Fix Error “There was a problem starting PhotoViewer.dll” When Editing Image Files in Windows 7

After upgrading your Windows Vista computer to Windows 7, when you right-click on a JPG/JPEG image and click Edit, the following error message may appear:

There was a problem starting C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Gallery\PhotoViewer.dll

The specified module could not be found.

This happens if Windows Photo Gallery was earlier the default image editor before upgrading to Windows 7. In Windows 7, certain features of the Windows Photo Gallery are cut down and it’s named Windows Photo Viewer. Also, PhotoViewer.dll and other files are moved to the “C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Viewer” folder.

The Windows Photo Gallery in Windows Vista provides a “Fix” button at the top which when clicked would show an additional pane that has the following tools:

  1. Auto-Adjust
  2. Adjust Exposure
  3. Adjust Color
  4. Crop Picture
  5. Fix Red Eye

This feature was removed in Windows 7, and the Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 7 can just be used to view images. As a workaround, Microsoft suggests that you use a different image editor and then associate it with the corresponding image file type. (REF: Why can’t I right-click a picture to edit it in Windows 7?)

You have the following options.

Option 1: Remove the “edit” verb from jpeg image file type

The “edit” verb for jpegfile class was carried over from your Windows Vista install. When you delete this entry, Microsoft Paint automatically becomes the default image editor for the specified file type. To remove the “edit” verb for jpeg files:

Launch Regedit.exe and navigate to:


Right-click edit and choose Delete.

(Note that the edit key doesn’t exist under jpegfile in a clean installation of Windows 7.)

Exit the Registry Editor.

Option 2: Set a Different Editor as the Default

Rather than deleting the entry, you can replace the (default) verb in the following key, pointing to a different image editor application:


Set (default) value accordingly, say “C:\Program Files\My Img Editor\editor.exe” “%1”

Option 3: Install Windows Live Photo Gallery

Download Windows Live Photo Gallery and run the setup.

Select Photo Gallery, plus other Windows Live products that you want to install.

Once installed, launch Windows Live Photo Gallery from the Start menu…

Click Yes when you’re asked to associate JPG, TIF, PNG, WDP, BMP, and ICO files with Windows Live Photo Gallery. Now, double-clicking an image file or choosing Edit from the right-click menu, will open Windows Live Photo Gallery.

Windows Live Photo Gallery provides a similar interface as the Windows Photo Gallery in Windows Vista, but has some (three more) additional tools in the right pane.

  1. Auto adjust
  2. Adjust exposure
  3. Adjust color
  4. Straighten photo
  5. Crop photo
  6. Adjust detail
  7. Fix red eye
  8. Black and white effects

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

4 thoughts on “Fix Error “There was a problem starting PhotoViewer.dll” When Editing Image Files in Windows 7”

  1. Hello, I will try to be as clear as I can be, … I run win.7 home premium…
    1. First locate your folder—>”C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Gallery”
    2. Second locate this folder—>”C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Viewer”
    3. Third copy&paste from—>”C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Viewer” to—>”C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Gallery” as these files are in order (PhotoViewer.dll; PhotoBase.dll; PhotoAcq.dll; ImagingEngine.dll; ImagingDevices”C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Gallery”.
    4. Fourth copy these files (PhotoViewer.dll.mui; PhotoAcq.dll.mui; ImagingDevices.exe.mui) from the folder—>”C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Viewer\en-US” to this folder—>”C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Gallery\en-US”. Hope works for you

  2. Guys,

    I’m using Windows 7 64bit, and “PhotoViewer.dll” is under the directory “C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Viewer”.
    NOT under “C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Gallery”

    So to solve it correct it from the registry, by adjusting the following registry key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ jpegfile \ shell \ edit

    the key “Default” should be like this:
    %SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe “%ProgramFiles%\Windows Photo Viewer\PhotoViewer.dll”, ImageView_Edit %1


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