back to article It's an Easter Jesus miracle: MS Paint back from the dead (ish) and in Windows 10 'for now'

For anyone upset about the fate of doomed art application Microsoft Paint, bundled with Windows for as long as we can remember, here's something to set your mind at easel. The software has been given a reprieve, and will be included in the upcoming Windows 10 1903 release, aka the May 2019 upgrade due to officially roll out …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Nostalgia?

    It's not just nostalgia for me and others. Yes, it's limited on ability but it's also simple and quick for doing some things. I use it for resizing some drawings, adding text quickly to others. Simple and quick. But then, I'm a Win 7 user so there is that.

    1. Insert sadsack pun here

      Re: Nostalgia?

      Did anyone ask for MS Paint to be "fixed" with Paint 3D? Amateur users dont need more than MS Paint, pro users will need more than Paint 3D.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: Nostalgia?

        For those times when Paint's not enough, I turn to the Gimp.

      2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        Re: Nostalgia?

        Paint 3D

        When I fist saw it I was thinking "what the hell is this cr*p". I dont have a 3D monitor, or glasses, so why would Paint need to do anything in 3D?

        I started thinking that this was some early 2000's idea that finally made its way out of limbo. Some "advanced" painting app that cant shake a stick at The Gimp but bigs itself up like all that software from Ulead that we used to morph photos with but ended up being ultimately useless.

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Nostalgia?

        Paint 3D is not an adequate replacement for Paint.

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Nostalgia?

      If I am honest I use MS Paint to open screenshots from ticket logs, I find the inbuilt image viewer in Windows 10 1709 has the nice feature of hiding the very top and bottom of the image (FFS Microsoft, stop tabletified things).

      1. Mongrel

        Re: Nostalgia?

        I use it for putting arrows and red boxes on screenshots when I'm creating SOPs at work and have been told to make it for the lowest common denominator.

        Resizing and other stuff gets run through Irfanview

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: Nostalgia?

          You can do some basic arrows etc. on screenshots from within Snipping Tool (itself also due to be superseded at some point), although I usually revert back to scribbling in Paint instead.

          1. Mongrel

            Re: Nostalgia?

            You can freehand in the snipping tool but my neat side prefers the arrow shapes & boxes in Paint (and holding shift for straight lines).

            My freehand stuff always looks terrible

    3. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Nostalgia?

      Likewise it's certainly not nostalgia - resizing, converting to a different format, tidying up things (removing scan speckling, watermarks and other stuff if you just want to include part of an image or screenshot into something).

      For those kind of quick and simple tweaking jobs Paint is the perfect tool. Use it on an almost daily basis along with the snapshot tool and screen grabbing and it's served superbly.

      But then I guess in this day and age just actually being useful isn't enough if it's not whizzy and fancy, offering all sorts of showy crap on top that gets in the way and no-one actually wants or has a practical use for. But then I'm an engineer and I try not to fix stuff that isn't broken anyway...

    4. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Nostalgia? (4 Mark 85)

      On the button.

      User: "I can't see any explanatory text on this screen!"

      Me: Pull up screen, Alt-Prnt Scrn, paste into paint, draw big red circle round text user cannot see, save and mail.

      User: "You never said result X would occur from action Y in the documentation."

      Me; Pull up documentation, zoom to clause in debate, Alt-Prnt Scrn, paste into paint, draw big red circle around black and white "if you do Y then X will happen" paragraph, save and mail.

      Job done.

    5. billdehaan
      Happy

      Re: Nostalgia?

      simple and quick for doing some things

      The screen capture tool we standardized on, Greenshot, allows users to capture the screen directly to MS Paint, allowing them to quickly highlight issues on a busy screen before passing them on to developers to debug.

      Sure, other programs can do the same, but I'd rather not spend 45 seconds waiting for PhotoShop to load, just to draw a red circle on the icon/dialog I wanted highlighted when I can do the same in Paint in under a second.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Nostalgia?

        Exactly that.

        Took seconds in Paint.

        Image....

        https://www.dropbox.com/s/oyci5w19gzbj5db/screenshot.jpg?dl=0

  2. Starace Silver badge

    It's good enough

    Just like Notepad it's more than good enough for >99% of the use it gets.

    Leave it alone. It's not like pulling it would affect the bloat and just look at all the other rubbish forced into every installation.

    1. notamole

      Re: It's good enough

      Candy Crush Saga is essential to Windows 10 functionality.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: It's good enough

        Solitaire > Candy Crush Saga

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's good enough

          Whoooooosh.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's good enough

      The key addition I first encountered in Windows 7 was basic but very useful: crop to selection.

      But I like there's a simple program.

    3. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      Re: It's good enough

      "Leave it alone."

      They didnt leave notepad alone. They actually improved it by adding support for UNIX line endings!

      No more will you need to launch wordpad and try and convince it to not save in the borked by MS RTF format.

  3. Dwarf Silver badge

    Priorities

    Paint is a mildly useful application as opposed to many of the other bits of junk shipped with Windows 10 that are just plain junk, so I'd prefer if you got rid of all those instead

    3D Paint - not interested, I print things to a 2D printer or put things on a 2D web site.

  4. notamole

    Function over form

    Paint is far more useful than Paint 3D. No-one actually uses Paint to paint anything, it's a simple program that loads very quickly (Paint 3D does NOT) for basic tasks like cropping an image or changing file format. If I want an actual art program I'll use something like Gimp or Krita, not Paint 3D.

    Deprecating Paint in favour of Paint 3D only creates problems where none existed.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Function over form

      creates problems where none existed

      That does seem to be Windows 10's USP...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Function over form

      Paint.net is pretty good and simple!

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Function over form

        I prefer Paint over paint.net, mostly because paint.net is slower.

        1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: Function over form

          Same here, although I do like the layering capabilities of Paint.net. I had to use that quite a bit last year to generate "clean" floorplans for a WiFi survey, but only had very noisy CAD drawings to work with. For that, Paint.net did a passable job. But for my normal graphics manipulation, I always fall back to MSPaint or Irfanview (it makes better JPGs than MSPaint does)

    3. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      Re: Function over form

      "No-one actually uses Paint to paint anything, it's a simple program that loads very quickly (Paint 3D does NOT)"

      Totally agree.

      It suggests that MS really have no clue as to how users use windows. Hey MS, we are NOT launching paint to make jerky mouse drawn doodles. We did that as kids, and kids may do that with Paint 3D to entertain themselves. As adults we use paint for different use cases and we chose it because it is small and light and loads the moment you need it.

  5. Not Enough Coffee

    "34-year-old program"

    Probably the remaining developer retired and no one else wanted it. Unfortunately that happens with useful but non-flashy things, it's not like someone can pad their resume with it. It's unfortunate that plain old maintenance and reliability aren't appreciated more.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: "34-year-old program"

      maybe it just isn't "the Metro" or UWP-enough for the 2D FLATTY McFLATFACE FLATSO arrogant fanbois...

      after all, if it's not 2D FLATTY, it's not Win-10-nic enough either!

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: "34-year-old program"

        Paint has been flat, sorry, 2D FLATTY McFLATFACE FLATSO, for longer than it's been skeuomorphic, eg, here's version 1. Looks flat to me bob.

        You could almost say (although, perhaps not with an entirely straight face), that the Windows 10 UI is actually going back to it's 1.0 roots.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: "34-year-old program"

          Windows 10 UI is actually going back to it's 1.0 roots

          It crashes a whole lot less than Windows 1.0 did. Or Windows 3.1..

          (Yes, I am old enough to remember both of those. And the problem of getting Windows to load while you had your netbeui, network card *and* token-ring drivers loaded..)

    2. VBF

      Re: "34-year-old program"

      Agree... also that "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" was long ago replaced by "We haven't tinkered with this for a while...let's "improve" it"

      As a retired-software tester, an all too frequent scenario.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: "34-year-old program"

        "We haven't tinkered with this for a while..."

        or

        "Nobody here can actually remember how this worked any more, but let's give it a poke anyway"

      2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

        Re: "34-year-old program"

        "We haven't tinkered with this for a while...let's "improve" it"

        God that mentality is everywhere! The code works, everything works, it looks good and consistent between the past major versions. But we need to sell it more, to make more money. We cant easily add planned obsolescence to it all the time so lets just revamp the UI! Remove the long used functions, especially the really useful ones that only a small % of users actually use. Add support for Javascript in the file format, we'll worry about a sandbox later, much later.

        Lets do it because we can. We can test it when we roll it out to the real users, bye bye in house testers (this happened to me). Its never finished, just like when Lucas had Star Wars. IT CAN NEVER FINISH, IT CAN NEVER BE STABLE AND MAINTAINED.

        I remember a scifi story (I think it was a series of books) that were set on some huge starship. The crew were a generational one and maintained/improved the ship over many generations as needed. They had code going back hundreds of years, maintained and running. Unfortunately I cant remember whet the series or author was.

  6. LenG

    Open source

    If they really want to retire it, hopefully they will at least put it on GitHub

    1. notamole

      Re: Open source

      They've said they're putting it on the Windows Store (presumably under a UWP wrapper so it loads 8x slower).

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Open source

        "so it loads 8x slower"

        your assessment is far too kind

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Open source

        Which, in my view, is the same as killing it.

  7. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Meh

    I was angry that the Win 7 version had "the ribbon"

    but at least it more or less worked the same as it had before...

    for anything else I use Gimp. on Linux (or FreeBSD).

    1. Baldrickk Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: I was angry that the Win 7 version had "the ribbon"

      It's fine... except for right clicking on colours for the secondary colour.

      Now you need to click on the secondary colour button, then the colour, then the primary again so do you don't forget later and change your secondary by accident...

  8. Herby Silver badge

    Wondering...

    IF the code that runs on W10 has ANY resemblance to the original code from "way back when". It might be a textbook case of how "backward compatibility" works in W10.

    Personally, I suspect that some code might be from a galaxy far far away, I suspect not much. Of course, we will never know (*SIGH*)

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: Wondering...

      It probably has been re-implemented several times. I mean The Windows 9x-Paint was already a lot different from normal Paint which was essentially identical to the Paint on MacOS. There has to be a reason why Windows 10 Paint is now over 6 Megabytes in size, larger than a small installation of Windows 3.1

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: Wondering...

        Even the Windows 7 version is over 6 MBytes.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Long live Paint.NET

  10. clyde666

    agreed

    As others have said, Paint does a job. Easy, straight forward, graphical cut-edit-paste work. Resize an image - takes seconds, or less. Save as a different format - takes seconds, or less. Crop - same. Take a screenshot and add a caption, quick & easy.

    It works.

    Leave it alone.

  11. Terry 6 Silver badge

    I'll add my agreement

    I have no use for paint 3d - I do not see the point to it in the real world

    Paint just does a simple job, that has to be done sometimes, in a simple way. It's unobtrusive, easy to find, easy to use.

    IT DOES ITS JOB DAMNIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. ratfox Silver badge

    I wish Macs still came with Macpaint. Sometimes, using Gimp is like using a hand grenade to kill a mosquito.

    1. herman Silver badge
      Mushroom

      "using a hand grenade to kill a mosquito" - I'd love to try that!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Knowing mosquitos, "try" is all you'll do. Out of the damaged surrounding area, will cheerfully emerge a single flying speck.

        Although MacPaint chat has reminded me of Kid Pix, and using the dynamite feature to erase things. Happy days.

      2. Simon Harris Silver badge

        As far as I know that option still needs testing, but if you want to kill a spider with a blowtorch, that's already been tested and documented.

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/10/26/california_home_fire_spiders_blowtorch/

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      I just use the edit facilities in preview for 99% of what I used to use paint for.

      Boxes, lines, adding text to images...

  13. aks Bronze badge

    Basic, simple tools

    I still use Paint and Notepad when I want to perform simple tasks.

    For fancier imaging I'm happy with the free Paint.NET - dotPDN LLC.

    For fancier text I'm happy with EmEditor.

    For music, I'm happiest with Windows Media Player after having tries the others.

    For copying/moving file I use the Microsoft RichCopy. It's old and could benefit from some improvements but behaves sensibly.

    For the Windows 7 Games such as Freecell, they're available as Win7Games4Win10_8_81_v2.zip

    All of this working well on the latest Windows 10.

    1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      Re: Basic, simple tools

      I use notepad every day. I browse to a website that is full of adverts,

      CTRL+A

      CTRL+C

      Open notepad

      CTRL+V

      Read with no flashing distractions. Ok the text sometimes is a bit messy but I dont care, I can read around that.

  14. rutlandn

    Cardfile?

    (Just sayin')

  15. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
    Angel

    Nostaglia

    Bring back Solitaire and Minesweeper...

    Yes, there's infinitely more refined versions in the Microsoft Store. But they're bloated and over fancy. Sol and Winmine do the trick at the simplest level (still expandable off that XP CD you've got hidden in a drawer somewhere

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nostaglia

      Is "nostaglia" what you experience when you discover a half full 10 year old packet of pasta at the back of the kitchen cupboard? ;-)

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Nostaglia

        half full 10 year old packet of pasta at the back of the kitchen cupboard

        .. which is still probably quite edible (if it was dried pasta) unless it got damp or was attacked by mice/insects in the interim. After all, pasta was created in order to make a nice corn-based foodstuff that would keep for ages in the days before refrigeration..

        Other dried foodstuffs are available.

    2. aks Bronze badge

      Re: Nostaglia

      Search for Win7Games4Win10_8_81_v2.zip to reinstall the Windows 7 Games such as Freecell, Mahjong, Minesweeper etc.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nostaglia

      'Bring back Solitaire and Minesweeper...'

      Feh!, was never taken with them...the first couple of MS arcade releases (Arcade/Return of..) however followed me around for years and mysteriously appeared somewhere on the fileservers wherever I worked (I know, I know, me bad &etc)...in fact (checks the odds'n'sods directory on the NAS...) bugger (fires up Win7 on the Netbook for the first time this year...) excuse me while I go waste some time seriously investigating this here BZ.EXE file....

    4. VikiAi Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Nostaglia

      Nostalgia just isn't the same anymore!

  16. numbat

    Check out what paint can be used for

    https://jimll.co.uk/products/ainsley-harriott-son-of-god-art-print

  17. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Inherently pixel-perfect

    MS-Paint is actually a pretty nice tool for those times when you wish to carefully, as opposed to quickly, adjust the image pixel by pixel. Not merely 'airbrushing' areas in a semi-automated way, but carefully plucking out defective pixels and replacing them one by one. End result can be perfect.

    Yes, I've also used Photoshop and many other advanced tools. MS-Paint is just another tool in the tool box.

  18. DuncanLarge Silver badge

    Why I love paint

    I press Alt+PrintScr

    I click cortana and type paint.

    I press ctrl+v when paint is open.

    File->Save

    Screenshot taken.

    I prefer that to launching that slightly annoying snipping tool.

  19. JohnFen Silver badge

    Hooray!

    I use MS Paint all the time at work to annotate screenshots. It's very handy, and that it's basic and lacks features is, for this use, a great thing.

    If it went away (or became a UWP app), then I'd have to find something else equally simple to replace it.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sound now?

    WINXP Soundrec.exe without the error pls for WIN7 & WIN10?

  21. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    Backups

    I've got copies of Paint, Notepad, and Wordpad from Win2000 (or maybe Server2003) all squirreled away in zip files somewhere in my Gmail account. They all run fine on Windows 10, although the text area in Notepad doesn't get a frame around the edges in Win10. None of that newfangled ribbon foolishness for me.

  22. Terry 6 Silver badge

    And I've used paint in similar ways. Not usually IT stuff, so not usually screenshots but same principle. Call up photo of area/issue that they say they can't see. In Paint. Draw circle round offending issue. Email.

    And for that I don't want anything big or complicated, or (shudder) 3D.

  23. Ribfeast

    I wish there was an easy way to delete Paint 3D from my PC, it keeps setting itself as the default picture viewer at random times, and takes forever to launch.

    I found the executable but it is protected from deletion.

    MSPaint is perfect for all I need to do.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      This removes paint3d. On my PCs it leaves real Paint in place.

      Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.MSPaint | Remove-AppxPackage

      from a Powershell (admin)

      Use Google ( another shudder, holds nose) to get equivalents for other MS Crapstuff

      1. Ribfeast

        Thank you kind sir!!

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