Paint cannot save this file. Save was interrupted, so your file has not been saved

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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paint save was interrupted
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Paint is an accessory included in almost every Windows platform, but it doesn’t always save files. For some Paint users saving changes to images, the desktop app has returned an error message stating: “Paint cannot save this file. Save was interrupted, so your file has not been saved.” Then you can’t edit or save the picture open in the image editor when that error message pops up. These are a few ways you can fix the “Save was interrupted” error.

Fix: ‘Save was interrupted’ Paint error

Fix with Windows Picture and Fax Viewer (Photo Viewer)

This issue is more frequent for pictures with the Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) that have file sizes between 63 KB and 66 KB. Microsoft has an official Picture and Fax Viewer fix, or workaround, that’s more specifically for fixing the issue for EXIF images in Windows XP. Note that Picture and Fax Viewer in XP  is essentially Photo Viewer in more recent platforms. You can fix the Paint error with Windows Picture and Fax, and perhaps Photo Viewer also, as follows.

  • First, back up the picture with an image editor that you can save it in. Then you can save a second copy.
  • Next, open your image with Fax Viewer directly from the Explorer file manager. Right-click the picture in Explorer, select Open with from the context menu and then Windows Picture and Fax Viewer (or Photo Viewer).
  • Now rotate the image by selecting either the Rotate Clockwise or Rotate Counterclockwise options.
  • Press Yes if there are any prompts to continue.
  • Rotate the image 360 degrees with either the Rotate Clockwise or counterclockwise option.
  • Save changes to your picture by selecting Copy To.

Unblock the Image File

The official fix is primarily for Paint in Windows XP, but it might still work with Photo Viewer. However, the “Save was interrupted” error is certainly not limited to XP. Paint users have also had the same issue in more recent Windows platforms with various image file formats

Unblocking the image is an alternative potential fix. That’s especially the case if you’ve imported or downloaded the file. Then the file-saving error could be due to Alternative Data Streams blocking the picture file if you have an NTFS (New Technology File System) hard drive. This is how you can fix blocked image files.

  • First, open File (or Windows) Explorer.
  • Next, right-click the image you can’t save in Paint. Select Image Properties from the context menu to open the window below.

  • When data streams block the image, you’ll find an Unblock button on the General tab that isn’t usually there. A notice beside that button states the file might be blocked.
  • Press the Unblock button the General tab. That will unblock the file, and now you can edit and save the image in Paint again.
  • You can also unblock files with third-party software. For example, UnBlocker is a freeware utility for unblocking files. Press the Download button on Softpedia to add that program to Windows.

Those are two fixes for “Save was interrupted” file error. It’s worth noting that Microsoft is replacing Paint with Paint 3D in Windows 10 with the Creators Update. The 3D app probably doesn’t have any “Save was interrupted” file error, and you can also download the new Paint from this page.


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