Chances are you have not heard of IrfanView. You probably go about viewing your photos through a client, such as Google’s Picasa or you even use the built-in default viewer in Windows. No matter how you video multimedia, IrfanView can make it much easier and give you more options that what you are currently using. Our guide to IrfanView will show you how to get started and just what this free image viewer for Windows can do.

How to use IrfanView

When you are ready to get started with IrfanView, simply download and install the software.

During the installation, you will be given several options to choose from.

The first is where to create shortcuts as well as where to host the software. Click “Next” to move forward.


You will be given a rundown of the current changes in the software and what you can get from it. Click “Next” to continue.


This is the most important part of the installation process. You can change what files IrfanView is associated with by default. If you are looking to make a complete change, you can click “Select all” to do so. If you want to go through each image and media type one by one, you can also do so. Simply click each file type you want to associate IrfanView with by default. Click “Next” when ready to go on.


You are ready to install IrfanView now, so click “Next” to do so.


It will take just a few minutes for IrfanView to install on your computer when finished, you will be alerted and you can click “Done” to begin using the software.


You can open IrfanView in one of two ways, you can either open an image associated with it to view the image or you can just open the program.

If you just open the program, you will be greeted by IrfanView’s main screen.


As you can see, you already have a lot to work with when you open an image.

Click “Help” for starters.


IrfanView’s Help section will give you everything you need to know to get down to the gritty of the program. This includes help files, FAQs and even the ability to add plug-ins to make the program even better for you. If you ever need help with IrfanView, this is where you want to be.

Now, click “View.”


This allows you to control every aspect of how to view an image.

You can enter full-screen mode, you can move between images and you can also zoom in and out at will. The keyboard shortcuts come in handy when using any image viewer, so learning IrfanView’s shortcuts is key to getting the most out of the software.

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Click “Image.”


When you have an image loaded, you can resize, flip and rotate as you see fit from here. You can also look at the information encoded in the image, create a new image, swap colors, add effects and work with other basic photo editing techniques.

Now, click “Edit.”


Edit allows you to redo or undo changes you have made to an image you are viewing. You can also work with the ratio, insert text or watermarks as well as cut or crop parts of an image.

Click “Options.”


As with most software, this is where you can tweak how IrfanView works for you. This includes properties, resetting file associations and even capture screenshots.

Click on “Properties.”


This area will let you work with how IrfanView works for you. Before you truly get started with the program, work your way through each area of the Properties, because this will help you set up IrfanView the way you want from the start.

Finally, click “File.”


File is the basic area to work with when using IrfanView. From here, you can open files, watch a slideshow, search through files and print. You can also work with some other features from here as well.

This will get you started with IrfanView, what you do with it from here is up to you.


Why IrfanView? Why not something else?

IrfanView is a fantastic image viewer that offers much more than just letting you see a photo. You can edit, create and work wonders with each and every image you open in IrfanView. While you may not want to invest in more advanced photo editing or management software, IrfanView might be the simple solution you are looking for. While many other image viewers offer few features beyond simply viewing, IrfanView opts to give you more. If you are looking for a simple way to do the basics with images, IrfanView is for you. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Download IrfanView.