[TIP] Make Photo Viewer App in Windows 7 and 8.1 Metro Style

Almost everyone is aware of the term Metro UI or Modern UI which was introduced by Microsoft in Windows 8. Microsoft tried to make everything clean and simple in Metro UI of Windows 8. Microsoft removed Aero glass transparency, reflection, blur and all other eye candy effects from Windows 8 user interface. Although its possible to bring those Aero glass transparency and other eye candy effects in Windows 8 and 8.1 with the help of this tutorial but that's another story.

Microsoft tried to put Metro UI everywhere in Windows 8 and 8.1 but they didn't update the UI of built-in Photo Viewer program. Windows Photo Viewer still features the previous Windows 7 style glassy buttons in its toolbar as shown in following screenshot:


If you love the new Metro UI in Windows 8.1 but don't like the glassy look of Windows Photo Viewer app, this tutorial will definitely please you.

Today in this tutorial, we are going to share a small trick which will convert Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Photo Viewer program into Metro style. It'll change the default glassy and shiny buttons in Windows Photo Viewer with Metro style buttons as shown in following screenshot:


If you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and want to make Windows Photo Viewer Metro style, just follow these simple steps:

1. To change the look of Windows Photo Viewer program, we'll replace an existing DLL file "PhotoViewer.dll" in Windows with a new DLL file. This new DLL file contains Metro style graphics which will be used by Windows Photo Viewer to show Metro style toolbar buttons in its UI.

Thanks to JosephSM @DA for modifying the DLL file and sharing it with all of us.

So first of all download the DLL file using following link:

Download Windows Photo Viewer DLL File

You'll find the download button at the top-right corner of the webpage.

2. After downloading the RAR file, extract it using 7-Zip or WinRAR program and you'll get following 2 folders:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8.1

Both folders contain required PhotoViewer.DLL file for respective operating systems. Open a folder and you'll find following 2 folders inside it:

  • x64
  • x86

If you are using 64-bit edition of Windows 7 or 8.1, then you'll need to use the file present in "x64" folder. If you are using 32-bit edition of Windows 7 or 8.1, use the file present in "x86" folder.

3. Now you'll need to replace existing PhotoViewer.dll file present in "C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Viewer" folder with the new downloaded file.

First take ownership of the existing DLL file with the help of following tutorial:

[Tip] Add "Take Ownership" Option in Files and Folders Context Menu in Windows

4. Now rename the PhotoViewer.dll file present in "C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Viewer" folder to some other name such as PhotoViewer_bak.dll.

5. Now copy new PhotoViewer.dll file from correct folder (Windows 7 or Windows 8.1) and paste in "C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Viewer" folder.

That's it. Open any image in Windows Photo Viewer and get ready to enjoy the new Metro style UI.

PS: To restore default look in Windows Photo Viewer program, rename the new PhotoViewer.dll file in "C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Viewer" folder to some other name such as PhotoViewer_new.dll and rename previous PhotoViewer_bak.dll file to PhotoViewer.dll.

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Posted in: Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • WoW!! :D Great work & thanks for sharing.....!!

  • The default one looks better for me.

  • I agree with @rudrax; it doesn't look great. Doesn't fit in with the rest of the Photo Viewer UI.

  • lol how about command bar ?

  • Thanks VG. I love the new look. :)

  • Nice tip VG. Keep 'em coming.

  • thnx

  • VG, how could you be so awesome?! I first knew you when I was in highschool. About 3 years had past, and now I am a 3rd Year Computer Science Student. Thanks for the inspirations.

  • A little bit off-topic. VG, how about make an article about Windows 7 Aero Theme for Windows 8/8.1? If your interested: xxinightxx.deviantart.com/gallery/

  • sir, where is the location taskbar color folder in windows 7.i want to download these images.pls reply

  • does it work on windows 8

  • VG

    ^^ I have not tried it in Windows 8 but I think it should work. You can try yourself. If it doesnt work, restore default DLL file.

    What do you mean by Taskbar color folder? Please provide more details.


  • Nice!! Ive always enjoyed the metro look :)

  • can I have the default photoviewer.dll file back? I replaced the default one, sorry.

  • VG

    ^^ You can get using following tutorial:


  • As MICROSOFT had forgotten to make the photo viewer in win8.1 metro same as in the calculator.
    So I have made a Metro calculator at deviant art.
    Check it out at siddharth-bose.deviantart.com
    Sorry for bad English. I'm 13 years old.

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