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If I hadn't figured out the solution to this problem then this would probably be a cry for help, but instead I hope this will be a bit helpful. 

I think I'll run down a couple of solutions I've found and stuff. Bear in mind that even though I've found several solutions they won't necessarily work for you and these aren't ALL the solutions either, and if the problem persists perhaps you should seek professional help, as I am only an internet lurker who has depended on Google and other sources. And please, I'm not a tech whiz, so if you continue to have issues, I'm not necessarily the one you should come running to for help. I can try, but Google and professional help are probably better than I am. 

I'll talk a little first.
I've run into many problems in SAI with the pen sensitivity. What is pen sensitivty? Well basically,
9 by amiriteC
It allows you to vary the width of your pen strokes with how much pressure you apply to it, and almost essential to digital art. You can notice tapered ends to the strokes with pen pressure but the same width in the strokes without. 

It has always been a source of stress and annoyance and yes, I've cried over it. Hell when I first started out I didn't have pen sensitivity despite having a pen tablet. This was due to the fact of it being a rather old tablet and me not having access to the driver until I found out I could download it from Wacom's webite. For reference, here is a list of the drivers provided by Wacom and a download link to each one of them: voila but all the same when you buy the tablet it should come with a disk that provides the latest driver. Now this is important, the driver is not optional. You have to install it for your tablet to work correctly. 
This link is from their official website so there shouldn't be anything dangerous in their downloads, but if you're still unsure, then you can run a scan or do whatever you need to do. 

If you do not own a wacom tablet, then look up your tablet on google (or bing or yahoo or swagbucks or whatever if that's more up your alley) with the word "driver" and you should find it from the manufacturer's official website. 
For future reference:
- Wacom drivers: link
- Genius drivers: link

(ALSO NOTE: Yes, you NEED to have a pen tablet in order to use pen pressure. It is 100% necessary!!! The brand does not matter, but the most popular is Wacom. You can find super cheap small second hand tablets on ebay if you want to start out small, and if you draw a lot, it is definitely worth the investment.)

So once you download and install the driver everything should work A-OK from now on, right? In a perfect world, yes, but technology does like to screw you over a fair bit. I've had issues where pen-sensitivitiy didn't work at all, where it didn't work in ONLY SAI, and a few more. I've since seemed to always find a solution, and here are a few of them. 

But FIRST. Since apparently a lot of people aren't already doing this (my mistake for assuming I guess?), remember to do the BASIC UNIVERSAL fixes first! By that, I mean...

- Restart your computer (PLEASE DO THIS. It fixes like 94% of all problems)

- Close and re-open SAI

- Re-install SAI

- Install and re-install your driver

- Make sure you HAVE a driver installed

- Unplug and plug your tablet back in

If these DO NOT WORK, then please, carry on.

1. Your Brush Settings in SAI

Sometimes something has happened and boom, your pen sensitivity doesn't work and your driver is working completely fine. Take a look at your brush settings. These things right here:
1 by amiriteC 
Now specifically, look at the part that says Min Size. That bar shouldn't be at 100%. 0% will give you absolute pen pressure, but some artists like to move that level around a bit. But basically, if you're looking for pen pressure, and are not getting it, take a look and make sure the Min Size bar is NOT at 100%. 
Personally I've never had this problem, as my settings don't often change on their own unless I mess around a bit too much with my SAI files in its folder, but who knows, apparently this has solved a few people's issues.

2. Your "Click Detection Pressure" Settings in SAI

This seems to be the most common issue with pen pressure in SAI. Open up SAI and in the menu bar at the top go to Other (O) > Options (O)...
 2 by amiriteC
This window should pop up:
3 by amiriteC
Now click on Digitizer Support
4 by amiriteC5 by amiriteC

There your Click Detection Pressure bar setting should be at 0 to receive absolute pen pressure. If it's already at 0, set it to 100, then click okay. Then go back, set it back to 0, and now try pen pressure. It should be working. You can also try closing and reopening the program before resetting it back to 0. 
This also was never a problem of mine, but apparently it was for a lot of other people, so it's a good idea to put it here I guess. There are other deviantART tutorials talking about this so I think I'll end it here. 

3. Tablet Drivers and Tablet Hardware

Talked about this a little in the beginning, but make sure your tablet driver is up to date and functioning properly. Also make sure the driver is actually installed. Drivers are not an optional part of the tablet if you want it to function properly. The drivers are free to download on their website (remember, I've linked it above) so there's not much reason not to have one. It's possible that your driver has for some reason uninstalled itself (computers are witches sometimes) so double check to make sure its there!

Usually when SAI pen sensitivity isn't working I'll try it out in other programs to make sure that it's fine. Sometimes re-installing the entire driver helps as well. Also try out your tablet on other computers to see if the tablet lies in itself. Make sure the nib isn't worn out and if it is replace it. Make sure that the actual tablet isn't broken as well, if it is you might need to get it fixed or have to replace it... blah blah blah, I can't really say much more but you can Google tutorials or help and/or ask a friend. 

Oh and don't forget to try to unplug the tablet and then plug it back in! Sometimes just a manual restart is what it takes to keep it going, including closing and reopening SAI. 

4. Wacom Tablet Preferences

This has almost ALWAYS been my issue. It is ridiculous.
NOTE: This is a WACOM tablet SPECIFIC method!! I have no idea what other tablets are like and so do NOT know the solutions to those. I'm so sorry. 
It has caused pen sensitivity to not work ONLY IN SAI as well, pen sensitivity not to work in general, and more the entire tablet just to screw around as well. I shall explain. Go to Control Panel > View Devices and Printers. Now find your tablet and right click on it. You should see a drop-down list and at the top there should be Wacom Tablet Properties and below it Wacom Tablet Preference File Utility. These two are important. 
6 by amiriteC

You've probably already seen the Wacom Tablet Properties window, as you've probably used it to decide some settings for yourself.
7 by amiriteC

You wanna know something? These exact settings sometimes screw you up and make it so your pen pressure doesn't work at all. I don't know why, I don't know how, but they do and its god annoying. Like FIX IT WACOM, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US. But there's a way to fix that. 
Go to Wacom Tablet Preference File Utility
8 by amiriteC
This window should pop up. Under All User Preferences click Remove
Your pen sensitivity should work again! It always has for me. But problem, all your preferences are gone! In other words, that means all the changes you made in the Wacom Tablet Properties are gone. This especially sucks for some people with very specific settings, such as myself, where I use dual monitors but only want my tablet to work in a single monitor. I have good news and bad news.
Good news, even though you had to remove your preferences, you can put them back. You can go back to Wacom Tablet Properties and set all your changes back manually and your pen sensitivity should be fine for a while. 
Bad news, pen sensitivity after a while might drop again, and you'll have to remove your settings once again. This gets tedious and annoying especially for those who make a lot of changes. But I have another solution.

1. Notice how in the Wacom Tablet Preference File Utility, under My Preferences, there is a option that says "Backup..."? Use that once you have removed and then put back all your preferences in the Wacom Tablet Properties window! It will back up all your preferences in one small file.
2. Save that file somewhere on your computer (somewhere where you'll remember it).
3. When you're forced to remove your preferences once again, go back to the Wacom Tablet Preference File Utility window, click restore, and then locate and double-click on the back up file. All your settings will be restored AND pen sensitivity will continue to work. 

This is a bit annoying but I found it's very fast and efficient compared to the alternate. Also bear in mind, sometimes your back up won't work. It sucks a lot, but when I upgraded and changed my small tablet to my medium, SAI didn't work my pen pressure and my back up didn't help it. I removed my settings and restored them, but the backup kept leading the pen pressure to stop working in SAI, so I was forced to redo them manually and back up once again.
This was only once and that's when I changed tablets though, so I don't know if it's a recurring problem or not, but I'm personally not too worried.
This method has always solved my personal pen pressure settings. Nothing else has fixed my problem like this has. 

5. Plug and Unplug with you canvas open

This method hasn't personally worked for me , but it has for Didule (thank you!)
Unplug you tablet, open SAI, then open a new canvas (or the canvas/drawing you're currently working on), then plug your tablet back in.
Hasn't worked for me, but it worked for someone!

6. Your "Misc" settings in SAI

This method has actually worked for me (No.4 was my holy grail go to, but this worked for me yay!) and RonTheWolfwas kind enough to share it with me! (Thank you!)
So first, find your source folder for SAI (when you downloaded SAI, you had a folder, right? Go find it and open it!)
Now, find a file that says misc. (you're going to have to do open that file and do some changes, so if messing with things makes you nervous, feel free to make a copy of it before any changes were made and put it somewhere safe)

Immediately upon opening it, it should look something like this:

Now near the very bottom it says "TabletMouseSimulation = 1"
And it SHOULD say that! If it says 0, then change it to 1 !

7. Previous Drivers that were Uninstalled, but not Eradicated from your Computer

(Thanks so much kartos!!)
This isn't a problem I ran into, but for a specific reason, and I'll explain why at the end. 

So basically (this applies to nearly all programs btw) even when you uninstall something, it can leave behind pesky files that are hidden beneath layer and layer of folders. Most of the time, these files don't cause many issues, but sometimes, they do. This can happen when you uninstall a wacom driver, and wow it's annoying. 

So to get rid of these files...
1. Uninstall your current Wacom driver (a reboot isn't all that necessary, but do it if you need to).
2. Make sure SAI and other drawing programs are closed. 
3. Open up your C:Drive 
4. Open up Program Files, and find any folders that say "Wacom" or "Tablet" (but if you have a tablet computer, make sure these folders are not related to that!!) and delete all of it!
5. Reinstall your wacom driver
6. Reboot entire computer
7. Open SAI and test if your pen pressure works!

The reason why I've never dealt with this is because I use an un-installation program called "REVO Uninstaller" and I have the option to do a deep thorough cleaning of all related files when I uninstall something, so I don't have residual files. This is handy when you accidentally install a program that brings all sorts of shit into your computer (toolbars, popups, changing your search engine to bing or whatever) and it just removes everything related. It's great! But I understand people don't want to install a program to uninstall things, so just do the above clean now and then, and you'll be fine!

8. Restarting Wacom Professional Services

This method was provided by Yumiandava (Thank you so much!!)
1. Click on Start (or press the windows key on your keyboard)
2. Search for "Services" and then click on it (it should just say Services). A window should pop up with a list of services.
3. Scroll through the list until your find one that says "Wacom Professional Services"
4. Click on it, and then to the left, there should be two options to either STOP or RESTART the service. You can click either other, but if you stop the service, make sure to remember to start it up again!

And that should do it!

9. Maybe Paint Tool SAI just doesn't like you

Okay, no, but seriously, if you have a pirated/unpaid for copy of SAI, it's possible that karma is biting you back in the butt, illegal versions of programs never guarantee proper function and won't always properly work. It is always best to actually buy a copy so that if something doesn't work, you can go to their official website to report issues and/or ask for their help at their Information Desk. So perhaps its a good idea to go to their site and buy their Software License.


Alright, that's it for now I guess. If anyone else has any other solutions than feel free to add to the comments. I don't know if many people will see this, but I haven't seen all these solutions in once place before, so I thought adding it here would be nice. Hopefully someone will see it and fix their problems. 
But I guess this is also a reference to myself. In case I forget.

If you have any questions, I'm free to answer, but just remember I can't solve all your problems. If you need clarification or something I'm here though. Also youtube has quite a few tutorials as well, so look there as well.

But guys, please understand this: I am a university student who wrote this up while she was in high school during her free time. I do NOT KNOW the solution to all your problems, and I don't have the time to look up your problems on google myself. I am floored and delighted when I learn that I've helped you, and I sympathize with you a lot if I haven't, but if you're commenting just to complain, then I can't help you. I try to help and respond, but I am not going to solve your issues for you, and I'm sorry for that. If your comment is only a complaint I will no longer be responding to you. Also, please do no PM me for help with your pen sensitivity issues. Just comment here! 

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I really do wish everyone the best of luck, and I hope that all your pen pressure issues are solved. Good luck, and happy drawing!
Add a Comment:
cockatoof Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Every time I try #4, it doesn't give me those 2 options. Last time I did this it gave me those options but now it won't 
KumaExposed Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Step 6 helped me. I don't know what happened from one day to another, yesterday my sai and tablet were working fine
CopperisDog Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'd love to try #4 but even when my tablet's plugged in Wacom no longer recognizes it.
Shesan Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2018
Step 4 helped me I love you so much!
HyperFlannel Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Oh you have got to be kidding me...closing and reopening Sai worked. I don't know why it is, but ever since I got this tablet, the pressure sensitivity would crap out on me at least once a day and the only thing that would fix it is unplugging it, plugging it back in, and then restarting the computer, which I always hated having to do because I still use Windows 7 which takes an infamously long time to boot up, and this whole time I could have just been restarting Sai? Ugh! I mean, I'm grateful to know now, so thank you so much, I never thought to do that and probably never would have, but jeez, I just can't help thinking of ALL that time I wasted restarting that I'm never going to get back XD
PinaColada12x Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think its point 6 bc it says 0 but if I try to change it it says no permission
changeling1 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
well i have a surface pro, the pen sensitivity works fine with other programs, and when i download from a non pirated link the everything is extremely small, i'm not sure if its the program that doesn't recognize the pen (cause its an old program) or its the settings, I've tried everything, but nothings working :? idk where to look
Oribinubis Featured By Owner Edited Jan 15, 2018  Student General Artist
Ok, SO, I used Sai for a long time with my old tablet, and after the tablet broke I bought a new wacom tablet. It works on corel painter but not on SAI, and I really want to use SAI for lineart because it has a stabilizer for my shaky hand ^^'. When I went to Misc I fixed that it said 0 and not 1, but it still wont work, and I cannot open my wacom tablet preferences and properties, it tells me the driver doesn't respond, or to reinstall a program (Not sure which.). I've reinstalled the driver off the disk AND the website and I'm still lost. Is this a SAI doesn't like me situation? I downloaded the free version off a website, is there anything I can do? I'd be scared to buy SAI if it doesn't work and I waste money on a program that wont work vv (I'm referring to #4,  I',m unable to open Wacom Tablet Properties and Preference File Utility ^^')
sherto Featured By Owner Edited Jan 16, 2018
same. my new intuos pro doesnt work with sai its on pen and on 0% with new driver. i tried other software such as krita and pen pressure works after i checked out windows ink in wacom menu but sai is still no good. however it is my 3rd wacom tablet and i always had this problem with sai first but now its harder to solve maybe i do need to reinstall sai.

edit-  re install solved it...
Oribinubis Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2018  Student General Artist
I reinstalled SAI, twice! Maybe I am installing the wrong version? I'm using a free version online, vv
sherto Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2018
dont know...its fine now to me
VonSmore Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
Bless your soul.
GrahamSandwich Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist

M A R R Y  U S  A L L
Kyunu Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2017  Student Digital Artist
OMG THANK YOU SO MUCH! I just got an Intuos Draw and used #4, saved both my Clip Paint Studio and my Sai program. I am tabbing this page for reference, thank you so much ;-;;;; <3
legitcrosswordpuzzle Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My tablet seems to only have this problem with sai and i've tried all the methods. This started when i first got my cintiq hd13 but i dont think its that thats causing the issue. Im on a windows 10, halp ;w;
PinaColada12x Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Same here
TechnicalTechnicolor Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist

turns out it WAS the .ini file >3>
Now that I've corrected that 0, it works now :D

Thank you!!
ZuperWilmzz Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is actually really helpful! thanks!
EvergreenPlate Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2017
I deeply appreciate this. Thought it was my tablet, but then plugged in another one and it didn't work on that either! My problem was that pen pressure worked in Photoshop, but not in SAI.
So I did the solution involving changing the .ini file. Lo and behold it said "TabletMouseSimulation = 0" instead of "1". I changed it and now it works, thanks so much again!
Fuuim Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OMG you're a lifesaver! #4 worked for me ^_^!!! Thanks
wafflul-whale Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I tried almost everything on this, but I still can't get it to work >m< I have the official version of sai and windows 10, I've looked everywhere and tried so much but nothing is working. help??
Skirvii Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2017   Digital Artist
I have a question: I can't seem to find "view devices and printers" on my PC because I have a Vista...

Someone pls halp
mochachimoshi Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
vista hates tablets sadly
Kayle1592 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
#7 save me !!! Thank you !!!!
BlueRosesAnime Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
#6 was a life saver for me! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
MuffinThePug Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
SAI, for whatever reason, doesn't like my tablet. I use a Huion tablet, and it's a problem with SAI and not my tablet, since pressure sensitivity works when I'm editing Sticky Notes. Does SAI just not work with Huion tablets? If so that's really disappointing ;-;
darkprinter Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Did you ever find a solution?
MuffinThePug Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes! Since then I've gotten a new Wacom Tablet, that works  perfectly with Paint Tool SAI, and on top of that, going back to my Huion Tablet, going into the Misc settings fixed my problem.
darkprinter Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I ended up downloading a new driver from huions website and that fixed it for me
wheeaboo Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2018  New Deviant
what settings did you change? i have a huion h420
ZombieAmber Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Try running your paint tool sai NOT as administrator, it fixed the pen pressure for me. Let me know if it helps!
MuffinThePug Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is gonna sound stupid, but how do you run SAI not as an administrator? 
ZombieAmber Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Right click the SAI launcher > Properties > Compability > uncheck "Run this program as administrator" (on the bottom) then press OK and just double-click the launcher to open Paint Tool Sai. I use Windows 7, it might be slightly different in other versions
wheeaboo Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2018  New Deviant
i do this and it already says its not being run as an admin? even tho it is?
MuffinThePug Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Okay, Thank you! I will try this out!
thisisnotmusic Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Did that work? I have a huion tablet that i got for my birthday last week (i so now have a bigger tablet!) But i cant remember how i got the pressure to fix and im kinda desperate b/c i have art i need to work on
MuffinThePug Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Did you try doing the Misc settings thing? That helped me on my Wacom tablet, it should work with a Huion tablet.
Atisuto-Indigo Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Ah thank you so much! Honestly saved me!
aImsivi Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017
Artasties Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2017  Student Digital Artist
this helps me a lot thanks for existing :D Blush Blush Blush Blush Blush Blush  
lavendarmilk Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2017
hi, i own a pen and touch intuos (cth-480) and i have some questions if anyone could help
im starting to feel like might be the tablet itself or my computer, i have yet to try testing it on another computer so that's like my last option otherwise
i have deleted and redownloaded my drivers. ive made sure my current driver is made for my tablet. ive restarted my computer and updated it. ive done plenty of other small techniques like the ones listed in the journal to change pen settings and the like. i even redownloaded sai but im sure that not the problem because the same thing happens on other programs as well.

basically it all started when i noticed my tablet barely would detect my strokes. i figured it was probably just my pen nib finally getting worn down because i had been on my last one for a while and was too lazy to order more, but at that point i finally did. when i got them nothing changed though and it still barely detected my strokes. then i went through all of these steps, and now my tablet catches the strokes better but i still have to press with a certain amount of pressure to get it to work. before i could lightly press for thinner lines, press harder for thicker lines, etc. now i think the problem is that its set in one size that you have to press hard enough for it work, and its super frustrating because that also causes a tiny lag at the beginning so i have to time it right for it to be accurate. is there any way i can get back that original setting?

if i could just fix that i feel like it might solve my problem altogether. either that or my tablet is broken and i need to buy a new one, makes sense since mine is like 5 years old anyway.
sorry this is so long, i hope it makes sense
o0Ramen0o Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
My tablet works fine in Photoshop

but not paint tool sai idk what to do T^T
ZombieAmber Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If you're still having the issue, run Paint Tool SAI NOT as administrator. Worked for me
ZombieAmber Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have been struggling with this for weeks: pen pressure works fine everywhere else just not in Paint Tool SAI. After digging for weeks on the internet in vain I finally figured out the solution and it's the dumbest thing.
If you're still having the problem, run your paint tool sai NOT as administrator. Let me know if it helps!
TYR14N Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2017
you, my friend, are a lifesaver! i had to reinstall my tablet drivers and the pressure sensitivity got all messed up, but going into the misc. file for sai worked! thank you so much for this tutorial! ♥
JayNL09 Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I just logged in after years just to thank you because it was very useful! Thank you again ;; <3 
SquidS0cks Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Now ever since ive updated to windows 10, and i would get on sai, and for some reason
my tablet wont register the whole window of sai so i cant hit the tools on the left side nor
hit the X button, itll only let me go as far over to the right as pictured on my tablet. Im not
sure how to fix it QnQ

I have a wacom bamboo create pen and touch.
Clowncrime Featured By Owner Edited Oct 9, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I am really lost. I just updated to Windows 10 and ever sense then my pen pressure on SAI just hasn't been working. Please help?
I am using a Huion Q11K btw.
deadmansvolley Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
hey!! my pen pressure is working in other programs but nto sai.. i tried uninstalling it and reinstalling it and even getting different versions of sai but its STILL not working and i really dont know what to do ):

do you think that my tablet could be too old for windows 10??
ZombieAmber Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If you're still having the issue, run Paint Tool SAI NOT as administrator. Worked for me.
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