Fix: We can’t open this file in Photos in Windows 11

Microsoft Photos was first introduced to the OS first in 2012. Since then, Microsoft has overhauled the UI, revamped the visual aesthetics to the point that transcends visuals of Windows 11. But, there are some issues that are still there. Some users have recently complained about an issue where they are not able to open the image files with Photos, instead of an annoying error message – ‘We can’t open this file in Photos’. There are some quick and resolutions to this issue.


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Workarounds

1. The file won’t open if it is broken or corrupted. Try to open the file using another image processor (like Paint) and check.

2. If the image file is on a shared network drive, you may not have enough permission to access the file. Just move it to your own computer and access it again.

 

Fix 1 – Check if the image is of unsupported format

There are some advanced image formats that Photos is yet to support. We have given a list of these unsupported formats –

WebP
HEIC
JPEG XR

You can either convert these images to .JPEG or .JPG file format and then you can access them with the Photos app.

Otherwise, you can use other third-party applications to access the file.

Fix 2 – Reset or Repair Photos

The quickest resolution for this issue is to reset the Photos app to the default setting.

1. At first, press the Windows key+I keys together.

2. Then, tap on the “Apps” on the left-hand side.

3. On the right-hand side, click on the “Apps & Features“.

 

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4. Now, check for the “Microsoft Photos” in the list of apps.

5. Then, click on the three-dot menu and click on the “Advanced options” to access it.

 

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6. Now, here you will notice two options under ‘Reset’.


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Repair 

Reset

7. Now, tap on “Repair” to repair the application.

Once the repair process is done, try to open the image file again.

 

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8. If Photos is still showing the error message, click on “Reset“.

9. Then, confirm the action with a tap on “Reset“.

 

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After resetting the Photos, just open the image file you were facing trouble with.

 

Fix 3 – Reinstall Photos app

You can reinstall the Photos app on your computer.

1. At first, click on the Windows key and write “powershell” in the search box.

2. Then, right-click on the “Windows PowerShell” and click on “Run as administrator“.

 

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3. Copy-paste this command in the terminal and hit Enter to uninstall the Photos app from your computer.

Get-AppxPackage *photo* | Remove-AppxPackage

 

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This will uninstall the Photos app from your computer. Close the PowerShell window once are done.

4. Now, open the Microsoft Store on your computer.

5. Here, search for “Microsoft Photos” from the search box.

6. Tap on “Microsoft Photos” again.

 

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7.  Further, tap on “Get” to install the Microsoft Photos app on your computer.

 

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After installing the app, close the Settings and try to open the image files again.

 

Fix 4 – Use the Windows Photo Viewer

If any of these solutions are not working, you can use the older Windows Photo Viewer app on your computer.

1. At first, download the Restore Windows Photo Viewer.

2. Then, double click on the “Restore Windows Photo Viewer” to run on your computer.

 

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3. Now, tap on “Next” to proceed further.

 

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4. Then, click on “Install” to install it on your computer.

 

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Once the installation process is done, close the installer. Restore Windows Photo Viewer should automatically open up.

5. Here, just click on the “Restore Windows Photo Viewer” to restore it.

 

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Now, you can use the Windows Photo Viewer. Try to open the conflicting image files again using this Windows Photo Viewer. Check whether it is working or not.

 

Fix 5 – Choose the default apps by file type

You can choose the ‘Photos’ app by default for the file types of your choice.


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1. At first, open the Settings window.

2. Then, tap on “Apps“.

3. Next, on the right-hand side, click on the “Default Apps“.

 

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4. Now, on the same part of the screen, scroll down and tap on “Default apps by file type“.

 

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5. Now, look for the image file types (like .jpeg, .jpg, etc.).

6. Tap on the first one to change the default setting.

 

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7. Then, select the “Photos” app from the list.

8. Further, click on “OK” to set as default settings.

 

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9. Now, repeat the same thing for other extensions associated with image files and set those to Photos.

 

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Once you are done, close the Settings.

Photos will start to work and all those conflicting images will open without further error.

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1 thought on “Fix: We can’t open this file in Photos in Windows 11”

  1. I couldn’t open .jpg files and others from Windows Explorer in Windows 11. I used the solution 4 and downloaded the Windows Photo Viewer. It works again as it should. Thanks a lot.

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