How to open PNG files on Windows 10 computers

By: Elsie Otachi
4 minute read
How to open PNG files in windows 10

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A PNG file is one of the most popular bitmap image formats used today as it is a lossless data compression format created to replace the GIF image formats, though PNG files don’t support animations.

PNG, which is an abbreviation for Portable Graphics Format has no copyright limitations, and comes with great features like the ability to display transparent backgrounds, contains 24-bit RGB color palettes (plus grayscale images), and it contains high quality graphics.

Besides sharing graphics content online, PNG images are also used a lot with image editors like CorelDraw and PaintShop Pro, among many others.

How to open PNG files in Windows 10

  1. FileViewer Plus
  2. FastStone Image viewer
  3. XnView
  4. IrfanView
  5. Other tools

By default, the Windows 10 Photo Viewer program is sometimes used to open PNG files because it comes pre-installed with Windows. However, there are multiple ways you can use to view and/or open PNG files.

Web browsers, including Internet Explorer and/or Microsoft Edge, among others, automatically view PNG files from the internet, but can also be used to open them by pressing CTRL+O to find the file. You can also drag and drop the file to open it in your browser.

As mentioned, there are many other ways to open PNG files, especially using software and standalone file openers. Some of the most common ones include:

1. FileViewer Plus (recommended)

open png files windows fileviewer

FileViewer Plus is an extremely powerful software which will open over 300 file formats including all the most popular image formats. You will be able to open, convert and edit PNG, TIF, JPEG, ICO BMP, TIFF, RAW files directly in its interface.

The best thing so far about this tool is that it can be used not only on images. You can also open and edit video and text formats whithout having to download various converters that may harm your PC.

2. FastStone Image viewer

This tool comes with a variety of features including image editing, viewing and management. You can also use it to view PNG files. You also get great features such as slideshow and other transitional effects.

It is  worth mentioning that this software also supports the following formats: PNG, JPEG, BMP, TIFF, ICO, GIF, TGA and most RAW formats.

With this tool, you can also compare up to 4 images side by side at a go, so you can modify your photos for better viewing. It is also free to download and use, plus you don’t get the silly ad popups, adware or spyware that come with using free apps.

Get FastStone image viewer

3. XnView


XnView is another great tool for opening PNG files. You can also use it to convert images as it supports over 500 image formats.

If you need an image editor, XnView is up to the task. You can also edit images, resize, rotate and crop picture or adjust brightness and contrast, among other things.

The tool lets you export 70 image formats,  create slideshows, webpages, and so much more.

Get XnView image viewer

4. IrfanView

Irfanview windows 7 photo viewer

This tool is built to create new, unique, and interesting features for your graphics. Besides viewing PNG photos, it also supports filters from Adobe Photoshop.

You can use it to open PNG files, do file searches, email and print options, batch conversions for advanced image processing, fast view through directories,  Paint option, blurring, and you can also capture screenshots, change cut/crop, and add watermarks plus much more.

Get IrfanView image viewer

5. Other tools

Other tools you can use to open PNG files include Google Drive and gThumb. The best for editing, though, is the XnView software mentioned above, plus Paint (included with Windows), GIMP, and Adobe Photoshop.

You can set either of these programs to be your default one to open PNG files in Windows 10.

If you want to convert a PNG file, you can use different image file converters that can change it to JPG, PDF, GIF, BMP or TIF, among other formats and open the files.

Some of these image converter software include FileZigZag and Zamzar, which are online PNG converters. You can also use any of the image viewers mentioned above, to convert your PNG file and open it for viewing or editing.

PNG files are not necessarily used in every type of scenario as some can be too large and take up much space on your disk or are too large to attach on email, while others can slow down web pages from opening.

Before you open or convert one, think about the image quality, and space or web page loading, but the beauty is that the quality of the image in PNG format doesn’t diminish because the file format doesn’t compress the image itself, unlike JPG format.

Do you have other ways not listed here on how to open PNG files in Windows 10? Share with us in the comments section below.


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