Windows Photo Viewer used to be the default image viewer in Windows. However, Microsoft replaced that with the Photos app in Windows 10. But there are a few ways you can restore Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10. This is one way to restore it without editing the registry.
First, you should right-click the desktop and select New > Shortcut. That will open the Create Shortcut window. Enter rundll32 “%ProgramFiles%\Windows Photo Viewer\PhotoViewer.dll”, ImageView_Fullscreen into the text box.
Click the Next button and enter ‘Windows Photo Viewer’ as the shortcut title. Then click the Finish button to add a new shortcut to Windows. Click that shortcut to open Windows Photo Viewer as in the snapshot below.
This is Windows Photo Viewer, but you can’t open any image files with it! As such, it’s not going to be much good unless you specify a folder image path in the shortcut’s Target text box. Or you can do that in the Create Shortcut window.
So select New > Shortcut from the desktop context menu to open the Create Shortcut window again. This time press the Browse button and select a folder that includes your images. Enter rundll32 “%ProgramFiles%\Windows Photo Viewer\PhotoViewer.dll”, ImageView_Fullscreen into the same text box just before the folder path. Then the location could be something like rundll32 “%ProgramFiles%\Windows Photo Viewer\PhotoViewer.dll”, ImageView_Fullscreen C:\Users\Matthew\Pictures\Digital as below.
Click Next and Finish to add the shortcut to desktop. Now click the new Windows Photo Viewer shortcut. It will open and display all the images in the folder path you added to the location text box as below.
You still can’t select an Open option from the Windows Photo Viewer File menu. But this does enable you to open all the pictures in a single folder. Add multiple shortcuts to the desktop for alternative folders if needed.
Now you’ve opened some images in Windows Photo Viewer, you can open further pictures in the software from the Open with menu. Right-click an image and then click Open with to open the submenu in the snapshot below. Select Windows Photo Viewer from that menu to open the image with the program.
So that’s how you can restore Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 10. With that you can then set up slideshows for your favorite images in a single folder. You can also add the images to a writable DVD/CD with Photo Viewer’s Burn option.