Microsoft announced that Paint 3D preview app is now built-in to Windows 10 since the Creator’s Update Preview build 14971. That’s great. But what’s more interesting is that, launching mspaint.exe starts the modern or UWP Paint 3D app from now on. This post tells you how to get back classic Paint in Windows 10 Creators Update.
Paint replaced by Paint 3D?
The classic Paint (aka Microsoft Paint or Paint brush) application still widely used by many. It’s still one of my favorite programs and can’t imagine losing it – and as a matter of fact, it’s still my primary image cropping tool. Although Microsoft may have plans to scrap classic Paint completely just as they did to Sticky Notes in the Anniversary Update, good news is that the classic Paint desktop program still hasn’t gone away.
The old Paint still works in Windows 10 Creator’s Update Preview! That’s true. I’ve found a way to launch classic Paint after installing the Creator’s Update Preview build 14971.
Start classic Paint after installing Windows 10 Creators Update Preview
The super secret registry edit to bring back the old Paint, is as follows:
Start the Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and go to:
Note: The “Paint” key don’t exist by default. You need to create it manually, and then the “Settings” subkey.
Changes made to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE would apply the setting for all users on the computer.
In the right-pane, create a DWORD value named DisableModernPaintBootstrap
Double-click DisableModernPaintBootstrap and set its value data to 1
Exit the Registry Editor.
To automate the above steps, download the following zip file, unzip and run the enclosed REG file.
Start mspaint.exe. Voila! It now launches the classic Microsoft Paint application instead of the modern Paint 3D.
This registry edit doesn’t prevent you from using the Paint 3D Preview. You can launch it from the Start menu shortcut.
MSPaint.exe from a Windows 10 v1607 (current stable build) PC
If mspaint.exe is missing in your system, you can get the executable mspaint.exe and mspaint.exe.mui from a system running Windows 10 Anniversary Update (or from the Windows.old directory in your system).
For my use, I’ve uploaded them in this site: mspaint_classic_w10.zip. mspaint.exe goes into “Windows\System32” and mspaint.exe.mui into the “Windows\system32\en-us” folder. If using an earlier version if mspaint.exe, you don’t need the registry edit above.
Hope that helps! Feel free to post your comments and share this tip with others.
About the author
Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.