Windows Photo Viewer (WPV) is the default photo viewer in Windows 8.1, 8 and 7. Windows 10 users can still use image opening software, but this is not the default photo viewer on the platform. WPV sometimes returns this error message to some users: "Windows Photo Viewer cannot open this image because the Photo Viewer does not support this file or you do not have the latest updates. As a result, WPV users cannot open their images using software.

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Windows 10 the latest current operating system in the application, which includes, called Photos, to see all types of photos and images in the operating system.This is compatible with most formats, such as those most commonly used by users:JPEG, JPG, PNG and GIF,among others.Despite this, there are some formats that this application does not contain or does not allow us to visualize, so we are looking for a solution.

Error Message: Windows Photo Viewer Can"t Open This Picture

There are a lot of people complaining that the Windows photos won"t open; they don’t know how to troubleshoot. Before talking aboutWindows Photo Viewer can"t open this picture, I’d like to introduce Windows Photo Viewer (WPV) in brief.


What Is Windows Photo Viewer

As you can see from the app name, Windows Photo Viewer is a photo viewer in common Windows operating systems. Development history of Windows Photo Viewer can be divided into the following stages roughly:

Microsoft used Windows Photo Gallery to replace Windows Photo Viewer in Windows Vista.The Windows Photo Viewer was brought back by Microsoft since Windows 7.Windows Photo Viewer is deprecated in Windows 10; a new Universal Windows Platform app called Photos was introduced to replace it. However, you can still bring it back through a registry tweak.

Image formats that are supported by Photo Viewer: PNG, JPEG, JPEG XR (formerly HD Photo), BMP, GIF, ICO, and TIFF.

What can Windows Photo Viewer do?

Reorient all the items in 90° increments.Send photos to friends or families via emails.Show individual photos/pictures/images separately.Display all images saved in a folder as a slide show.Print pictures out directly or through online print services.Burn the images to a disc to save them.

What if Windows 10 Photo Viewer Not Working

I found various people saying their Windows 10 can"t open photos and they need help.

They try to open an image file (JPG, PNG, CR2, NEF, etc.), but a prompt window shows up to say that Windows Photo Viewer can"t open this picture. The corresponding reason for causing such a problem will be given after that in general. Though Windows Photo Viewer is not included in Windows 10 by default, you can bring it back and set it as the default viewer by following the steps mentioned later.

Case 1: file is deleted or location is not available.

Case 2: not enough memory available.

Case 3: incorrect permissions.

Case 4: unsupported file format or outdated Photo Viewer.

Case 5: file damaged/corrupted/too large.

In summary, the Windows Photo Viewer can’t open this picture error can be caused by the following reasons.

Windows Photo Viewer is outdated and should be updated to the latest version.The file format of images/photos/pictures is not supported by the Photo Viewer.The file size of images/photos/pictures is too large; the image file is damaged or corrupted somehow.The image file is encrypted.There’s software conflict found on your system.

Can"t Open Pictures Windows 10?

I know it’s a terrible experience to see a prompt window saying you can’t open the photo while you’re expecting a preview. So I think it’s necessary to share the following methods with you to help you fix Windows Photo Viewer not working.

Method 1: Check File Format

Before you start to do anything to troubleshoot system corruption or software conflicts, you should go to check the format of the file you want to open and see whether it is supported by Windows Photo Viewer.

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Step 1: figure out the supported file formats.

WPV is an old application, so it only gives support to few file formats, including .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, .wdp, and .dib.

Step 2: check the format of the target photo.

OpenFile Explorer-> navigate to the drive/folder that keeps your photo -> right click on the photo -> choosePropertiesfrom the context menu -> look for theType of filesection under General tab.

You have mainly 2 choices if the file format is not supported by Windows Photo Viewer.

Use another program (such as Adobe Photoshop) to open the file.Convert the file to another format that’s supported by WPV.

Step 3: then, you should check whether the target image file is corrupted or not. Please try to recover the picture if it"s deleted mistakenly or lost suddenly.

Check out the postof how to recover photos/pictures/images with MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

Method 2: Update Windows Photo Viewer

How to start Photo Viewer update:

Click on theStartbutton in the lower left corner of the PC screen to see the Start menu.ChooseSettings(look like a gear) from the left sidebar.Scroll down to the bottom to selectUpdate & Security.Windows Updatewill be checked by default in the left pane. (If not, please click it.)Click on theCheck for updatesbutton in the right pane.Add a checkmark into the box next to thePhoto Viewer.ClickInstall Updatesand wait for the process to complete.SelectRestartin the prompt window appeared at the end of the update or click to restart your system manually.

If no update for Windows Photo Viewer is found, please move on to the next method.

Method 3: Uninstall and Reinstall Android/iOS Backup Suite

Some people found their Windows Photo Viewer not working after they have finished updating the phone backup suite on the computer. They can’t open images in Photo Viewer as soon as the update was applied. In this case, I advise them to uninstall the phone software suite completely and then reinstall it if necessary.

PressWindows + Ito open the Settings window.ChooseAppsfrom the main window.Apps & featureswill be checked by default.Now, scroll down in the right pane to find an item related to your phone’s manufacturer.Select the item and you’ll see anUninstallbutton appeared. Click it. (You can take a look at the information in Publisher column to confirm that this is the correct suite.)Restart your computer and try to view the photo in Windows Photo Viewer.Reinstall the suite if it"s necessary.


You can typeappwiz.cplinto the Run dialog box to openPrograms and Featureswindow directly.

Other methods you can try to fix it if none of these working:

Reset Photos AppRemove Encryption from the FileRun Windows Store Apps TroubleshooterPerform a System File Checker ScanDisable Inheritance

If the all the methods failed, you can also try to settle down Windows Photo Viewer can"t open this picture by following ways:

Check your antivirus.Enable thumbnail preview.Create and use a new user account.Change Color Management settings.