Back in October, Microsoft previewed the next generation universal Paint app called Paint 3D. Designed from the ground up, the new app focuses on new areas of creativity, such as 3D design, illustration, community, and printing. As much as I like the direction where Microsoft is taking Paint, I’m just not ready for it yet to replace the good old Win32 Paint app. Why is that the case, though? Well, the old Paint app has been embedded in my memory muscle.
Using Paint 3D is like migrating to a foreign country, learning the laws of the land and how to communicate. The interface is strikingly different, and there are some minor differences like performance; opening a file and even launching the app which is not instantaneous.
For me personally, and possibly some of you, I prefer to have our cake and eat it too. So, although I’ll still play with the new Paint 3D, let me show you how to get back the classic Paint app.
Bring Back the Old Paint App in Windows 10 Creators Update
Initially, I tried finding the classic Paint app using Search, the Run command and even browsing the System 32 folder. Every attempt at launching it opened the new 3D Paint app instead. With a little investigation, I discovered Microsoft chose to hide the old Paint app. In order to get it back, you will need to modify some registry keys so don’t forget to backup your registry before walking through the steps below.
- Click Start, type: regedit, right-click it then click Run as administrator.
- Navigate to the following registry key: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Paint\Settings. You can copy and paste the string into the new Registry address bar then hit Enter, and it will take you there. Within Settings, right-click, select New > DWORD (32-bit) value.
- Enter DisableModernPaintBootstrap, right-click the DWORD value, then click Properties, change the value to 0 (if it’s not already). Click OK
- Note: If you don’t see a registry key for Settings, you will need to create one, right-click Paint > New > Key then enter the word Settings.
- Exit the registry, then launch Paint as you normally would and will be back in business with the MS Paint Classic.
The new Paint 3D app has a lot of potentials, but right now, it’s messing with my workflow; basic tasks like resizing photos, cropping, saving, and opening are just a little too awkward or hard to find. If there are three apps I would like to see remain untouched in Windows, they are WordPad, Paint, and Notepad. For more robust, creative needs, it will be great to have Paint 3D as an alternative.