How to Restore Missing Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10

windows photo viewer thumbnail imageWindows Photo Viewer is one of the things that gets removed, or hidden from access after installing Windows 10. The new Photos app takes charge as the default handler for image files in Windows 10.

Good news is that the Windows Photo Viewer application still exists in the same location in Windows 10, but what’s removed is only its registration. If you’re not a fan of the new Photos app, you can revert back to Windows Photo Viewer which itself is a sleek application.

Windows 10 has an updated version of the DLL, but for some reason Microsoft decided to keep this application hidden from users.

Photo Viewer DLL version comparison between Windows 7 & Windows 10

To activate Windows Photo Viewer, you need to register it with Default Programs applet, and add back the file association data related to Windows Photo Viewer.

Restoring Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10

Download, unzip and double-click the attached REG file. This registers Windows Photo Viewer with Default Programs, and adds file association settings for BMP,  DIB, JFIF, JPE, JPEG, JPG, PNG, TIF, TIFF, WDP types.

Cannot import the REG file?

If you get this error when running the REG file, no problem. Most of the settings would have been written correctly. Perhaps the file got stuck when writing to TIF/TIFF association settings, as the association for TIF/TIFF already exists even after upgrading to Windows 10. You may ignore the error message and move on.

Click Start, Control Panel, Default Programs. Click Set your default programs, and select Windows Photo Viewer from the list.

Click Set this program as default to associate Windows Photo Viewer with all image files types. Selecting this option associates all image files types with Windows Photo Viewer. To set it as default viewer for chosen image files types only, click Choose defaults for this program and configure it accordingly.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

35 thoughts on “How to Restore Missing Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10”

  1. I got same problem…

    But my friend suggest me to use KrojamSoft PhotoViewerPro and I really like that Photo viewer than default image viewer

  2. Hi!

    When double click on this registry file. I found “Cannot import the REG file” and this press “OK” button.
    After that, I go to the “Set your default Programme”, i click on Windows Photo Viewer and than “Choose defaults for this program”.
    But i have not found other extensions of Images otherwise “TIF/TIFF”.
    Help me about this error.

  3. Regarding one click fix, just download Winaero tweaker and it adds photoviewer with one click fix . Also you can tweak many things on windows withit .Sadly to say, the old tweaks used to add Control Userpasswords2 to the Control Panel, but hey, just download the registry Tweak. Remember these are tweaks, not Hacks. One doesn’t hack his registry, by tuning/tweaking/changing settings or values.

  4. Just a quick annoyance rant. This is the third time I’ve needed to fix the Windows Photo Viewer by running the registry editing “Activate-Windows-Photo-Viewer-on-Windows-10” script. It works very well, thank you. One of the few points of control we have in the never-ending stream of software quicksand being dumped on us daily.

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