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How to Make Windows Photo Viewer Your Default Image Viewer on Windows 10 (2020)

Windows 10 was launched a few years ago and immediately met with significant backlash due to the omission of several applications present in Windows 7 and 8 and used widely.

One of these applications was the Windows Photo Viewer, which was replaced by a native Windows 10 app known as Photos.

The article presents the methods of reactivating Windows Photo Viewer on Windows 10 and them setting it as your default image viewer.

The methods of enabling Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10 is different if it is a version upgraded from previous Windows version or one that was installed separately.

How to Make Windows Photo Viewer Your Default Image Viewer on Windows 10

For Windows 10 Version Upgraded From Previous Windows Versions

Microsoft offered the users of Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 the option to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. In these versions of Windows, the default of viewing pictures was the Windows Photo Viewer. As soon as you upgrade to Windows 10, the default photo viewer becomes Photos. To get back Windows Photo Viewer: 

  1. 1
    Go to Settings.
  2. 2
    Go to the Default Apps tab.
  3. 3
    Under the Photo Viewer, Photos should be mentioned as the default app.
  4. 4
    Click on it, and you will see other options, including Windows Photo Viewer.
  5. 5
    Click on Windows Photo Viewer and Exit.

How to Restore Windows Photo viewer default In windows 10

For New Windows 10 Installation

Windows Photo Viewer is entirely unavailable on Windows 10, and hence activating it requires editing the registry. Editing the registry can go wrong in more ways than one, and make your system practically unusable and prone to repair and troubleshooting.

Copy this code and save it as a .reg file. Once saved, double click on this file. It will give you the option to merge with the Windows registry. You will also need to allow this file to make changes to the registry by clicking Yes in User Account Control.

Go through with the same, and Windows Photo Viewer will have been activated.

To set Windows Photo Viewer as your default photo viewer:

  1. 1
    Go to the Control Panel.
  2. 2
    Now go to Default Programs and click on Set Default Programs.
  3. 3
    In the list, you will be able to find Windows Photo Viewer.
  4. 4
    Click on Windows Photo Viewer and select Set This Program As Default.
  5. 5
    This sets the Windows Photo Viewer as the default program for all its file types.


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Piyush Kashyap is a Ph.D student at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur. He is a budding editor/ writer and has been working as a part-time reviewer for online content. He loves to read tech-based articles and has a knack for reviewing such articles He likes to stay updated about the latest trends in technology. He has also been working as a reviewer for many scientific journals. He also writes articles based on science. Know More About Piyush

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