Set Windows Photo Viewer as your Default Image Viewer

Every now and then I’ll have to use my Windows PC at work. I hate Windows. And I need to open quite a few images. By default, the images open in the “Photos” app on Windows 10 which takes about a minute or so to open a 100KB JPEG file. It’s pathetic.

So I researched around a bit and it turns out, there is a way to bring back the old Windows Photo Viewer. Here’s how:

Step 1

Create a new registry file and paste the following contents in it. For example, you can name it photoviewer.reg, it doesn’t really matter.

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}"

Now, you should have a file on your machine called photoviewer.reg

Step 2

Double click the registry file we created and follow the instructions.

Step 3

Once the registry entries have been successfully added, right-click on an image > Open with > Another application

A dialog will pop-up, choose more apps (not from the app store) and select “Windows Photo Viewer” from the list.

And you’re done! If you don’t see the Windows Photo Viewer option still, try logging out and back in again.