Let’s face it, Windows Photo Viewer used to be and always has been the simplest yet most effective way to view our photos and rotate them.

In the later years Microsoft started to change how Windows looks like and made major changes to the interface.

The app “Photos” became the default Photo Viewer in Windows 10 and is no longer possible to get the old Windows Photo Viewer back without “googling“…

To make Windows Photo Viewer work again we have to first re-enable it by a Registry trick then make it default in Default apps.

We will also see what we can do to make the change to all accounts of the same computer.

Restore Windows Photo Viewer

Restore Windows Photo Viewer for Your Account

To only retrieve the classic Windows Photo Viewer for your current account we need a simple Registry File.

Download this file: Restore-Windows-Photo-Viewer-CURRENT_USER.reg

Then double-click on it to add the parameters to your Registry.

You will be asked if you are sure you want to continue, click “Yes“. You can create a backup of your Registry by doing Win+R, run the command REGEDIT and then go to “File” > “Export“, choose a folder to save your backup.reg file and there you have a backup in case anything goes wrong.

You can delete the file once the changes to the Registry have been made.

Now you can open your images using Windows Photo Viewer, let’s make it the default…

Go to your Default apps settings, click on the default Photo viewer and change it to Windows Photo Viewer.

Here is what this file looks like from the inside, I will not paste all files in this tutorial to save some space. By default the job of Windows Photo Viewer was limited to only support Tiff files by default, in this code we are extending his abilities to support other image’ formats (e.g bmp, gif, ico, jfif, jpeg, jpg, …).

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\.bmp]
@="PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\.gif]
@="PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\.ico]
@="PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\.jfif]
@="PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\.jpeg]
@="PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\.jpg]
@="PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\.png]
@="PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\.tif]
@="PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\.tiff]
@="PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Classes\.wdp]
@="PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.bmp\OpenWithProgids]
"PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"=hex(0):

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.gif\OpenWithProgids]
"PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"=hex(0):

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.ico\OpenWithProgids]
"PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"=hex(0):

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.jpeg\OpenWithProgids]
"PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"=hex(0):

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.bmp\OpenWithProgids]
"PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"=hex(0):

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.jfif\OpenWithProgids]
"PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"=hex(0):

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.jpeg\OpenWithProgids]
"PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"=hex(0):

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.jpg\OpenWithProgids]
"PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"=hex(0):

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.png\OpenWithProgids]
"PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"=hex(0):

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.tif\OpenWithProgids]
"PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"=hex(0):

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.tiff\OpenWithProgids]
"PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"=hex(0):

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.wdp\OpenWithProgids]
"PhotoViewer.FileAssoc.Tiff"=hex(0):

If you want to disable (remove) the Windows Photo Viewer and go back to what things were like before you can…

Undo Restore Windows Photo Viewer for Your Account

To go back to default settings of the current user in Windows we need to do the same thing, with another Registry file.

Download here: Undo-Restore-Windows-Photo-Viewer-CURRENT_USER.reg

Save the reg file and double-click on it, if prompted click “Yes” and should be Ok.

After this you have to choose a different Photo viewer since you have disable the Windows Photo Viewer, you can also try other alternatives or third-party software for viewing photos from alternativeTo.net.

Restore Windows Photo Viewer for All Accounts

If you have multiple accounts or plan to create other accounts in the future then you can try to restore the Windows Photo Viewer for all users in your Windows PC.

Download this file: Restore-Windows-Photo-Viewer-ALL_USERS.reg

Double-click on the reg file and confirm the Registry changes by clicking “Yes“. Now Windows Photo Viewer will be set to be the default photo viewer for the entirety of your PC.

Undo Restore Windows Photo Viewer for All Accounts

To undo and disable Windows Photo Viewer for all users we will use another Registry file.

Download here: Undo-Restore-Windows-Photo-Viewer-ALL_USERS.reg

There you have it, all you have to do now is recover your old photo viewer in Windows 10!

If you have any questions or requests feel free to submit a comment down below. Thanks a lot for your time & don’t forget to share this tip with your beloved ones.

Soufiane – WindowsCollege.com