I like Paint.Net much better than MS Paintbrush.  It’s free and lightweight but functional (layers, transparency, gradients).

By default in Windows 7, when I right-click on a file and click ‘Edit’ from the context menu, Windows delegates the job to its crony MSPaintbrush.
I hate this kind of ingrained nepotism.  In previous versions of Windows, it used to be easy to change the ‘file associations’ to fix this, but (in my cynical view) apparently it was so simple that too many people did it, so Win7 had to obfuscate what should be easy.  (cough: *Berlin walled-garden*)


Of course,  I can over-ride this behavior every time by clicking ‘Open-With’ and selecting the Paint.Net application, but that’s like having to write-in my candidate on the voting ballot. What I want is for Windows to replace the incumbent editor with the candidate of my choice: change the default image ‘Edit’or

This apparently bugged Otiel on ‘Superuser.com’ so he figured out how:

1. Run the  Regedit  application
2. Navigate to the key 'HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\image\shell\edit\command '
3. Change Command to your paint.net command (Modify it to say "C:\Program Files\Paint.NET\PaintDotNet.exe" "%1" ). 
I originally included the statement 'Obviously, you'll need to use the correct path for your install of Paint', but decided not to show disclaimer. 

I aspire to an audience who dislikes obviousness.

Here’s the same thing visually:

2015-05-27 14_06_35-Temp

I know, I agree…  that’s way more effort to implement than I’ll ever recover.   But it’s not about time; it’s about workflow.  I edit pictures every day. I don’t want to have to mentally context-switch from my workflow every time (‘edit the picture’ – oh yeah, click ‘open with, select Paint.Net’).   Now I can just click the image and click Edit.
Thank you, Otiel.  (No thanks,  Microsoft).