Paint.NET Comes to Windows Store

Posted on October 1, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 76 Comments

Paint.NET Comes to Windows Store

Back in July, Paint.NET creator Rick Brewster said he was bringing the app to the Windows Store. That day has arrived.

“Paint.NET version 4.0.18, which I just announced, is now available on the Windows Store,” Mr. Brewster writes on the Paint.NET blog. “The standard price is currently $8.99, but I’ve put it on sale for $5.99 until the end of October. You can also make use of the 30-day free trial to get started.”

That there is a price at all has disappointed some: Paint.NET is available for free on the web, though Brewster requests that users show their appreciation for his work and support future development by donating.

“The Store release of Paint.NET is not distributed free-of-charge,” he explains. “This allows many things to converge and solves a lot of problems, while still providing value for new and existing users (err, customers?). The ‘Classic’ release will still be available and kept up-to-date on the same schedule as the Store release.”

So there you go. But as he notes, there are some important advantages to using the Store version of the app, aside from the usual karma-related stuff around paying for what you use and appreciate:

Background updating. Software updates are now “fully automatic and transparent,” Brewster says, ensuring that you will always be on the latest version of the app. The Classic version, by comparison, checks only once every 10 days.

Easier install. Once you own Paint.NET via the Store, it’s super-easy to get it installed on all your PCs. “Store apps also come with the wonderful advantage that they can’t install browser toolbars,” Brewster adds. “They can’t change your web browser’s homepage. They can’t do all sorts of things that would pollute your system. Store apps don’t get to provide their own installers full of sneaky check boxes that may or may not install various crapware. Paint.NET has never and will never do anything like that, but for many other apps it has been a very slippery slope over the years.”

Better reliability. Likewise, the Store version of Paint.NET uses the more reliable and modern Microsoft package manager and application model, and not the old-school MSI technology he uses for web distribution.

Aside from the Store advantages, Paint.NET version 4.0.18 offers 25 percent faster startup performance, per-user plug-in support, and other improvements.

You can find Paint.NET in the Windows Store. I highly recommend buying it: It’s a top-notch graphics app. And, remember, it’s only $5.99 right now, a $3 savings over the normal pricing.


Tagged with ,

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (76)

76 responses to “Paint.NET Comes to Windows Store”

  1. Atoqir

    My god. The store really isn't working out for MS.

    First they hope for real UWP apps. Because that didn't happen they hoped for ported win32 apps. But now said ports cost 8 dollar, while the updated regular version is free.

    Come on devs, stop boycotting this. We really need a good software repository tool like linux had for years.

    • A_lurker

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      One of the real problems with Windows is the lack of a builtin application that will handle updates for all installed software and ideally allow installation from a well maintained repository. Linux distros have had this for a long time and in general it works quite well. And in many distros the repositories often have commercial software many users might want.

      The third party solutions (never used have been a bit of a pain to use as the installation steps were often a bit convoluted.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to A_lurker:

        Part of Windows's problem with a builtin updater is that Windows doesn't maintian the equivalent of a package database. The Windows registry contains some of that info, but not all. That has meant over the years that 3rd party software making use of 4th party subcomponents either have to have their own mechanisms for finding those components (e.g., searching for installed Java runtimes) or just bundle those components within the 3rd party program's directory (e.g., as the Windows version of GNU Octave includes the full MinGW32 gcc and numerical development libraries). Lots of that 3rd party software doesn't load anything for the 4th party components into the registry, so unclear how Windows would know what to update.

        The thing is Linux packages are far more granular than Windows packages, and that makes it easier to produce package managers for Linux.

        • skane2600

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          Linux's installation approach is hardly a panacea for users or for developers.

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to skane2600:

            Doesn't have to be a panacea, only has to be better. The Windows approach was desigened 25 years ago to do what commercial software vendors wanted, including adding lots and lots of cruft. Redundancy was no one's concern other than users running out of disk space.

            • skane2600

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              Cruft: "badly designed, unnecessarily complicated, or unwanted code or software"

              Sure, none of those characteristics could ever apply to Linux or Linux programs, right?

              • hrlngrv

                In reply to skane2600:

                I don't recall any Linux distribution forcing Candy Crush on me.

                Linux Mint's update utility works better than Windows Update in my experience. Have you used any Linux distribution for more than a few days?

                • WP7Mango

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  Windows Update doesn't really have anything to do with Store App updates, which is the point of publishing apps to the store. The store update experience is beautifully simple.

  2. Trevor Fowler

    Uninstalled the desktop win32 version, purchased and installed the Store version. Seamless transition, all my resent files are still there. Nice work.

  3. Jeremy Petzold

    All the derp comments complaining about the developer choosing to get paid....I bought it from the store because I like and I like the benefits of the store.

    • MikeGalos

      In reply to Jeremy_Petzold:

      As did I. And I already have and have since it first released.

      Software developers seem to be the only ones people think shouldn't be paid. I'll support the "free software" model when I see an company doing that who has their marketing and executive and janitorial staff donate their time and their hardware vendors and office owner donating their products. Until then, the people doing the actual invention are the last people to be told to donate their work for the good of the "commons".

    • wright_is

      In reply to Jeremy_Petzold:

      Exactly. I never trusted payments on such sites and it is yet another site with my details and payment information to get leaked. Paying through the MS store is easier and, hopefully, more secure.

      Maybe having it as an in-app donation payment would have appeased the nay-sayers, but I'll be buying it when I leave here.

      And I already have Photoshop Elements through the store. It provides a lot more than, but sometimes the simple things are a lot simpler or more logical with and it is just quicker.

  4. skane2600

    "Store apps also come with the wonderful advantage that they can’t install browser toolbars..." etc

    I don't see the relevance of what some other Win32 programs do to the decision to buy or not buy the store version of Paint.NET

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to skane2600:

      The relevance may be that it's a shame MSFT hasn't seen fit to remove the ability of installers to add crapware in older Windows versions, especially Windows 8.1 which is theoretically still in mainstream support.

      • MikeGalos

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        So you want them to break backward compatibility.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to MikeGalos:

          For installers? Yes, at least to the extent of triggering UAC when installers try to install components for other installed programs, like browser toolbars, or change other programs' settings, like changing browser home pages.

          • skane2600

            In reply to hrlngrv:

            It would still require manual examination. In general the OS doesn't know whether a component is being installed to affect other applications or its own because it doesn't know what all the applications are and what they do. They are also legitimate cases where changing settings of other applications is exactly the purpose of the program and the user intended it to do so. It would be dumb to have multiple UACs triggered in that case.

            Besides the users who don't pay attention to default checkboxes in an installer are also likely to just click through any UACs that pop up.

      • skane2600

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        Totally impractical. They'd either have to eliminate installers entirely or manually review each and every installer in the world to determine if it installs "crapware" (which has no crisp technical definition).

        In any case, still irrelevant to Paint.NET unless the Win32 version is designed to perform these negative behaviors on installation.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to skane2600:

          Not entirely impractical, but difficult.

          It should be possible for new software to reserve NEW (rather than already existing) registry keys but all write requests into existing registry keys would trigger UAC.

          • skane2600

            In reply to hrlngrv:

            As I said, it could trigger additional annoyance UACs for programs that are designed to legitimately change those settings. I know, I've written such programs for clients to perform the function who paid me to implement.

    • wright_is

      In reply to skane2600:

      Direct from it might be crapware free, but other sites have a habit of repackaging the original in a crapware-installing wrapper and use SEO to get it up the rankings. 2 of the top 3 sites in my "download " were such sites.

  5. Jeff Jones

    The layout of Affinity Photo is so much better than Sure it costs six times as much and, but it's worth it.

  6. wright_is

    I think that is a good way of doing it. I never trust these "small" sites for payments, so I never supported him. Also when installing it on a new PC, it is always a question of have I found the right download site for a particular application, have I landed at a site that rebundles it with a bunch of crapware (CHiP, CNet, for example).

    Maybe having the "donation" as an in-app purchase would have appeased nay-sayers, but otherwise I think it is a brilliant idea.

  7. navarac

    £4.19 in the UK - a no-brainer. Get it.

  8. Marius Muntean

    LOL, no thanks! I will never use this store app. The Win32 standard app is free and I can chose to donate whatever amount I want directly to the dev! Even with the payal fees, it's less loss than with MS. I ain't gonna support this pathetic Store and MS's 30% cut of the sales!

    And for the dev, if he wants people not to forget about his app and stop donating for his work, he better not continue to brag about Microsht and how we should support it by using the Store app!

  9. IanYates82


    The only issue I've found with a Centennial store app is the Ditto clipboard. The classic version can auto-elevate via a UAC prompt if you try to use it in something running as administrator. The store app just can't do it. Won't be a problem for Paint.NET of course but it'd be nice if MS could allow app developers to request UAC elevation privileges as a part of their store listing (still done with the user via the usual UAC prompt).

  10. ErichK

    I've used Paint.NET many times for free. I think it's time I purchase it now that it's in the store.

  11. Lauren Glenn

    I really like the app but $8.99 with it on sale for $5.99? If I used it very often, definitely I would pay that. But I honestly used to use it for brightness correction of images and image trimming. That was until I wrote my own library to do that automatically.

    I'll probably miss the sale and end up purchasing it later when I need to use it again, I guess.

  12. Dashrender

    Interesting, I just got it for $4.99 plus tax.

  13. brduffy

    Paint.Net is a fantastic program. Been using it for years. If the few advantages available in the store version appeal to you then $4.99 is an amazing price for what it offers. If you don't know anything about it, think more along the lines of Photoshop than Microsoft Paint.

  14. Angela_WWW

    $7.45 in Australia - sold.

  15. John Dunagan

    One time I downloaded the Paint.Net app to my workstation the first week at a new job, and promptly clicked the wrong button on the gauntlet of crap on the old site. My machine was instantly virused -- on the company network. Thankfully, my buddy knew just what to do, as the very same thing had happened on his first week of work.

    I was elated to see Paint.Net on Chocolatey when I Boxstarted my latest laptop. This is even better.

  16. veermaharaj

    They need giftcards that can be purchased internationally. When dealing with kids who install a bunch of shitty bloat laden "free" games, i lock their account and restrict the kids to a standard user and suddenly their laptop never gives problems again.

    All they need is a non-credit card related way to purchase apps and games and I will be fine recommending the store to more people.

  17. BigM72

    His blog post on his website says that's because Microsoft doesn't offer him an equivalent of the donate button on his website - i.e. charge for it or don't.

    But surely he could make use of in-app purchases for this?

    Or use the trial facility - offer an unlimited free trial and people can pay to convert it into a fully owned app (and no feature difference between trial and owned).

    • Username

      In reply to BigM72:

      > in-app

      > trial

      but can this be variable? Currently, it’s donate as much *as you want* for

    • Jeff Jones

      In reply to BigM72:

      How does the donation happen on the old app? During install or download? Because otherwise there's no reason why he can't create an in app dialog and a message on his store page that asks for a donation back on his regular website.

      If Microsoft charges for developers to submit an app then this guy has a right for charging, at least long enough to make back "marketing" investment.

      • William Kempf

        In reply to DataMeister:

        MS doesn't charge developers to submit an app. At one point they charged for you to have a developer account, which was the standard $99 everyone else charged, but they eliminated that charge some time ago.

        I don't understand all the complaints here, however. The developer has chosen. You have 3 choices: continue to use the free/donation non-store version, use the store version, don't use the application at all. Complaining about the developer's choice here truly makes no sense. He's fine with the 30% share in the "profit", he's allowed you to continue to obtain the application the way you always have, etc. People's ability to b*tch about the stupidest things always amazes me.

  18. Username

    This can really go wrong for Microsoft. If subsequent statistics show extremely small download from Store compared to direct, it will be evidence of failure. If I was Microsoft I’d get ‘donate’ or whatever is needed for equivalence ASAP.

    Gimp and Inkscape is free and open source so is unlikely to succeed as a paid app.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Username:

      Paint.NET is just a bit easier to use than the Gimp or Inkscape, and Paint.NET may also have a lot more Windows PC users as users of their software than the other two which are ports from Linux.

  19. PeteB

    So I can download the exe FREE from the website, and use it on any version of Windows, copy it to another drive or PC, and not need an online account, and the program auto updates itself. And I can donate directly to the developer for his effort.

    Or I can pay Microsoft $8.99 and they'll only give a percentage to the developer, only works on windows 10, only with a Microsoft account, and the files are obfuscated in UWP DRM jail so I can't back up or copy the exe to another computer or drive.


    • wright_is

      In reply to PeteB:

      You just click the button on each Windows 10 PC and it installs on that PC, you don't need to keep paying.

      Plus I trust Microsoft more with the payment than I would some small site.

      At least he is giving the choice. I prefer the Store method - secure payment, clean install and deinstall, sandboxed.

      For the office though, I'd probably still pick the .msi versions of freeware applications, because I can distribute them via WSUS, which is easier than setting up a corporate store and covers our remaining Windows 7 PCs.

      • Marius Muntean

        In reply to wright_is:

        Trusting MS with my payments would be a total nonsense! They've messed up twice my payments to some apps for Windows Phone, that I ended up paying 6 times the amount because they "forgot" about the currency exchange. I've had it with Microsoon's incompetence and mediocrity.

    • Jeremy Petzold

      In reply to PeteB:

      Microsoft hosts it, provides services and infrastructure to distribute and update it...why wouldn't they deserve some money for that?

      that 30% can go to the developer to pay for the hosting and distribution too I guess...

    • Win74ever

      In reply to PeteB:

      I know right? UWP is a joke.

    • Jason Liao

      Make sure you do donate directly to the developer.

      By the way, the developer gets 70% from Microsoft Store, not a percentage.

      In reply to PeteB:

    • rameshthanikodi

      In reply to PeteB:

      And you totally donated to the developer, right? And it's not like Paypal took a cut in that process, right? It's just Microsoft, oh Microsoft what a bunch of cunts!

      I'm constantly amazed at how so many people here continue to have such backwards thinking. If you miss the past a lot then you're being enthusiastic in the wrong industry. You do know that all app stores work the same right? You still living in the 90's where connectivity is still an issue? Outside of your bubble, no one even keeps installation files around anymore. Hell, most .exe installers these days don't even work offline either, they're just stubs that launch a downloader that combines the download and install know, like what appstores do. Unless for some reason you absolutely have to install Paint.NET while offline, there's really no reason to keep around the .exe installer, plus the downloaded file becomes outdated every couple of months as Paint.NET is regularly updated. And it is in the developer's interest that all of Paint.NET users are on the latest version.

      • Jeff Jones

        In reply to FalseAgent:

        I'm in his bubble too. I keep all the installation files of apps I use on a NAS. Sometimes a few versions back.

        That way if the zombie apocalypse happens and the internet goes down, I can still setup a new computer with some decent software. :-)

      • Username

        In reply to FalseAgent:

        > Hell, most .exe installers these days don't even work offline either, they're just stubs that launch a downloader that combines the download and install know, like what appstores do. 

        Not my experience at all - every application I’ve dealt has offline or optional offline installer. I always keep old versions of downloaded offline installer in case developer has an unexpected/unwanted surprise in new version.

        • VancouverNinja

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          Why bother? Google gets their share, Apple gets their share, and now Microsoft gets their share. The point with Paypal is that there is always a middle man. Unless everyone is lashing out at MS competitors for the same thing its getting a little long in the tooth at this point.

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to VancouverNinja:

            Google and Apple have customer bases over 1 billion and used to using Google's and Apple's respective stores for phone and tablet apps. MSFT, sadly, had 3+ decades of PC users/potential customers not using Windows/MSFT Store for PC software (and the majority of Windows PC users still using Windows 7 and prior can't use the Store).

            MSFT was rather late to the game, so it really can't expect the same % cut as the earlier arrivals. Life ain't fair.

            Just to be sure this is clear: MSFT needs to take a smaller cut than Google or Apple because (1) most of its customers still can't use its store and (2) it's so far behind Google and Apple that rapid growth in Store offerings requires being the low cost option for ISVs.

            • Jeremy Petzold

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              That is a business choice, not an inherent issue with a 30% cut.

              Maybe offer 0% cut for the first 10,000 purchases and a permanent reduced cut for people who release on the MS store first.

              Really....the fact is, desktop based software is going aware in favor of subscription enabling software that use a web platform.

          • skane2600

            In reply to VancouverNinja:

            You have to consider both the middle man cost and the potential profits. MS is charging the same percentage as the other companies despite the fact that it's a less successful store.

        • Jester

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          PayPal only takes 2.9% + $.30

  20. richfrantz

    $1.99 right now