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Visum Photo Viewer review: A fast and attractive photo viewer for Windows

Visum Photo Viewer focuses on doing one thing, and it does that very well.

Visum Photo Viewer Lede
(Image: © Windows Central)

While a powerful program may be the best tool to look at an individual image, browsing hundreds of photos can bog down a machine. If you want to glance over a lot of files without slowing down your PC, Visum Photo Viewer is worth a look.

When I first saw Visum Photo Viewer, I asked why anyone would need such a program. Surely people can just use File Explorer or the Photos app to browse through images, I thought. After spending some time with the app as part of a regular workflow, I changed my tune.

Visum Photo Viewer: Price and availability

Visum Photo Viewer

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Visum Photo Viewer is available for free through the Microsoft Store. It's an open-source project, so anyone looking to contribute can help improve the app.

Visum Photo Viewer: What you'll like

Visum Photo Viewer can browse through images without dealing with lag or slow loading times. It also has an attractive interface that's easy to navigate and that looks natural on Windows 11.

I coach an American football team in Nottingham, England. After each game, I often have hundreds of photos to go through, many of which are quite large files. My goal is to find about 10-15 images worth sharing on our social media channels throughout the week. Visum Photo Viewer has a scalable grid view that works well for glancing at pictures. The app loads quickly when looking at items one at a time as well.

While it's certainly possible to navigate through my files in the File Explorer or another app, I found that Visum Photo Viewer presents things in a more natural way. All pictures appeared in the same orientation, and the layout is clutter-free.

The app also has a few customization options that are welcome, such as the option to move the image panel from the left to the right. You can also change the aspect ratio of thumbnails and toggle between light and dark modes.

You can view the most common image types with Visum Photo Viewer, including JPG, PNG, TIFF, and WEBP. It can also handle raw images. It lacks support for SVG files, but those are for graphic design, not image viewing.

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Visum Photo Viewer also has a few nice touches, like being able to drag and drop a picture from it to another app. You can also drag and drop files and folders into Visum Photo Viewer.

Visum Photo Viewer: What you won't like

Visum Photo Viewer Video

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The biggest weakness of Visum Photo Viewer is its editing capabilities. There are some light editing options for photos, like adjusting contrast and hue, but things are pretty basic. The app doesn't have a video editor at all, even for trimming clips.

These omissions don't bother me much because my workflow consists of glancing at a lot of images and then opening the ones I like in a separate program. If you're looking for a one-stop shop, Visum Photo Viewer isn't it, and you're better served by one of the best photo editing apps. If you want a photo viewer that can work as part of a suite of applications, Visum Photo Viewer fits the bill.

Visum Photo Viewer: Alternatives

Windows Photos App

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The primary alternative to Visum Photo Viewer is Microsoft's Photos app that's built right into Windows. The Photos app can be used to browse images and videos, make edits, and do a lot of the same things that Visum Photo Viewer can. I'd venture to guess that most people don't take full advantage of the Photos app, which can be used as an image editor, photo viewer, and even to edit videos.

In my testing, I found Visum Photo Viewer to be a bit quicker at loading images that were stored locally on my machine, but I'm not sure the difference is meaningful. The Photos app is much better than it was a couple of years ago.

I personally prefer the look and feel of Visum Photo Viewer over the Photos app, but that's just a preference, not something concrete or measurable. Visum Photo Viewer appears to have a clear identity. In contrast, the Photos app can feel crowded and bloated.

Visum Photo Viewer: Should you get it?

Visum Photo Viewer

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

If you handle a lot of images, then Visum Photo Viewer is a solid choice. It loads photos quickly and allows you to browse through galleries without bogging down your machine. Its design is easy to navigate, and you can customize the interface a bit to fit your liking.

Visum Photo Viewer is light on the editing side of things. You can only perform basic image edits, and the app lacks a video editor, even for trimming content. But it's called Visum Photo Viewer not Visum Photo Editor, so its feature set isn't surprising.

I preferred Visum Photo Viewer over the Microsoft Photos app for my workflow, which consists of browsing through hundreds of photos to pick out a few that I like. It's definitely worth a try, especially since it's free.

Visum Photo Viewer: The bottom line

Visum Photo Viewer focuses on its namesake, viewing photos. It doesn't have a lot of frills or powerful features, but it delivers a clean interface for browsing through images. If you deal with a large number of photos, Visum Photo Viewer will make it easier to find the ones you like without dealing with lag and slow loading speeds.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

3 Comments
  • I'll have to give this a try. "[MS] Photos" performance sucks on my Windows 10 machines. It takes a long time to load a lot of images and has a bad habit of just crashing randomly.
    By any chance, can Visium use the person "tags" that Photos uses? It is quite handy to be able to search that way.
  • This is a great alternative to native Photos app on Windows, and this is much snappier to use. Though for me what it really lacks is the timeline browsing and grouping of photos based on date taken in the library view. It is only plain flat wall grid of thumbnails that you can't distinguish when it was taken. This makes Photos app in Windows still better regarding browsing and navigation features alone. If this gains timeline grouping in library view, it will be a great contender as an lightweight alternative for those who only needs snappy way to view and browse photos. The UI design is already great, just tad way too basic when it comes to navigation.
  • I found that it is not displaying the thumbnails of pictures in OneDrive which do not have a local copy. I don't like it always showing all that is down in a folder tree. I think it should get a quick navigation folder tree side-bar. It should get support for projecting (partial) cylinder and spherical panoramas properly. Lots to be desired, but a good start.