IrfanView Reviews

My favourite image viewer

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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]


A very reliable, fast and simple image viewer that does the job.

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I am 30 years old and I use it since my first pc, perhaps half my life. It might not be the best image editor but it never aimed to be. It's an image browser, viewer, you can use it for cropping rotating, saving... You get the idea. You can really minimize the mouse and keyboard usage required to do simple, often repetitive tasks. It's simply invaluable. I use it as a screenshot capturer also. Really, I could talk about IrfanView for hours. And I love the icon, I am happy it has not changed!


Best image viewer out there.

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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.


My two cents

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I will shamelessly admit that this viewer was the first, and last I have ever used in my entire (Windows) life.

Simply put: it has all features I ever needed: open image, slideshow, zooming, rotating, flipping, image information, cropping, copy-paste, thumbnail previews, keyboard shortcuts, batch processing, automated screen capture, EPS viewer plugin, etc. What the heck, if you can name it, you have it.

It also comes with a handful of filters, like red eyes removal, grayscale converter and RGC color corrections. But if what you want are filters, you are better off with GIMP/Photoshop.

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Very lightweight and fast. Lots of features and customization.

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It's simply the best image utility suite available, and it's free. It also has a plugin system (and many plugins available) and is lightweight but packed with features.


Great, but...

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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.


A marvel

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Even when it may have a somewhat unpleasant aesthetic (especially its icon), it is fast, light and versatile. This marvel is an essential part of the Freeware/OpenSource set of applications that I always install and use on my PC. Do yourself a favor, try it.


Simply the best, even on Linux!

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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.



Can't Replace :)

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It is simply great and very fast!
I cannot bring myself to use Picasa.

But I really didn't like the red eye reduction that much.


Good photoviewer

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I prefer this, I install on every machine. View all types of images. I can see how many pixels it is and crop it from there etc.


Fantastic tool at file level

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For all kinds of operations at file level, it be conversion, resizing, rotating, etc., this is it! I especially love the batch operation capabilities. For work at pixel level, look elsewhere.


One of the best, though the icon needs to go.

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Fast, simple, and solid feature-wise, especially the batch mode. But please, please find another icon(s) for both the program and meme types.


what other icon? i went to the site and it looks like this one except the lens

It uses the red panda(?)-thingy as both program icon and as file type when you set it as the default viewer, with little or no differentiation. Not only it is, IMHO, hideous and unprofessional it is also very ambiguous.

Most programs have individual icons for different file types/memes they support (i.e. JPEG, PNG, BMP etc) so you know what file you have at a glance, which is the whole point of an icon.

Hmm. i dont know what you're talking about sry :P, but why dont you change it your self (and then an admin will approve it if you're a regular user or thats not how it works? dont remember) or post a link with the right icon so i or someone else will change it.

I have no idea why anyone likes this program.

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It sucks as a viewer. It sucks as an image manager. It sucks as a converter. It sucks as an editor. It sucks for sharing. Its interface REALLY sucks. The built-in Windows photo viewer is superior to this thing.

Things that don't suck:

  • It's lightweight. If you're using a computer over 15 years old, this may be the program for you.
  • It's free. If you're broke and paranoid, this may be the program for you.
  • It looks like it was made in the 90s. If you have strong 90s nostalgia, this is definitely the program for you.

Your two cents is fine but calling the default windows viewer better is just stupid.
I can understand that it looks better, but you are putting that over everything that Irfanview has to offer.
I love the subtitle feature where I can put captions saying "2004 wedding"
But this software can do it all!

It is faster then any image viewer I have used.

I'm trying imagine what you mean in "sucks as a viewer". It has a fast zoom, paging, cropping, zoom-to-screen and file browsing through the directory. Probably our needs are very different.
"sucks as a converter" is plain wrong - it's an AMAZING converter that lets quickly do a lot of operations with an image or a batch of images in a single move.
It's not an editor, but if you need a quick crop, Paint-style edit, color adjustment or gamma correction - it's all at hand, on a hotkey.
Sharing? Really? An image viewer must post images to Twitter, Flicker and Shmixer? Well, nowdays, maybe. Maybe I'm paranoid because I don't do that.

Apparently you never tried to use most of the features, didn't know how, or your computer was broke. As far as the simple interface, it makes it less confusing & easier to use, especially when using some of the more complex features. If you like lots of pretty tiles with bright colorful, & blinky things, may I suggest Windows 10? For the rest of us who actually like to get some work done, the simple plain interface is the best. I'll save the fancy art for the art museum, & colorful blinky things for small children's parties. If this & a couple other programs ran on Linux, I'd never use a Windows machine again. And don't tell me about running it on WINE in Linux, it really don't work that way.