The most versatile of all viewers to read over 500 types of graphic files and convert any of these to over 70 formats.


Our rating: 

License: Free (Private/Educational use)
Review & Alternatives: Best Free Digital Image Viewer

Pros & Cons:

Fast, lots of features, very manageable, many plug-ins.
The batch processing options could be better implemented.

Our Review:

XnView used to be my Top Pick till the release of Zoner Photo Studio Free and I would really keep it as such if there could be two of them. It's probably the most versatile of all viewers because it can read over 500 types of graphic files (some of them may require plug-ins) and convert any of these to over 70 formats.

It displays images very quickly and they can be viewed in full screen, as thumbnails, as slideshows, or arranged in different lists and according to many options for sorting them out.

It's quite capable at processing images, too; you can rotate, crop, resize, adjust brightness and color, apply filters or effects, create a web page and much more. Most of these operations can also be carried out as a batch, which is ideal for converting or processing multiple images with custom adjustments.

The thumbnail window can fit your preferences with several layouts and sizes; this is especially useful when displaying panoramic images in preview mode (see screenshot). Having the preview pane open does not slow things down like it often happens in other viewers. It offers nearly instantaneous hotkey and wheel zooming, and dragging the image around at any zoom level is perfectly smooth.

It also allows having several images open at the same time and even running multiple instances of the program if you like to browse in different windows.

There are many options to customize in the settings. It supports drag and drop, color management (with slower loading times), geotagging, lots of plug-ins, and is available in 45+ languages.

It comes in different editions (Minimal, Standard and Extended) and a special enhanced version of the program, called XnView MP, is under development. This one might replace the original, which is a heavyweight champion already.

XnView was reviewed by on based on version 2.36.


I've used IrfanView for years. It does great batch processing. So now I use XnView for viewing and IrfanView for batch processing. It's so tiny why not have both tools in your toolbox?