The default Photos app on Windows 10 isn’t lacking in features. It can open apps, rotate, crop, resize, and apply filters and effects to them. It’s also a basic video editor that can be used to stitch videos together. The only problem is that it takes forever to open images. For users who have large photo libraries, the app is almost impossible to use which is why they often look for alternatives to the Photos app on Windows 10. Here are 5 apps that you can try.
IrfanView is an old app. It’s been around for quite a while and it’s still under active development. Even in the days of Windows 7 when users had a pretty good default photo viewing app, IrfanView was still popular. This app is more than just a photo viewer and it’s a personal favorite of mine.
It’s great at handling large photo libraries and can quickly open larger images. It can;
- Resize and crop photos.
- Convert photos from one format to the other.
- Supports all popular, and some obscure formats as well.
- Supports annotation tools, and can also apply various effects etc.
- Supports plugins
- Batch process images
Classic Photo viewer
Speaking of Windows 7 and its awesome photo viewer, it’s still around. You won’t see it in Windows 10 but it’s there. It needs to be enabled via a registry edit. It’s not too hard to enable and it still works as well as it did on Windows 10.
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It doesn’t have a lot of advanced features. In fact, it’s a basic image viewer that doesn’t even support GIFs but for Windows users, it’s always been enough.
Nomacs isn’t just a really old app, it’s an exceptionally good one and it’s available for multiple platforms. The app can process RAW images as well as other common file formats like PNG, JPEG, GIF, and TIFF. It has basic image editing features. It can;
- Rotate, crop, and resize images
- Manage the hue/saturation, and exposure of photos
- View threshold information and meta data
The app doesn’t have any annotation features but you can view the meta data and the UI is possibly the cleanest of all the apps on this list so far. It also supports plugins which means you can add features to it.
ImageGlass is a basic image viewer. It lets you crop, rotate, and resize images and that’s the extent of its editing capabilities. If you need something basic, and fast, this is an app you ought to try. While it is basic, it still has a dark and light theme which no other app on this list does. It also has a color picker tool and if you select the Designer view for the app, the crosshair/cursor will display the RGB, HEX, CMYK, and HSLA values of the color under it in a little window at the top right.
XnView is the only other app on this list that has an extensive list of photo viewing and editing features. If you often need to import photos from a camera or your phone, this is an app you should consider trying out before the rest on this list. It has a built-in file browser that makes it easy to select folders full of images. It also has;
- A red eye removal tool
- Supports plugins
- Supports conversion to the JPEGLossless format
- Connects with scanners and directly imports scanned document
- Image normalization, equalization, and automatic levels and contrast tools
Picasa is one app we have to mention though it’s going to be discontinued very soon. It’s built for handling large photo libraries and there are few apps out there that compare to it.
Microsoft still hasn’t been able to optimize the Photos app which is why users are often on the look for suitable alternatives.