Get Windows Vista Paint Running Perfectly on Windows 7 and Windows 8

Paint If you're a pixel artist, you know that the new Windows 7 paint is quite horrendous. It's got awful, awful anti-aliasing on any of the shapes that you might use (including the line tool) which is extremely terrible for any pixel artist, as _you're_ supposed to be the one anti-aliasing anything. Plus, the whole "ribbon" update to the interface is just annoying. I’m sure there’s even more that’s bad, but I’m not a pixel artist so I wouldn’t know. However, I have a solution for any of you pixel artists out there! It’s a bit technical, and you have to be careful as you’re mussing around with system files, but as long as you follow this guide exactly, you’ll be fine.

Download everything you need right here before you get started!

Quick tip: To paste into a command prompt you cannot use a keyboard shortcut. Right click anywhere in the command prompt to have a menu pop up with the option!

First, you need to take ownership of a couple of files. To do that, open up an administrator command prompt by searching “cmd” from the start menu and pressing ctrl+shift+enter to open it up. Once you’re there, type this out:

takeown /f C:\Windows\System32\en-US\mspaint.exe.mui

After you’re done typing that and pressing enter, type this in, but make sure to replace “username” in the code with your username.

cacls C:\Windows\System32\en-US\mspaint.exe.mui /G username:F

Now that we have that done, we’re going to do the same for another file.

takeown /f C:\Windows\System32\mspaint.exe

cacls C:\Windows\System32\mspaint.exe /G username:F

Now all you have to do is grab the two files that you downloaded earlier and put them in their respective locations. Put the mspaint.exe in `C:\Windows\System32\` (just drag it there and click replace), and the mspaint.exe.mui in `C:\Windows\System32\en-US\`

Alrighty, I hope that helped you out! If you have any questions, just comment below and I’d be glad to help.

Update for those with a 64-bit operating system

Several comments have been left asking why this wasn't working properly on their machine, and I figured it out! Your machines are most likely using the 64-bit version of Windows 7, which means there is two extra files you need to swap.

Open up CMD again by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Enter for administrator rights. Then, issue all of these commands.

takeown /f C:\Windows\sysWOW64\mspaint.exe
cacls C:\Windows\sysWOW64\mspaint.exe /G username:F


takeown /f C:\Windows\sysWOW64\en-US\mspaint.exe.mui
cacls C:\Windows\sysWOW64\en-US\mspaint.exe.mui /G username:F

Using the same files from the zip file from before, you can now replace the files found in the sysWOW64 folder and sysWOW64\en-US folder. Remember, capitilization matters.

Nathaniel Hirschler Avatar
By Nathaniel Hirschler

I started Rhinofeed in 2011 as a way to share my various hobbies with the internet. I hope you enjoy reading my articles and watching my videos as much as I have enjoyed sharing them!
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