How to Open RAW Image Files in Windows 10.

Windows 10 finally has built-in support for RAW images, thanks to the May 2019 Update. You’ll just need to install an extension from the Store. There are also other solutions to open RAW files in older versions of Windows.

Windows 10: Download RAW Images Extension

To install and use the RAW image extension, you must be using the Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903 or later). If you can’t install the extension, you’ll need to install the update from the Settings app or

How to Open RAW Image Files in Windows 10

The codec for this free extension is provided by the people at and does not yet support all RAW image formats. To see if yours are compatible with this extension, check the project’s website for The RAW Image extension lets you view images in the Photos app, as well as RAW image thumbnails, previews, and metadata in File Explorer. You can open the properties window of a RAW file to view the metadata.

Head over to the Microsoft Store and search for “Raw Images Extension” or go directly to the . Click “Get” to install it.

How to Open RAW Image Files in Windows 10

Now click “Install” to install the extension.

After the extension downloads and installs, close the Store and navigate to the folder with your RAW images. Thumbnails are generated instantly within File Explorer without using an external viewer.

How to Open RAW Image Files in Windows 10

Double-click the image, click “Photos,” then click “OK.”

Your RAW image will now open directly in the Photos app without the need to download and install a third-party app like Photoshop.

How to Open RAW Image Files in Windows 10

To always use the Photos app with the RAW files you use, you can change the default program for a specific file type with our guide.

Third Party Programs

If you haven’t updated to the latest version of Windows yet, you can still view and edit RAW images using third-party software. One of the largest and most feature-rich programs out there is Adobe Photoshop, but if you’re not a professional photographer and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for it, here are a couple of programs you can use instead.


is the viewer software created by the developers of LibRaw codecs and supports the same formats as the Windows extension. FastRawViewer, as the name suggests, opens RAW files extremely fast and on the fly, instead of displaying an embedded JPEG preview like most RAW viewers would. Instead, it processes images directly from the RAW files, allowing you to see the true uninfluenced image, with the RAW histogram, making FastRawViewer the ultimate photo selection tool.

How to Open RAW Image Files in Windows 10

FastRawViewer is only for viewing images and does not modify them at all. It is available as ; then it’s a one-time payment of $25 if you decide to continue using it.


is an open source and cross-platform RAW image processing program. Features advanced color handling (white balance, hue saturation value curves, color tone, etc.), exposure compensation, batch conversion processing, support for most cameras, copy editing parameters /paste to images, file browser and .

While it’s not a fast way to view RAW images, you can use it as an alternative to Photoshop to view, edit, and batch convert all your photos to a more commonly used format. You can even install it as a plugin for GIMP if you already use it as an image processor.

How to Open RAW Image Files in Windows 10

RawTherapee is regularly updated with new features and is licensed under the GNU General Public License Version 3.

PhotoPea in your web browser

is a lightweight browser-based photo processing application that is up and running as fast as it takes to load a web page. PhotoPea runs entirely on the server, which means your computer doesn’t need the extra resource programs that Photoshop or Lightroom require. Supports hundreds of file formats, including most RAW images.

PhotoPea features exposure control, curve adjustments, levels, brightness, filters, and numerous brushes, layers, wand, and healing tools to choose from. You can even convert your RAW images to more commonly used formats to download to your computer.

PhotoPea is free to use, all you need is an internet connection and a web browser to access this powerful image processor.

How to Open RAW Image Files in Windows 10