4.2.11 alpha build 7420

This is just a hotfix for 4.2.11 alpha build 7417 that fixes a crash in the built-in updater’s “Check Now” button.

NOTE: This post was originally for build 7419. It has been updated to build 7420 to fix an issue at app shutdown that prevented the process from terminating correctly. Sorry for the confusion.

To get this update if you have installed 7417, just launch or use the app as usual. You’ll be notified of the update within about 24 hours (it only checks at app startup though). Normally I’d say you should follow the instructions below, but the Check Now button is currently broken.

(If you really want to force the check to happen now, first exit the app. Then, delete the registry key at HKCU\SOFTWARE\\ named “Updates/LastCheckTimeUtc”. Then, start the app again.)

To get this update if you have NOT installed 7417, make sure you have “Also check for pre-release (beta) versions” enabled in Settings, and then click on the Check Now button. (Unfortunately alpha/beta releases are not currently available for the Microsoft Store version of the app).


Paint.NET v4.2.6 will require SSE2 on 32-bit / x86

I’m just giving everyone a heads-up that the minimum system requirements will be increasing a little with the upcoming version 4.2.6 update. The change is simply to require a processor with SSE2 instead of SSE for the 32-bit version of the app. The 64-bit version is unchanged; it has always required SSE2 because the 64-bit “x64” instruction set has always included SSE2 (as per AMD, Intel, and Microsoft).

Most systems aren’t affected by this. All modern CPUs have had support for SSE2 since 2003 or so.

Here’s a list of the newest processors that will no longer be supported:

So on the Intel side you just need a Pentium 4 or newer (circa 2000). On the AMD side you’ll need an Athlon 64 or newer (circa 2003). So if you bought your computer within the last, oh, 15 years … you’ll be fine! Otherwise you should probably upgrade anyway, or just stick with older versions of Paint.NET and turn off the built-in updater.

I’ve never really felt a strong compulsion to bump up the minimum CPU requirements. I always maintain “scalar” code paths for anything optimized to use SIMD instructions (SSE2, AVX2, etc.) so that I never get locked in to any particular instruction set or CPU architecture. This permits me to port to other CPU architectures, e.g. ARM, if/when that actually becomes compelling or even necessary.

However, .NET Core requires SSE and SSE2 on x86, so this change will help get things ready for that migration. I don’t have a concrete timeline for this, and my estimates for things like this have historically been bad, but hopefully within the next year or so.

This also means the 32-bit version of the app will get a small performance boost in the 4.2.6 update. The Visual C++ compiler optimizes a few key code paths in the C++ code which are used for things like BGRA32 –> PBGRA32 pixel format conversion, as well conversions between integers, floats, and doubles. (However, with the migration to .NET Core, these may actually be better implemented in C# code!) 4.2.2 beta build 7198

This beta build has a few new fixes, and some more performance optimizations for application startup (especially if you have lots of custom shapes installed!).

To get this update, make sure you have "Also check for pre-release (beta) versions" enabled in Settings, and then click on the Check Now button.


You can also download this by heading over to the forum where I’ve put a direct download link.

Changes since 4.2.2 beta build 7192:

  • Improved: Changed maximum image size from 65,535 x 65,535 pixels to 262,144 x 262,144 pixels. This is mostly for accommodating very tall or very wide images.
  • Improved app startup time when many custom shapes are installed, and/or when opening many images
  • Fixed a crash when manually typing in a very large number for the zoom level in the status bar 4.2.2 beta build 7192

This is a new beta for the 4.2.2 release. The final release should be coming soon!

To get this update, make sure you have "Also check for pre-release (beta) versions" enabled in Settings, and then click on the Check Now button.


You can also download this by heading over to the forum where I’ve put a direct download link.

Changes since 4.2.2 beta build 7186:

  • New: 4-bit saving is now supported for PNG, BMP, and TIFF
  • New: The palette selection menu will now indicate which palette is currently active (thanks @null54 for the implementation!)
  • Improved: Startup performance has been further optimized, especially for quad-core (or more) CPUs
  • Updated: @null54‘s bundled DDSFileTypePlus plugin has been updated to version 4.2.1 beta build 7152

This upcoming release is adding JPEG XR support and fixing a handful of important bugs.

To get this update, make sure you have "Also check for pre-release (beta) versions" enabled in Settings, and then click on the Check Now button.


You can also download it directly by heading over to the forum.


  • New: JPEG XR file type support
  • Fixed: Holding Ctrl when dragging a selection with Move Selected Pixels will again leave a copy behind (but only with the mouse)
  • Fixed: The mouse wheel may now be used to scroll the Palettes menu in the Colors window (thanks @AndrewDavid for the suggestion and @toe_head2001 for the fix!)
  • Fixed crashes when saving DDS images
  • Fixed VTF plugin compatibility; it was not working in 4.2 except for images that were an exact power-of-2 size on each dimension
  • Fixed: .BMP files can be opened even if they’re not actually BMP images (they still need to be a valid WIC-supported file type such as PNG, JPEG, etc.)
  • Fixed (stabilized) menu ordering of effect plugins that have duplicate names
  • Fixed metadata handling that was preventing some images with EXIF tag 330 from being able to load
  • Fixed metadata preservation for old images that pad EXIF string values with null terminators
  • Fixed title bar text color when using certain custom accent colors in Windows 10
  • Fixed very bad performance when opening large images with embedded rotation metadata 4.2 beta build 7116 is now available

To get this update, make sure you have "Also check for pre-release (beta) versions" enabled in Settings, and then click on the Check Now button.


You can also download it directly by heading over to the forum.

Changes since 4.2 beta build 7111:

  • New: Saving in HEIC format is now supported. Windows 10 v1809+ is required, along with installation of HEVC Video Extensions from Device Manufacturer (free) from the Microsoft Store.
  • Improved: If you try to open or save an HEIC and you do not have the Microsoft codec installed, the error message will provide you a link to go get it. (The link is in the "Show Details" section)
  • Fixed: Pasting from some sources (e.g. Google Chrome) should no longer be shifted to the right by 3 pixels, nor have 3 colored pixels at the bottom left, and should also have working alpha/transparency again. This appears to be a bug in Windows 10 v1903 when both CF_DIB and CF_DIBV5 are on the clipboard and in that order (in other words, CF_DIB is higher priority than CF_DIBV5).
  • Fixed: The LowColor File Type plugin should work again. It still has a bug where it may show its own error dialog while you are modifying the properties for saving. This dialog can be ignored and dismissed. 4.1.7 alpha (build 7107) is now available

Okay so hopefully this is the last alpha build before I’m able to get a beta out the door (incl. updated translations). Just fixing up a few things that were important enough to fix quickly instead of waiting for the beta.

Head on over to the forum to download it.

NoteGive me a few minutes and this will also be available via the built-in updater.

Changes since build 7104:

  • Improved: TGA images now load about 4x faster (thanks @null54!)
  • Fixed: Clipboard extension methods now available for plugins to use
  • Fixed a crash at startup when loading some FileType plugins
  • Improved: Slightly increased the size of the Settings dialog to reduce the need for scrolling in a few important situations 4.1.7 alpha (build 7104) is now available

This should be the final alpha release of 4.1.7. Next up I’ll be integrating translation updates, fixing any last issues, and releasing the final build.

A lot more work went in this build than I was expecting! I decided to take on the work of making sure effect plugins could have good access to the clipboard, which is otherwise a very buggy area to navigate. A lot of other bugs and things were sorted out as well.

To download, head on over to the forum where I’ve posted a direct download link.

Note: I’ll be adding this to the built-in updater shortly. For now, please use the download link at the forum.

Changes since build 7079:

  • New: Keyboard shortcuts for changing the current layer. You can see these in the Layers menu with the "Go to …" commands. Alt+PgUp/PgDown will go to the layer above/below, and Ctrl+Alt+PgUp/PgDown will go to the top/bottom layer.
  • New: PNGs can now be saved as "interlaced"
  • New: Plugins that use IndirectUI can now use a UriProperty with a LinkLabel control (thanks @null54!)
  • New: Effect plugins can now more easily make use of the clipboard via the IClipboardService. It will handle all of the tricky clipboard issues such as threading, native data marshaling, and avoiding security vulnerabilities that exist in the standard WinForms and WPF clipboard APIs.
  • Improved: When using Edit->Copy, a 32-bit BGRA bitmap in the DIBV5 format is now placed onto the clipboard so that other apps can read the alpha channel.
  • Improved: When using Edit->Paste, DIBV5’s are now supported if they have an alpha channel. If they don’t, then the regular DIB loader is used which has some heuristics for detecting an incorrectly defined alpha channel and correcting for it.
  • Improved: When using Edit->Paste, PNG is now the highest priority format. This maximizes the ability to maintain alpha/transparency, but it does mean that images coming from Microsoft Office apps will appear larger than they used to. This is either a bug or a feature of Microsoft Office. For some reason it places PNGs on the clipboard that are 25%+ larger than the DIB/DIBV5 bitmap that it also places on the clipboard (but which don’t have alpha/transparency).
  • Fixed: 8-bit TGA images should now load correctly (thanks @null54 for the fix!)
  • Fixed: Some 32-bit TGA images were showing up as completely transparent due to their use of an obscure alpha channel type (thanks @null54 for the fix!)
  • Fixed: Simple message boxes can now be closed with the ESC key
  • Fixed: Some TIFFs could not be resaved as a JPEG due to having too much metadata (usually from Adobe Photoshop). The metadata is now discarded if necessary.
  • Changed: Blocked the WebP FileType v1.1.0.0 plugin due to instability. An update is already available.
  • Changed: Blocked the ImAgif FileType v0.12.0.1084 plugin due to incompatibility. An update will hopefully soon be available.

Enjoy! 4.1.7 alpha build 7079 is now available

I believe I’ve fixed the issues that were preventing some images from being saved (as reported earlier). I also fixed a few things in the Save Configuration dialog that were supposed to make it into alpha build 7077, but didn’t because I incorrectly merged my pull request on GitHub.

The issue with the images that wouldn’t save was that they had UserComment metadata in them (EXIF tag ID #37510). WIC (Windows Imaging Component) handles this in a way that my code wasn’t coping with, so the data didn’t round-trip correctly, and WIC decided to refuse the transaction instead. (And there was another bug: part of my wrapper was returning an error when WIC tried to send an IStream::Write() call with a 0 byte payload … weird, probably a bug in their code, but shouldn’t have broken down on my side.)

To download, head on over to the forum. I’m currently adding this to the auto-updater as well, so in a few minutes you should be able to open up the app and head over to Settings (gear icon at top right of main window) –> Updates, and click on the “Check Now” button (but make sure “Also check for pre-release (beta) versions of” is enabled!). For Microsoft Store users, you’ll need to install the Classic version to try this build out (I don’t yet have alpha/beta builds working for the Store). It can be installed side-by-side with the Store version and uninstalled when you’re done with it without affecting the Store copy.

Change log:

  • Fixed: Some images could not be saved as JPEG due to mishandling of some metadata
  • Fixed some error handling in the Save Configuration dialog. An error dialog will now pop up to show the exception that occurred in addition to the usual "Preview: (error)" text that has always been shown.
  • Fixed: HEIC/HEIF file extensions are now registered with Windows so that you can double-click on them in Explorer to open them in Paint.NET

Enjoy! :)