How to Upgrade Your Version of Paint

By Jess Kroll

Microsoft Paint, sometimes referred to as MS Paint or simply Paint, is one of the classic programs included with Microsoft Windows. Beginning with Windows 1.0, a version of the Paint imaging software has been included with every Windows operating system update, the most recent being Windows 7, as of 2010. As part of the Windows bundle, Paint is not available independently and can't be upgraded separately from the rest of the operating system. Users wishing to upgrade their version of the Paint program must upgrade their Windows operating system.

Upgrading Through Windows

Step 1

Click "Start" and open the "Computer" or "My Computer" window. Unless changed, the icon should also appear on the computer's desktop.

Step 2

Open the "System Properties" panel and determine which version of Windows is present on the computer (it is written near the top of the panel). As of 2010, Windows 7 includes the latest version of Paint.

Step 3

Consider which version of Windows you wish to upgrade to. If running Vista, XP, 2000 or anything earlier, there are upgrades available, each with its own version of MS Paint. While 7 is the latest version of Paint, many computers, especially older ones, still operate on Vista or XP. If interested in upgrading, make sure your computer can run a more recent operating system, as the resources required have changed, and running Vista or 7 may require a RAM upgrade.

Step 4

Upgrade the computer's Windows OS by purchasing a newer version of Windows. As the latest version, Windows 7 is the most readily available and also the most expensive. Earlier version such as Vista or XP are more difficult to find but are also cheaper. Be aware of bootlegged and pirated software, as these could cause serious problems to the computer.

Step 5

Choose which version of the new operating system the computer needs. Recent Windows systems come in options such as 64-bit or 32-bit and Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate, with the higher-end options (64-bit over 32-bit, and Ultimate over Professional, followed by Home) being more expensive but including extra features. Consider also the features of the computer, as lower-end operating systems may not make use of all resources available.

Step 6

Back up all personal files before installing the new version of Windows.

Step 7

Install the new version of Windows using the instructions included. The upgrade of Paint is available once the new version of Windows is installed.

Alternative Paint Upgrades

Step 1

Consider using an alternative program to MS Paint, such GIMP 2 and Paint.NET. While these are completely different programs, they are considered powerful upgrades to the MS Paint program and are available for free online (see Resources).

Step 2

Download the new program. Both GIMP 2 and Paint.NET are freeware.

Step 3

Install the imaging program. As completely different software, any alternative program requires learning a new operating scheme, but if you don't wish to install a new version of Windows, these may be a better alternative.

Tips & Warnings

  • Converting to a new operating system is a big decision. Before deciding to do so, consider whether you are satisfied with how the computer operates now, research the good and bad of any new operating system, and determine whether a new version of Paint is worth the change.