User Interface


Unattended Installation

Paint.NET supports unattended installation which enables you to install Paint.NET with no user interaction. There are two facilities provided for unattended installation. The first, MSI-Based Deployment, is designed for use with Active Directory and Group Policy in order to install Paint.NET on many users' systems on an administrated network. The second, Automatic Installation, is useful for general scripting or automation purposes for personal use. This may be useful when using software such as AutoPatcher which you may read about at its official forum.

Previous versions of Paint.NET were distributed as MSI files which could be configured using standard Windows Installer options. Newer versions, however, are distributed as EXE files due to more intricate requirements related to configuration, localization, and updating. You may still do an installation via an MSI if you use the /createMsi parameter when launching the installer executable.

MSI-Based Deployment

Using the /createMsi command-line parameter detailed below, you may create MSI packages useful for AD/GPO deployment.

Three MSI pacakges will be created when you use this command, one for each CPU architecture (x86, x64, IA64). The x86 MSI is for 32-bit Intel/AMD systems and is what most systems will use. The x64 MSI is for Intel/AMD systems that have both a 64-bit CPU and a 64-bit "x64" edition of Windows. The IA64 MSI is for Itanium systems.

Please note that the x86 MSI (PaintDotNet.x86.msi) will not function on 64-bit systems (x64 or Itanium), and so you should plan your deployment accordingly.

Also, the MSI properties listed in the 2nd table below may be configured on the command-line when using /createMsi. These MSI properties will be automatically patched into the MSI's that are generated, so no further transforms should be necessary.

Automatic Installation

To do an automatic installation, use the /auto or /skipConfig command-line parameter detailed below.

Command-Line Syntax

The setup package supports the following command-line syntax, where PaintDotNet_2_6.exe is the setup package downloaded from our website:

    PaintDotNet_2_6.exe [/skipConfig | /auto | /createMsi] [PROPERTY=VALUE ...]

Description of options:


Skips configuration of options and install directory. Uses MSI properties in the following order of precedence: 1. supplied on command-line, 2. read from HKLM\Software\Paint.NET, 3. default values.


Like /skipConfig, but does not show the final wizard page that details the result of installation. This option provides a completely automated install that requires no user interaction to start or finish the installation.

/createMsi This will create three MSI packages in a folder on your desktop called PaintDotNetMsi. These MSI's are each targeted at a specific OS/CPU platform type (x86, x64, IA64 ... for 32-bit, 64-bit, and Itanium respectively). These may be deployed via standard AD/GPO mechanisms, and are already patched with the MSI properties that you specify using the PROPERTY=VALUE command-line options (if any).


Sets an MSI property named PROPERTY to equal VALUE. You may specify multiple property values. See below for a list of applicable properties.
NOTE: If VALUE has a space in it, you must enclose the entire PROPERTY=VALUE text inside quotation marks. For example, to set the hypothetical TEST property equal to "1 2 3", you would specify "TEST=1 2 3" on the command-line, including the quotation marks.

For a default automatic installation it is sufficient to just use the /auto command-line. Further customization is possible by changing the values of the MSI properties, where "1" is used for enabling a behavior or action, and "0" is used for disabling it:

MSI Property Name

Default Value




Specifies the directory to install Paint.NET to. %PROGRAMFILES% usually stands for C:\Program Files.


1 (0 when /createMsi is specified)

Enables (1) or disables (0) automatic update checking. Please note that checking for updates is only enabled and allowed in the first place for users that are in the local Administrators group. It is not possible to enable this for users that are not in the Administrators group.



When checking for updates, also check for pre-release ("beta") versions.



Register as the default editor for JPG, PNG, and BMP image types. Note that this registers Paint.NET for the "Edit" verb, which does not change the default double-click behavior in Windows.



Register as the default editor for TGA image types. Note that this registers Paint.NET for the "Edit" verb, which does not change the default double-click behavior in Windows.



Create a shortcut on the desktop for launching Paint.NET.

PROGRAMSGROUP (blank) This configures which Start menu Programs group the Paint.NET shortcut will be placed into. By default this is blank which places the shortcut "loose" at the top of the hierarchy among other shortcuts such as Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer.

This is commonly used to place the Paint.NET shortcut into a group such as "Graphics Applications" or something similar. If you want to place Paint.NET in a group-within-a-group, use syntax similar to that for file paths. For example, to place Paint.NET into the "Graphics" group inside of the "Applications" group (i.e., "Start menu -> All Programs -> Applications -> Graphics") specify "PROGRAMSGROUP=Applications\Graphics".


To install Paint.NET with the default options, to the default installation directory, with no user interaction:

PaintDotNet_2_6.exe /auto

To install Paint.NET to a directory called D:\PDN, and not create a desktop shortcut:


To install Paint.NET to a directory called E:\Image Apps\Paint.NET, and to check for betas during update checking. Note that the entire TARGETDIR parameter must be enclosed in quotations when the target directory contains one or more space!

PaintDotNet_2_6.exe /auto "TARGETDIR=E:\Image Apps\Paint.NET" CHECKFORBETAS=1

Copyright 2006 Rick Brewster, Chris Crosetto, Dennis Dietrich, Tom Jackson, Michael Kelsey, Brandon Ortiz, Craig Taylor, Chris Trevino, and Luke Walker. Portions Copyright 2006 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.