How to get Windows Photo Viewer Option In Windows 10 for Image Files

If you are using Windows 10 operating system on your PC, you may have noticed that it does not come with the “Windows Photo Viewer” program as the default to open the image files. Instead, Windows 10 comes with a new modern app referred to as “Photos” that is currently the default image viewer program in the Windows 10.

Although new Photos app may be a good looking program and provides best features and user interface. Photos app takes some time in opening images files or photo files that become quite annoying with time.

I never prefer modern apps over traditional Desktop programs. Therefore I have decided to set the “Windows Photo Viewer” as default image viewer in the Windows 10.

When I checked within the new Settings app -> System -> Default Apps section, I could not find the “Windows Photo Viewer” in the list given below the “Photo Viewer” selection. Only the Photos app and Paint program were listed there.

How to Enable Windows Photo Viewer In Windows 10

After that, I visited the classic “Set Default Programs” window in the Control Panel hoping that I will be able to set the “Windows Photo Viewer” as the default image viewer from that tool. However, for my surprise, only the 2 file types were listed to come with “Windows Photo Viewer” program: TIF and TIFF. Once again Microsoft has set to get rid of all popular image file types from the “Windows Photo Viewer” association screen thus nobody can re-associate “Windows Photo Viewer” as the default program to open those pictures in Windows 10.

At last, I have decided to manually modify the default program to open pictures by right-clicking on a .jpg file and choosing “Open with” option. Again the “Windows Photo Viewer” was not present anywhere within the program list.

It looks Microsoft has set to fully ditch the good “Windows Photo Viewer” program from the Windows 10.

When I looked into my favorite Registry Editor program, I used to be able to find why “Windows Photo Viewer” program wasn’t listed anywhere in the Windows 10. Actually, Microsoft has removed several needed keys from Registry that were responsible for indicating the “Windows Photo Viewer” in “Open with”, “Default Apps” and “Set Default Programs” screens.

If you are using the Windows 10 and missing the “Windows Photo Viewer” program and wish to set it as the default program to open photos files in the Windows 10, this article will definitely help you.

There are literally 2 different cases:

CASE 1:

If you are upgraded from the Windows 7 or 8.1 to the Windows 10, you may be able to see “Windows Photo Viewer” in “Open with”, “Default Apps” and “Set Default Programs” screens. It happens as a result the required Registry keys are don’t seem to be removed during the upgrade process. Therefore if you upgraded your PC to Windows 10, you may be able to set the “Windows Photo Viewer” as the default program by using “Open with”, “Default Apps” or with the “Set Default Programs” screens.

CASE 2:

If you have performed a clean installation of Windows 10, you may not see the “Windows Photo Viewer” program anywhere as it is mentioned in the beginning of this article.

Here you have following 3 options to overcome this issue:

OPTION 1:

You can use a third party image viewing utility like IrfanView or XnView to interchange Photos app in Windows 10. Several people may be already doing this. You will also be able to use Microsoft’s “Windows Live Photo Gallery” program that is very similar to the “Windows Photo Viewer”.

OPTION 2:

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

OPTION 3:

You can also be able to restore the “Windows Photo Viewer” program functionality in the Windows 10 with the help of the following given different methods:

METHOD 1: Create the “Windows Photo Viewer” the Direct Shortcut:

This is the most basic method! You will be able to create a direct shortcut to launch the “Windows Photo Viewer” program.

“Windows Photo Viewer” doesn’t come with any executable EXE file. It’s run by Windows using a DLL file “PhotoViewer.dll” present in “C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Viewer” folder.  You cannot able to run the program directly by using the DLL file however you will be able to take help of the following command to launch the “Windows Photo Viewer” directly:

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

It is the command that is used everywhere in the Windows Registry to address “Windows Photo Viewer” program executable.

You can also create a new shortcut on the Desktop using the above-mentioned command and it will directly launch the “Windows Photo Viewer” program.

But the program will launch empty and cannot enable you to open any file. To overcome this problem, you will be able to append full path of a selected image file or the folder that containing your image files to the above-mentioned command.

For example, if you have a folder “Wallpapers” on the E:\ drive that containing all of your image files that you frequently open, you can also create the shortcut with the following given command:

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

Currently, the shortcut will open with the first image file that is present in the folder and can enable you to browse through the all image files using back and forward buttons or by using arrow keys on your keyboard.

Also when you open an image file by using this command, Windows can automatically add the “Windows Photo Viewer” in “Open with” list and then you will be able to set it as default for that image filetype.

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

You will also be able to add a new option “Open with Windows Photo Viewer” in the image files context menu. In other words, once you will right-click on an image file, you will get a new option “Open with Windows Photo Viewer” within the right-click menu. It will help you in quickly open any image file with the “Windows Photo Viewer” program.

  1. Press WIN+R keys together to open the RUN dialog box. You will also be able to open it from WIN+X menu. Then type Regedit in the RUN dialog box and press Enter button. It will open Registry Editor.
  2. Now go to the following key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SystemFileAssociations\image\shell

  1. Produce a new key under shell key and set its name to any desired string like as openwpv
  2. In right-side pane, double-click on (Default) and modify its value to Open with Windows Photo Viewer or any desired label which you wish to see in the right-click menu.
  3. Now create a new key under openwpv key and set its name as the command
  4. In right-side pane, double-click on (Default) and modify its value to as following:

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

  1. Now create one more new key under openwpv key and set its name as the DropTarget
  2. In right-side pane, produce new string CLSID and set its value to the {FFE2A43C-56B9-4bf5-9A79-CC6D4285608A}

How to Restore Windows Photo Viewer In Windows 10

That’s it. Now you will get a new option “Open with Windows Photo Viewer” in all image files context menu.

In future, if you wish to get rid of the option, merely delete openwpv key from the Registry.