Which is the best Windows image viewer?

Justin Ellenwood January 1, 2013

XnView, Irfan View, FastStone? I am looking for a good photo viewer to replace the default Windows one. I would prefer that it opens the images fast like the default viewer.

I do not need it to have lots of extra features and image editing of any type. Which is the best for me?

  1. Rakesh Pal
    January 28, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    i think picasa is one of the best windows image viever

  2. Yashodhan Bhatt
    January 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    The fastest is faststone from http://www.faststone.org

  3. salim benhouhou
    January 17, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    i tried FastStone and find it good enough but i believe that the default viewer is better .

  4. Achraf Almouloudi
    January 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    If you want it to be as simple and as fast as the default viewer, why you just don't want to stick with it.

    • Justin Ellenwood
      January 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      There is just something about it that I don't like. I can't really explain it

      • Achraf Almouloudi
        January 8, 2013 at 11:36 pm

        If you can't explain it then there would be no useful feedback from your position and their developers can't improve it.

        • Justin Ellenwood
          January 12, 2013 at 6:23 am

          I think it has to do with the "look" of the windows image viewer. It just looks and feels outdated and clunky to me

  5. Saurabh Kumar
    January 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I would recommend Google Picassa........

  6. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    January 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    IrfanView is generally considered the best, although Picasa works perfectly fine for me as well. Both load image in a click. Can't say for the other because I never use them.

  7. Junil Maharjan
    January 2, 2013 at 5:36 am

    The windows default viewer is great. I would prefer to use Picasa as well which has a great interface.

  8. Jim Chambers
    January 2, 2013 at 12:26 am

    How about Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

    • Justin Ellenwood
      January 2, 2013 at 4:58 am


  9. Paul Pruitt
    January 2, 2013 at 12:23 am

    I agree with Fawad, if you just want viewing, Picasa is great intuitive and automatic, although sometimes it's dicey about how to add photos to its purview.

    However for speed, I think you can't beat IrfanView. Use the IrfanView Thumbnails viewer or use the blue arrows in the middle of the toolbar of the regular interface, to cycle through a folder.

  10. RG
    January 1, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    XnView has many strengths and features and deserves a mention here.

  11. Âdil Farôôq
    January 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Irfan View will be the best choice if you need that speed to look images like windows default viewer has.

    • Justin Ellenwood
      January 2, 2013 at 4:57 am

      That is really what I was looking for

  12. Alex Schnapps
    January 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I use Irfan View, long time ago, for me it's the best. IMO the fastest.

  13. Ashwin Ramesh
    January 1, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I've been using Google's picasa viewer. Its pretty darn good I should say. Not only for sharing, but also for editing! Give that a try I would say.

  14. Anonymous
    January 1, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I have found picassa the fastest way to view and organize photos in windows. you can download it for free on

    • Justin Ellenwood
      January 2, 2013 at 4:57 am

      I use it for organization but do not like it for viewing

  15. Rajaa Chowdhury
    January 1, 2013 at 10:28 am

    I personally prefer IrfanView since ages, must I guess a image viewer is more of personal choice and liking. Do try a few and the trial and error method is what I suggest to find your personal best fit. Then you can always uninstall the others that you do not like

  16. Patrick Jackson
    January 1, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Trust me, Irfan View could be the best for you. It is also available in portable version.

    As far as general editing is concered, Irfan View can handle it, but for advanced ones, better use apps like GIMP or buy PhotoShop.

  17. Nikhil Chandak
    January 1, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Why dont u try out Google's Picasa photo viewer , and u can edit pics also in Picasa !!
    U can upload your pics to Google Plus using Picasa ......
    It's very much amazing and better than the Windows Photo Viewer !!
    Here's the download link of Picasa (latest version) : http://picasa.google.co.in/
    Enjoy ... ;)

    • Justin Ellenwood
      January 2, 2013 at 4:56 am

      I use Picasa for organization and face recognition. I do not like it as a simple image viewer though

      • Nikhil Chandak
        January 2, 2013 at 1:34 pm

        Then , from my opinion - Irfan View !!

  18. Rob Hindle
    January 1, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Irfan is super fast to load, definitely one of my "must have" programs.
    Just as a viewer it's fine but the basic editing functions (crop, resize etc) are great too.

    That said, have you tried the 3 in your short-list and found any advantages/disadvantages? is there something you need that none of those do well?

    It may be worthwhile checking the version history (are they all under active development?) and maybe look for independent reviews online.

    What's the documentation/help file like on each?
    What support is available?
    Those are good indicators of developer committment.

  19. ha14
    January 1, 2013 at 9:27 am

    there are pro and cons for each one for instance FastStone allows Compare images side-by-side (up to 4 at a time) to easily cull those forgettable shots


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