FIX: Microsoft Photos rotates RAW images in Windows 10/11

by Teodor Nechita
Teodor Nechita
Teodor Nechita
Software Managing Editor
Eager to help those in need, Teodor writes articles daily on subjects regarding Windows, Xbox, and all things tech-related. When not working, you may usually find him either... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • RAW photos are a file format where all the data from the camera is still preserved.
  • This means that RAW photos are the best version of a photo that one can have since it includes information that is not visible to the naked eye.
  • While the stock Photos app in Windows is feature-rich, it is sluggish and does not provide the finest photo viewing experience.
  • Rotating photographs in Windows Photo Viewer is as simple as pressing the arrow buttons on the bottom control bar.
photo viewer in windows 10 is rotating my raw photos featured

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Microsoft Photos is a simplistic and intuitive photo viewer that was designed to be used as Windows 10 default photo viewer app.

However, some users have been reporting on Microsoft’s forums that Photo Viewer in Windows 10 is rotating their raw photos.

[…] lately any vertical photos will flip sideways automatically. When I try to rotate it, I now get “That didn’t work, RAW files don’t rotate. Select edit to rotate and save it as a different file type.” This has never happened before. I work with multiple photos and I really don’t want to have to change.

The problem seems to be quite common, as people with a wide variety of Windows 10 versions and cameras are having similar issues. More so, it would seem that uninstalling and reinstalling the app did not solve the problem.

How do I fix the rotating RAW photos issue?

1. Update Photo Viewer to the latest version

Store apps don’t update themselves by default unless you open the Microsoft Store. Once you do that, they will start automatically updating. However, there are cases when you have to manually force a store app to update.

You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows
  2. Type in Microsoft Store
  3. Press the 3 dots in the upper-right corner of the window, next to Search
  4. Select Downloads and updates from the dropdown menu
  5. A list of all of the Store apps you have installed will appear, and when it does, press Get updates
photo viewer in windows 10 is rotating my raw photos

2. Update Windows 10 to the latest version

Sometimes an old Windows 10 version can come in conflict with a newer version of Photo Viewer.

  1. Press Windows
  2. Click on Settings (the cogwheel-shaped button)
  3. Select Updates & security
  4. Click Check for updates
photo viewer in windows 10 is rotating my raw photos update windows 10

3. Try a different photo viewing app

Third-party photo viewer software may be the quickest fix to this issue. As a bonus, most alternative solutions come with more photo library management features than Microsoft Photos.

There are multiple options available. You can get a plain and simple photo viewer, or you can get a photo editing software with a built-in photo viewer. This can be a smarter thing to do if you are into photo manipulation and would use such a tool anyway.

Most photo viewing apps are compatible with all major media file formats, so you shouldn’t be concerned about that at all.

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They are generally intuitive and easy to use, so if you think about switching, don’t hesitate. You won’t have to spend much time learning how to use new software.

4. Run the app troubleshooter

  1. Open the Settings app from Start Menu.
  2. Go to Update & Security > Troubleshoot.
  3. Select the Windows Store apps option, and choose Run the troubleshooter.
  4. Follow further on-screen instructions to finish the process.
  5. Reboot your computer.

The finest feature of Windows is that it includes a troubleshooter for almost every tool, even programs acquired from the Microsoft Store.

So, if the Photos app or any other program isn’t operating properly, you may try running the app troubleshooter on Windows.

5. Make sure the file format you are trying to open is supported by Photo Viewer.

You can find out a file’s format either through the name (if it has an extension) or by right-clicking it and looking at the file properties.

Once you see the file’s format, head over to Photo Viewer’s download page or look into the help documentation to see if that format is supported.

photo viewer in windows 10 is rotating my raw photos file format

Although there is no save option in Windows Photo Viewer, when you quit the program after rotating an image, you will see the Saving message show briefly on the app.

Normally, Windows Photo Viewer encounters issues only when there is a problem with the file being viewed. It’s primarily a straightforward program that works well.

The only exception is if the program is unable to read EXIF data, which contains information about the orientation of the file. In that scenario, switching to a different app is an excellent option.

Professional image editors like Adobe Photoshop are excellent for opening RAW photos, as well as fixing any issues related to them. More troubleshooting guides can be found on our Windows 10 Fix page as well.

By following these steps, you should no longer have issues with your PC rotating RAW photos anymore. Let us know which solution helped you by leaving us a message in the comments section below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • In photography, RAW is a file format that captures all image data recorded by the sensor when you take a photo, without any compression. Professional photo viewers can easily open RAW files.

  • Most professional image editors are capable of opening RAW photos.

  • With RAW files, the image preserves most of the information from the camera, such as sharpness and contrast, while JPEG images are heavily compressed and processed.

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