How to Get Windows Photo Viewer

In case you only recently upgraded to Windows 10, you might have seen that the new default Photos app is much different than the old Windows Photo Viewer, including new features and abilities, such as enhancing and editing your photos with just a few quick clicks. However, despite these new upgrades, a lot of Windows users still want to use the original Windows Photo Viewer app. If you are one of those people as well, here is how you can get the old Windows Photo Viewer back:

If you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 from 7, 8 or 8.1

In this case, getting the old Windows Photo Viewer back is a quick and simple process:

  1. Select the Start (windows icon) button, and then choose Settings (gear icon).
  2. Go to System, and then select Default Apps. Scroll until you find Photo Viewer. Here, you will see the program that is currently set as your preferred viewer, which is most likely the Photos app.
  3. Next, click the current preferred app to see a list of possible options for a new photo viewer to set as the default. If you’ve upgraded to the newest version of Windows from any of the previous ones, you should see Windows Photo Viewer as one of the possible options listed.
  4. Simply select Windows Photo Viewer, and then exit the Settings menu. That’s it; all photos will now be opened in the old Windows Photo Viewer.

Opening photos through Windows Photo Viewer

In case you just want to open one or two photos in the Windows Photo Viewer, without setting it as your default app, then follow these simple steps:

  1. Locate the image you want to open, and then right-click on it (or press and hold, depending on the device).
  2. From the drop-down menu, select Open With, and then click Choose Another App.
  3. If Windows Photo Viewer isn’t already listed, click More Apps.
  4. Scroll down to find Windows Photo Viewer, and select it to open the image.

Note: If you can’t see Windows Photo Viewer in the list of available apps, then it might not be installed or ready to use. In that case, it might be worth following the steps below.

If you’ve installed Windows 10 or bought a Windows 10 device

This method is a bit more difficult and delicate. Although the Windows Photo Viewer is technically still available on your device, it’s not that simple to find. What’s more, this method also involves editing the Windows Registry, which is something you should not attempt, unless you know exactly what you’re doing. Editing the Windows Registry can be particularly dangerous in case you make a mistake.

However, if you’re confident in your abilities, here’s what you should do to get Windows Photo Viewer back:

  1. Copy the code posted by Edwin on TenForums. Paste it into Notepad, and then save it as a REG file (name it however you like, such as photoviewer.reg).
  2. Double-click on the new REG file, in order to merge it with the Windows Registry. You’ll need to click through the User Account Control, as well as a couple of other windows, in order to allow the new file to make changes to the Windows Registry.
  3. After you’ve finished this process, you should be able to see the Windows Photo Viewer (or set it as a preferred program) by following either of the two methods mentioned above.

Using less RAM and often opening much faster than the new Photos app, Windows Photo Viewer is still favored among many Windows users, and these simple methods will allow you to use the program as your default image viewer as well.