Microsoft Paint is Finally Available in the Microsoft Store, Sort Of

Posted on April 7, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 30 Comments

Image credit: Aggiornamenti Lumia.

In 2017, Microsoft announced that it was going to move Microsoft Paint into the Microsoft Store so that it could be updated more frequently. Well, that’s finally happening. What’re four years between friends?

“MS Paint is here to stay, it will just have a new home soon, in the Windows Store where it will be available for free,” Microsoft noted at the time. Right, this was so long ago that the Microsoft Store was still called the Windows Store.

At the time of the original announcement, Microsoft expected that Paint 3D would replace Paint and that it could appease customers by making Paint available as an option from the Store. But Paint 3D never emerged as a viable Paint replacement, thanks in part to its cartoonish, touch-based UI, and in part because literally no average Windows 10 users care at all about 3D.

So Microsoft backtracked, stating that it would keep Paint in Windows 10 going forward.

Microsoft still hadn’t added Paint to the Store. But it did add some new features: Microsoft announced new keyboard input support in mid-2019.

Flash forward two more years and we’re finally seeing more movement on this. Aggiornamenti Lumia reports that Paint is finally available in the Microsoft Store, though I’m not seeing it yet. And Microsoft is removing the 3D tools, including Paint 3D, from Windows 10. All is right in the world.

Well, not all. Microsoft is also putting Notepad in the Store now. For some reason.

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Comments (30)

30 responses to “Microsoft Paint is Finally Available in the Microsoft Store, Sort Of”

  1. j5

    Who made the decision to push Paint 3D to replace Paint? Do they run any kind of market analysis for moves like that? I remember first seeing and thinking immediately that it was 3rd party crapware and didn’t open it. Then later on when I wanted to edit an image Paint 3D open as the default but have me an error message saying it couldn’t open the image ??‍♂️!

    • javial

      In reply to j5:

      Who made the decision to remove Start Menu in Windows 8?

      Who made the decision to remove Windows Borders in Windows 10?

      Who made the decision to remove Advanced Appearance settings in Windows 10?

      Who made the terrible UWP ugly Start Menu in Windows 10?

      Who made the terrible UWP ugly Settings mess in Windows 10 to replace the good Control Panel?

      Who made the decision to ALL CAPS menus in Office 2013?

      Who made the decision to remove Previous Versions based on Shadow Copies in Windows 10

      Who made the terrible UWP ugly, mobile, limited and slowly framework apps in Windows 10

      Who made the terrible, caothic and unuseable "New Project Dialog" in Visual Studio 2019

      Someone without common sense and very little intelligence: Microsoft.

      • Paul Thurrott

        Who? Who cares? :) Why is perhaps more interesting. But knowing the answers to these questions won't help us fix the problems.
  2. hrlngrv

    Re Paint 3D, what do most users use Paint for? Creating digital art? Or cropping and annotating screen shots? If the latter, Paint 3D really sucked. It was also impossible to have multiple instances running at the same time, making it rather difficult to select a portion of one image to copy into a different image. Paint 3D was simply unusable by most Windows users. No big surprise few tried using it.

    Re Notepad in the Store, those using 3rd party Start menu alternatives, in my case Open Menu, need to create Notepad shortcuts in the traditional place, under %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu . Creating a shortcut on the desktop, then moving that to the traditional place kinda works, but the icon is flaky. FWIW, the new Notepad icons are .PNG files. Raising the question when will MSFT deprecate .ICO files?

  3. hrlngrv

    In reply to blue77star:

    and old notepad removed

    If only.

    NOTEPAD.EXE still exists and takes up disk space under C:\Windows, but Windows won't launch it.

  4. Scsekaran

    I don't see the logic here. While Paint (& Notepad) is moving to Microsoft Store, News & Weather are pinned to Taskbar. Bing app in Microsoft store had wallpaper change features which was rolled out as a standalone app( was not in the store) but apparently that is coming back to Microsoft store again. My head is spinning!

  5. dashrender

    Seriously, what about paint really needs to be updated?

    • Paul Thurrott

      Exactly. Nothing.
    • 1speed

      In reply to Dashrender:

      Transparent backgrounds which is why is the logical successor for it. A lot of people who present their ideas in PPT presentations have to send their stuff to a graphics editor to do basic image editing/drawing because the default from Microsoft is not useable and clipart is worse.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to 1speed:

        Off in the weeds, but wouldn't transparency support require MSFT to add 32-bit bitmaps to Paint? In turn, would that require Windows generally/fully to support transparency? Such as fully transparent avatars which display the background image rather than opaque black? FWIW, Linux GUI greeters handle fully transparent avatars as transparent.

        Also, it wouldn't hurt if Paint could open/save .ICO files. Windows has bundled EUCDEDIT.EXE for decades but never bundled an icon editor.

  6. truerock2

    The best thing about Windows Paint is its simplicity.

    As a thought experiment I sometimes think about what additional features could be added to Paint without messing it up.

    Perhaps layers and transparency could be added and most people would be able to not notice the extra feature.

    For Notepad, I guess hexadecimal and octal support would be a nice, not too obtrusive additional feature. Also, perhaps imbedded line-numbers and line-date-time-stamp support.

  7. Belralph

    After using it for years, I paid the $4.00ish for via the store so it auto updates and never looked back. It's perfect for basic tasks that I do being not a graphics person like image/canvas resizing and marking up screen shots.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Belralph:

      To each their own.

      Mine isn't the steadiest hand with a mouse, but I'm fine with a keyboard. Meaning I can use ImageMagick on the command line to crop and resize to my heart's content. Leaving only minor annotations as the only thing I still do in Paint.

  8. spiderman2

    "Microsoft is also putting Notepad in the Store now. For some reason."

    You said it before to decouple it from the os, making it receive updates more often and indipendently from the os

  9. Salvador Jesús Romero Castellano

    "And Microsoft is removing the 3D tools, including Paint 3D, from Windows 10."

    Ey, I use 3D Viewer everyday for work! Quite handy, is like Paint for 3D files.

  10. ebraiter

    Notepad in the store? Noooooo! :-)

  11. jchampeau

    Sometimes it seems like Microsoft is a messy teenager that has little discipline and never finishes their homework. They leave things undone, change their mind frequently, and make decisions based on emotion instead of logic and reason.

  12. bluvg

    Finally in the Store... which they're trying to discontinue?

    • spiderman2

      In reply to bluvg:

      They're not... Only some "journalists" said that

      • Paul Thurrott

        Don't spread misinformation, and don't you dare cast aspersions at people who do great work despite having difficult jobs given how poorly Microsoft communicates. Mary Jo Foley, an award-winning journalist (no air quotes) with 30 years of experience DID write in January that Microsoft is planning on phasing out the Windows Store for Business. This article also correctly notes that Microsoft's Kevin Gallo told her (and others) that Microsoft was deprecating the mainstream Microsoft Store in that it would no longer require that avenue for app distribution. That conversation took place almost two years ago. She wrote: "That strategy does not call for Microsoft to drop the Web version of the Microsoft Store. I'm not sure what will happen to the Microsoft Store client that's built into Windows 10 right now; my contacts say its future is 'uncertain' at this point." Get your facts straight.
        • spiderman2

          In reply to paul-thurrott:

          Who said I was talking about Mary Jo Foley? also bluvg comment confirmed that he read this misinformation somewhere.


          speaking of misinformation you wrote "And Snipping Tool is finally replacing Snip & Sketch, and will be updated in the Store, though it’s not getting a new icon." while MS wrote "Snipping Tool is now updateable via the Microsoft Store outside major OS updates. It has been packaged together with Snip & Sketch so we can deliver updates for both at the same time."

          • bluvg

            In reply to spiderman2:

            I didn't say I considered it misinformation. It was a genuine question based on posts I've read on this site and elsewhere. If you have information that it is not going away, please share--I'd definitely like to see it.

          • Paul Thurrott

            Mary Jo is literally the source of this information. If others have mischaracterized what she wrote, that's on them.
        • bluvg

          In reply to paul-thurrott:

          Thank you very much for that high-level summary! That's super helpful to me, because as you point out, Microsoft is communicating this very poorly (almost as bad as dropping UserVoice, with no advance notice and radio silence about it for weeks afterwards).

          I really wish they would NOT drop the Store for a host of reasons, which makes the uncertainty about their future plans only that much more confusing when they make new announcements like this for the future updating of in-box apps.

  13. dougkinzinger

    I saw Notepad in the store a few weeks ago. Neat, I suppose...

  14. Sir_Timbit

    I guess I don't get why they'd move these basic apps that have always just been included to the Store. Microsoft always says it means they can update them more frequently, but aside from Office 365 it's not like they ever do. There's two new versions of Windows released every year that could do the job... I was really annoyed by this a while back when I found I could no longer open up calc.exe following some OS upgrade. Ended up wasting a bunch of time trying to re-download it from the store, trying dism repairs, etc. It was really annoying for something that simply always worked without much fuss.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Sir_Timbit:

      Indeed. There are seldom used .EXEs which have been part of Windows since NT4 which would make more sense becoming optional components in the stote, e.g., EUCDEDIT.EXE.

      Re Notepad, the only feature update I'm aware of over the last few decades is its ability to detect different line endings when opening text files. However, it doesn't seem to support CHANGING line endings using Save As. Maybe it needs to go into the Store to support that trail blazing feature when it becomes available. In 5 years' time that could allow people still using 23H2 (then) to upgrade Notepad without needing to upgrade Windows as a whole.

      Modularity is good, but Windows lacking a bundled console text editor makes it clear to me that good design principles aren't MSFT's primary concern.

  15. irfaanwahid

    I find all such news to be just waste of time.

    How many times has Paint/NotePad been update in the last 5 years/or since Windows 10 is out?

    What great they will achieve by taking these two and other bundled apps to Store?

    Can't they just focus on core features/consistency/UI refresh rather than just playing around with moving apps here and there.