Windows Photo Viewer is an excellent application for all those who want just that, open their pictures without any additional function. However, there are numerous third-party applications that can successfully replace this Windows tool, and some of them are bound to become indispensable once they are tested. One of them is IrfanView.
Pretty complex setup, yet minimal GUI
Installing IrfanView might seem a bit difficult because it prompts the user to choose the files they want the application to handle, so in case they just wish to use it as the backup solution, it becomes necessary to uncheck them all. Also, care needs to be taken when dealing with the offered toolbar unrelated to the software's functionality.
At first glance, the interface seems simplistic, leaving plenty of room for the actual displayed image and only presenting a few buttons for the basic actions. Nonetheless, the menus fully compensate for this simple appearance, since each of them comes with a large array of options.
Plug-in support and a few editing options
When it comes to its main function, namely image viewing, this tool can open almost any format out there while still enabling easy photo browsing. As a side note, IrfanView can be enhanced with third-party plug-ins so as to support virtually all graphic formats one could think of.
Despite its name, this utility can also do conversion and resize on the go, with the batch features proving to be both fast and efficient. In other words, one can rename, convert, resize, crop and change color depth of several images with only a few mouse clicks.
Context menu integration
This software profram has a very rich Settings window, which means users can change almost every single option the app packs, not to mention that it comes with multi-language support for easier use. It can be integrated within the Windows context menu to enjoy its features in a seamless way.
A final evaluation
All things considered, IrfanView is one of the best solutions one could find when it comes to handling photos, editing them, taking screenshots, viewing multi-page images, making panoramas or creating slideshows. And, probably the most important thing, it is free for personal use, did not burden the computer’s performance and did not hang, freeze or crash during our tests.A portable edition is also available for download, called Portable IrfanView.