoft launched its first Surface Pen for Windows in 2012, with Apple following in 2015 with the Apple Pencil. In addition, many Microsoft Windows devices like the Surface Pro have tablet functionality so that they can be used both in tablet and Laptop mode.

User Interface Design

When choosing an operating system, you want to make sure that the user interface is user-friendly and makes it easy to access. It should be simple, yet powerful, and have the most used features in plain sight. Every choice made in the design should be purposeful, and make using the OS an enjoyable experience.

Microsoft took user feedback on Windows 10 to create the sleek and ever-evolving Windows 11. They saw that people were struggling to use Windows 10, and made every feature easy to access in Windows 11, removing the need to go searching through 10s of menus to find one function.

These are just some of the most obvious features to look for if you want to be serious about pursuing graphic design, but you may need to keep more things in mind based on personal and or company-specific needs. Even if Mac devices seem to be the hot new thing when it comes to creative pursuits, Windows is still holding its own in the market.

Is Mac or Windows Better for Graphic Design?

Windows and Mac devices have been competing with each other for years, but which one is the best choice overall when considering graphic design? Macs used to reign supreme, but the field has been evening out, so let’s compare the two systems so that you can form your own opinion.

Software Availability

Back in the day, there was some graphic design software that was only available on Mac, which is why many designers would choose them. Now, there is cross-platform support for most, if not all, graphic design apps and tools. However, there are still more options available for PC because of the wider user base, which may be helpful if you need something more specific.

Creative Cloud apps like Photoshop and Illustrator, which are by far some of the most popular apps are supported by both. So, when it comes to software, choosing between Microsoft and Mac comes down to personal preference.

Keep in mind, online graphic designers like Pixlr and Placeit (my #1 recommendation) are becoming more popular and can be used on any device (Windows/Mac/Tablet/Smartphone). They are worth checking out.

Ease of Use 

For a long time, Macs have taken the top spot when it comes to being user-friendly. This is because user experience and workflow improvement have always been at the forefront of their design. Windows has improved user experience over the years and has been adding more features with each release.

All of the Apple products work together really well, and this makes file sharing and productivity very simple. However, Windows wins when it comes to the customization of the desktop. If a simple experience is a top priority for you, go with a Mac.

Graphics, Colors, and Font Types

Since Mac has been the choice for many designers, they are ahead of the game when it comes to font, colors, and graphics. The display colors are brighter and they offer more design possibilities. However, Windows has a wide variety as well and overall the same results can be achieved on both devices, especially with current technology.

Looking at Mac and Windows with these criteria, they are pretty much the same. So, ultimately the choice of device depends on personal preference. 


The best Windows version for graphic design is Windows 11 because of the built-in graphic design software for those just starting and the improved user experience. File compatibility, storage space, pen support, and user-friendliness are all important things to look for when choosing an operating system for graphic design.