[Tip] Restoring “Windows Photo Viewer” as Default in Windows 10

If you are using Windows 10 operating system in your computer, you might have noticed that it doesn't come with "Windows Photo Viewer" program as default to open image files. Instead Windows 10 comes with a new modern (or metro) app called "Photos" which is now the default image viewer program in Windows 10.


Although new Photos app is a good looking program and provides good features and user interface but its not as fast as the good ol' "Windows Photo Viewer" program was. Photos app takes a little bit time in opening images or photo files which becomes quite annoying with time.

I never prefer modern or metro apps over traditional Desktop programs. So I decided to set "Windows Photo Viewer" as default image viewer in Windows 10.

When I checked in the new Settings app -> System -> Default Apps section, I couldn't find "Windows Photo Viewer" in the list given under "Photo viewer" selection. Only Photos app and Paint program were listed there. Microsoft has decided to not show the good ol' tool in default app selection list.


After that I went to the classic "Set Default Programs" window in Control Panel hoping that I would be able to set "Windows Photo Viewer" as default image viewer from that tool. But for my surprise only 2 filetypes were listed to associate with "Windows Photo Viewer" program: TIF and TIFF. Again Microsoft has decided to remove all popular image filetypes from "Windows Photo Viewer" association screen so that no one can re-associate "Windows Photo Viewer" as default program to open those images in Windows 10.


At last I decided to manually change the default program to open images by right-clicking on a .JPG file and selecting "Open with" option. Again "Windows Photo Viewer" was not present anywhere in the program list.


It seems Microsoft has decided to completely ditch the good ol' "Windows Photo Viewer" program from Windows 10.

When I looked into my favorite Registry Editor program, I was able to find why "Windows Photo Viewer" program was not listed anywhere in Windows 10. Actually Microsoft has removed many required keys from Registry which were responsible to show "Windows Photo Viewer" in "Open with", "Default Apps" and "Set Default Programs" screens.

I opened Windows 8.1 OS in another machine and found the required keys in Registry Editor which were missing in Windows 10 OS and by adding those missing Registry keys to Windows 10, I was able to re-associate "Windows Photo Viewer" program with image files without any problem.

If you are also using Windows 10 and missing "Windows Photo Viewer" program and want to set it as default program to open image files in Windows 10, this tutorial will definitely help you.

There are actually 2 different cases:


If you upgraded from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10, you might be able to see "Windows Photo Viewer" in "Open with", "Default Apps" and "Set Default Programs" screens. It happens because the required Registry keys are not removed during upgrade process. So if you upgraded your computer to Windows 10, you might be able to set "Windows Photo Viewer" as default program using "Open with", "Default Apps" or "Set Default Programs" screens.


If you performed a clean installation of Windows 10, you'll not see "Windows Photo Viewer" program anywhere as mentioned in the starting of this article.

Now you have following 3 options to overcome this problem:


You can use a 3rd party image viewing utility such as IrfanView or XnView to replace Photos app in Windows 10. Many people might be already doing this. You can also use Microsoft's "Windows Live Photo Gallery" program which is quite similar to "Windows Photo Viewer".


You can set MS Paint program as default image viewer using Settings app -> System -> Default Apps page.


You can restore "Windows Photo Viewer" program functionality in Windows 10 with the help of following different methods:

  • METHOD 1: Create "Windows Photo Viewer" Direct Shortcut
  • METHOD 2: Add "Open With Windows Photo Viewer" Option in Image Files Context Menu
  • METHOD 3: Add "Windows Photo Viewer" Program in "Open With" List
  • METHOD 4: Associate All Image File Types to "Windows Photo Viewer" Program

NOTE 1: Method 1 and Method 2 are actually useful tips and can be used in other Windows versions as well.

NOTE 2: Method 3 and Method 4 are troubleshooting methods and should be used in Windows 10 only. Although if you are facing similar file association problems in previous Windows versions, you can use these two methods to fix the issue.

We'll start from basic methods to advanced methods. So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:

METHOD 1: Create "Windows Photo Viewer" Direct Shortcut

This is the most basic method! You can create a direct shortcut to launch "Windows Photo Viewer" program.

"Windows Photo Viewer" doesn't come with any executable (EXE) file. Its actually run by Windows using a DLL file "PhotoViewer.dll" present in "C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Viewer" folder. Obviously you can't run the program directly using the DLL file but you can take help of following command to launch "Windows Photo Viewer" directly:

rundll32 "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Photo Viewer\PhotoViewer.dll", ImageView_Fullscreen

Its the command which is used everywhere in Windows Registry to address "Windows Photo Viewer" program's executable.

You can create a new shortcut on Desktop using the above mentioned command and it'll direct launch "Windows Photo Viewer" program.

But the program will launch empty and will not allow you to open any file. To overcome this issue, you can append full path of a particular image file or a folder containing your image files to the above mentioned command.

For example if you have a folder "Wallpapers" in E:\ drive containing all of your image files which you frequently open, you can create shortcut with following command:

rundll32 "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Photo Viewer\PhotoViewer.dll", ImageView_Fullscreen E:\Wallpapers

Now the shortcut will open with the first image file present in that folder and will allow you to browse through all image files using back and forward buttons or using arrow keys on your keyboard.


Also once you open an image file using this command, Windows will automatically add "Windows Photo Viewer" in "Open with" list and then you can set it as default for that image filetype.

METHOD 2: Add "Open With Windows Photo Viewer" Option for Image Files

You can also add a new option "Open with Windows Photo Viewer" in image files context menu. In other words, when you'll right-click on an image file, you'll get a new option "Open with Windows Photo Viewer" in the right-click menu. It'll help you in quickly open any image file with "Windows Photo Viewer" program.


1. Press WIN+R keys together to open RUN dialog box. You can also open it from WIN+X menu. Now type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:


3. Create a new key under shell key and set its name to any desired string such as openwpv

4. In right-side pane, double-click on (Default) and change its value to Open with Windows Photo Viewer or any desired label which you want to see in right-click menu.

5. Now create a new key under openwpv key and set its name as command

6. In right-side pane, double-click on (Default) and change its value to as following:

%SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Photo Viewer\PhotoViewer.dll", ImageView_Fullscreen %1

7. Now create one more new key under openwpv key and set its name as DropTarget

8. In right-side pane, create new string CLSID and set its value to {FFE2A43C-56B9-4bf5-9A79-CC6D4285608A}


That's it. Now you'll get a new option "Open with Windows Photo Viewer" in all image files context menu.

In future, if you want to remove the option, simply delete openwpv key from Registry.

PS: If you are not familiar with registry editing tasks, we are also providing ready-made registry script to do the task automatically for your convenience. Just download following ZIP file, extract it and then run the given .REG files to add or remove the option from context menu:

Registry Script to Add "Open With Windows Photo Viewer" Option

METHOD 3: Add "Windows Photo Viewer" Program in "Open With" List

Now some advanced methods!

"Windows Photo Viewer" doesn't show in "Open with" program list because Microsoft has removed an essential key "Open" from Registry which is responsible to show the program in Open with list.

We can re-add "Windows Photo Viewer" to "Open with" list by adding the Registry key again:


1. Press WIN+R keys together to open RUN dialog box. You can also open it from WIN+X menu. Now type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. It'll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:


3. Create a new key under shell key and set its name to open

4. In right-side pane, create new string MuiVerb and set its value to @photoviewer.dll,-3043

5. Now create a new key under open key and set its name as command

6. In right-side pane, double-click on (Default) and change its value to as following:

%SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Photo Viewer\PhotoViewer.dll", ImageView_Fullscreen %1

7. Now create one more new key under open key and set its name as DropTarget

8. In right-side pane, create new string CLSID and set its value to {FFE2A43C-56B9-4bf5-9A79-CC6D4285608A}


That's it. Now you'll get "Windows Photo Viewer" program in "Open With" list and then you can set it as default for that image filetype.

PS: If you are not familiar with registry editing tasks, we are also providing ready-made registry script to do the task automatically for your convenience. Just download following ZIP file, extract it and then run the given .REG file:

Registry Script to Add "Windows Photo Viewer" in "Open With" List

METHOD 4: Associate All Image File Types to "Windows Photo Viewer" Program

Now its turn of the last method which is the most advanced method and will bring full functionality of "Windows Photo Viewer" program in Windows 10 just like Windows 7/8/8.1.

When you try to set "Windows Photo Viewer" as default program for image files using classic "Set Default Programs" window in Control Panel, it only shows 2 filetypes to associate with this program: TIF and TIFF. So you can't associate "Windows Photo Viewer" with other filetypes.

It happens because Microsoft very cleverly removed the required keys from "Windows Photo Viewer" file associations capability in Registry.

But we can bring the full functionality of "Windows Photo Viewer" again in Windows 10 by re-adding those keys in Registry and it'll allow us to re-associate "Windows Photo Viewer" with all image filetypes again just like previous Windows versions.

Adding all these required Registry keys manually will take a lot of time, that's why we are providing a ready-made Registry script to add the keys automatically in Registry. Just download following ZIP file, extract it and then run the given .REG file:

Registry Script to Restore "Windows Photo Viewer" Functionality in Windows 10

The Registry script will first add all missing image filetypes such as BMP, GIF, PNG, JPEG, etc to following key in Registry Editor:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Photo Viewer\Capabilities\FileAssociations


By default the above mentioned Registry key only contains .TIF and .TIFF strings. But as you can see in above screenshots, the Registry script has added other missing filetypes again.

Then the Registry script will perform the second part of this method!

I have seen many people are adding the missing filetypes in above mentioned Registry key with the same value as PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff for all which is incorrect. They don't know that they also need to add remaining keys in Registry such as PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Bitmap, PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Jpeg, PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Png, etc to make them fully working. If we add the same PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff value for all strings, all image filetypes will show same icon in Explorer and we'll not be able to differentiate between BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, etc filetypes. But if we follow the correct way and add different values for all filetype, all image filetype will show separate icons.

So the Registry script also adds other similar required keys to Registry which are as following:



Once the Registry script adds the required keys, we'll be able to see all image filetypes listed for "Windows Photo Viewer" in "Control Panel -> Default Programs -> Set Default Programs" page.

Just select "Windows Photo Viewer" and click on "Set this program as default" button. Now Windows will set "Windows Photo Viewer" as default program for all image filetypes.


You can check the filetypes list again by clicking on "Choose defaults for this program" button and now you'll see 12 image filetypes listed there including BMP, GIF, PNG, JPEG, etc.

If you go to Settings app -> System -> Default Apps page, you'll now see "Windows Photo Viewer" in the list given under "Photo viewer" selection.


Some Interesting Info:

I found that in previous Windows versions, although Microsoft has put GIF filetype under "Windows Photo Viewer" file associations capability in Registry but Microsoft has not added the required "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Gif" key in Registry. That's the reason why "Windows Photo Viewer" never gets associated with GIF filetype if you try to set it as default in classic "Set Default Programs" window in Control Panel. Whenever you click on "Set this program as default" button, "Windows Photo Viewer" associates with 11 filetypes always and never associates with GIF filetype. You can try and check it yourself in Windows 7/8/8.1.

To solve this issue, I have added the required "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Gif" key with correct information in Registry script and you'll be able to associate "Windows Photo Viewer" with all filetypes including GIF.

That's all for now. Feel free to share your feedback and suggestions in your comment...

Also Check:

[Tip] Restoring Classic Programs and User Interface in Windows 10

[Guide] How to Remove All Built-in Apps in Windows 10

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Posted in: Windows 10

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  • Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file.

  • Photos app doesn‘t even support PSD file codec so it was essential to bring back Windows Photo Viewer for convenience when browsing multiple images. It‘s a loss of animated GIFs but who cares—at least in my OS there are only a few of them.

  • Hi VG, do you know why my laptop suddenly cant react touch screen gesture in windows 10 to open action center (from edge right) & open window switcher (from edge left)

  • Hi VG,

    You can also right-click a picture file, point to "Open With", and then click "Windows Photo Viewer".

  • Thank you very much. This post is a "must read" today! I think you spend much time with this to make it clear, I mean that I appreciate your work.

    But I found something make me confuse, maybe it about my language skill ^^, Let me show here:

    1. "Its the command which is used everywhere in Windows Registry to address "Windows Photo Viewer" program's executable" ~ I'm sorry, I can understand what you mean ^^!

    2. After finish METHOD 1, I cannot find this: "Also once you open an image file using this command, Windows will automatically add "Windows Photo Viewer" in "Open with" list and then you can set it as default for that image filetype."

    3. In METHOD 2, create the key "openwpv", in the image, it's right, but in text, it's "openwp" - maybe there is some typo here.

    4. In METHOD 3, there is an "open" key, but in step 7, there is an "openwp" key

    5. Still in METHOD 3, when I use this: "%SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Photo Viewer\PhotoViewer.dll", ImageView_Fullscreen %1" I find that the icon of Photo Viewer in Open with list is strange, doesn't like the one showed by using your provided in .REG file. You can see here: s5.postimg.org/y70jl9m53/2015_08_09_002155_2.png
    I don't know why but the code you provide and the code in your .REG file is different. I think this is the reason why the icon of Photo Viewer is changed.

    Finally, I feels lucky to read your guides. Hope to see more in the futures. Again, thank you very much!

  • Leomate, they are not part of Windows 10 anymore. There is no charms bar and full screen only apps

  • Nope, they still accessible when you have touchscreen laptop. Anyway solved by uninstall HP 3D Disk Guard (strange but work xD)

  • Thanks a lot, VG!!! You actually responded to my request!! :D

  • VG

    ^^ I already had plan to post this guide but when you and a few other readers asked for the solution, I decided to post it yesterday. :)

    Good to see your problem solved. :)

    @Michael Higham
    As mentioned in the tutorial, "Windows Photo Viewer" is not shown in "Open with" list if you perform clean install of Windows 10.

    When are you getting that error message? Please provide more details.

    @Hoc Nguyen Triet
    Thanks for your feedback.

    1. I meant Windows Registry contains that command whenever it requires to use Windows Photo Viewer as an executable file.

    2. After using that command, if you right-click on that image and select Open With option, you'll find Windows Photo Viewer in the list.

    3 and 4 were typo. Thanks for the heads up. Corrected now.

    5. Try the REG file given in METHOD 4.

  • You are very good in writing tutorials. Thank you so much for helping us and providing these useful guides. Keep up the good work. God bless you. :)

  • Thank for your consideration, VG! Have a good day! :)

  • Thankyou very much VG, i am reading your tutorials since WinXP and they gave me a lot for few days i was thinking for this problem resolution and today i thought should ask you but voilaaa it was already posted.

  • Dude thank you very much ,you made my day,i was searching for this everywhere and even contacted the microsoft but all in vein ,but you rocks it worked for me

  • Thank you!! Im happy to have WPV back. cheers! ^_^

  • Thanks mate!!!!

  • Are you going to make master tutorial on making Windows 10 fast soon?

  • VG

    ^^ Sure but it'll take some time. In the meantime you can follow Windows 8 tutorial which will work for Windows 10 as well:


  • I used method 1 to open an image, but "windows Photo Viewer" did not show in "open with" nor in "photo default applications"

  • Thank You So Much <3 ..

  • Hi VG thanks for sharing this, it's awesome to get the windows photo viewer back in windows 10. I've been searching around for the last few weeks on a method to do it. The registry files you provided worked perfectly, So I've posted a link to your article on my Facebook page so that all my friends can get windows photo viewer working again.
    Keep up the fantastic work VG & look forward to more cool tips from you.

  • Thank you very much!!!!

  • Nice tips. I will try than worked. I happy for this tips. Thank you so much

  • It always frustrate me that OS makers force us into using tools that don't like. Why not easily allow options to use what we wish. Your registry entries solved this problem with no effort on my part.

    Thank you and God bless.

  • Thanks a lot for this! I did find out on my own that .tiff still opened in wpv, so my quick workaround was making a copy of first photo in the folders I wanted to view photos in and rename it to have it end in .tiff. It works, but this makes everything 100 times easier, especially since I tend to move stuff around/sorting them into folders a lot. Having to make a copy and renaming it every time I did that got old pretty quick ^^

  • I wish it supported animated GIFs, like the old Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.
    If there was only a way to bring it back... In case you find out, please share!
    Great article!

  • Thank you so much it worked!

  • Windows 10 was slowly driving me insane with the ridiculous picture viewer. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

  • I used this one
    Registry Script to Restore "Windows Photo Viewer" Functionality in Windows 10
    Great Job - Thanks

  • So much patience to explain everything :|

    Love your website.

  • tried all but failed...none of this work :(

  • Hey VG I came up with a better solution for this, I actually went back to Windows XP Image & Fax viewer using this tool, then I went to C: and changed the Compatibility Properties to always use administrator and Windows 7 mode and it blends really well. This one is also able to play animated .gif files which Windows 7+ image viewer couldn't do :)

  • Method 4 in bringing back Windows Photo Viewer did the trick and was really easy to do. Thanks very much.

  • Thanks, man. This is just, another, bs example of how MS has, LITERALLY, inhibited end user abilities and stifled end user evolution due to their greed. The ONLY reason MS does things like this, which they have done a LOT of, with ten, and 8, previously, is because it allows them to have access to data, personal data, of ours, that they can use for the patterns, to make more money, off us all, with....

    Super annoying how so few people understand what is really gong on, with, both, MS and Google. They are the most powerful. One locally, the other on the net. And they are in this super intense battle to be able to be the ones that can get that data mined and out for sale, as quickly as possible. So their intentions, above all, have shifted from "provide the best we can for the end user and we will grow and prosper" to "stifle the end user as much as possible, that we can get away with, and gradually shift users' perceptions and we'll learn how to be more sneaky as time goes on and this is no longer that and that isnt even available, anymore, cause we just dont think it has value so we are just hiding it from view but keeping it there which makes zero sense in the world but it doesnt matter cause the end user world is dumb and child like , cause not only are we going to stifle future rollouts of technology, not only are we just going to give out bits and pieces here and there, but we are also going to remove those bits of pieces you already ate and have on your plate.. We are jsut going to say "ha ha" and "womp womp"...

    That is a really, super big deal, that shift in thought, toward the end user, by them and others... When it becomes more profitable to to immoral and unethical things against your users, everything everywhere is going to end up "not as it should be".. And folks are blind to it

  • I need to be able to view .png files which disappeared after window 10 installed on my computer as an Microsoft upgrade from windows 7. I found your article on upgrading the registry and using the Windows Photo Viewer. Your registry zip file seemed to work flawlessly, but I still cannot view a png file. When I click on a png file the photo viewer comes up and there is a mometary "blip" as if something was trying to come up but then I get the photo viewer with a blank screen. jpg files work ok. Do I need to restart windows 10 to make things work?

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated


  • LOVE YOU. Simple as that :-)
    Method 4 did the trick although I had to create the values here manually as :
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Photo Viewer\Capabilities\FileAssociations]

  • Thanks a lot Mike,

    Method 3 works like a charm ;-)

  • Thanks man. used method 3. worked perfectly !

  • When I tried Method 2, I discovered that since the (default) is of type REG_SZ, the % variables are not expanded and it didn't work. I had to modify it to be a REG_EXPAND_SZ by creating a text .reg file and importing it in to replace the (default) with a one of the proper type.

  • Brilliant job. It Works.

  • Hi, this tip in restoring the windows photo viewer is great BTW, really good on clean installs.
    Can you please make one for .ICO files? I am creating icons with multiple dimensions for windows, and it views perfectly in the default photos app, since the Photo app of Windows10 does not support the multiple view of icons.

    Thanks in advance. Cheers mate.

  • VG

    ^^ Right-click on a .ICO file and select Open with option. Select Windows Photo Viewer from the list and check "Always use......" option.

  • Thankyou very much i was very confused about problem that how to restore windows photo viewer in windows, you solved my problem...

  • Thank you so much for this! I was very annoyed when I installed Windows 10 and the picture viewer suddenly disappeared. This solved the problem.

  • Thank you so much. i tried method 3. it works perfectly....

  • Thanks!!

  • Thanks for sharing this. I was beside myself when I saw how the new program made my photos look. How this can be seen as progress is anyone's guess. Happily order is now restored. (Oh, I made the upgrade from 8 to 10 and Windows Picture Viewer was still in my lists)

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you so f*ng much!! I just tried the method 4 and works great!

  • Outstanding post - saved me a load of messing about with the registry on multiple machines comparing entries - thanks a million for your work.

    Will add this to my list of essential tweaks, to bring back the functionality and productivity I've been robbed of by Micro$oft's dogmatic, obstructive approach to 'progress'.

    Why haven't they learned their lesson from the Windows 8 debacle?

    I highly recommend 'Classic Shell' as another possible. It was an essential under 8 / 8.1, and I'm still evaluating the 'Start Menu' in 10, but will probably end installing it.

    It's also worth sorting out all the Cortana / search / voice & input settings, which appear to be allowing huge volumes of private data to 'leak' out of a default installation.

  • Thanks, the reg keys work great. However, after having removed the appx package "Photo", I no longer have the ability to preview images as thumbnailes. I can open them with the PhotoViewer now, but a preview in the explorer would be helpful.

    Any advice on that?


  • VG

    ^^ Try following:


  • I've tried Method 4, but despite running the regedit script the file association for WPV in control panel is still stubbornly showing only the tif associations. I've tried rebooting, but no difference. Running the reg script again, but no difference. When running the script I confirm I want to continue, and the next dialog box confirms that the keys have been successfully added to the registry. Looking at the registry directly, only the tif and tiff associations are listed. I've read your instructions carefully and don't seem to have missed anything. I'm running a clean instal of Windows 10 on a Dell Inspiron 15-5000, a new machine just bought so with no previous OS installed.

  • Thank you, very much! Was very helpfull especially registry key! Have a nice day!

  • thank you very much.

  • You're awesome man, thanks a million!!
    Totally worked for me! ^_^

  • Thank you for this fix, i like the photo viewer its quick easy and uses few resources compared to that new crappy thing they are trying to push.

    I thought Microsoft would have learned to stop r**ing their core users, remember the U Turn on the start button in Windows 8.

    Anyways, i hope they all learn from the experience.

  • I'm a technophobe who dreads trying to fix problems like this. But your advice is so easy to follow and doesn't make me feel like an idiot.

    I tried Method 3 first without success. Then Method 4 worked like magic. Very happy to have Photo Viewer back.

    Thank you very much! Glad to have found your website. Any time I have a problem I will come here first for help.

  • Microsoft employees must give each other a big high five every time they show us how smart they are.

    I am not savvy enough to get back to the old photo app yet, but at least you all have showed me who the problem is so i don't have to loose my serenity.

    They are laughing out loud.

  • They even tricked me into printing my last name. :- (

  • Amazing! I clicked on the link you provided unzipped the file and clicked on 'run' it worked so relieved, thank you so much!

  • Thank you for a concise article and providing the reg scripts. Photo view only shows Tiff's. I tried everything from registering the dll's to uninstalling apps. The used your reg script. Problem solved in less than three minutes... You are AWESOME!!!!

  • Perfect! method 3 worked

  • Thanks a lot. I've been trying forever to restore windows photo viewer.

  • Thank you very much for this well-written informative piece. i admire your dedication and patience. easy to read and execute commands. well done man! double thumbs up.

  • Thanks a bunch..the last method worked like a charm for me...This article is a must-read.

  • Thank you very much for your brilliant tutorial. I have some experience with Windows, so I decided to try the described methods one by one, and I expected Method 1 to work as Photo Viewer ran on the PC before. (I think the keys may have been killed by a windows update.) However, it didn't, and the other methods didn't work either. At last I downloaded your registry script and it instantly worked. So for all users not wanting to learn more than necessary about Windows 10 I would recommend to use the download - it saves a lot of time and is stress free.

  • you're brilliant, my window photo viewer is back again. thank you so much

  • Sure there are errors on that .reg file or else something must be missing because it does not work as announced for Win 7. Sure it is a great job, but incomplete, what is a real pity.

  • Sorry for coming back.
    Icon .ico files were forgotten. They are comnpoosed with diferent sizes of the icon and on my computer the only way to see them is WPV.

  • Thank you so much, i was messing with this problem and It was all avail...I tried the forth method and now i am happy to get my Image viewer back :)

  • Forgot to say.

    There is no Windows Photo Viewer option when right clicking on the file, as you said answering to nawzie.

  • Ahhh finally I have it back!!
    Thanks guys - perfect explanation & Method 3 step-by-step for someone who knows nothing about these things like me!

  • Many thanks VG for a superlative article. The only one that I could understand. Not full of acronyms and abbreviations that a majority of the so called experts tend to use. Articles of this nature should be kept as simple as is possible, as though you were explaining to a young child and not full of baffling terminology as though you were explaining to an IT expert. I am 77 years old and using your straightforward and excellent advice I managed to achieve my objective with no major cock-ups. Your Registry Scripts are absolutely brilliant and life-saving. I tried them all and number four worked like a dream come true. I also managed to fix the 'preview images as thumbnails' problem in Explorer through the advice that you gave to 'Chris' in the comments section of this article. Please, please keep up your first-rate work and once again many many thanks. You are a star shining in the wilderness of computing.

  • I tried Method 4 and the associated default for my photos and some other files was not Windows Photo Viewer--but TWINUI. Not sure what this means. I could not find the Registry Editor screen shots that you show--I don't know how to get to them.

    I am able to open photos that I've saved by clicking on Open With, where Windows Photo Viewer is now an option.

    However, when I try to open a photo from Gmail, I get a msg, "Class Not Registered."

    Did I do something wrong?

  • method 4 ftw

  • Perfect! Thanks

  • Hi,

    About the default icons, maybe when you use to export the registry in Windows 8.1, it may point to the imageres.dll in Windows 8.1. So, we all know that the icons in Windows 10 have changed a lot. Then I suggest that you update the default icons in the registry that is fit to Windows 10 imageres.dll. This is because the default icon for JPEG files is the same with a Bitmap image default icon. Hope you updated it soon enough.

    Thanks a lot for returning the Windows Photo Viewer. I really appreciate it.


  • Hi and thanks for the article.

    I have a question: in good old W7, when I opened an image file with WPV that was compressed into a .zip I had the option to browse through the other image files within the same .zip by using the right or left arrows. I find that with W10, however, I have to open each image file individually, or unzip the zip into a folder. Is there a way to recover this functionality?

  • VG

    ^^ I found only above mentioned tricks working in Windows 10. You can try to restore Windows 7 PhotoViewer.dll file in Windows 10 for testing.

  • Your fixes 3 and 4 work well...but..... when selecting a jpg file it does not show the preview in the preview panel... do you know how to fix that? It was wonderful when looking for a specific photo without knowing the name...
    Thank very much

  • Thank you so much! Thank you for you patience in figuring out how to solve this 'Windows 10' problem, and for writing this amazingly clear and easy to follow post about it. I was about to pull my hair our in frustration, but you save me!

  • Thank you very, very much for all those tips!

  • you sir are a genius.
    I had removed most of the bloatware Microsoft brings with the installation of windows 10 but afterwards, I realized the photo viewer was as well removed and I could not even associate a file type or even change anything.
    The only thing that could be handled by the photo viewer was opening tiff files but now after applying your registry key and using the default programs section in control panel I was able to fully restore my photo viewer's functionality.

    Thank you for your work and I deeply appreciate what you have done.
    with respect from Tehran.

  • Windows has been removing more & more features lately.
    Sorry to hear of your struggle with Windows 10 removing the photo viewer.
    But, I have just the solution for all of you...

    Import XP Picture & Fax viewer into Windows 10!!!

    Use Windows XP Picture & Fax in x32/64 Win Vista/7/8/10

    Get a copy of these Windows XP files:

    Create path: C:\Windows\SysWOW32 & put both files here


    Copy everything below (Start) into Notepad & save as XP-Pic&Fax.reg
    Double-click XP-Pic&Fax to import the keys

    Instantly takes effect, & brings back features modern Windows dropped:
    1: Smoothly enlarge smaller images
    2: Navigate & view Animated GIF images
    3: Edit TIFF images

    Reg file includes support for:
    .BMP/.GIF/.JPG/.PNG/.TIF & the correct default icons.

    Works with all x32/64 Windows from Vista to Win 10
    I have it working on an x64 8.1 PC right now!!!


    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers]

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers]



    @="C:\\Windows\\SysWOW32\\rundll32.exe C:\\Windows\\SysWOW32\\shimgvw.dll,ImageView_Fullscreen %1"



    @="C:\\Windows\\SysWOW32\\rundll32.exe C:\\Windows\\SysWOW32\\shimgvw.dll,ImageView_Fullscreen %1"



    @="C:\\Windows\\SysWOW32\\rundll32.exe C:\\Windows\\SysWOW32\\shimgvw.dll,ImageView_Fullscreen %1"



    @="C:\\Windows\\SysWOW32\\rundll32.exe C:\\Windows\\SysWOW32\\shimgvw.dll,ImageView_Fullscreen %1"



    @="C:\\Windows\\SysWOW32\\rundll32.exe C:\\Windows\\SysWOW32\\shimgvw.dll,ImageView_Fullscreen %1"


    It works exactly as you said
    Thanks for adding .gif extension to registry script
    If you haven't added then we need to use photos app

  • Works great, thanks so much for your support and dedication.
    Is there a way to get Windows Photo Viewer to open .wmf files? It was lost after XP.
    Would also need to view them as thumbnail view also.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Much Meta,

  • Great post. I now can associate WPV with my picture files. Thanks.

    1. Is there any way to get WPV (rather than Win 10 Photos) to AutoPlay when importing photos from my Android phone? ('Change AutoPlay settings' in Control Panel Defaults does not allow WPV.) If this can be done, how can I set AutoPlay/WPV to import only .jpg and .gif files from my phone.

    2. Is there a way to create a desktop shortcut to directly run WPV (i.e., other than a shortcut to an associated picture file)?

    Thanks for any help.


  • Thank you so much for this article.
    Now I have restored the "preview" functionality of right-clicking on a photo.
    Really professional help.

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