Top 6 Best Windows Photo Viewer Alternatives

If you are a Windows PC user, you have most probably come across the Photos application which, by the way, is the default image viewer for Windows powered PCs. It supports almost every format of image files available like jpeg, img, png.

It is one among many factors that makes people feel that Windows 7 was actually a better overall operating system when compared to Windows 10 or 11.

Microsoft for some unknown reason decided to replace the people’s favorite Photo Viewer app from Windows 7 with the Photos app which feels both lack-lustered and less intuitive as compared to its counterpart.

Windows Photo Viewer Alternatives

More importantly, the Photo Viewer had faster boot up times and also consumed less RAM. The situation becomes worse for low-end PCs.

If you are someone who is troubled by the same, here is a list of best Internet Download Manager alternatives that you can try out right now.

Windows Photo Viewer

What if I say that you can get your beloved Windows Photo Viewer from Windows 7 to handle image duties on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC. Windows Photo Viewer has been a part of the Windows family for a long time now since its inception as the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer in Windows XP.

Though it was replaced by the Photos app in Windows 10/11, the developers didn’t remove it completely from the system and one can get it back by tweaking the registry. Here are the steps to tweak the Windows 10/Windows 11 registry and get Windows Photo Viewer back working on Windows 10 / Windows 11.

  1. Download the Windows Photo Viewer registry files by clicking here.
  2. Once the download is complete, extract those files and run the “Activate Windows Photo Viewer on Windows 10” registry file and you are done.


IrfanView is an image viewer, editor, organizer and converter program for Microsoft Windows. It can also play video and audio files and has some image creation and painting capabilities.

IrfanView is free for non-commercial use; commercial use requires paid registration. BMP, GIF, JPEG, JP2, PNG, TIFF, raw photo formats are all supported by IrfanView. It is quite popular for its small size, speed, ease of use, and ability to handle a wide variety of graphics file formats.

It was first released in 1996. It is very fast, reliable, easy to use and lightweight at just 2 MB in size. It also provides basic editing tools like cropping, resizing, red-eye removal or rotating of images, that come in handy during the day-to-day tasks.

It is available on all PCs ranging from Windows 95 to Windows 10 and is also available on MacOS and Linux operating systems as well.

FastStone Image Viewer

FastStone Image Viewer is an image viewer and organizer for Microsoft Windows, provided free of charge for personal and educational use, as of version 6.3. 

Supports all major image formats like BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, animated GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO, TGA and raw file formats. The user interface has borrowed many elements from the design language of Windows File Explorer and Picasa Photo Viewer.

It has all basic image editing tools like resizing, cropping, color correction, red-eye removal, clone brush, tonality, levels and unsharp mask.  It even has a compact version which can be copied to a flash drive which essentially allows the software to run without installation.

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XnView is an image organizer and general-purpose file manager used for viewing, converting, organizing and editing images, as well as general purpose file management. It comes with built-in hex inspection, batch renaming, and screen capture tools.

It is licensed as freeware for private, educational and non-profit uses. It is now available for Windows, Windows Mobile, and Pocket PC. An extended version of XnView, called XnViewMP, is available for macOS and Linux.

It is one of the oldest image viewers in the market today with its release dating to 20 years ago in 1998.  It supports most of the popular image file formats like JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG, and TIFF. 


HoneyView is one of the most popular image viewers for Windows for its close proximity with Windows Photo Viewer. 

The User Interface of the software is very well-designed and is one of the easiest to use interfaces in the market that even first-timers can easily use without making much effort. 

It supports major file formats like JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, and PSD. It is fast, easy to use and reliable but lacks any basic image editing mechanism and may be a deal breaker for many. Ignoring the lack of basic image editing mechanism, it is a great image viewer.

Once you made up your mind to choose the apt alternative for Windows Photos app according to your liking, follow these steps to change your default image viewer on Windows 10 since no matter which application you install as an alternative to the photos app, by default, Windows will be running the Photos application whenever any file supported by it is opened.

  1. Click on “Start Menu” and open “Settings.”
  2. From the Settings window, click on “Apps” and select “Default Apps.” Default Apps can be found on the left side pane of the Apps menu.
  3. Click on “Photo Viewer” and choose the desired photo viewer to make it your default photo viewer.
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Congratulations! You successfully changed your default photo viewer on Windows PC.

The list is not any particular order. But if I had to pick anyone among these, I would have gone for Windows Photo Viewer which happens to be the default Photo Viewer of my PC.

These are the best Windows Photos alternatives that one can try out today. I hope this article works the way it is intended to beLet us know about your experience trying out the methods mentioned in this article in the comments section below.

In case I missed mentioning anything or if there is some topic which you want me to cover, please let me know in the comments section down below.

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