Top 6 Ways to Fix Pho­tos Can’t Open This Pic­ture Issue on Win­dows 1011

Parth Shah

Microsoft Photos recently received a huge overhaul with Windows 11 transition. While the Photos app works fine most of the time, you might face issues opening certain types of pictures. In some cases, the Photos app fails to open in the first place. Read along to learn to fix Photos can’t open this picture issue.

Fix photos not opening in windows 11

The problem mainly occurs with HEIC files. iPhone, by default, uses HEIC type to reduce photos size. It can also happen with JPG or PNG files if the image size is too big for your budget PC to handle. Let’s go through the steps below, troubleshoot the problem, and open pictures in the Photos app.

1. Download HEVC Video Extension

For some reason, Microsoft treats HEIC files like videos. We first synced the iPhone camera folder to OneDrive and tried to open those photos in Microsoft Photos.

Instead of an image preview, we got the error shown in the screenshots below. The app will ask you to download and install relevant HEVC video extensions from the Microsoft Store.

HEVC video extensions

Click on the link, and it will ask you to open Microsoft Store. Purchase the video extension for around $0.99 and open the file without issue.

Download HEVC video extensions

We feel Microsoft shouldn’t put a price tag for necessary extensions like these in the first place.

2. Reduce Image File Size

If you are working with large RAW image files with photos size in double-digit, you might face problems opening such large files in the Microsoft Photos app.

You can either go with dedicated image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Affinity Photo to resize and reduce image size or opt for free web apps to reduce the picture size and quality.

Here are a couple of web apps that get the job done without installing any software on a PC.

You can also go ahead and use Microsoft’s PowerToys to resize images. PowerToys comes with other small utilities as well. Check it out from the link below.

Install microsoft powertoys

3. Convert Images to JPG or PNG

Microsoft Photos works perfectly fine with JPG or PNG file types. It’s Apple’s HEIC image format that might give you trouble. If you don’t want to pay for the HEIC extension, you can always convert HEIC to PNG or JPG and open the image in the Photos app.

We transferred such HEIC photos from iPhone to Windows and opened them up from the File Manager.

Read our dedicated post on how to convert HEIC to JPG on Windows, and you are good to go with opening such files on Windows.

4. Repair Photos App

If you have followed all the steps above and still facing the photos can’t open issue, it’s time to repair the Microsoft Photos app. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on Windows 11 (Use Windows + I keys).

Step 2: Go to the Apps menu.

Step 3: Select Apps & features.

Open apps and features

Step 4: Scroll down to Microsoft Photos.

Step 5: Click on the three-dot menu and go to Advanced options.

Open photos advanced options

Step 6: Use the Repair button under the Reset menu and let Windows fix issues with the Photos app.

Repair microsoft photos

5. Reset Microsoft Photos

Be cautious while using this option, as it will log you out from Microsoft Photos. All the app’s data will be deleted, and you must set it up from scratch.

Step 1: Open Settings on Windows 11 (Use Windows + I keys).

Step 2: Go to Apps and select Apps & features.

Open apps and features

Step 3: Select the more menu and click on Advanced options.

Step 4: Use the Reset button from the following menu.

Reset microsoft photos

Open Microsoft Photos, sign in with your OneDrive account, and try opening pictures again.

6. Update Microsoft Photos

Microsoft no longer integrates the Photos app to the Windows OS. The company distributes and maintains the app via Microsoft Store.

Update microsoft photos

Open Microsoft Store, go to the Library menu and download the latest version of Microsoft Photos.

Utilize Photos App on Windows

With a design overhaul, the Photos app also got new editing features. But those are irrelevant if you can’t open a picture in the first place. The steps above should help you fix the issue. Do let us know which trick worked for you in the comments below.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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Parth Shah

Written By

Parth Shah

Parth previously worked at EOTO.tech covering tech news. He is currently freelancing at Guiding Tech writing about apps comparison, tutorials, software tips and tricks and diving deep into iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows platforms.