Get Windows Photo Viewer back in Windows 10

If you upgraded from Windows 7, 8 or 8.1

windows-photo-viewer.png
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

It’s easy to get the trusty old Windows Photo Viewer back — simply open up Settings and go to System > Default apps. Under “Photo viewer,” you should see your current default photo viewer (probably the new Photos app). Click this to see a list of options for a new default photo viewer. Assuming you upgraded to Windows 10 from a previous version of Windows, you should see Windows Photo Viewer as an option.

Choose Windows Photo Viewer and exit the Settings menu, and you’re done — photos will now open up in Windows Photo Viewer.

If you installed Windows 10 from scratch

This is trickier, because while Windows Photo Viewer is still technically available, it’s not easy to find. IT does involve editing the Windows Registry, which you should not attempt unless you know what you’re doing — editing the Registry can be dangerous if you make a mistake.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Copy the code from this post by Edwin over at TenForums into Notepad and save it as a REG file (call it whatever you like, maybe photoviewer.reg).

Restore Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Restore Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10

To Only Restore Windows Photo Viewer for Current Account

 

Note   Note
This option will only affect the account that you are currently signed in to.

1. Do step 2 (restore) or step 3 (undo) below for what you would like to do.

 2. To Restore Windows Photo Viewer for Only Your Account
A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

Restore_Windows_Photo_Viewer_CURRENT_USER.reg

download

 3. To “Undo” Restore Windows Photo Viewer for Only Your Account

NOTE: This is the default setting.

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

Undo_Restore_Windows_Photo_Viewer_CURRENT_USER.reg

download

4. Save the .reg file to your desktop.

5. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

6. If prompted, click on RunYes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

7. You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.

8. If you selected to undo restore Windows Photo Viewer, then select a different app (ex: Photos) as the default app under Photo viewer in Settings. (see screenshot below step 9)

9. If you selected to restore Windows Photo Viewer, then select “Windows Photo Viewer” as the default app under Photo viewer in Settings. (see screenshot below)

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Restore Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Restore Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10

To Restore Windows Photo Viewer for All Accounts

 

Note   Note
You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to restore Windows Photo Viewer using this option.

This option will override Option One above.

1. Do step 2step 3, or step 4 below for what you would like to do.

 2. To Restore Windows Photo Viewer for All Users
A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Restore_Windows_Photo_Viewer_ALL_USERS.reg

download

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\photoviewer.dll]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\photoviewer.dll\shell]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\photoviewer.dll\shell\open]
“MuiVerb”=”@photoviewer.dll,-3043”

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\photoviewer.dll\shell\open\command]
@=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\
00,5c,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,72,00,75,00,\
6e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,33,00,32,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,22,00,25,\
00,50,00,72,00,6f,00,67,00,72,00,61,00,6d,00,46,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,73,00,\
25,00,5c,00,57,00,69,00,6e,00,64,00,6f,00,77,00,73,00,20,00,50,00,68,00,6f,\
00,74,00,6f,00,20,00,56,00,69,00,65,00,77,00,65,00,72,00,5c,00,50,00,68,00,\
6f,00,74,00,6f,00,56,00,69,00,65,00,77,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,\
00,22,00,2c,00,20,00,49,00,6d,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,56,00,69,00,65,00,77,00,\
5f,00,46,00,75,00,6c,00,6c,00,73,00,63,00,72,00,65,00,65,00,6e,00,20,00,25,\
00,31,00,00,00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\photoviewer.dll\shell\open\DropTarget]
“Clsid”=”{FFE2A43C-56B9-4bf5-9A79-CC6D4285608A}”

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\photoviewer.dll\shell\print]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\photoviewer.dll\shell\print\command]
@=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\
00,5c,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,72,00,75,00,\
6e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,33,00,32,00,2e,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,20,00,22,00,25,\
00,50,00,72,00,6f,00,67,00,72,00,61,00,6d,00,46,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,73,00,\
25,00,5c,00,57,00,69,00,6e,00,64,00,6f,00,77,00,73,00,20,00,50,00,68,00,6f,\
00,74,00,6f,00,20,00,56,00,69,00,65,00,77,00,65,00,72,00,5c,00,50,00,68,00,\
6f,00,74,00,6f,00,56,00,69,00,65,00,77,00,65,00,72,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,\
00,22,00,2c,00,20,00,49,00,6d,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,56,00,69,00,65,00,77,00,\
5f,00,46,00,75,00,6c,00,6c,00,73,00,63,00,72,00,65,00,65,00,6e,00,20,00,25,\
00,31,00,00,00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\photoviewer.dll\shell\print\DropTarget]
“Clsid”=”{60fd46de-f830-4894-a628-6fa81bc0190d}”

 3. To Restore Windows Photo Viewer for All Users with Sort Order Fix
Note   Note
This option does the same as step 2 above, but allows you to view files in the same order that you arranged them in.

This option does cause Windows Photo Viewer to be listed twice in Open with -> Choose an app.

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Restore_Windows_Photo_Viewer_ALL_USERS_with_Sort_order_fix.reg

download

 4. To “Undo” Restore Windows Photo Viewer for All Users

NOTE: This is the default setting.

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 5 below.

Undo_Restore_Windows_Photo_Viewer_ALL_USERS.reg

download

5. Save the .reg file to your desktop.

6. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

7. If prompted, click on RunYes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

8. You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.

9. If you restored Windows Photo Viewer, then set this program as default for your account. Other users on the PC will also need to do this step if they want Windows Photo Viewer set as the default program in their account.

Click image for larger version. 

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2. Double-click on your new REG file to merge it with your Windows Registry. You will need to click through the User Account Control and a few other windows to allow the file to make changes to the Registry.

set-programs-by-default.png
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

3. You should now be able to see the Windows Photo Viewer and set it as the default program for various image files. To do this, open the Control Panel and go to Default Programs > Set Default Programs. Find Windows Photo Viewer in the list of programs, click it, and choose Set this program as default. This will set the Windows Photo Viewer as the default program for all file types it can open by default.

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