The built-in Photos app in Windows 10 supports most of the popular image formats out there, including the widely used JPEG, JPG, GIF, PNG, and BMP.
However, at times, when you try to open a picture file with the Photos app, it might not open the picture file and display “We can’t open this file” error message instead.
If you are also getting “We can’t open this file” error message while trying to open an image file, you can try out the following solutions to fix the issue in no time.
Check if the picture file is corrupted
More often than not, the Photos app displays the error when the picture file that you are trying to open is corrupted. To make sure that the picture file is not corrupted, right-click on the picture file in the File Explorer, click Open with, and then select Paint program from the list.
If the picture file is opening without any issues in the Paint program, it means that there is something wrong with the Photos app.
Check if the picture file format is supported by Photos app
Before we repair, reset, or reinstall the Photos app, it’s important to make sure that the Photos app supports the image file format that you are trying to open. As said earlier, it supports almost all the popular image formats. If the file format is relatively new, you might have to try out a third-party image viewer. If the file format is HEIC, refer to how to view HEIC pictures in Windows 10 guide.
Repair and Reset the Photos app
Windows 10 allows you to repair and reset the Photos app so that you can resolve any issues with the Photos app without having to reinstall it. Here is how to repair and reset the Photos app.
Step 1: Go to Settings > Apps > Apps & features.
Step 2: Look for Microsoft Photos entry. Click on it to see the hidden Advanced options link. Click on the same.
Step 3: Scroll down to see the Reset section. Click the Repair button. This will repair the Photos app. Check if this resolves the issue. If not, proceed to the next step.
Step 4: Click on the Reset button. When you get the confirmation flyout, click the Reset button again. When you reset the Photos app, Windows 10 reinstall it. So, this should fix the issue.
Manually reinstall the Photos app
If the solutions provided above failed to fix the Phots app error, try manually reinstalling it. Since the Photos app cannot be uninstalled via the Settings app, you need to use the PowerShell to uninstall it. Here is how to do that.
Step 1: At the elevated PowerShell window, copy and past the following command:
Get-AppxPackage *photo* | Remove-AppxPackage
Press the Enter key to uninstall the Photos app.
Step 2: Fire up the Windows 10 Store app, search for Microsoft Photos and then install the same.
Refer to how to reinstall the Photos app in Windows 10 guide for step-by-step directions.
Enable the classic Windows Photo Viewer
The classic Windows Photo Viewer is disabled by default in Windows 10. You can enable the same and set it as the default if you have issues with the Photos app.
Refer to our how to enable the Windows Photo Viewer and set Windows Photo Viewer as the default in Windows 10 guide for detailed instructions.