Movavi Photo Manager

A powerful photo-organizing software

  • Organize multiple photos
  • Easily find pictures by date, tag, or location
  • Batch-resize images
  • Enhance all photos at one time

Edited by Jason Parnell-Brookes

December 12, 2019

Best Photo Viewers for Windows 10 in 2020

It’s true that the Windows 10 Photo Viewer that comes pre-installed on new Windows-based machines is, today, pretty comprehensive and packed full of features for generating video, adding animation, drawing and adding text alongside the standard ability to view images. But do these added complexities actually degrade the user experience from what it is as heart, a photo viewer? And does the user interface behave most intuitively for the average user? Well, if not, there’s more than one alternative to Windows Photo Viewer, and some come with a few surprises up their sleeve. So let’s take a look at some of the most popular photo viewer alternatives for Windows 10, and discover which is the best photo viewer for Windows 10 for your needs.

Movavi Photo ManagerFacial recognition automatically creates albums for each personImages must be uploaded to the software
Apowersoft Photo ViewerLow lag photo viewing for smooth gallery scrollingArchaic GUI looks like XP and has limited features
FastStone Image ViewerReads many image file types including camera RAWThe overabundance of tools for the average user
IrfanViewExpandable features with the use of pluginsOutdated user interface not to everyone’s taste
XnViewOpening tips windows are helpfulImages open in single tabs which are unscrollable
NomacsSupports filtration of geotagged imagesThe minimalist layout could be confusing for beginners
Google PhotosFree cloud storage that updates across multiple devicesCloud-based service

Best Alternatives to Windows Photo Viewer

Below we’ll outline the top 7 desktop-based image viewing software for Windows 10. Each software has varying degrees of editing capabilities including the ability to add extra plug-ins to make the software more desirable to specialist tasks such as batch editing, movie-making or animation. Whether it’s fast large image processing, a simple user interface or the ability to open many types of file formats read on to discover the photo viewer that’s right for you.

Movavi Photo Manager

Movavi Photo Manager does a great job of giving you the tools required front and center without complicated sub-menus and reams of directory lists. The automatic chronological arrangement of images makes it easy to sift through chunks of photos in a manageable way, with the editing tools themselves such as crop, rotation and tagging along the top of the program window. However, the editing tools apply to the images on the disk, and not a virtual copy, so there’s no undoing the editing once it’s been done. That makes editing through this photo viewer a little worrisome for those precious photos, and duplicating hundreds of files in the family album just so you can edit them seems antiquated compared to other batch editing software on the market. That said, it’s a solid photo viewing software and works reliably and robustly right from the off. This should definitely be one of the top contenders for those wanting to switch from Windows Photo Viewer.

This program is also listed in our top-10 photo organizing software. To read it, follow the link below.

The Best Photo Organizing Software

Movavi Photo Manager

Photo management made easy

  • Organize images at the click of a button
  • Quickly find photos by tag, date, and location
  • Edit multiple images simultaneously
  • View pictures in many popular formats

Apowersoft Photo Viewer

At first launch, opening a photo in Apowersoft Photo Viewer the user will quickly notice the absence of any controls or tools. That’s because they’re skillfully tucked away in a pop-up menu bar that appears when the cursor is hovered in the select locations (at the bottom and to the sides). That makes this photo viewer one of the cleanest-looking applications, with the image taking focus by filling the window. It’s great to have the ability to add shapes, lines, and text over the image but it looks and acts very much like the early days of Microsoft Paint. What it does benefit from, though, is the ability to save to cloud storage or share images straight to social media which makes it easier to share photos with friends and family across the internet.

Apowersoft Photo Viewer is also one of the top picks in our top-10 photo managers. To read the full guide, click the link below.

The Best Photo Management Software

FastStone Image Viewer

Possibly one of the sturdiest photo viewers out there that you can get for free, FastStone has done an incredible job at giving users a good spread in terms of navigation, simple image editing and viewing/comparing images quickly and simply. It can be a little slow at times with big image files, but it’s more than capable of instantly loading photos quickly at average resolutions. The directory navigation in the top left makes it easy to skim through the computer and hard drives without having to import photos. Thumbnails are clear and complement the larger file view which can be extended for close-up viewing while scrolling through said thumbnails. It’s worth noting that even though FastStone Image Viewer is free for personal and educational use, it requires a license for commercial use which costs $34.95USD, though for most of us, that won’t be an issue.


IrfanView has been a staple on many Windows machines for more than a decade and it’s easy to see why. It contains a whole host of image editing functions, including batch conversions and allows the addition of plugins for more specific tasks. IrfanView also mediates between your scanner and computer, so there’s no more opening the generic Scan window and fiddling with the settings – IrfanView does that all for you and then organizes the images, too. It may look a little long in the tooth but when it comes to pragmatic image viewing you need to look no further than this.


Laid-out similarly to FastStone’s Image Viewer, XnView has an easy-to-navigate interface that clearly displays all images and provides the user with a larger icon view of selected shots. It supports all the standard image file types such as JPEG, PNG and TIFF and even supports a few other codecs such as camera RAW and more. It even doubles as a multimedia viewing platform where you can open and view video and audio files as well. Though not quite as comprehensive as Windows Photo Viewer in terms of adding animation and converting files to video, it’s still a great free alternative for XnView Classic or a small fee for the beefed-up MP version.


As well as the standard viewing options you would expect from a photo viewer on Windows 10, you also get a neat Notes box in which to put comments for later use. This can be useful for those that need to export images for editing in more sophisticated software later, or simply to remind them who or what was in the picture. It also has some useful and fun tools in the Adjustments tab, one of which, Tiny Planet, converts your image into a cool globe-like square crop shot – great for 360-degree panoramas of landscapes. It’s worth noting that whether you’re using Nomacs privately or commercially, it’s always free.

Google Photos

Google Photos works alongside the other Google apps in its suite that deliver software online, rather than stored locally on the device. That makes it perfect for the nomad that always has access to the internet and uses multiple devices (laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.) and needs to synchronize edits effortlessly. You can, however, choose from five different storage modes, one of which is the OFFLINE mode to access your files wherever you are without needing an internet connection. The interface, as you would expect from Google, is smooth and modern with tools intuitively placed within the window, but does lack the ability to create movies or add animations like Windows Photo Viewer does.


Movavi Photo Manager

Photo management made easy

  • Organize images at the click of a button
  • Quickly find photos by tag, date, and location
  • Edit multiple images simultaneously
  • View pictures in many popular formats