FIX: Error opening file message in Paint.NET

Vladimir Popescu
by Vladimir Popescu
Windows & Software Expert
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  • You most likely enjoy using Paint.NET. However, no software program is perfect and this tool has its flaws as well.
  • If the Error opening file message in Paint.NET message bothers you, try to save the file in another format or temporarily disable antivirus and firewall software.
  • Bringing your graphic design to life is fine art. Refuse to lower your standards and use Adobe Photoshop in that regard.
  • If you frequently encounter similar software issues, bookmark our PC Software Hub for other handy tutorials.
fix error opening file message in Paint.NET

A large number of users have seen the Error opening file message in Paint.NET. This error is more common than you might think.

This issue can be caused either by a faulty installation of Paint.net, a conflict between your antivirus or firewall software and Paint, or using a wrong image format for the specific project.

Seeing this error message every time you want to open an image inside Paint can become extremely annoying over time.

We compiled the best solutions in this article, so please read this guide carefully. It is also recommended that after you try each method, you try to check if the issue is still there or not.


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How can I fix the Paint.NET opening file error?

1. Try saving the file in another format

icons - paint.net error opening file
In the case of some users, the issue was caused by the extremely big size of the file they were working on. This can be caused by saving the image either in a format that doesn’t exist or in the wrong format for your circumstances.

To save the file that’s causing trouble in another format, you can follow these steps:

Use third-party software to open it:

  1. Download and Install Gimp.
  2. Right-click the image with issues -> select Open with.. -> choose Gimp from the application list.
  3. Inside the Gimp window -> click File -> Save as.
  4. In the newly opened pop-up window -> choose a name for your file and also a location on your hard-drive.
  5. Click on the drop-down list next to Format -> choose JPEG, BMP, or PNG (depending on your needs and original file format) -> click Save.

Change file format manually:

  1. Right-click the image file you’re trying to modify -> choose Rename.
  2. Type a name for your file -> delete the .jpg, or .png format next to the name -> type the desired new format.
  3. Click anywhere on the screen to de-select the image and save it in a new format.

Does Paint.NET fail to install on Windows 10? Check this useful guide and set things right once again.


2. Disable antivirus and firewall software

antivirus - paint.net error opening file
In some cases, the conflict that generated the Paint.net error opening file issue on Windows 10 was caused by a third-party antivirus and firewall software.

Simply un-install or stop the protection of these two software options, and check to see if the issue persists. If it does, please follow the next method presented in this article.


3. Reinstall Paint.Net

paint.net website - Paint.net error opening file

  1. Press Win+X keys -> select Programs and Features.
  2. Find Paint.NET in the list -> select it -> click Uninstall.
  3. Download the latest Paint.NET version.
  4. Open it and follow the on-screen instructions.

We hope these methods helped you solve your issue with Paint.NET not opening the file.

Please feel free to let us know if you have any suggestions, by using the comments section found below.

FAQ: Learn more about Paint.NET

  • Is Paint.NET free?

Yes, Paint.NET is a free raster graphics editor program built for personal use. However, you may consider donating to show your support.

  • Is Paint.NET a virus?

No, Paint.NET is not a computer virus. In fact, it is a safe program developed on the .NET Framework.

  • Is Paint.NET easy to use?

Yes, Paint.NET is user-friendly and packs convenient tools even for newbies.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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