Registry Hack : Change Default Image Editor In Windows

MS Paint has very little options for editing images and set as Windows default image editor.Whenever you click on “EDIT” in the context menu on right clicking an image, MS Paint is opened.

Here’s a simple registry trick to change the default image editor in Windows to your own choice.

  • Click Start, Run and type regedit.exe
  • Navigate to the following branch:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ SystemFileAssociations \ image \ shell \ edit \ command

  • In the right-pane, double-click (default) and set its data as

“C:\Program Files\Paint.NET\PaintDotNet.exe” “%1”

  • Close regedit.exe


Note : Be Careful while trying to edit the registry, doing wrong can cause damages to your system.

After the registry change when you click on Edit in the context menu, you favorite editor is launched for editing the image.

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  1. me Reply

    Did not work. I followed the steps exactly and now I get an error:
    There was a problem starting C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Gallery\Photoviewer.dll

    The specified module cannot be found

    This happens whether I use your PaintDotNet and also when I use the file path to Photoscape.exe.

    Bad on you (this site is the first google result).

  2. yan Reply

    Didn’t work for me either & followed the steps. Says “Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file”. Now having a little trouble changing it back!

    Windows 7

    • Mike Reply

      I followed the instructions above and it worked for a while, but now, when I try and edit an image, its back to opening MS Paint (which is a huge mystery since I went to a lot of trouble removing that program from my computer!).

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