How to open XPS files in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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Affiliate Disclosure

  • XPS (XML Paper Specification) files are Microsoft's competitor to Adobe's PDF files.
  • If you happen to bump into this not so popular format, simply use Adobe Acrobat to convert it into a more user-friendly, fully-editable PDF.
  • Perhaps you're wondering what else can this tool do for you? Feel free to explore our Adobe Acrobat Reader section.
  • Don't be shy to browse our File Opener Hub as well where you can find the best solutions to open any type of file extensions.
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XPS (XML Paper Specification) files are Microsoft’s competitor to Adobe’s PDF files. Maybe this format isn’t as popular as PDF, but it could be useful to know something about XPS and the way they work.

In this article, we’re going to show you how to handle XPS files in Windows 10.

How do I view XPS files in Windows 10?

Convert XPS to PDF with Adobe Acrobat PRO DC

XPS files are one of the many formats supported for direct file conversion in Adobe Acrobat. Simply use this path:
File > Create PDF > From File to convert XPS documents into fully-editable PDFs.

Even if the option is disabled by default, you can still create a registry key on your Windows 10 PC that will allow you to convert XPS files to PDFs.

Simply open the Registry Editor, make sure to right-click it and select Run as Administrator, then type in the following command:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\(Wow6432Node)\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\DC\FeatureState

Close the registry editor and you’re all set.

Download Adobe Acrobat PRO here

Use the XPS Viewer

A while ago, XPS Viewer was Microsoft’s default app for opening and managing XPS files and it offered some basic functions like reading XPS files, zooming, printing, searching, etc.

But Microsoft changed the way you get XPS Viewer. In Windows 10, version 1709, and earlier versions, the app was included in the installation image and this is no longer the case.

Thus, you will need to install/reinstall XPS Viewer in the following instances:

  • if you install Windows 10, version 1803, on a new device
  • install Windows 10 as a clean installation
  • if you had XPS Viewer in Windows 10, version 1709, but manually removed it before updating

How do I install XPS Viewer on Windows 10?

The quickest way is from Apps and Features in the Settings app or through Features on Demand. Here are the steps to do it:

  • Open Settings.
  • Click on Apps.
  • Click on Apps & features.
  • Under Apps & features, click the Manage optional features link.
  • Click the Add a feature button.
  • Select XPS Viewer from the list.
  • Click the Install button.

Check out the best software to open all types of files on Windows 10.

There you go, these are the most common methods of viewing XPS files. What software are you using for the job? Share your experience with the rest of the Windows community via the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about XPS files and Adobe Acrobat

  • How do you convert XPS file to PDF?

You can use Adobe Acrobat to convert a .xps file into a fully-editable PDF document. Simply use this path: File > Create PDF > From File to do so.

  • What file types can Adobe Acrobat open?

The Acrobat supports a wide range of file formats such as: .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .txt, .rtf, .bmp, .jpeg, .gif, .tiff, .png, .pcx, .rle, .dib, .odt, .odp, .ods, .odg, .odf, .sxw, .sxi, .sxc, .sxd, .stw, .dwg, .dwt, .dxf, .dwf, .dst, .xps any many others.

  • Is XPS Viewer in Windows 10?

The XPS Viewer was installed by default in Windows 10 version and earlier versions. From the version 1803 above, the app is no longer integrated, but it can still be installed via the Settings -> Apps menu.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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