Getting the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer back

In the case that you're no longer able to open your image files with "Windows Picture and Fax Viewer". Here's some small tips:

System restore

Valid for all OS. System Restore will solve your problem if it is recent. To do this, click on "Start, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore". Choose a restore point prior to the onset of the problem. This will be reset to the date of the Windows Restore Point.
Note that:
  • Your data will not be affected
  • Disable Spybot resident

Right click

  • Try the right click:
  • Right click, open with, default program, and look for "Image Preview". Remember to check the "Always use this program."

Windows Vista

It is important to distinguish the "Windows Photo Gallery" and "Preview image" feature.

Right click on the image
  • Open With -> Choose Default Program
  • Go to C: \ Program Files \ Windows Photo Gallery \
  • Click the bottom right of the dropdown and choose "All files" (instead of applications).
  • Find the file "PhotoViewer.dll" and double click on it.
  • Click OK and repeat the operation for the other image format.

Windows XP

  • Click on Start > Run
  • Type regsvr32 shimgvw.dll and click OK.

Published by jak58. Latest update on September 14, 2011 at 11:13 AM by jak58.
This document, titled "Getting the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer back," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (
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