MS Paint Not Working on Windows? Try These Fixes

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Microsoft Paint, once a simple graphics tool, is now a design application in its own right, fueled by newer features, such as the AI-powered Cocreator. The app may have trouble opening or running properly at some point. This tutorial lists both standard and non-standard fixes for MS Paint not working on Windows.

1. Clean Boot Your Windows PC

If Microsoft Paint fails to open, despite it running with you as an administrator, there may be a background program interfering with the application. A clean boot, as shown here, will resolve these software conflicts to give you a fresh start.

Open System Configuration from Windows search, which you must Run as Administrator. You can also open it by typing msconfig.exe in the Run command menu, that you can bring up with Win + R.

Go to the Services tab, and check the Hide all Microsoft services menu. This will populate all the non-Microsoft services in the window. Click on Disable all, followed by Apply and OK.

Disabling non-Windows services in System Configuration for a Clean boot.

Tip: clean boot is one of the solutions we recommend for common Windows problems.

2. Check Out the Latest Windows Updates

An out-of-date MS Paint application is prone to crashing and freezing more often than not. It’s very easy to update it from the Microsoft Store to make it work properly.

Another reason, though, is that Microsoft may introduce a few runtime errors in various applications, including Paint, during a cumulative or optional update. These issues persist until the next update, which will typically introduce a fix. The solution is to keep Checking for updates in the Windows Update settings.

Check for updates in Windows 11.

Tip: If you don’t want to wait for the next update, it’s easy to uninstall the most recent update, and wait for the fix.

3. Delete SID Entries for Paint

If your MS Paint isn’t working properly, its security identifier (SID) entries may have become corrupted, and you’ll need to delete them. When you install the application again, those SID entries will get a fresh start.

Open the Windows Registry Editor, using regedit.exe in the Run command prompt (Win + R). Next, navigate to the following path:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Appx\AppxAllUserStore
Locating SID entries under AppxAllUserStore in Registry Editor.

When you open the AppxAllUserStore key, various SID entries can be identified via prefixes, such as “S-1-S.” Expand the subkeys to look for any MS Paint-related SID entries.

Once you have identified the SID entry for Paint, right-click on it to Delete the entry, and close the Registry Editor. Uninstall, then reinstall the program from Control Panel. The corrupted SID profile will clear itself.

Right-click to delete SID entry related to Paint in the Registry Editor.

Note: before trying the next method, open Paint from its App Settings in Windows search. Try the combination of reset, repair, and uninstall.

4. Remove and Reinstall Paint Using PowerShell

You may have tried uninstalling and reinstalling MS Paint to make it work again, without success. As a scripting language, PowerShell can override any background programs or processes interfering with your application, as it’s more powerful than the traditional uninstallation processes. There are two ways to use PowerShell to uninstall/reinstall MS Paint.

Method 1: Using Get-AppxPackage

Open PowerShell in administrator mode, and enter the following command.

Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.MSPaint | Remove-AppxPackage

Reinstall the package as shown here.

Get-AppxPackage -allusers Microsoft.MSPaint | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}
Remove and reinstall Paint by packages in PowerShell.

Method 2: Using Get-WmiObject and MyApp

This is the traditional way to uninstall applications in PowerShell. It is more suited for older Windows 10 and earlier systems.

Enter the following to populate the PowerShell screen with all of your applications in administrator mode.

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product | Select-Object -Property Name
Listing various programs in PowerShell using Get-WmiObject command.

Call on the Microsoft Paint application name, as may be indicated in the PowerShell screen.

$MyApp = Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product | Where-Object{$_.Name -eq "Mspaint"}

After the application is successfully called, uninstall it using the command below:

Using MyApp to uninstall a Paint package program in PowerShell.

The application can be reinstalled using a Get-Package cmdlet.

Get-Package -Provider Programs -IncludeWindowsInstaller -Name "/Name convention of your Paint application/"

Tip: want to be more successful with PowerShell? Check out the most essential PowerShell commands for your everyday work.

5. Reinitialize Paint

Close on the heels of a reinstallation, you can sometimes just reinitialize the Paint application in PowerShell. Type the following command in PowerShell in administrator mode.

Get-AppxPackage *Microsoft.Paint* | Reset-AppxPackage

The screen will automatically update itself as MS Paint reinitializes, which will ensure it opens without any problems.

Reinitializing Paint in PowerShell window.

6. Remove the Microsoft Store Cache

Paint, as a Microsoft Store application, is prone to accumulation of cache. This can cause it to stop working suddenly. Clearing the cache from time to time is essential to unfreeze the application.

Use the Run command, Win + R, and type wsrest.exe. This will initially launch the Microsoft Store application. It will also automatically clear any cache.

Clear Microsoft Store cache using

Note: if Microsoft Store is not working for any reason, that may also cause its connected applications like Paint to stop working. Check out our list of fixes.

7. Disable any Local Group Policies Disallowing Paint

If MS Paint is not working or opening, you will get different kinds of system errors such as “Windows cannot find C:\Windows\System32\Mspaint.exe” or “This operation has been canceled due to restrictions in effect on this computer.”

It’s possible that there may be a local group policy restricting you from accessing the application. You can either contact a system administrator in a shared network, or, in case you’re the PC owner, open the Local Group Policy Editor using gpedit.msc in Run command.

Navigate to Local Computer Policy -> User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System. Double-click on Don’t run specified Windows applications.

Local Group Policy Editor setting for "Don't run speciifc Windows Applications."

If the Group policy is enabled in the new window, click on List of disallowed applications. This will open a new pop-up window, where you can check whether there are any system restrictions on MS Paint.

To undo these restrictions, change the setting to Disabled, then click Apply followed by OK. Close the program.

Steps to disable Paint setting as a disallowed application in Local Group Policy Editor.

Tip: are the Group policy settings creating issues on your device? Easily reset them to ensure the apps work correctly.

8. Delete Recently Installed Fonts

If you installed any new fonts, chances are they may interfere with the MS Paint application in the background, causing crashes and preventing it from opening. To avoid this, you may have to delete the recently installed fonts. Go to Windows Settings using Win + I, followed by Personalization -> Fonts. Uninstall any recent fonts.

A minor source of the MS Paint not working on Windows problem is the .NET framework not working properly, something you can fix with DISM and other security commands.

Image credit: DALL-E. All screenshots by Sayak Boral.

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Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over eleven years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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