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PDN/Explorer Conflict?

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Version of PDN in use is the Windows Store variant of paint.net 4.0.21 (Final PDN

Operating system is Windows 10 Home (Version 1803).

When I save or edit a file in Paint.NET, it doesn't seem to take effect outside of PDN, in spite of the thumbnail reflecting changes in the "Save As..." and "Open" windows. That is to say, if I were to edit a file named "untitled.png", Explorer would still show the old verison of the file, and the old version of the file would be what was opened in other applications. Likewise, if I were to create a file called "untitled2.png", it wouldn't appear in Explorer. As with Explorer, the edits or existence of these "phantom" files will be completely ignored if I try to open them in other apps such as MS Paint or Photoshop.

In spite of this, all other applications in the same directory behave normally and all files from Explorer also appear in the folder. I have been able to delete "phantom" files made with PDN from the Save As... menu and have them appear in the Recycling Bin in Explorer, where they can be "restored" as normal.

Stranger still, when I try to delete a file while it's open in Paint.NET using Explorer it claims the file is being used by "System", which has me wondering if some kind of reading and writing permissions error might be involved.

Edited by starwingcorona
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Hi @starwingcorona and Welcome to the forum.  I just wanted to say Hello to you, as I used to live in the Isle of Man for (8 years) in the Laxey area ☺️


As to your question, I think this has been reported before, but I'll leave this to be answered by someone who really understands this :)


How I made Jennifer & Halle in Paint.net

My Gallery | My Deviant Art

"Rescuing one animal may not change the world, but for that animal their world is changed forever!" anon.

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Where are these images located? If they're in standard user locations like Documents or on the Desktop, then something is broken with the Store's sandboxing. What you're describing actually makes perfect sense if you were trying to work with images in a weird location. For Store apps Windows goes to great lengths to make them think they're running normally, when in fact the file system is virtualized so that modifications to it aren't visible outside of the app. So if the app loads a file from somewhere and starts modifying it, Windows will actually copy that file to a sandbox location and lock the original until the app is "done". I'm not sure of the specifics, I didn't spend too much time trying to get all of it figured out, but I've seen this behavior -- just not in any normal user scenario.


Also, in Explorer, make sure to press F5 to refresh the window. Sometimes it just doesn't do that automatically. I think this broke around Windows 8 or something.


The only troubleshooting idea I've got right now is to 1) uninstall the app (right click on it -> Uninstall), 2) reboot, 3) reinstall the app (go to Store and get it again).

The Paint.NET Blog: https://blog.getpaint.net/

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The location of the files is a subfolder within Documents, specifically "Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 4\Mods\WIP". I'll try uninstalling/reinstalling as soon as I have access to my PC again and post results.

Incidentally, now that I've had some time to trial-and-error it, I've found that things still work normally elsewhere in the ecosystem, including the Desktop, and the same files and folder all behave properly after being moved, but things behave funny through the entire hierarchy of the Documents folder. All in all, the problem seems to be limited to the Documents folder, which may point to an issue with the Documents folder itself or the Documents library in Explorer.

Edited by starwingcorona
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