Resurrecting the Windows Photo Viewer

Windows Photo Viewer icon

I’ve avoided posting about this for a while mostly because I thought Windows Photo Viewer would get removed. But it’s still there in Windows 10 1909 and it’s still good – even though it doesn’t play animated GIFs and hasn’t been updated since the time of Windows 7.

Here’s how to enable it in Windows 10.

 

Enable Windows Photo Viewer

To enable Windows Photo Viewer so it shows up as an option to open image file types with, copy and paste the text below as is into a new text file and save it with a .reg extension.

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}"

Then import the REG file into the registry using the REG IMPORT command. You will need an elevated command prompt.

REG IMPORT C:\foo\Win-Photo-Viewer.reg

The program will not show up in the Start Menu as a program or in Settings as an default option for photos, but you will be able to choose it as an option to open files with.

Right-click > Open with > Choose another app > more apps > Windows Photo Viewer

You could also import this REG file as part of an MDT or SCCM Task Sequence, using Group Policy Preferences or a simple startup script.

 

If you’d like to get in touch with me please use the comments, Twitter (you can tweet me and my DMs are open) or my contact form.

I hope this article is useful to you. Please consider supporting my work: monthly on patreon, or by buying me a coffee with paypal, or ko-fi.

-Mike

4 thoughts on “Resurrecting the Windows Photo Viewer

Add yours

  1. Thank you for these instructions and registry file! Worked in Win10 1909. No words to describe Microsoft’s terrible treatment of its users pushing them to resort to various hacks in order to continue using our computers how we want. Such a rotten company…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey MIke, great artikel, thank you! This fix works for me party, because i now can select the Windows Photo Viewer again if I Right-Click on a file (i.e. test.jpg) and go with the open with… dialoge. However, for some reason, even after a PC restart, i cannot select it in the settings panel as “default app” for Photos. Is this a normal behaviour?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Phil,
      I haven’t found a way to get the Photo Viewer to show in the Default Programs area, but you can work around it by setting it as the default for certain file types by doing the following: Right click and choose “Open with” and then “Choose another app” and then choose the Photo Viewer and check the “Always use this app”.

      Hope that helps
      -Mike

      Like

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