Irfanview 4.53: The most efficient image viewer?

Irfanview, a no frills photo viewer

Irfanview is an extremely powerful image viewer and editor for Windows. It’s pretty well known and has been around since 1996! I decided to take a look at it and note what I think sets it apart from other image and photo software.

Irfanview 4.53 Image viewer review

Irfanview 4.53 main window displaying an image

Irfanview 4.53 Current features

Irfanview has all the features you would normally want in a photo viewing app. It can rotate, resize, crop, add text, and way more. There is also a really nifty feature that I like for being able to randomly display an image in a folder. Such a niche feature, but highly appreciated for my use case. Having said that, I would argue that its best feature is its speed and performance. 

People might remember back in the day of Windows XP the simplicity and relatively fast speed of the built in photo viewer. With Windows 10, the photo viewer was replaced by a more “modern” app. It looks nice, but the performance is certainly not there.

In my experience, Irfanview is the fastest performing image viewer I have ever used on Windows. This is especially handy when quickly navigating through folders of images or pulling up large photo files. 

Room for improvement

Irfanview icon, not exactly the best looking symbol for a great photo viewer

However, there are some things that could be improved about the software. Let’s start off with the icon itself. The symbol or icon for Irfanview is some sort of red creature and it looks straight out of the 90s web. For such a great piece of software, I find it a little odd that this icon represents it. 

This problem becomes more apparent when taking into account that by default, all image file types turn into this icon if Irfanview is set as the default program. This can be remedied by installing an icon pack that will differentiate file types with icons that spell the filetype JPG, PNG, etc.

Default icon settings for photos

Default Irfanview icons are not very useful and you can't tell filetype apart at a glance.

Differentiated icons thanks to the third party icon pack

Through the use of an additional plugin/pack, you can get much nicer icons.

For someone new wanting to try out Irfanview for the first time, the UI is simple but the preferences are a bit of a struggle to get a hold on.

Final Thoughts

Irfanview has been around a long time and is the default photo viewing app for many people around the world, and for good reason. It’s super fast and somewhat minimalistic, which can be very powerful for those that configure it to their liking and learn the more advanced features. 

Overall, I would definitely recommend it for anyone tired of the built-in Windows Photo app and looking for something else.

How about you?

There is so much great software out there, so be sure to let me know your preferred photo viewer and why you like it. 

Irfanview for Windows

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