Windows Photo Viewer unable to display animated GIFs? A solution.

When Microsoft released Windows 7, I finally had a good excuse to move away from Windows XP. Windows Vista was a dud and a major resource hog, and I had avoided it from the get-go.

There was one thing bugging me about Windows 7, however: the lack of Animated GIF support. Back in Windows XP, we had the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, which could display animated GIFs without any issue. However, come Windows 7 (and I assume Vista), this nifty little program was replaced by Windows Photo Viewer. And guess what? Microsoft does not consider animated GIFs to be photos. Go figure.

In fact, this extends to all GIF images by default, although you can get the Windows Photo Viewer to view all GIFs, it’s just that the animated GIFs won’t actually be animated – only the first frame will be shown.

Well, after a little sleuthing and some judicious Google-fu, I came across this post that provided a possible solution: a repackaging of the old Windows XP program so that it can run on Windows 7 as well. Download, run, and when you choose an animated GIF, just right-click on the image and choose this new image viewer as the default for GIFs.

Just in case the original source ever goes down, I have archived the installer on my own site. It has been compressed by 7-zip.

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