WordPad/Paint “Unable to create new document” Error

When you start WordPad or Microsoft Paint on a Windows 10 computer, the error “Unable to create new document” occurs and the program doesn’t launch.

wordpad paint unable to create new document

The error occurs whether you launch WordPad by running wordpad.exe or write.exe.

Workaround

There are two wordpad.exe and mspaint.exe executables in a Windows 10 x64 computer. You may be able to launch WordPad or MS Paint by running one of these:

C:\Program Files\Windows NT\Accessories\wordpad.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows NT\Accessories\wordpad.exe

C:\Windows\System32\mspaint.exe
C:\Windows\SysWOW64\mspaint.exe

Solution

To resolve the error “Unable to create new document” when opening WordPad or Microsoft Paint, simply uninstall and then reinstall the respective program. As you may have known, the programs WordPad, Paint, Notepad, and Steps Recorder are now regarded as optional features (Features on Demand or FOD) and can be uninstalled and reinstalled on-demand.

To uninstall and then reinstall WordPad, Paint, Notepad, or the Steps Recorder, use the following steps:

Method 1: Using Apps & Features

  1. Click Start, Settings, Apps, Apps & Features.
  2. Click on the Optional features link.
  3. Locate the program (e.g., WordPad) you want to remove, select it, and click the Uninstall button.
    uninstall wordpad optional features
  4. To reinstall the program, click on the Add a feature glyph icon at the top of the page.
  5. Type the name of the program you want to reinstall (e.g., WordPad)
  6. This adds the program to the list of programs to be installed. Likewise, other programs to this list if required.
    reinstall wordpad optional features
  7. Click on the Install button and complete the process.

The above procedure requires internet connectivity, as it uses Windows Update to download the required files.


Method 2: Using the DISM command

To uninstall WordPad and MS Paint using the DISM command-line in Windows 10, run these commands from admin Command Prompt:

dism /Online /Remove-Capability /CapabilityName:Microsoft.Windows.WordPad~~~~0.0.1.0

dism /Online /Remove-Capability /CapabilityName:Microsoft.Windows.MSPaint~~~~0.0.1.0

To reinstall them, run:

dism /Online /add-Capability /CapabilityName:Microsoft.Windows.WordPad~~~~0.0.1.0

dism /Online /add-Capability /CapabilityName:Microsoft.Windows.MSPaint~~~~0.0.1.0

You should see the following output:

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 10.0.19041.572

Image Version: 10.0.19041.572

[==========================100.0%==========================]
The operation completed successfully.

See also: Features On Demand | Microsoft Docs

Note that the above reinstall procedure requires internet connectivity, as the system downloads the package via Windows Update. Running the above commands on an offline system would cause the DISM error 0x8024402c.



If you want to install the features on-demand programs like WordPad or MS Paint from a local source, you’ll need to have access to the Feature on Demand ISO released by Microsoft.

This should fix the error “Unable to create new document” in Microsoft Paint or WordPad.

Notepad missing in Windows 10?

After you upgrade to Windows 10 2004 or higher, Notepad may be missing from the system. You’ll see the error Windows cannot find ‘notepad.exe’. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again when you attempt to start Notepad.exe.

If Notepad is missing in your Windows 10 installation, it could mean that the Notepad (Feature on Demand) package is not installed.

Use the Optional features link in Apps & Features and install Notepad.

Alternately, this command should help you uninstall and reinstall Notepad quickly via (administrator) Command Prompt.

dism /Online /Remove-Capability /CapabilityName:Microsoft.Windows.Notepad~~~~0.0.1.0

dism /Online /add-Capability /CapabilityName:Microsoft.Windows.Notepad~~~~0.0.1.0

Hope that helps.


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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

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