Adds native viewing support for images captured in raw file formats

Raw Image Extension

Raw Image Extension

  -  819.2 KB  -  Freeware
  • Latest Version

    Raw Image Extension 2.3.1221 LATEST

  • Review by

    Sophia Jones

  • Operating System

    Windows 11

  • User Rating

    Click to vote
  • Author / Product

    Microsoft Corporation / External Link

  • Filename

    Raw Image Extension Installer.exe

  • MD5 Checksum


Raw Image Extension is a digital photo addon for Windows 10/11 that allows all of its users to enhance the functionality of the Photos app and Windows File Explorer, allowing them both to fully recognize and reproduce digital camera photos that are saved in the full uncompressed RAW format. Extends Windows 11/10 to decode and extract EXIF metadata from Raw image file formats.

This format has become a standard for all serious photographers who want to retain all image data and allow advanced photo editing programs to tweak them and get them ready for printing, deployment in projects, online embedding, or saving into the local library of photos. By having this app installed on Windows 10 or Windows 11, all of the RAW photo files available in local memory or accessible via portable storage or network drives will become instantly available for viewing in a single click.

It is important to note that Raw Image Extension is not a standalone app. This is a system-level addon (codec plugin) that will enable several basic Windows 10 apps and services to become fully aware of the RAW image format and enable them to be reproduced. This means that Windows File Explorer will show thumbnails for RAW image files just like it does for all other common compressed formats such as JPEG, BMP, PNG, and others, and double click on RAW image file will fire up the Photos app that will be fully ready to load and showcase it.

While the Raw Image Extension app brings support for almost any RAW photo file recorded with modern digital cameras, some specific RAW file types will not be supported. Some of such unsupported Raw formats are GPR and CR3.

The app plugin requires the latest version of Windows 10 OS or Windows 11 in order to function. Users are required to use this addon on PCs that are running at least Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version number 1903), or a newer version of Windows 10.

To get Raw Image Extension up and running, users simply have to visit its official Windows Store page and click on the large “Get” button. The entire plug-in weighs in at just above 2MB, so download and installation will be quick on any PC and internet connection. To make the installation process as stable as possible, the addon will automatically scan the local Windows 10 OS and will finish the installation procedure only if it detects that an up-to-date compatible version is present.

Raw Image Extension is 100% FREE and represents one of the best ways to fully integrate RAW photo files into the core of the Windows 10/Windows 11 platform.

Main Features

Raw Image Support: The software extends Windows' support for various raw image formats, including CR2, NEF, ARW, RW2, and more. This ensures compatibility with a wide range of cameras.

Thumbnail and Preview View: Users can preview raw image files with ease. The software generates high-quality thumbnails and allows users to view the full-size image without the need for external applications.

Metadata Display: Detailed image metadata, including camera settings and shooting information, is readily accessible, aiding photographers in analyzing and organizing their image collections.

Conversion to JPEG: Users have the option to convert raw images to standard JPEG format directly within the extension, making it easy to share and view images without specialized software.

Integrated with Windows File Explorer: Raw image files are seamlessly integrated into Windows File Explorer, allowing users to manage, organize, and perform basic operations on raw files as they would with other image formats.

User Interface

The user interface of the software is clean, intuitive, and in line with the Windows design principles. It seamlessly integrates into the Windows environment, making it easy for users to access raw image files without any additional software clutter. The main window displays image thumbnails and provides easy access to image metadata. Users can also open and view raw images in a full-screen mode for a detailed analysis.

Installation and Setup
  • Visit the Microsoft Store or FileHorse on your Windows PC.
  • Search for "Raw Image Extension" and click on the app.
  • Click the "Get" button to download and install the extension.
  • Once installed, it will automatically integrate with Windows File Explorer, making it ready for use.
How to Use
  • Open Windows File Explorer.
  • Navigate to the folder containing your raw image files.
  • Click on a raw image file to view it in the extension.
  • Explore image details and metadata in the sidebar.
  • To convert a raw image to JPEG, right-click on the file and select "Convert to JPEG."

Does the Raw Image Extension support all raw image formats?
While it supports a wide range of formats, it's essential to check if your specific camera's raw format is supported.

Can I edit raw images with this extension?
No, the Raw Image Extension is primarily for viewing and converting raw images. For editing, you'll need specialized software like Adobe Lightroom or Capture One.

Is this extension FREE to use?
Yes, the Raw Image Extension is available for FREE on the Microsoft Store.

Does it work on older versions of Windows?
The extension is compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Can I batch-convert raw images to JPEG?
Unfortunately, batch conversion is not supported within the extension. You'll need dedicated batch-processing software for that.


Adobe Lightroom: A comprehensive raw image editor and organizer with advanced editing features.

Capture One: A professional-grade raw image editing and cataloging software.

FastStone Image Viewer: A free image viewer and converter with basic raw support.

XnView: A versatile image viewer and converter with support for various raw formats.

Darktable: An open-source photography workflow application and raw developer.


The Raw Image Extension by Microsoft is available for FREE on the Microsoft Store, making it an excellent value for photographers looking to view and convert raw images within the Windows environment.

System Requirements

To use the app, you'll need a Windows PC with at least Windows 10 version 17123.0 or higher. The extension is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

  • Free and easy-to-install extension.
  • Seamless integration with Windows File Explorer.
  • Supports a wide range of raw image formats.
  • Provides detailed image metadata.
  • Allows for convenient raw to JPEG conversion.
  • Limited to viewing and basic conversion; lacks advanced editing features.
  • No batch processing capabilities.

The Raw Image Extension by Microsoft Corporation is a valuable addition to any Windows user's toolkit, especially for photographers who work with raw image files. Its seamless integration with Windows File Explorer, support for various raw formats, and convenient image preview and metadata display make it a practical solution for quick viewing and basic conversion of raw images.

While it doesn't offer advanced editing capabilities, it serves its intended purpose well and is an excellent choice for those who need a simple and FREE solution for managing raw image files on a Windows PC or Laptop.