How to Restore Classic Paint App in Windows 10

Are you not a fan yet… of Paint 3D? Here’s how to restore the original MS Paint to Windows 10.

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

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.

  1. Click Start, type: regedit, right-click it then click Run as administrator.

  2. 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.

  3. Enter DisableModernPaintBootstrap, right-click the DWORD value, then click Properties, change the value to 0 (if it’s not already). Click OK

  4. 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.

  5. 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.



  1. infmom

    Um… I just spent a couple days putting screenshots into Paint. The original Paint. All I did was type PAINT into Cortana.

    • Andre Da Costa

      Please note, this is for the Creators Update. This does not affect the Anniversary Update, November Update or the original 1507 release.

      • infmom

        Oh. Duh. I’d do a lot better if I learned how to read. :)

        • Andre Da Costa

          Don’t worry, it happens to many of us, since it Microsoft uses the same ‘Windows 10’ branding for each update. :)

  2. John Carter

    My laptop just processed the large Microsoft fall update about a week ago. Now I’ve discovered when I use MS Paint (or Paint 3D or whatever it is now), it will no longer allow me to move an object after I cut & paste. (It only allows me to “stretch” the borders of the pasted section). I’ve found other sites on the web complaining of this as well, but so far no responses or fixes from Microsoft. This is incredibly annoying. I use Paint a LOT to “fix” small details in images, and I need to be able to move an image-section after I’ve pasted it! Unfortunately, the method described in the article above is way too complicated for my skills. I just thought I would add a comment as to a significant feature in the new version of Paint which is no longer allowed. I am extreme-hoping that Microsoft fixes this soon, and am hoping that many other users share their objections.

  3. Lili

    Thank you so much!

  4. nick

    its a useless post, and does not work…..better way of doing it C:\Windows\system32\mspaint.exe and setup a shortcut on desktop also go into win settings and change it to be your default instead of the 3d rubbish

    • Doug

      THANK YOU so very much for this comment! I tried the original and got nowhere. I tried your path, and BOOM, I was there. I pinned MSPaint to the taskbar and deleted Paint3D from the taskbar. Bye,bye, Paint3D!

      • Jodi

        What is mspaint isn’t listed?

  5. Thomas Anderson

    This fixed my issue! My file associations got hosed. I would re-associate them, reboot and windows would forget what app was associated with png files. Thank you!

  6. Brian 77 Years Young

    Thank you very much for making this procedure available.

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