Fix: Windows Won’t Open JPEG Picture Files

JPEG is a commonly used file format for images which is a lossy compression of digital images. This is the most commonly used file format by digital cameras and mobile phones. It usually achieves 10: 1 compression with little visible loss in the image quality.

There were a lot of cases particularly after the Windows 10 update where users were unable to open JPEG files with their computer. They either got an error or nothing happened at all. This behavior can be due to the default handler application for JPEG applications not being set or some other third-party image viewer might not be working correctly. Let’s take a look.

Solution 1: Changing file type association

We will check if the file type association of JPEG files are set correctly. Many third-party programs automatically change the file type association to themselves when they are installed and hence if they are broken, your JPEG files will not open at all. We can try changing this setting to the default photo viewer and see if the problem is solved.

  1. Press Windows + R, type “control panel” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once in the control panel, click on the category Programs.

  1. Now select the option “Default Programs”.

  1. Select the second option Associate a file type or protocol with a program.

  1. Select the option “Choose default apps by file type”.

  1. Click on the .jpg extension and select the option from the popup.

  1. Restart your computer so all of your programs can get refreshed and check if the problem gets solved.

Solution 2: Updating your computer

Windows roll out frequent updates to targets bugs and difficulties which users experience. The error of files not getting opened despite being assigned proper applications against file types is acknowledged by Microsoft itself.

Make sure your Windows is fully updated to the latest version and there are no updates pending. This solution can be a game changer.

  1. Press Windows + S, type “update” in the dialogue box and open the system setting which returns in the result.
  2. Now check for updates. Download and install them if necessary.

  1. Restart your computer completely after the update and check if you can open the JPEG files with ease

Solution 3: Resetting the Photos Application using Settings

Another workaround to solve this problem is to reset the Photos application using settings. This option resets all the configurations and user data associated with your Photos and makes the application go into a state when you first used it. This method solves any discrepancies that your application might be facing.

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the search bar. Type “settings” in the dialogue box and open the application.
  2. Once in Settings, select the category of “Apps”.

  1. A list of applications installed on your computer will be listed accordingly. Scroll through them until you find “Photos”. Click on “Advanced options” present under its name.

  1. Click on the “Reset” button present in the next screen. A new popup will come up stating that all the preferences and sign-in information will be lost. Press “Reset” anyway and let the computer reset the application.

Once the reset is done, restart your computer and check if the problem is solved

Solution 4: Reinstalling Photos Application

Before resorting to third-party applications, we can try reinstalling the Photos application. Thus if there is a problem with your application, it will get fixed instantly. Do note that this solution requires administrative privileges so make sure that you are logged in with an administrator account.

  1. Press Windows + S, type “PowerShell” in the dialogue box, right-click on the application and select “Run as administrator”.
  2. Once in PowerShell, execute the following command:
Get-AppxPackage *photos* | Remove-AppxPackage

  1. If the uninstall worked perfectly, you would see the following process in your PowerShell windows. Wait for it to complete. After the uninstallation is completed, execute the following command to install the application again. This process will consume some time so be patient and let the process complete. Do not cancel at any stage.
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers| Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}


Note: This command will install all the default apps again on your computer. Which means if you have deliberately uninstalled a default Microsoft application from your computer, it will be installed again using this method.

  1. After the installing process is finished, check if the Photos application works and you are able to open the JPEG files without any difficulty.

Solution 5: Using third-party applications

If you are still unable to open JPEG type photos on your computer, you can try using a third-party application for viewing the picture instead of relying on Photos application. Photos and other Windows applications have faced scrutiny over their poor performance and unreliability in the past. Using third-party applications, you will not have to depend on the default picture viewer to see your pictures.

There are loads of these ‘photo-viewing’ applications on the internet. Browse through them and choose your pick. Some of the popular ones are:

  • IrfanView
  • FastStone Image viewer
  • XnView
  • Picasa Photo Viewer

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.