How to Enable Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 11?

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With the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft has made the Photos app as the default image viewer. On Windows 11, Microsoft is still using the Photos app to open default images viewer. However, if you are not happy with the default Photos app on Windows 11, you can use the classic Windows Photo Viewer. That means Windows Photo Viewer is still part of Windows 11, and you just need to enable it on your PC.

Microsoft has removed the default file association for images from Windows Photo Viewer and associated them with the Photos app. That means, after right-clicking on any image, you will not find the Windows Photo Viewer app to open them. You need to add the relevant entries to the Registry under the FileAssociations key.

How to Enable the Classic Windows Photo Viewer app in Windows 11?

Step 1. Download the readymade Registry files.

Step 2. Extract its contents using any archiver tool.

Step 3. Now, double-click the Enable Classic Photo Viewer.reg file. Click the Yes button when prompted.

Once you complete the above steps, the file association part is completed. Now you can open .bmp, .dib, .jpg, .jpe, .jpeg, .jxr, .jfif, .wdp, .png, .gif, .tiff and .tif files with Windows Photo Viewer app on your Windows 11 computer. But, you need to select Windows Photo Viewer every time you open the image file. So to just open the image with a double-click, you need to make this app the default image app.

How to make Windows Photo Viewer the default image app on Windows 11?

To make Windows Photo Viewer default image app on Windows 11, do the following:-

Step 1. Locate an image file (for instance .png) and double-click on it to open.

Step 2. Now, you will see the following dialog:-

Step 3. Click on the Windows Photo Viewer in the list of available apps and check the checkbox Always use this app to open .png files. Finally, click on the OK button.

That’s it! When you double-click on a .png file, it will open with the Windows Photo Viewer app.

You need to repeat the steps for .bmp, .dib, .jpg, .jpe, .jpeg, .jxr, .jfif, .wdp, .gif, .tiff and .tif image files

How to Disable the Classic Windows Photo Viewer app in Windows 11?

In the above-downloaded file, double-click on Disable Classic Photo Viewer.reg file. Click on the Yes button when you are prompted. Now, the Windows Photo Viewer app is disassociated, and it is no more the default image viewer.

Now, right-click on the image file (for instance .png) and select Open with and then Choose another app option.

Select Photos app, check the checkbox Always use this app to open .png files and then click on the OK button.

You need to repeat a similar process for other image files when you open them the first time. Once you have associated the Photos app, you can view them in the Photos app by double-clicking on them.


  1. The page 1. the Readymade Files says ‘Access Forbidden’. Any way to ‘unforbid’ it?

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