Windows 10 Cannot Open JPG Photo Files

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If you’re encountering issues with opening JPG files on Windows 10 or 11, there are several solutions you can try. The problem might stem from various reasons, such as outdated applications, corrupted files, or system issues.

1. Set a Default Program for JPG Files

When Windows does not have a default program assigned to open JPG files, it can lead to difficulties in viewing these images. Setting a default program can quickly resolve this issue.

  1. Access Control Panel:
    • Right-click on the Start menu and select ‘Control Panel’.
  2. Navigate to Default Programs:
    • Within the Control Panel, click on ‘Programs’.
    • Then select ‘Default Programs’.
  3. Associate JPG Files:
    • Choose ‘Associate a file type or protocol with a program’.
    • Scroll to find the .jpg or .jpeg file extension.
    • Select a program like Windows Photo Gallery or another preferred image viewer.
    • If necessary, click ‘Change Program’ to select a different application.

2. Use Third-Party Photo Viewers

If the default Windows photo viewer is not functioning properly, installing a third-party application can be a suitable alternative.

  • Adobe Photoshop:A versatile tool supporting various image formats including JPG, PNG, TIFF, and more. Ideal for both viewing and editing images.
  • Alternative Viewers:There are many other reliable photo viewers available, each offering unique features and capabilities.
    • Explore options like IrfanView, FastStone Image Viewer, or XnView.
    • These applications often provide additional functionalities such as batch processing, editing, and conversion tools.

3. Repair or Reset the Windows Photos App

Issues with the Windows Photos app can prevent JPG files from opening. Repairing or resetting the app can resolve these issues.

  1. Repair the Photos App:
    • Press ‘Windows + I’ to open Settings.
    • Navigate to ‘Apps’ > ‘Apps & features’.
    • Find ‘Microsoft Photos’, click on it and select ‘Advanced options’.
    • Choose ‘Repair’ to fix the app without affecting your data.
  2. Reset the Photos App:
    • In ‘Advanced options’, you can also find the ‘Reset’ button.
    • Be aware that resetting the app will delete all app data, requiring you to resynchronize any linked services like OneDrive.

4. Update the Photos App

Keeping the Photos app updated is crucial for ensuring compatibility with JPG files. Microsoft periodically releases updates for this app, addressing various bugs and adding new features.

  1. Access Microsoft Store:
    • Open the Microsoft Store app on your computer.
  2. Check for Updates:
    • Click on the three-dot menu at the top right corner and select ‘Downloads and updates’.
    • Look for the Microsoft Photos app in the list of available updates.
    • Click ‘Get updates’ to download and install any pending updates for the app.

5. Run System Scans

Running system scans like DISM and SFC can help repair corrupt system files that might be causing issues with opening JPG files.

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  1. Run DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) Scan:
    • Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
    • Type ‘DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth’ and press Enter.
    • Wait for the process to complete, which might take some time.
  2. Run SFC (System File Checker) Scan:
    • In Command Prompt (admin), type ‘sfc /scannow’ and press Enter.
    • The scan will start, searching for and repairing any corrupted files.
    • Restart your computer after the scan completes.

6. Convert the File Format

Converting the JPG file to a different format like PNG or BMP can sometimes resolve issues related to incompatibility or corruption.

  1. Use MS Paint:
    • Open the JPG file in MS Paint.
    • Go to the Menu, select ‘Save As’, and choose a different format (like PNG, BMP, etc.).
  2. Online Conversion Tools:
    • There are several online tools available for converting image files between different formats.
    • Upload your JPG file and select the desired output format, then download the converted file.

7. Reduce Image Size

If your JPG files are large in size, they might not open in some applications. Reducing their size can help in such cases.

  1. Using Windows Paint:
    • Open the JPG file in Paint.
    • Select ‘Resize’ and choose either a percentage or pixel-based reduction.
    • Save the resized image as a new file to preserve the original.
  2. Online Image Resizing Tools:
    • Use online tools like Simple Image Resizer or to easily resize your images without needing to install additional software.
    • Upload your image, select the desired size, and download the resized image.

8. Repair Corrupted JPG Files

Corruption in JPG files can prevent them from opening. Using a photo repair tool can help in restoring these files.

  1. Photo Repair Software:
    • Download and install a dedicated photo repair tool like Stellar Photo Repair or EaseUS Fixo Photo Repair.
    • Load the corrupted JPG files into the software and initiate the repair process.
    • Save the repaired files in a secure location.
  2. Advanced Repair Options:
    • For severely corrupted files, some tools offer advanced repair options that require a sample image from the same device and of the same format for better recovery.
    • This process may take longer but can yield better results.

9. Disable Antivirus Temporarily

At times, antivirus programs can interfere with opening JPG files. Disabling them temporarily might resolve the issue.

  1. Disable Third-Party Antivirus:
    • Open your antivirus software.
    • Look for an option to disable real-time protection temporarily.
  2. Disable Windows Defender:
    • Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Update & Security’ > ‘Windows Security’.
    • Select ‘Virus & threat protection’ and turn off the real-time protection.

10. Update Windows

Updating Windows can resolve compatibility issues and bugs that may affect the ability to open JPG files. Regular updates often include patches for common problems.

  1. Check for Updates:
    • Press ‘Windows + I’ to open Settings.
    • Go to ‘Update & Security’ > ‘Windows Update’.
    • Click on ‘Check for updates’ to download and install any available updates.
  2. Automatic Updates:
    • Ensure that your system is set to receive updates automatically, which can help in keeping your system up-to-date without manual intervention.

11. Check for Encryption or Permissions Issues

Encryption or incorrect permissions on files or folders can prevent access to JPG files. Ensuring proper access rights can solve these issues.

  1. Check File Properties:
    • Right-click on the JPG file and select ‘Properties’.
    • Under the ‘General’ tab, check if the file is marked as ‘Read-only’ and change it if necessary.
  2. Decrypt Files:
    • If the file or folder is encrypted, use the ‘Advanced’ button in the Properties window to access encryption settings.
    • Choose to decrypt the file or folder if needed.
  3. Check Permissions:
    • Still in the Properties window, switch to the ‘Security’ tab.
    • Ensure that your user account has full control or appropriate permissions to access the file.



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