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Paint.NET is now available in the Windows Store for all Windows 10 PCs

Back in late June, we reported that Ricker Brewster – the current caretaker and developer behind Paint.NET, which first launched in 2004 – was going to put into the Windows Store using Microsoft's win32 conversion system "Project Centennial." Just a few months later (due to some travel and other business) the app is finally here.

Paint.NET is now ready to download to any Windows 10 PC with a free trial option (spotted by Aggiornamenti Lumia). There is also a discounted price of $5.99 for the app, which is a saving from the regular $8.99 price tag. That sale runs through all of October. The price is thought more of as a donation to support the app's continued development although users can use the app with the free trial method instead.

If you buy Paint.NET in the Windows Store, you'll be supporting its development directly (normally we ask for a donation). You will get the convenience of fast, easy installation onto all of your Windows devices along with fully automatic, behind-the-scenes updates with all the newest features, improvements, and fixes.

Fans of MS Paint who always wanted something more powerful gravitated to Paint.NET's significantly stronger tool support, which merged some advanced features found in Adobe Photoshop with the MS Paint app aesthetic.

It started development as an undergraduate college senior design project mentored by Microsoft and is now maintained and developed by Rick Brewster. Originally intended as a free replacement for the Microsoft Paint software that comes with Windows, it has grown into a powerful yet simple image and photo editor tool. It has been compared to other digital photo editing software packages such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop Pro, Microsoft Photo Editor, and The GIMP.

The version launched in the Windows Store is 4.0.18 with "some significant optimizations for startup performance." Additionally, from the release notes:

Plugins are supported! Instead of putting them in the installation directory, go to your Documents folder and create a new folder called "paint.net App Files" (without the quotes). Then, create the usual subfolders (Effects, FileTypes, and Shapes) and place the relevant plugins into each of them.

Getting Paint.NET into the Windows Store is a huge win for Microsoft who is pushing the Desktop Bridge as a method for developers to get wider and easier app distribution to the 500 million Windows 10 users.

paint.net light theme

paint.net light theme (Image credit: paint.net)

While getting Spotify (and soon Apple iTunes) in the Store is significant, getting these older but familiar apps too is just as important. Being in the Store, users can expect automatic app updates instead of having to go through the Paint.NET website.

Grab Paint.NET for your Windows 10 PC now from the Store and maybe throw the developer that donation to show support. (And yes, we verified it works with Windows 10 S machines too).

See in the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

Thanks, Simon, for the tip!

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

58 Comments
  • Or, I can download the Win32 version for free, getting the exact same functionality.  From https://www.getpaint.net/license.html: Is Paint.NET free?
    There are two releases of Paint.NET. One is free, the other is paid: Classic: The "Classic" release is downloaded from this website and is provided free-of-charge.
      Store: The "Store" release is downloaded through Microsoft's Windows Store and is paid. The functionality is the same for each release.
  • You can download free trial and it works like the paid version with no limitations. You would donate for its development by paying for it.
  • I guess I'm still missing the point here.  It's clearly just the Win32 version rolled as a release in the store, and if it's a free "trial", that means they could still cut it off at any time, plus the way they're advertising it seems a bit shady to me.  The only thing I can think of is that this was the only way they could make it free in the store, but if you wanted to pay, still pay through the store (as opposed to PayPal or something)?  I'm a big fan of things in the store, but I guess I'm just missing the point on this one.
  • Even with that, I don't feel this is well handled. Most people are just going to see Pant.net as a paid application and will not use the Windows Store version. I don't understand the need to put the donation thing as if the application were a paid application. The Store is strugling a lot, and things like these moves really do not help the store. People will see they are charging for the application, and will just download the exe version from the official site, making the store version meaningless.
  • I think he's trying to say people not reading articles on this app will get confused seeing a price for teh app, a "buy button" then a "free trial" button.  The way it should be is "download" and a button that says "download with donation" or within the app have a small donation button.  I saw the article as well, didn't read it, looked it up, thought it was a pay app and closed it, then read the article and saw it was an unlimited free triel.  Thats another thing they can have a button that says "unlimited free trial".  Something that lets the person who wants to download it know its 100% free.
  • I may be wasting my time replying, but you may be able to paint, but you can't read. Use the trial, no limitations. Besides, the donation goes toward the development of a full featured paint tool that's available on multiple PC devices and automatically updated.
  • After the store take its 30% cut
  • Yes but if you read the article it explains the reason, with the 32bit "Free" version they normally ask for a donation, by putting it in the store and "Charging" for this donation, you help the developer and you get the app to install easily on every Windows 10 device you own and any updates are handled automatically. Your choice, the same as if you choose to actually make a donation (Believe it or not, there are people out there who think others should work for nothing).  
  • You get the same update experience by using the free trial option and no limitations in its use.
  • Yes, and now you can get the same experience through the store without having to look up the developer's website. Personally, I like having all my apps from one source. When you setup a new computer, go to my apps and download them all at once. 
  • Slightly off topic but related, does anyone else find that Spotify won't auto update? Updates always fail with a yellow triangle in the reliability monitor (FAILED WINDOWS UPDATE error). It only updates when done manually by checking for updates in the store. Spotify is the only app I have that has this issue
  • I have this constantly on desktop and phone with random apps. They seriously need to get the store working reliably. My tablet has 4 system apps it keeps trying update and they keep failing. My daughter's phone cant install USAA banking app for some reason - has been able to install for 6mo now. Another desktop at home has different apps that refuse to update and keep failing. Someties they eventually resolve. Sometimes they dont. 
  • The funny part is Windows store is censoring user reviews mentioning that the app is free on their website. (Words like free and price is replaced with ****). This is unbelievable! 
  • They do censor a lot. Some of my reviews are hidden from public.
  • I've never noticed this kind of censorship from them until now. It's quiet shocking to me as a developer who is competing on the Store. I have seen many unfair actions by them, but this is kind of censorship? No words.
  • But this censorship is in favour of the developer 
  • In favour of this particular developer? Maybe but an Store charging for free apps and censoring user reviews who are mentioning it's free on the web, is far from being in favour of developers in general. Who's gonna take this kind of Store serious?
  • Odd, I don't see any reviews - maybe it's a regional thing
  • You are probably seeing the page on a diffrent market. Check the web page for US market: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/paintnet/9nbhcs1lx4r0  
  • 1
  • Not interested until they put the x64 version in the Windows Store.  Then it will be great, but until then, I will continue to download from their website. MS Office has the same problem.  I am a home Office 365 user, and was offered to download it from the Windows Store, but they only have the Win32 version there....
  • And why do you need the 64bit version of Office? (Unless you went out of your way to specify it, your O365 version of Office is the 32Bit)
  • Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, probably just fine with 32-bit. But for Excel, many actual users of Excel (i.e. not just your usual monthly home budget use) need that extra memory.
  • I would dispute your assertion of many actual users. There certainly are some, and they know who they are, and are likely not the ones buying Office from the store. We are talking massive spreadsheets, not just really large spreadsheets. That and massive Project files are what MS notes may require 64bit Office. It is actually discouraged unless you have a clear and distinct need. That aside, what would people be doing with paint.net that would require a 64bit version, that the user wouldn't be using a more 'professional' graphics package to begin with. 
  • Do you know what 32bit vs 64bit means in the real world ? Check the benchmarks, probably you won't see any difference.
  • I dont "need" 64 bit Office, but why do they bother making both. Why not move to 32 bit and just maintain one version? We've had 64 bit Windows since 2000 and 64 bit hardware longer than that. Why do we still have 32 bit anything now? I get keeping legacy stuff working, but its been 17 yrs now. Its time to cut it off. 
  • Got it.   I will try it out and see how it does!
  • Bought it! Used the free version for years so I bought it right away to support the dev. Great app!
  • This would be really useful on my "Surface Phone" running Windows 10......................
  • There's no such thing.  And it's almost guaranteed there never will be.
  • Asking for your official proof... ????
    You see, right now I can admit that I'm not sure if anything is coming, and that I'm also not sure if one isn't in development... MS has not officially commented on either side. Sounds like my take makes a lot more sense than yours... Unless you have official proof. If not, then realize that your opinion means extremely little, and is just annoying. But, I will guarantee that I have seen your opinion, so you can let it go from this point on. Really, it doesn't make sense for you to keep telling me what I already know you think... Thanks for your opinion, but no thanks without proof.
  • Rodneyej, you are the king of the wishful thinking brigade. In spite of all the 'proof' to the contrary, you continue to delude yourself that there's some mythical Surface Phone just around the corner. There isn't. If there was, there would be some evidence of it. There isn't. Microsoft would be mad to try introducing another phone now, at a time when they've completely lost their momentum in that arena, they would be starting from scratch, or worse. Microsoft now have such a bad name in mobile they really would have an uphill battle. It would be easier for a new company that didn't have such a crap track record. Why invest the millions needed to create a fantastic new phone, when in all likelyhood no one would buy it & Samsung, Apple et al would copy it within months? Rodneyej, it's time to move on. Just banging the same drum every day won't make it happen. You pinned your sails to the mast but the ship sank. It's time to board the life raft.
  • Hey, man.. Stop your pathetic whining. Don't let peoples desires make you so upset, and quit crying about it. It's almost like you're begging me to quit hurting your feelings. Listen to yourself!
    ...........
    How am I delusional?...
    Just because I wish for something makes me delusional? Lol. Where did I ever say that there will ever be a Surface Phone for sure? Do I not state that I know there's a chance that one isn't even in production?.. You wrote all that BS for nothing, and now you just look like you feel cheated, or something. Be stronger than that... Now, answer my questions.
  • Even if a Surface Phone does come along, this app will suck and likely be almost completely unusable. It built for a mouse and a reasonably large screen. I use this app a lot at home, but I wouldnt begin to try on a small tablet.
  • Yeah, but it's definitely more fun to see the trolls get upset when you mention wanting anything for Windows on a mobile device. And, they read "Surface Phone" it hurts their feelings so bad that they respond like the child above.🎃🎃🎃🎃
  • mmmm.... not in the UK store yet :(
  • Click on the link in the article - currently £4.99
  • Sorry, not seeing it. Maybe it's being released in some sort of phased approach?
  • Sweet!
  • I bought it. Im a huge user of PDN. Besides OneNote, this is my go to app. I just love it. Tried PS but that is unusable compaired to PDN.
  • When on Windows 10 mobile?
  • It does not exist any more.
  • It doesn't exist.. Lol. Now, that's delusional.
  • What, exactly, makes Paint.net "old school"?
  • At no point do users have to "go through the Paint.NET website" for updates. Automatic updates have been part of the W32 version, probably since version 1.
  • They do work through the website and at least in Paint.NET they do interrupt workflow somewhat.
  • Nope, the users don't have to visit the website for updates (whether it connects there in the background is irrelevant) as it's all automated, and it doesn't interrupt workflow as it gives you the option to install the update when you exit the program.
  • You get the dialog and that's called interruption, you can decide whether you're going to be fully interrupted at the end or immeditately. During that full interruption data is downloaded from the web site and installed. Yes it is made not to suck in a big way. But it isn't comparable to Store updates in any way.
  • It also only checks for updates when you open the app. It is nice and gives you the option to update when you close it.
    Through the store, it can update seamlessly in the background if you open the app and use it or not. Its just always automatically up to date. 
  • I'm not going to argue with you over semantics. The article states the user has to visit the website for updates and that's simply incorrect. Yes, store updates are more seamless but it's beside the point I was making.
  • Paint.net has been regularly updated for years...and while I know they want to keep it free, this seems like a good way to get a little more payment for all the hard work that goes into maintaining and updating this fantastic application. It is one of the most complete painting apps for the rest of use. I was pleased to be able to easily pay for it in the store...and I've paid for it in the past, too, but the continued development warrants additional support. It's my go-to paint application. So glad it's in the store and installation/acquisition is now a no-brainer.
  • I had some MS points i just use it to donate..ths dev always update he app.
  • I bought it, I suppose out of a feeling that some of us on here are cheapskates and only want everything for free and I don't think that is right if the app/program is good. As it turns out it is very reminiscant of PSP5 that I have had for years and have installed on my SP4, it can do all the simple editing I want, croping, resizing, multiple file formats, so I am actually glad I bought it and will give it a good review.  
  • this is what the store requires  , legitimate win32 apps and not dumbed down android apps , if only microsoft tries to go the SOFTWARE WAY , rather than the appify WIN RT nonsense. Microsoft can easily bridge the app ap this way rather than licking the boots of android developers.
  • LOL. No thanks. Ain't gonna use that pathetic Store. Win32 app is good enough and it's free. Why on earth would I pay for the same app that I can get for free? What type of idiot must I be to use the Store app, paid, just to please Microshit and fanboys?
  • Do you consider people that donate to free apps (and keep them going) idiots? To answer your last question, I guess you are not that type of idiot for sure :).
  • This may be an old app, but its a good one. It handles layers and all the stuff typical "mobile" style photo apps dont do, but is much simpler than photoshop or Gimp. 
  • Agreed - and it performs much better than Photoshop or Gimp.