windows photo viewer can't open this picture because either photo viewer doesn't support this file format or you don't have the latest updates to photo viewer"

this is message I have received for nearly every photo in my pictures folder.  Just updated to Windows 7 --- pictures opened up just fine in XP pro AND in VISTA home.....   what gives......



This 8 1/2 year old thread has long since run its course and is now locked.

The original question was properly answered on 17 February 2010, the day after it was asked.

More information:

  • There is no "update" for Windows Photo Viewer.  Windows Photo Viewer is part of the Windows operating system.  If any of its component files need updating, they will be updated if you use Windows Update.
  • If you have an image file type other than .jpg and .jpeg, .tif and .tiff, .png, .gif, .bmp and .dib, .wdp, ask your favorite search engine <<how do I open xxx files >>
  • If you have a version of Windows other than Windows 7, you should ask your question in the appropriate section of Microsoft Community.
  • If you have Windows 10 and want to use Windows Photo Viewer to view image files instead of the Windows 10 Photo app, you can find instructions for doing so by asking your favorite search engine.  One such site is
  • If none of the information in the Answer or above helps you, please read the following articles and ask your own new question.  Please provide details about your system and your particular problem and please ask your question in the appropriate section of Microsoft Community.

How to begin your own, new thread about your computer & your problem
How to ask a question



Question Info

Last updated March 25, 2020 Views 558,266 Applies to:

Hi Arielnancy,

As the sentence suggests, the picture file format may not be supported or you do not have the latest updates to photo viewer.

Windows Photo Viewer can only view .jpg and .jpeg, .tif and .tiff, .png, .gif, .bmp and .dib, .wdp file types.

For more information refer this link: Understanding picture file types

You may follow the steps below:

1.      Right click on any one of the picture and select Open With and click Change Default program.
2.      Now select the Windows Photo Viewer in the list.
3.      Now put a check mar for “Always use a selected program to open this kind of file”.

You may also try opening the same picture using Paint and check if you are able to open without any issues.

Check if you don't have file extensions displayed by default, right-click on an offending image and look at the file's name.

If you have not set it as default program to open images, do this :

Change which programs Windows uses by default

A default program is the program that Windows uses when you open a particular type of file, such as a music file, an image, or a webpage. For example, if you have more than one web browser installed on your computer, you can choose one of them to be the default browser.

Open Default Programs by clicking the Start button, and then clicking Default Programs.

In Default Programs, you can:

·         Set your default programs. Use this option to choose which programs you want Windows to use by default. If you want to use your Windows Live Photo Gallery or Photo Gallery to open all photos, use this option.

Refer to this link:

 Refer the link for similar issue:

Thanks and Regards:
Swathi B - Microsoft Support.

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