How To: Open and View RAW File Images on Windows 10

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Many digital camera users find that they cannot view RAW image files on a Windows computer, making it difficult to browse or edit RAW files. Saving captures in JPEG + RAW format is a workaround, but it increases the amount of storage space on the memory card. What is the perfect solution for viewing RAW images on Windows 10? In this tutorial we will learn how to view RAW thumbnails with camera codecs and open RAW images with the RAW Viewer under Windows 10.

The good news is that you no longer need to install third-party software to view raw data in Windows 10.

With Windows 10 Version 1903, you can open and view raw data in Windows 10 simply by installing the official Raw Image Extension from the shop.

Once the Raw Image Extension is installed, you can view raw thumbnails and previews directly in File Explorer, just like other processed images. You can also open raw images with the built-in photo app once the Raw Image Extension is installed on your PC. The latest version of the extension supports most of the popular raw image formats. If you want to see the list of supported cameras, please go to this page for supported cameras.

A raw photo is a kind of uncompressed image file format that looks more like a digital negative. Raw materials are comparable to the negatives that photographers can take with film cameras that are not directly usable images. However, raw data can still be processed in a visible image file format on your laptop or desktop.

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Follow the steps below to install the Raw Image Extension to support raw images on Windows 10.

How to get the Raw Image Extension

The Raw Image Extension provides native display support for images captured in RAW file formats. Installation adds support for all RAW image file extensions except CR3 and GPR.

  1. To begin adding support for RAW-extended images, you must download and install the extension from the Microsoft Store.
  2. Once this installation is complete, simply restart your computer.
  3. Full support for RAW image extension files will now be added to your computer.
  4. You can open these files in the Microsoft Photos App and other applications. You can also see the thumbnails of these images in File Explorer.
  5. This extension is still in BETA stage, but is publicly available and support for CR3 and GPR will be available soon.
  6. Users used to be expected to install third-party software or the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack to view and edit RAW files – but now this extension makes it easy.

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