Windows Photo Viewer is being used as an image viewer in the Windows NT family of the operating system, however, it is not being used in Windows 10 because there is a Universal Windows Platform app called Photos.

Introduction to Windows Photo Viewer

Windows Photo Viewer used to be called Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, which is being used as an image viewer that comes with the Windows NT operating system family.

Tip: If you delete your images or other files by accident, then you can use MiniTool software to recover them.

The first time it appeared came with Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, but then it was replaced by Windows Photo Gallery in Windows Vista provisionally. After that, it reappears in Windows 7.

Windows Photo Viewer

And now Windows Photo Viewer is replaced by a Universal Windows Platform app called Photos in Windows 10, but you can also bring it back using the Registry.

You can use Windows Photo Viewer to display individual photos, show all photos in a folder as a slide show, print them either directly or through an online print service, send them in the e-mail or burn them to a disc, reorient them in 90° increments.

Windows Photo Viewer allows you to view images in PNG, GIF, BMP, ICO, JPEG XR (formerly HD Photo), and TIFF file formats.

Tip: If you want to know more information about the photo file formats, then you can read this post – An Introduction to Picture and Some Popular Picture Formats.

Windows Photo Viewer VS Windows Picture and Fax Viewer

  • Windows Photo Viewer has changed the graphical user interface compared to Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.
  • Windows Photo Viewer adopts Windows Imaging Component (WIC) and makes use of Windows Display Driver Model, while Windows Picture and Fax Viewer adopts GDI+.
  • Both Windows Photo Viewer and Windows Picture and Fax Viewer support GIF files, but Windows Photo Viewer only shows the first frame.
  • Windows Picture and Fax Viewer was able to view multi-page TIFF files (except for files compressed with JPEG) and annotating the TIFF files, while Windows Photo Viewer has added support for ICC profiles and JPEG XR file format.

How to Make Windows Photo Viewer Back in Windows 10?

If you want to make Windows Photo Viewer back in Windows 10, the method depends on whether your system is upgraded from Windows 7/8/8.1 to Windows 10 or if you want to install Windows Photo Viewer from scratch in Windows 10.

System Is Upgraded from Windows 7/8/8.1 to Windows 10

If you upgrade your system from Windows 7/8/8.1 to Windows 10, then it’s very easy to bring Windows Photo Viewer back. Now follow the instructions below to bring it back.

Step 1: Press the Win key and I key at the same time to open Settings.

Step 2: Click System and then click Default apps.

Step 3: You can find your current default photo viewer (probably the new Photo app) under Photo viewer. Then click it to see a list of options for a new default photo viewer.

Step 4: Choose Windows Photo Viewer and then exit the Settings.

After you have finished these steps, you can view your photos in Windows Photo Viewer Windows 10.

Install Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10 from Scratch

If you perform a clean installation of Windows 10 or you buy a computer with Windows 10, then it is pretty much difficult because you cannot access Photo Viewer at all.

But luckily, Windows Photo Viewer is still on your computer. It is just hidden and you need to make some changes to Registry to have it show up.

You should notice that the Windows Registry is very important and any mistake you make while editing the registry can be a fatal error for your computer. Therefore, I highly recommend you to back up important files and registry in advance.

Follow the instructions step by step carefully:

Step 1: Copy the code from the post by Edwin over at TenForums into Notepad and then save it as a REG file (you can name it as you like).

Step 2: Double-click the REG file to merge it with your Windows Registry. Click through the User Account Control and a few other windows to allow the file to make changes to the Registry.

Step 3: You can see Windows Photo Viewer now and then set it as the default program for various image files. Navigate to Control Panel > set View by: Small icons > Default Programs > Set your default programs.

click Set your default programs

Step 4: Find Windows Photo Viewer in the list of programs, and then click it to choose Set this program as default.

After finishing these steps, you can bring Windows Photo Viewer back in Windows 10.

Bottom Line

From this post, you can know what Windows Photo Viewer is and the comparison between it and Windows Picture and Fax Viewer. In addition, you can know how to bring Windows Photo Viewer back in Windows 10.

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