FIX: Surface Pen drags the canvas around in Photoshop

Madeleine Dean By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read
Surface Pen photoshop issues fix

Home » Windows » FIX: Surface Pen drags the canvas around in Photoshop

Many Windows 10 users who recently installed the latest updates on their devices reported that the Surface Pen often drags the canvas in Photoshop. So, instead of drawing, the pen just moves the canvas around especially when starting a vertical stroke.

Here’s how one users describes this bug:

I’m on a Surface Pro 4 and Photoshop CC used to work just fine for me but recently I’m experiencing the following problem: often in Brush mode the pen moves the canvas around instead of drawing. This is almost always the case when starting a vertical stroke, less so for horizontal ones. […]
Please note that my Surface pen is working normally other than in this specific instance. All other drawing or writing applications work as usual. I therefore suspect this is a Photoshop specific problem.

Judging by users reports, it seems that this problem occurred shortly after installing the April Patch Tuesday updates. The good news is that there are two quick fixes that you can use to fix this problem for good. Here are the troubleshooting steps to follow.

Fix Surface Pen issues in Photoshop

  1. Uninstall the latest updates
  2. Tweak your Registry using CMD
  3. Create a .reg file

1. Uninstall the latest updates

Since this problem seems to be related to Windows 10 updates, try uninstall the latest patches that you installed on your computer. Go to your Windows 10 Update history and remove the latest updates. Then restart your computer and check if the problem persists. If this is the case, go to the next solution.

2. Tweak your Registry using CMD

  1. Go to Start > type cmd > Right-click on Command Prompt and run the tool as an admin
  2. Enter this command and then press the Enter key:
    a. reg add HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPen
    /v LegacyPenInteractionModel /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
  3. A message should soon appear on the screen confirming the operation was successfully completed.
  4. Restart your Surface device.

If you want to keep the latest updates on your machine, you can use these two alternative solutions.

3. Create a .reg file

You can return the device to its prior behavior by creating a .reg file. Launch Notepad and copy the following text in a new document:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPen]
“LegacyPenInteractionModel”=dword:00000001

Save the respective Notepad document as fixpen.reg. Double click on it and confirm you want to add it to the Registry. Reboot your Surface device and check if the problem has been solved.

There you go, we hope something worked.

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