IrfanView Reviews

Great, but...

by CeesT
about IrfanView · May 2017

On my Windows 10, it lies about JPGs being corrupt despite Windows Photo Viewer and the Explorer preview working fine. I suspect Irfanview is outdated considering (Japanese) Unicode paths.


My favourite image viewer

about IrfanView and XnView MP, WildBit Viewer, ACDSee ·

I've used many different image viewers throughout the years, starting way back in the day with ACDSee (not an option anymore these days, yuck!) at some point discovering IrfanView, then cycling through many alternatives but always coming back to settle on IrfanView.

It has everything I need and is of very high quality (no crashes, no weird behaviour, no lagging). It's very fast in reading and displaying pictures, so I can browse massive folders quickly. It has a lot of features, making sure that pretty much everyone can view their images the way they prefer. It's a very old school program: countless options to configure everything the way you want, rather than the dumbed-down "one size fits nobody" approach that is so popular today. There are also tons of keyboard shortcuts, that may take a while to learn (although, of course, you only look up the ones that fit your style of working) but will make everything so much faster once you know them by heart. In fact, that keyboard shortcuts are not customisable is the only real downside about IrfanView that I can think of.

Just as one usage example, I can create a slideshow over tens of thousands of pictures within a folder structure, and jump through images in a predetermined or shuffled order. The sequence is memorised, so I can jump back if I've skipped something by accident. Many handy zoom shortcuts allow me to inspect images in detail directly from within the slideshow. If I'm in a place of interest of a picture series, I can use the Ctrl+N shortcut to open that picture in a new, regular IrfanView window with full functionality, to e.g. apply edits or move back and forth among the pictures of the current directory. I can even compile my slideshow, whichever way it was configured, into a standalone executable!

This is just one use case, but I have found that no other tool supports it as well and comfortably as IrfanView, and that's a recurring conclusion for many other situations.

To compare to some other popular viewers: I have used XnView for a very long time, and still have it installed on most of my systems. It comes closest to IrfanView in terms of speed and feature set. The original XnView has become rather slow, but the modernised XnViewMP is coming along nicely now (January 2017) and I definitely recommend it, it pretty much ties for first place. I like FastStone Viewer, but it offers me much fewer options to configure its behaviour. WildBit Viewer is an interesting alternative in some cases, but its strange interface, and the way it's split up into different applications, make it rather unintuitive to use. Most other alternatives I didn't really find worth the attention at all. Most notably, ACDSee is terribly bloated these days. It's become so sluggish from years of efforts to make it do anything and everything, that it's almost unusable for its original purpose as an image viewer.

Overall, IrfanView still gives me the best overall performance in the biggest variety of tasks that I set it to. Two thumbs up for this one-man project!

[Edited by Anamon, November 27]

[Edited by Anamon, January 23]


Simply the best, even on Linux!

about IrfanView ·

I simply can't find a better alternative to this program anywhere else really.
Even on Linux, I have to run it through WINE even though it crashes sometimes :(
It's so fast compared to all other programs. So intuitive and a great user interface.
The RIOT plugin / stand alone program is also a great companion tool.



Best image viewer out there.

about IrfanView ·

This software has been and is still simply the best viewer, quick editor, resizer, optimizer for Windows platform!

So many fast and efficient plugins, the bat converter is simply awesome and save a lot of trouble. The RIOT plugin is also very useful indeed.

This is the first software I install on a freshly installed Windows box.