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Windows 7: Recommend software to display more image formats in Explorer

05 Apr 2013   #1

Recommend software to display more image formats in Explorer

Hey folks, I've been trying to get at some .dds images - you'd think with how widely used they are now there would be native support or at least an optional download, eh.

I heard MysticThumbs was good, but it's trialware. Then I came across SageThumbs, which sounds like it fits the bill perfectly.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work on the .dds files I have:

As you can see the standalone program DXTBmp can open the .dds file just fine - but unlike an Explorer extension like SageThumbs you'd need to open every single image one by one to find what you're looking for. Yeahhh, nope. SageThumbs doesn't seem to have trouble with my other images though (just did a cursory check, didn't really look hard). It just fails on those files I need it to work on

Does anyone know of any other explorer extension for Windows 7 x64 that can display .dds image files?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Apr 2013   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro + Windows 10

This is from Nvidia but I think it works on some ati cards too.

How can I view .DDS files in Windows?

The major problem is that Windows doesn't know what .DDS files are. This means that none of the standard Microsoft graphics programs can open them, and they won't show as thumbnails in your folders.

However, two freeware programs are available to deal with this problem.

First, you should definitely download IrfanView. - - This is a simple program that enables you to view and resize graphics files, including .DDS files. Using this program you can look at the files without having to start up Celestia - which is handy. Warning: although DDS files load very swiftly in Celestia, they take a long time to load into a graphics viewer - it will take several minutes for a 16k DDS file to load into IrfanView. Don't look at them unless you really want to.

Second, you might want to go to this NVidia website - ... tools.html - and download the DDS Thumbnail Viewer. This is a program that will enable .DDS textures to show up as thumbnails when you're looking at folders in Windows Explorer. Another warning: it takes the computer ages to produce these thumbnails, so long that you may well get annoyed and switch the folder back to normal icon view. It's frustratingly slow, but I guess this may still be a useful utility at times; you decide.


DDS Thumbnail Viewer
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2013   #3
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

I'd not heard of this image format. Here's another list of softeware that is supposed to work.
DDS File Extension - Open .DDS files
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Apr 2013   #4


I suppose the average user has no need to mess with DDS files, but they're in pretty much any Windows (DirectX) game. I'm modding Civ4 right now and they're everywhere

Thanks for the NVidia tools link, but it doesn't work for everyone in Windows 7 - was great back in XP though.

Forgot about Irfanview, had to install the plugins pack but it works fine, browse in thumbnails mode:

Looks like I'm going with Irfanview, thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2013   #5

Windows 8.1 Pro + Windows 10

I'm glad it works for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Recommend software to display more image formats in Explorer

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