Restore "Windows Photo Viewer" to default in Windows 10

Restore “Windows Photo Viewer” to default in Windows 10

If you are using Windows 10 operating system in your computer, you may find that it does not come with ” Windows Photo Viewer program” as default to open image files. Instead Windows 10 comes with a new modern (or subway) app called “ Photos ” which is now the default photo viewer in Windows 10.

Khôi phục "Windows Photo Viewer" về mặc định trong Windows 10

Although the new Photo Viewer app is a good looking program and offers good features and user interfaces but when the ‘Windows Photo Viewer’ is good its program is not fast. Photo application takes some time in opening image or image file which becomes quite annoying with time.

I never liked the modern subway or modern applications over traditional desktop programs. So I decided to set up “Windows Photo Viewer” with the default photo 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 under the “ Photo viewer ” option. Only the application image and the Paint program are listed there. Microsoft has decided not to show good ol tools’ in the default app selection list.

I then went to the classic ” Set Default Programs ” window in Control Panel hoping that I should be able to set “Windows Photo Viewer” with the default photo viewer from that tool. But to my surprise there are only 2 file types listed to associate with the “Windows Photo Viewer” program: TIF and TIFF . Once again, Microsoft has decided to remove all popular image file formats from the “Windows Photo Viewer” association screen so that no one can re-link “Windows Photo Viewer” as the default program to Open images in Windows 10.

In the end I decided to manually change the default programs to open images by right-clicking on a .JPG file and choosing the option ” Open with “. Again “Windows Photo Viewer” is not present anywhere in the program list.

It seems that Microsoft has decided to completely remove the “Windows Photo Viewer” program from Windows 10.

When I looked at my favorite Registry Editor program, I was able to find why the “Windows Photo Viewer” program wasn’t listed anywhere in Windows 10. In fact Microsoft removed many keys It is necessary out of the Registry that is responsible for displaying “Windows Photo Viewer” in “Open with”, “Default Apps” and “Set Default Programs” on the screen.

I opened Windows 8.1 operating system in another machine and found the necessary keys in Registry Editor which were missing in Windows 10 OS and by adding the missing Registry keys for Windows 10, I was able to re-link “ Windows Photo Viewer ”program with image files without any problem.

If you are also using Windows 10 and lack the program “Windows Photo Viewer” and want to set it as the default program to open image files in Windows 10, this guide will definitely help you.

In fact, there are 2 different scenarios:

CASE 1:

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

CASE 2:

If you perform a fresh install of Windows 10, you won’t see the “Windows Photo Viewer” program anywhere as mentioned in the start of this article.

Now you have 3 options to fix this problem:

OPTION 1:

You can use a 3rd party image viewer utility like IrfanView or XnView to replace the application image in Windows 10. Many people may have done this already. You can also use the “Microsoft Windows Live Photo Gallery ” program which is quite similar to “Windows Photo Viewer”.

OPTION 2:

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

OPTION 3:

You can recover “Windows Photo Viewer” program functionality in Windows 10 with the help of the following different methods:

  • Method 1: create a direct shortcut “Windows Photo Viewer”
  • Method 2: Add the option “Open With Windows Photo Viewer” in the Image File Context Menu
  • Method 3: Add the Program “Windows Photo Viewer” in the “Open With” List
  • Method 4: Combine all types of image files for the program “Windows Photo Viewer”

Note 1: Method 1 and Method 2 are really helpful tips and can be used in other versions of Windows.

Note 2: Methods 3 and 4 Method are troubleshooting methods and should be used in Windows only 10. Although if you are facing the same file association problem as in In previous versions of Windows, you can use two methods to fix the problem.

We will start from the basic methods to the advanced methods. So without wasting time lets start tutorials:

Method 1: create a direct shortcut “Windows Photo Viewer”

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

“Windows Photo Viewer” does not come with any executable file (EXE). Its actually run Windows using a DLL file ” PhotoViewer.dll ” present in ” C: Program Files Windows Photo Viewer ” folder. Obviously you cannot run programs that directly use DLL files but you can help of the following commands to launch “Windows Photo Viewer” directly:

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

Its commands are used everywhere in the Windows Registry to resolve the “Windows Photo Viewer” program executing.

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

But the program will launch empty and won’t let you open any files. To fix this problem, you can add the full path of a particular image file or a folder containing your image files to the above command.

For example if you have a folder “Wallpapers” in your E: drive containing all your image files that you regularly open, you can create a shortcut with the following command:

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

Now the shortcut will open with the image files shown first in that folder and will allow you to browse through all the reused image files and front buttons or use the arrow keys above. your keyboard.

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

Method 2: Add the option “Open With Windows Photo Viewer” in the Image File

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

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

2. Now go to the following key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT SystemFileAssociations image shell

3. Create a new key under the keyshell and name yourself any desired string like openwpv

4. In the right pane, double-click (Default) and change its value to Open With Windows Photo Viewer or any desired labels you want to see in the right-clicking menu.

5. Now create a new key under the key openwpv and name it command

6. In the right pane, double-click (Default) and change its value as follows:

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

7. Now create a newer key under the openwpv key and name it DropTarget

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

That’s it. You will now get a new “Open with Windows Photo Viewer” option in all menus and context images.

In the future, if you want to remove the selections, just delete the main openwpv from the Registry.

PS: If you are not familiar with registry editing, we are also providing a registry script to do the automatic task for your convenience. Just download the following ZIP file, extract it and then run the REG file for adding or removing options from the context menu:

Registry Script Add “Open With Windows Photo Viewer” Option

Method 3: Add the Program “Windows Photo Viewer” in the list “Open With”

Now some of the advanced methods!

“Windows Photo Viewer” does not show up in the “Open with” program list because Microsoft has removed an essential ” Open ” key from the Registry that is responsible for displaying the programs in Open with the list.

We can re-add “Windows Photo Viewer” to the list “Open with” by adding Registry keys again:

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

2. Now go to the following key:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT Applications photoviewer.dll shell

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

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

5. Now create a new key under Open key and name it command

6. In the right pane, double-click (Default) and change its value as follows:

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

7. Now create a new key under unlock key and name it DropTarget

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

That’s it. Now you will get “Windows Photo Viewer” program in “Open With” list and then you can set it as default for that filetype image.

PS: If you are not familiar with registry editing, we are also providing a registry script to do the automatic task for your convenience. Just download the following ZIP file, unzip it and then run the given REG file:

Method 4: Combine all types of image files for the program “Windows Photo Viewer”

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

When you try to set “Windows Photo Viewer” as the default program for image files using classic ” Set Default Programs window” in Control Panel, it only shows 2 file types associated with the program. This: TIF and TIFF. Therefore, you cannot bind “Windows Photo Viewer” with other file types.

It happened because Microsoft very cleverly removed necessary keys from the “Windows Photo Viewer” file association capabilities in the Registry.

But we can bring the full functionality of “Windows Photo Viewer” again in Windows 10 by adding the keys in the Registry and it will allow us to re-link “Windows Photo Viewer” to all of them. Image file formats are again the same as in previous Windows versions.

Adding all the Registry keys you need manually will take a lot of time, which is why we are providing a ready-made Registry script to add keys automatically in the Registry. Just download the following ZIP file, unzip it and then run the given REG file:

Registry Script Restore “Windows Photo Viewer” Function in Windows 10

The Registry script will first add all the missing image file types like BMP, GIF, PNG, JPEG, etc. to the following Registry Editor key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows Photo Viewer Capabilities FileAssociations

By default the above Registry keys only contain .TIF and .TIFF strings. However, as you can see in the screenshot above, the Registry script has been added to other types of lost files as well.

The Registry script will then do the second part of this approach!

I have seen many more file formats missing in the above main mentioned with the same value as Registry PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff for all that is not correct. They don’t know that they also need to add the remaining keys in the Registry like PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Bitmap, PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Jpeg, PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Png, etc. to make them completely working. If we add the same PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff value to all strings, all image file formats will show an icon in Explorer and we won’t be able to distinguish between BMP, GIF, JPG , PNG, etc. file format. But if we followed correctly and added different value for all file types, all filetype images would show separate icon.

So the Registry script also adds other similar required keys to the Registry as follows:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Bitmap
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Gif
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.JFIF
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Jpeg
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Png
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Wdp

Once the Registry script adds the necessary keys, we will be able to see all the image file formats 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. Windows will now set “Windows Photo Viewer” as the default program for all image file formats.

You can check the list of file types again by clicking the ” Choose defaults for this program ” button and you will now see 12 image file formats listed including BMP, GIF, PNG, JPEG, etc

If you go to Settings app -> System -> Default Apps page, you will now see “Windows Photo Viewer” listed under the “ Photo viewer ” option.

Some Interesting Facts:

I found that in previous versions of Windows, although Microsoft has included GIF filetype under the “Windows Photo Viewer” file association capabilities in the Registry, Microsoft has not added the requests “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Gif “Is important in the Registry. That is why “Windows Photo Viewer” is never associated with GIF filetype if you try to set it by default like in classic ” Set Default Programs window” in Control Panel. Whenever you click ” Set this program as default ” button “, Windows Photo Viewer” plus 11 file formats always and never collaborates with GIF filetype. You can try and check it yourself in Windows 7/8 / 8.1.

To solve this problem, I added important “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Gif” requests with correct information in Registry script and you should be able to combine “Windows Photo Viewer” with all types file as GIF.

That’s all for now. Please share your feedback and suggestions in your comments …

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