4.0 will drop pre-Windows 7 SP1 support

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 14, 2013
Updated • Jun 25, 2014

One of the image editing programs that I use regularly for light editing purposes is for Windows.

While it may not provide you with the same set of functionality as commercial-grade image editors like Adobe Photoshop, it is fully suitable for my basic editing needs. The developer of the program has released a first alpha version of the upcoming 4.0 yesterday on his website.

The new version is a major upgrade of the application and has been in the works for more than three years. While minor updates have been released in the meantime by the developer, it is the first major upgrade of the image editing tool in more than years.

While 4.0 is still only available as an alpha build, it will sooner or later replace the current stable version 3.5.x on most systems.

The author of the program noted back in 2010 for the first time that 4.0 won't support Windows XP, and in 2011 that support for Windows Vista was dropped as well. Yesterday's blog post confirms that the application will only support Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or newer versions of Windows.

Paint 4.0

Other changes include that the .Net Framework 4.5 is required and will be installed if needed, and that the processor should be at least dual-core. Note: There is no option to install 4.0 from within the latest 3.5.x version. You need to download the installer from the forum and install it separately on your system. Once installed, you can make use of the automatic option of version 4.0 to keep it up to date provided that you check the "also check for pre-released (beta) versions" box during installation. So what else is new?

  • Performance scales a lot better in respect to the number of cpu cores and for large images.
  • The performance of section rendering and manipulation has been greatly improved.
  • Hardware acceleration has been implemented for the canvas, and memory usage is lower.
  • The default theme has been updated as you can see on the screenshot above
  • Smaller changes: the paint bucket tool supports anti-aliasing, new Shapes tool with 29 different shapes, new gradient tool, color picker supports spiral gradient types, and move tools have a much better UI,

You can check the full list of changes on the linked website above. Windows XP and Windows Vista users will still be able to use the 3.5.x versions of, while the majority of Windows 7 and Windows 8 users may likely pick the faster, memory efficient version 4.0 instead. From what I can tell, the new version is faster and more responsive than the old one, so definitely a good upgrade for users who run Windows 7 or newer.

Keep in mind though that this is an alpha version, and that the new installation will uninstall any existing installations on the same system.

Update: The final version of 4.0 has been released.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. smaragdus said on October 21, 2013 at 1:41 am

    .NET is pain, so is Paint.NET. In fact it is no real framework like Java and QT which are multi-platform in contrast with .NET.
    I usually avoid .NET-based apps with exceptions (MusicBee).
    I have used Paint.NET and I don’t like it.
    I am on WIndows 8 but refuse to use apps that do not support XP.

  2. Software Developer said on October 18, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I started using Paint dot Net around 3 years ago. I was surprised by the number of features it had for touching up and bringing back to life my old photo’s and I was even able to improve photos that were taken in bad lighting conditions. It saved me from forking out for Adobe Photoshop. Thank you to all the developers that have worked on the Paint dot net project.

  3. Gregg DesElms said on October 16, 2013 at 3:43 am

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. When will software developers learn. Backward compatibility has always been the coin of the realm with desktop computer software. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    Fine. is far from the only good freeware choice out there. FAR from it.

    It is now stricken from my list of recommendations… and I used to recommend it a lot!

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. [shakes head in disbelief]

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

    Veritas nihil veretur nisi abscondi.
    Veritas nimium altercando amittitur.

  4. Byron Jones said on October 16, 2013 at 2:24 am

    I guess that Paint.Net 4.1 will only support internal Microsoft beta versions of Windows?

  5. Pierre said on October 15, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    4.0 stable release will be available through updates from 3.5.11
    cf here

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      Will it be blocked for users of Vista or XP?

      1. Pierre said on October 15, 2013 at 6:51 pm

        Yes, it will

  6. Rich said on October 14, 2013 at 10:57 pm
    Reply was cool years ago, but these days, it is just a toy. Limiting compatibility with older Windows is a real showstopper. Anyway, if you are looking for a worthy freeware image editor, get RealWorld Paint from It even works on Windows 2000 and has a portable version that can be carried around on a USB stick. It is also way more powerful than, has much better compatibility with .psd files, can use Photoshop’s .8bf plug-ins and supports layer styles and vector layers…

    1. Solidstate89 said on October 15, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      Because supporting an OS like Windows 2000 is really a positive. I can’t imagine how much they’re being held back by continuing to write-in support for a POS OS that is wholly and completely abandoned and deprecated.

    2. Ash said on October 15, 2013 at 11:03 am

      I use a lot, I wouldn’t call it a toy, but not supporting earlier windows is a show stopper as you put it.
      RW paint look cool, I’ll give it a try, thanks for the info.

  7. VG said on October 14, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    The developer is a Microsoft employee, he would want XP and Vista to die off ASAP.

  8. George P. Burdell said on October 14, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    When it comes to image editing, I’d like to put in a good word for GIMP, and high marks for its very excellent help pages.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.