Viewing and opening raw images in file explorer

How to

Microsoft has released a new extension to support Raw images in File Explorer. Here is how to view and open Raw photos in Windows 10 & 11.

Most cameras and smartphones use the Raw image format to minimally process photos taken with that device. The Raw image format is very different from normal image formats such as JPG and PNG. One of the best things about the Raw image format is that it retains all the data in the photo, allowing you to manipulate the photo as you wish.

By default, Windows File Explorer natively supports previewing several different types of image files. However, it does not currently support Raw image formats. This means that you will not be able to preview Raw images or open Raw image files using the Photos application.

Photographers or users who frequently use Raw image file types will find it quite inconvenient that they cannot view previews in File Explorer or open them without installing third-party software. By installing the Raw Image Extension from the Microsoft Store, you can preview Raw images in File Explorer or open Raw images using the Photos application.

Preview and Open Raw Images or Photos

To preview and open Raw images in Windows 10 and Windows 11, you must install the Raw Image Extension from the Microsoft Store. This extension is completely free. Additionally, Windows 10 version 1903 or Windows 11 is required to use the Raw Image extension.

If you are using Windows 10, please check your Windows 10 version number before proceeding. After confirmation, you can preview and open Raw images natively in File Explorer by following the steps below.

  1. Click here to go to the official Microsoft Raw Image Extensions page.
  2. Click the “Get” button.
  3. Microsoft Store will automatically launch. When prompted by your browser, select “Open Microsoft Store”.
  4. Click the “Get” button, then click the “Install” button.
  5. The above steps will install the Raw Image Extension.

That is all. You do not need to do anything else. After installing this extension, File Explorer will support Raw images and preview them automatically like any other image. Raw image files can be opened in the Photos application by double-clicking on them.

That’s all. It is very easy to preview and open Raw images in Windows File Explorer.

If you liked this article, we also suggest you take a look at our list of the best apps in the Windows Store and how to pin each app’s settings page to the Start menu, and how to disable Cortana in Windows 10 to protect your privacy.

YouTube video: Viewing and opening raw images in File Explorer

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