[Fix] Windows Photo Viewer Takes Too Much Time in Opening Images

Windows Photo Viewer is a built-in image viewer program in Windows operating system. It comes preinstalled in Windows 7, Windows 8 and later Windows versions. Windows Photo Viewer was also present in good ol' Windows XP with a different name "Windows Picture and Fax Viewer".


Since a few days I was facing a very annoying problem in Windows 8.1. Windows Photo Viewer was extremely slow and was taking too much time in loading images. Whenever I tried to open a picture file using Windows Photo Viewer program, it was taking long time in opening that picture. The computer is very fast and all Windows updates are installed. Everything runs fine except Windows Photo Viewer.

I searched and found various solutions to fix this strange and irritating problem. Today in this topic, I'm going to share all possible solutions to troubleshoot this slow Windows Photo Viewer problem.

If you are also facing this problem, try following solutions:

SOLUTION 1: Deleting Display Profile in Color Management

In Windows XP, the default "Windows Picture and Fax Viewer" program was using GDI+ (Graphics Device Interface) to show graphics on screen but Microsoft changed this behavior in Windows 7. Now "Windows Photo Viewer" program utilizes Windows Imaging Component (WIC) to take all advantages of the advanced Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) architecture.

Sometimes this change might cause this annoying problem. To fix this problem, you'll need to remove the monitor calibration profile from color management program.

1. Press WIN+R keys together to launch RUN dialog box. Now type colorcpl.exe in RUN dialog box and press Enter. It'll open Color Management window.

2. Now go to Advanced tab and click on "Change system defaults..." button.


3. Now select the default profile and click on Remove button.

If you see other profiles having calibrated term in their names, delete them as well.

4. Close all programs and restart Windows.

It should solve the slow Windows Photo Viewer problem.

SOLUTION 2: Another Way to Delete Calibrated Display Profile

If the first solution doesn't work for you, try following:

1. Open Windows Explorer and go to following folder:


Alternatively, you can direct open it using %windir%\system32\spool\drivers\color command in RUN dialog box.

2. Now you'll see various files in color folder such as .icc, .camp, .gmmp, .icm, .cdmp, etc. If you find any file with a name similar to CalibratedDisplayProfile-x.icc, delete it.


3. Restart Windows and it should solve the problem.

SOLUTION 3: Set Windows Photo Viewer as Default Program

Make sure Windows Photo Viewer is set as default program to view pictures:

1. Open Control Panel, click on Default Programs icon and then click on Set your default programs link.

Alternatively, you can direct open it using following command in RUN dialog box:

explorer.exe shell:::{17CD9488-1228-4B2F-88CE-4298E93E0966}\pageDefaultProgram

2. Now click on Windows Photo Viewer entry present in the list and then click on "Set this program as default" option.


3. Close the window and now Windows Photo Viewer should open image files faster.

SOLUTION 4: Using Registry Editor

If above mentioned solutions don't work for you, then it might be a cache problem. I found a Registry tweak on Microsoft support to disable Windows Photo Viewer cache feature which can fix this slowness problem:

1. Type regedit in RUN or Start search box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Photo Viewer\Viewer

3. In right-side pane, create a new DWORD CacheSize and set its value to 0


4. Now restart your system and it should speedup Windows Photo Viewer loading time.

I'm not sure which of the above mentioned solutions worked for me but now the slow Windows Photo Viewer problem has been fixed and its opening image files quickly without any delay...

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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • Helpful

  • or
    use picasa

  • Picasa is dirty to use with all the folders it leaves behind when you uninstall it. It really needs a revamp, stat!

  • Solution 4 worked for me ....
    thanks :D

  • or use IrfanView, FastStone Image Viewer, JPEGView, XnViewMP, ...

  • cant find anything that says calibrated and on step 4 i cant find that item...

  • cool..!
    i tried first one, and it worked perfectly again.. thanx..

  • None of these worked. When I open an image, it opens fast, but the second time I open one, its got a delay. If I wait a few seconds, or close and reopen explorer, the first time I view an image it opens fast, but the second time it has a delay.

  • Tried it & works perfectly.Thank You!!!

  • Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
    First solution worked for me. I was really close to system reinstallation, but now i dont need to. This issue was very annoying with i7, 8gb and SSD.

  • First solution had worked for me! I didn't need to restart my computer (only disable Windows Photo Viewer). Finalyl it works fast. Thank you!

  • An odd thing that has helped me with niggling delays was to restart the Windows Management Instrumentation service. Will try the other suggestions if it gets wacky again.

  • First solution had worked for me too! Thanks!

  • Solution nÂș 2 worked for me. Thanks

  • yes! First one worked, no reboot. I do not know if it will have any side effects

  • Thank you, first solution worked, was so frustrated in having such long loading times! You're awesome :)

  • I had this irritating slowness with Windows Photo Viewer on my system since I recently updated to Windows 10. When browsing through pictures, also with small size (less than 500K) took about 2 seconds delay before display for many of them, compared to a fraction of a second before.
    I tried already many other recommendations, without success.
    Your solution 1, even before doing step 4 (restart Windows), immediately solved my problem. Thank you very much.

  • Thank you! Deleting Calibrated Display Profile did the trick :)

  • If you don't want to do anything try this... open any picture leave it open minimize it if you want, then open and close any of the pictures you want to view and there will be no lag as long as you leave the first picture open.

  • First ones no good - no profiles! But the cache block works great!

  • Thanks, the last trick with CacheSize=0 works with Windows 10 Photo Viewer!

  • guys dont bother deleting your calibrations just use picasa photo viewer instead of windows photo viewer its fast and its only about 5Mbytes!

  • WOW. At last I solv... Damn! It gone fast (instant!) only on first run. After closing, wait a moment, and reopening, it goes slow again!
    I wonder wtf is doing this on loading!

  • i didn't know that it was because of that calibration setup, thanks to you man........

  • Thank you so much!
    First solution was great and my problem got solved :)
    Thinking the same that it was because of the calibration setup

  • "To fix this problem, you'll need to remove the monitor calibration profile from color management program."

    What impact does removing the calibration profile have on the image and if any, printing of the image?

  • Thanks, worked like a charm

  • Solution 1 ! BEST fix for many issues, including Firefox not responding!

  • Solution 1 worked for me! Thanks!

  • Thank you! Solution 1 works for me, it was soooooooo annoying I was using Photoshop to open images, because windows viewer would freeze my laptop.

  • I had the same problem, and I tried solution 1 but in step 3 I didn't find a default profile, so I added one, and its work well even without restart.
    Thank you.

  • Would you by any chance know how to bring back support for gif animation for windows photo viewer? Maybe you'd know a trick like a registry key taken from XP (which supported gif animation) and copied to Win7... I just thought i would ask. :) thank you. And sorry for this off topic post.

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