Stopping automatic updates to Microsoft Paint and other Microsoft Store apps

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When I sat down at a system running the Microsoft Windows 11 operating system on Saturday, I saw a message stating that Microsoft Paint had updated itself automatically. I had at least a dozen Paint windows open where I had posted screenshots over the past week for things I wanted to check later. I had not saved those Paint windows; I had anticipated going through them on Saturday, extracting information I wanted to keep from some images and then closing the windows and saving others. But I found the update had just closed them all without any prompt asking whether I wanted to save them and without saving the images. So I lost all the information from them irretrievably. Certainly, I should have saved the images in those Paint windows or used some other graphics application that automatically saves the contents of windows for that application or at least won't automatically update itself without saving any unsaved work, but I'm still irritated at the mindset of Microsoft developers regarding not caring about the impact to users if users have unsaved content in Microsoft applications, in addition to being irked with myself for not saving the information. I do use Paint a lot for simple graphics tasks, such as cropping and resizing screenshots, and I don't want it updating itself without warning when that may lead to a loss of information I haven't yet saved.

If you have obtained Microsoft Paint from the Microsoft Store, which is probable as Paint is included with Microsoft Windows instalations, you can take the following steps to determine the date of the last update:

  1. Click in the Search field at the bottom of your screen, type apps & features and click on it when it is found.

    Apps and features

  2. Scroll down the app list until you see Paint. You can then see the date of the last update to the program, which is May 4, 2024 in this case (if a program was never updated, the date will be the install date for it).

    Apps and features - Paint

To stop Microsoft Paint and other apps from the Microsoft Store from auto updating, type Microsoft Store in the "Search" field at the bottom of your screen. When you see Microsoft Store in the results, click on it to open it.

Search - Search Microsoft Store

Click on the icon representing a user, your profile picture or the default representation for a user (a circle for a head and a half circle beneath it for a torso) at the top of the Microsoft Store window and select Settings.

Microsoft Store settings

Click on the toggle switch next to App updates to turn the setting from "On" to "Off".

Microsoft Store app updates setting

Automatic updates for all programs from the Microsoft Store will now be turned off (you can't turn updates on and off for specific programs) and you can then close the Microsoft Store window.