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What Are and How to Open PNG Files in Windows 10

PNG and JPG are the most common formats for images. The PNG files they are a lossless compression file format, and are commonly used by web users. Do you know how to open PNG files? Actually, there are several methods and some of them are listed below. You can choose one that interests you to try.

What are PNG files?

A .PNG file is a portable network graphics image file. PNG files are similar to JPEG and GIF files. However, PNG files use a lossless compression algorithm that, unlike GIF, is not patented.

Lossless compression reduces image size while preserving image quality, where lossless image compression removes data from the image to reduce its size.

Is PNG better than GIF?

GIF uses a proprietary compression algorithm, so if you want to use your image publicly without worry, PNG is the way to go.

Another difference from GIF files, which can only provide fully transparent or fully opaque pixels, is that PNG files provide alpha channel transparency.

This means that any percentage of transparency can be assigned to a pixel, providing a smooth look when the image needs to blend in with the background, for example on a web page.

Is PNG better than JPEG?

Typically PNG and JPEG files are used for different purposes. For example, PNG is ideal for graphics where part of the image needs to be transparent, for example for use on web pages or in layouts where, for example, a product image is placed on top of a background image.

On the other hand, JPEG is great for digital photos, as the compression that JPEG uses is usually better, resulting in smaller photo files. However, JPEG uses lossy compression, so image quality will decrease depending on the level of compression.

Can PNG files be animated?

While PNG files cannot be animated like GIF files, the MNG file format (a file format related to PNG) offers animation capabilities. You may find an “animated PNG file”, which is actually an MNG file with the wrong file extension.

How to open PNG files in Windows 10

The following are some methods you can use if you want to open PNG files in Windows 10

Method 1: Use a built-in tool in Windows 10

When you install Windows 10, there will be many applications that will accompany it. Now, let’s see how to open .PNG files with a built-in tool.

Option 1: Using Microsoft Photos

PNG files

Microsoft Photos is an image organizer, graphics editor, and video editor provided by Microsoft. It was first included in Windows 8 as a replacement for Windows Photo Viewer. Generally, it comes with the Windows 10 operating system. If you can’t find the tool on your PC, you can download one from the Microsoft Store for free.

There are two ways to open a PNG file in Windows 10 using Microsoft Photos:

  1. You can right-click on the PNG file and select Open With> Photos.
  2. You can also press Win + S to open the search utility, search for photos and open it. Then click Import> From a folder to import your images into Microsoft Photos and then double-click the target PNG file to view it.

Option 2: Use Microsoft Paint

PNG files

Microsoft Paint is another raster graphics editor built into many versions of Microsoft Windows, including Windows 10. It allows users to open and save files in various formats, such as Windows Bitmap (BMP), JPEG, PNG, GIF, and TIFF . As this tool is easy to operate, it becomes one of the most popular embedded applications for image viewing and editing.

It is also free to use. Similar to Microsoft Photos, there are three ways to open a specific PNG file with Microsoft Paint:

  1. Right-click on the target PNG format file and select Open with> Paint.
  2. Search Paint to access this tool. Then click File> Open and select the file destination in the pop-up window.
  3. In the Paint app, tap Ctrl + O and select the file of destiny.

Besides Microsoft Photos and Paint, there are also many other similar tools provided by Microsoft, such as Paint 3D and Windows Photo Gallery. You can also use them to open PNG files.

Method 2: Use a web browser

You can also open the PNG files with your favorite web browser, like Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.

You just need to do right click on PNG file and select To open with. In the pop-up menu, choose the browser you want to use to open the file. Then you can see this file in PNG format in the pop-up window.

If you can’t find the browser you want to use after clicking the Open with option, you should click Choose another app> More apps> Find another app on this PC. Then navigate to the browser installation folder and select the application to open the PNG file.

Alternatively, you can simply open the PNG file by dragging and dropping the file into your browser.

Method 3: Use a third-party graphics editor

There are many professional third-party applications designed to edit images, such as Adobe photoshop, File Viewer Plus, FastStone Image Viewer, IrfanView, etc. Photoshop might be the most popular. If you are interested in any of them, you can also open your PNG files with them.

You may be interested in: 8 Programs To Create Vector Images

Method 4. Convert PNG files

Another alternative you have to open PNG files is to convert them to other formats. You can do this easily using the third-party programs that we have mentioned above or you can use other tools such as FileZigZag and Zamzar which are online converters.

Final words

When it comes to opening PNG files in Windows 10 there are many resources that you can use. Some of them are included in the operating system while others are third-party software that you can download and use either to open this file format or to convert them to other formats.