For the longest time, the default image viewer app on Windows used to be Microsoft Photo Viewer, which was the company’s in-house app that came pre-installed on the system and allowed users to view images without having to install a separate third-party app. While, for the most part, it managed to offer a decent user experience, Microsoft eventually replaced it with the Photos app, starting with Windows 10.

best image viewer apps for windows - best image viewer apps for windows

Although some expected Photos to be considerably better than its predecessor and live up to its claim, it sadly failed to deliver an uncompromising experience and bolster its claim. So, if you are unsatisfied with the current image viewer app on your machine or are on the look for an alternative to the Photos app (or even Windows Photo Viewer, for that matter), here are some of our recommendations for the best image viewer apps for Windows.

1. ImageGlass

ImageGlass is one of the open-source image viewer apps for Windows. Being open-source means that, in addition to using the app as it is, you also get to enjoy the benefits of being able to modify it as per your requirements. The app offers a clean and lightweight interface that loads instantly and is fairly easy-to-use. It claims to support over 70 different image formats (including GIF) and provides various zoom and window modes. For instance, you get auto-zoom, scale to fit, scale to fill, etc as some of the zoom modes, and window fit, frameless, fullscreen, and slideshow, as different window modes.

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What’s more, ImageGlass offers quick thumbnail preview, slideshow, image conversion into 10 different formats, and gives you the option to change different app settings as per your liking. The app comes with different view options, along with the option to view image properties and run slideshows, with different customizing options.

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2. XnView

If you are looking for an image viewer that offers a one-stop solution for different image-operation needs, XnView offers you just that. Besides being a mere image viewer, the app also offers you the option to browse and convert images on your Windows machine. You get a range of different image viewing modes such as thumbnail, full screen, filmstrip, etc just like ImageGlass, alongside the ability to perform a range of different operations like crop, resize, apply filters, change brightness/contrast, and more.

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Among other things, XnView also provides you metadata support, the ability to perform batch operations, and create slideshows and thumbnail galleries. Furthermore, the developer claims the app to offer support for over 500 image formats, which is quite impressive. Moreover, you also get dedicated settings for different features, which you can change to have a personalized experience.

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3. HoneyView

HoneyView takes a simplistic approach compared to some of the other image viewer apps in this article, making it more like an alternative to the Microsoft Photo Viewer. For starters, the interface is fairly simple and clean, with basic controls available right up front. It supports a wide range of image formats, including various RAW image formats, and also provides slideshow with different settings to choose from. Moreover, you also get different view types and the option to bookmark.

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Among other things, HoneyView offers you the ability to view the EXIF data for images, which can help you learn more about an image. Besides, you also get basic editing options such as convert, resize, rotate, along with a few batch image operations.

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4. Nomacs

Nomacs is another open-source image viewer app for Windows, similar to ImageGlass. It offers support for a large number of image formats, with semi-transparent widgets providing extra information like thumbnails, metadata, or histogram. The app provides image manipulation tools for adjusting various aspects of an image such as contrast, brightness, saturation, hue, exposure, etc along with its synchronization feature that allows you to view multiple instances of an image and have a detailed comparison and batch processing.

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Among other things, Nomacs provides a bunch of image adjustment options like grayscale, threshold, normalize, etc. It has different opacity and transparency settings, with different view options to choose from. You also get metadata for images, offering deeper insights into an image, along with support for plugins.

Download Nomacs

5. FastStone

For those looking for an image viewer that is fast, user-friendly, and offers a range of features, FastStone is the app for you. Besides being a regular image viewer app, it also offers different functionalities like resizing, cropping, retouching, management, and comparison, to name a few. The app provides EXIF information, which, as you would know, can prove to be handy at times when you want to know more information about an image. It comes with support for different image formats with various view modes and slideshow settings to choose from.

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Talking more about image operations, FastStone offers a plethora of editing and image adjustment features such as adjusting lighting and colors, swapping colors, and applying filters and watermarks, among other things. You also get different view layouts and slideshow, with the option to change the browser style as per your liking. Moreover, the app provides you metadata for images and also gives you the option to remove it and change timestamp.

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6. IrfanView

IrfanView is another alternative to the default Photos app on Windows, and it comes with a clean and simple design that is easy to use. The developer suggests the app offers only essential features, not running around offering a nimiety of options that would make the experience cluttered. You get support for different image formats with the app, along with basic image-editing options like rotate, crop, applying filters, screen capturing, batch conversion, and more.

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Moreover, IrfanView also offers EXIF data for images to provide you with more details about the image. You also get plugin support, an option to change the canvas size, color correction, histogram, apply effects, swap colors, among other options. Not to mention, slideshows, which comes with a bunch of settings and options that you can tweak as per your requirements.

Download IrfanView 

7. qView

qView is a clean and simple image viewer for your Windows machine. The app follows a minimalist approach, offering the most commonly used tools and options, making the interface decluttered and easy to navigate through. It is claimed to be less heavy on the resources as well, meaning, it does not hog up the memory and CPU, compared to some of the other feature-heavy apps you find on the internet. What’s event interesting with the app is that it is open-source, which means you can use it as it is, or customize it as per your requirements, if you know how-to.

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Talking about other features, although qView comes with a very limited set of features, it does, however, manage to offer some of the essentials such as displaying basic file info, various view modes, option to rotate, zoom, flip and mirror images. Moreover, you also get the slideshow feature with a few personalization settings.

Download qView

That’s it for this article!
Those were some of our recommendations for the best image viewer apps for Windows. Which apps do you use to view images on your Windows machine, let us know in the comments.

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