On my Windows XP laptop I normally use Windows Photo Viewer to view images. On Windows 7 the program is crap cause it doesn't animate GIF images so I'm looking for a better program for that.


  • View order based on a sort order - one problem I had with Windows Photo Viewer was that even if I set the order order to be Type or Modified Date in explorer, when I go though the images they are still in alphabetical order. I recently downloaded a gallery of images who's names are in a different order to how I downloaded them (Horo.jpg, Horo1.jpg, 10122003-6.jpg, bg01.jpg) and I would like to view them in the order I downloaded them at (created or modified date, I can't remember which is changed when you download from the net) so one thing I want to have is the ability to view the images not just in alphabetical order but also a different sort order say by date, type or size.

  • GIF animations - one of the reasons why Windows Photo Viewer is no longer useful to me is that GIF images don't animate, obviously a replacement program should do this.

  • Windows 7 compatible - this program is obviously for Windows 7.

  • Offline installation - my Windows 7 computer doesn't connect to the internet, as such I need to be able to install the program without a net connection.

  • 32/64 bit indifferent - some programs (like iTunes) won't install a 32-bit version on a 64-bit OS, my Windows 7 is 64-bit however I can't guarantee that'll be like that when I get a new computer so would rather have a single installer which I can use on either 32-bit or 64-bit systems.


  • Price - I'd rather get it for free but if it's very good I'd be willing to pay for it.

  • Left/Right key scrolling - In Windows Photo Viewer I would use the left and right keys to scroll though images, I'd like to have this functionality in the replacement program as well.

  • A portable solution (however without Gif support) is to prefix the files: 00-bar, 10-foobar. Windows Photo Viewer then displays the images in the correct order.
    – ComFreek
    Jul 7, 2014 at 12:42
  • Google Picasa has all the features you said(but .gif images are not supported by it). Oct 9, 2014 at 1:37
  • I have on an old version of the ACDSee browser that is really good about sorting and stuff. You would have to look if the newer versions support animated GIFs and Win7
    – user416
    Nov 8, 2014 at 10:15

2 Answers 2



Just as user7009 pointed out in his answer, "sort order" is just how Windows Explorer shows you the files. It doesn't mean they are arranged that way on the disk. To have the viewer browse over these images in sort order, that viewer should have its own sorting mechanism. This answer is about that.

Once you install IrfanView, another icon will appear called IrfanView Thumbnails. You can use that application to browse to your pictures folder and use the Sort Thumbnails entry in the Options menu (see image), then you can double click any picture and start browsing in the order you specified. Note that IrfanView remembers the selected sorting criteria, so even if you open the images from Windows Explorer next time you view them, they will still be displayed using the order selected in the Thumbnails application.

Regarding your other requirements. IrfanView also:

  • Animates GIF images
  • Is compatible with Windows 7
  • Has an offline installer
  • Runs on 32- and 64-bit (installer is 32-bit)
  • Is free
  • Uses arrow keys or mouse wheel to flip between images

XNView: http://www.xnview.com/en/xnview/#downloads

If you're using it privately then it's also freeware, you are only required to purchase a license if you're using it commercially.

EDIT: I did not test it for your first "by sort order" requirement (which I'm not even sure is strictly possible, given that what you're seeing is not how windows actually stores the files) but this program is really versatile and is likely to allow this, one way or another.

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