9 Quick Ways to Windows Photo Viewer Can’t Open This Picture

This guide include all the possible reasons and 9 useful methods to fix the Windows Photo Viewer can’t open this picture error. If it’s damaged or deleted, please recover your picture first.


By Zoey / Updated on April 2, 2024

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The Problem: Windows Photo Viewer can’t Open This Picture

Windows Photo Viewer is a default program to view photos in Windows 7, 8, 10, etc. However, you may encounter problem while using it, like Windows Photo Viewer can’t open this picture, which prevent you from viewing view your pictures normally. The error message may vary for various reasons.

  • Windows Photo Viewer can't open this picture because the file appears to be damaged, corrupt or is too large.​

Cant Open Damaged Photo

  • Windows Photo Viewer can't open this picture because you don’t have the correct permissions to access the file location.​

Cant Open Permissions

  • 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.​

Cant Open Not Supported File

  • Windows Photo Viewer can’t open this picture because either the picture is deleted, or it’s in a location that isn’t available.​

Cant Open Deleted File

  • Windows Photo Viewer can’t display this picture because there might not be enough memory available on your computer. Close some programs that you aren’t using or free some hard disk space(if it’s almost full), and then try again.

Cant Open No Memory

Why Windows Photo Viewer can't Display This Picture?

What leads to such an error? Here we conclude some common causes for it. You could read it carefully and then fix the Windows Photo Viewer can't open this picture error.

Unsupported file format or outdated Photo Viewer.
● Corrupted, deleted, too large picture.
Encrypted picture.
Lack of correct permission.
Software conflict between phone backup suite and Photo Viewer.
● Not enough memory to display this picture.

How to Fix Windows Photos Viewer can’t Open This Picture

After knowing the common causes for the Windows Photo Viewer can't open this picture error, you can fix this error according to its causes. Here are 7 useful methods to help you. Even if your picture is damaged or deleted, you can get your pictures back effectively.

Fix 1. Recover Your Deleted or Damaged Photos

Before fixing this error, you need to check if your files are deleted or damaged. If so, please stop using it and recover your photos immediately. The best data recovery software like MyRecover can help you.

It is able recover photos and more than 200+ file types successfully and quickly in Windows 7, 8, 10, 11 etc, and Windows Server. And its intuitive graphical user interface makes it easy to use for all users.

Recover different types of images, such as JPG/JPEG/JPE, PNG, TIF/TIFF, HEVC/HEIC/HEIF, GIF, PSD, SVG, ARW, X3F, etc.
Recover deleted photos from SSD, HDD, USB, SD cards, etc.
Support two advanced scanning methods: Quick Scan and Deep Scan. The scanning process is automatic.
Filter specific image types quickly. You can specify the file type, date modified, and size and search for specific file extensions.
Recover lost image due to accidental deletion, software or system crashes, virus attack, etc.

Please download and install the best data recovery software - MyRecover. If the deleted picture is on external hard drive or USB drive, please connect it to your computer in advance.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

1. Run Windows data recovery - MyRecover. Then, hover the mouse over the disk or partition with deleted pictures and click Scan.​


2. The scanning process will start automatically. The Quick Scan is to search for deleted files while Deep Scan for other lost files. Once it found any picture, it will list in the following. You can then select the pictures you want to recover or wait for the scanning result.


You can also search for deleted or damaged photos with Filter and it’s faster. Here are 3 options in the following:

  • Type: It will contain all the file types in the local drive, such as, images, videos, documents, mails, webpage, compressed files, etc.
  • Data Modified: It supports today, yesterday, last 7 days, last 30 days, and custom.
  • Size: It allows you to filter file size from less than 128KB to 128KB ~1MB to 1MB ~ 512MB and above, or custom.

To retrieve deleted or damaged JPG image, you can directly type JPG in the Search for files or folders box. Or select image as file type. It will display all the found JPG images below.

Search for JPG

3. Check the scanning result. Select files you want to recover and click Recover X files to get all of lost photos.

Recover Deleted Photos


  • MyRecover will display the number of files to be recovered and their entire size.
  • Select a new location to store the deleted files. Retrieving files to original location may overwrite the space of deleted Illustrator files, resulting in data recovery failure.
  • It is also able to recover files from formatted hard drive, external hard drive, USB drive, SD card etc.
  • Except for Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, it still can recover deleted files from Windows Server 2016, 2019, 2022, etc.

Fix 2. Check File Format

Windows Photo Viewer only support a few file formats, including .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, .wdp, and .dib. So if your picture use a different file type, you can choose to open this photo in a different program. Or save it with a supported file extension.

Open Picture in a Different Program

1. Right-click the problematic picture and select Open with.

2. Scroll down to Choose another app and select it.

Choose Another App

3. Then, it will list all the programs you can use. Select another program and click OK to open it.

Save Picture with a New File Extension

1. Open the picture with another program. Here take Paint as an example.

2. Press Ctrl + S and save the file in the supported format.

Change Image Format

Note: Changing file format or extension will compress the large-sized high-resolution photos.

Fix 3. Improve the Memory Space

If you receive error messages like Windows Photo Viewer can’t display this picture because there might not be enough memory available on your computer. 

You can end some applications using a lot of memory in Task Manager. But this is only a momentary trick. If possible, you'd better increase the memory space or change it to 16GB or larger.

1. Go to Control Panel and System. Then, in System Properties, select Advanced and Environment Variables.

Environment Variables

2. Double-click TMP and change the variable value to another disk. Then, click OK.


Fix 4. Reset Color Management

If your Windows Photo Viewer has enough memory but still can’t open your picture, you can also try to reset the color management in a Windows PC.

1. Go to Control Panel and select Color Management.

Color Management

2. Select Advanced. Scroll down to Display Calibration and click Calibrate display. Keep clicking Next until the final window, click Finish.

Calibrate Display

Fix 5. Update Windows Photo Viewer

The outdated Windows Photo Viewer or bugs in it also makes you unable to view your pictures normally. So it is advisable for you to update Window Photo Viewer to the latest version and check if the problem still exists.

1. Open Windows Settings and head to Windows Update.

2. Click Check for updates to see if there are any available updates related to Windows Photo Viewer.

Check for Updates

3. Check in the box next to the Photo Viewer and click Install Updates. Wait until the updates finish and click Restart to make these changes take effect.

Fix 6. Remove the Picture Encryption

If your picture is encrypted, Windows Photo Viewer can not open it normally. Please remove the file encryption before opening it.

1. Find the encrypted picture in File Explorer. Right-click it and choose Properties.

2. Go to General and click the Advanced button.

3. Scroll down to Compress or Encrypt attributes and uncheck the Encrypt contents to secure data option. Then click OK at the bottom.​

Uncheck Encrypt Contents to Secure Data

Fix 7. Reset the Photos App

If your Windows Photo Viewer is not working, you can choose to reset this app in Windows Settings.

1. Open Windows Settings. Head to App & Features and select Photos.

2. Click Advanced options and Reset.

Reset Photos

Fix 8. Uninstall Phone Backup Suite

Have you recently updated your phone backup suite on Windows PC? If yes, Windows Photo Viewer might not be able to open your picture and there is a conflict between them. To resolve this problem, you need to uninstall the phone backup suite.

1. Just go to Control Panel and choose Programs and Features.

Programs And Features

2. Then find the programs related to your phones. Select it (Nokia, Samsung, HiSuit of Huawei etc) and choose Uninstall.​

Fix 9. Check File System Error

If you receive the Windows Photo Viewer can’t display this picture in a USB drive, you can check if there are file system error and fix it.

1. Right click the Start men and click Command Prompt (Admin).

2. Copy and paste the following command in Command Prompt. Then, press Enter.

SFC /scannow /OFFWINDIR=F:\Windows /OFFBOOTDIR=F:\


  • F is the drive letter of the problematic USB drive. Please replace it with yours.
  • You can also use sfc /scannow and DISM.exe/Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth to fix this issue.

How to Prevent Pictures Not Opening Issue

There are many reasons for the Windows Photo Viewer can’t open this picture error, such as file corruption, accidental deletion, file format, not enough memory, etc. So you can start from these reasons and protect your pictures safely.

  • Avoid renaming images manually or adding file extensions. And be sure the file extensions for known file types are hidden.
  • Keep updating Windows Photo Viewer or other similar tools.
  • Be sure you open pictures with supported file extensions.
  • Unencrypt the picture before opening it.
  • Don’t convert the files into improper formats, or they can get damaged.
  • Create at least two copies of your pictures with free backup software, such as AOMEI Backupper Standard.
  • Install the best Windows data recovery software like MyRecover. It helps to recover your pictures once you realize it’s damaged or deleted.

Among them, the best practice is to backup your pictures automatically and save it to two different locations just in case disaster. It can be internal/external disk, USB drive, cloud drive, network drive or NAS.

Step 1. Download and install Windows backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard. Then, click Backup and File Backup to backup your pictures.

File Backup

Step 2. Set the Task Name to distinguish this backup task from others. Click Add File or Add Folder to choose all of the important pictures. Then, select a location to save it.

Add Folders Files

Step 3 . Click Schedule Backup and enable DailyWeeklyMonthlyEvent triggers or USB plug in. Then, click Start Backup to backup your pictures automatically.

Schedule Settings General

Written in the End

If you have problems fixing the Windows Photo Viewer can’t open this picture issue, try 9 useful methods above. You can even recover permanently deleted photos in Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, etc. Before that, you need to know the reasons for it.

Not only fixing this error, it also helps to prevent pictures not opening issues. The most effective method is to create a copy of your picture and make it run automatically. Free backup software like AOMEI Backupper Standard helps you.

Zoey · Editor
Zoey works as an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She provides tech information about backup and restore, mobile data transfer, and so on for AOMEI. She hopes that her articles will be greatly helpful for users. She is fond of music, film, and photography.