Paint.net is the go-to app for a feature-rich but free image editor. If you like the Paint app on Windows 10 but really wish it had a little more than its basic editing and painting tools, Paint.net is the app you would normally install to replace it.
Paint.net, while free, is in active development. You can install it as a desktop app or as a Microsoft Store app though, if you get it from the Microsoft Store, you have to buy it.
Paint.net download issues
If you want to use Paint.net for free, you have no choice but to use the desktop version of the app. This desktop version is as easy to install as any other desktop app. You will download the file as a ZIP file and will have to extract it. Inside the extracted folder you’ll find an EXE file. Run it and it will install Paint.net.
Fresh Paint.net Install
If the Paint.net EXE file fails to install the app, try the fixes below.
1. Run EXE as administrator
Installing an app on Windows 10 generally requires admin rights. If you’re trying to install an app for a single user, or system-wide, admin rights should still be used.
- Right-click the Paint.net EXE file.
- Select Run as administrator from the context menu.
- Authenticate with the admin username and password.
- Run through the installation steps and Paint.net will be installed.
2. Install .NET Framework from Microsoft
Paint.net requires the .NET framework to work. If you do not have the .NET framework installed on your system, Paint.net will install it for you during its own installation process. The installation doesn’t always go smoothly and if Paint.net won’t install, you should try installing the .NET framework manually.
- Download the .NET framework from Microsoft.
- Run the EXE file with admin rights.
- Install the .NET framework.
- Once installed, run the Paint.net EXE file.
3. Use Express installation settings
If you’re selecting ‘Custom’ on the installation screen and changing where Paint.net is installed, switch over to Express installation instead. Install it to the default directory that Paint.net chooses.
4. Install pending updates
If you have pending Windows 10 updates that need to be installed, or that require you to restart the system, restart it now. Install all pending updates. Restart the system even if an update does not require it and then try installing Paint.net.
Paint.net normally fails to install when there is a problem with the .NET framework installed on your system. If it’s already installed, you should also try removing and installing it again. Make sure you use the latest version of the .NET framework and the latest version of Paint.net.