Associating .TIFF/.TIF files with Windows Picture Viewer

We found after building the XenApp desktop servers that the old Microsoft Office Document Imager was no longer part of Office and was removed after 2007. The other issue we found after that was forcing the new Windows Picture Viewer to be the default for all users. The main bonus of the Windows Picture Viewer is that it can view multi-page TIF/TIFF files, where as Paint is not able to.

The method below could most likely be put into the default profile you create for your server, but the following keys allow you to create GPO settings in the User Preferences under Registry.

Create a container in the GPO called what ever you like, this is only to group the settings together.

Now create the 5 keys below as Update keys.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.tif\OpenWithList
Value = a
Type = REG_SZ
Data = PhotoViewer.dll

HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.tif\OpenWithList
Value = MRUList
Type = REG
Data = a

HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.tif\OpenWithProgids
Value = TIFImage.Document
Type = REG
Data = 0

HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.tif\OpenWithProgids
Value = OIStiffile
Type = REG
Data = 0

HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.tif\UserChoice
Value = Progid
Type = REG
Data = Applications\\dllhost.exe

This also should be done for the .TIFF extension to cover all TIF images. The other decision for you to make is; should you create the keys once so that should a user change their mind about the default application to open TIF files. This can be ticked on each registry key you create in the GPO. To reduce calls for you can leave it so that the keys apply each time users log on.

If you do the above keys for yourself there is no need to log out of Windows to apply them, just restart the EXPLORER.EXE in your session.

Hope this helps

About Chris Ainger

I have been working in IT since 1998 in the Public Housing Sector. I have worked with Citrix since 2003 in the days of Citrix Metaframe XP 1.0 FR2. Since then I have been through the processes of upgrading to Presentation Server 4.0 with a farm of around 150 servers. Since then I have helped create a farm of around 200 servers using XenApp 6.0 on VMware 4.1. This was a great experience which has only increased during the upgrades of the environment for out 2000+ users. All of our clients are the WYSE 10 series using ThinOS which I have helped configure for individual users from a central location making administration very simple. I gained my CCA qualification in XenApp 6.0 in January 2012. I am a big fan of SolarWinds also, which is a great monitoring tool. It is very versatile with a small footprint of resource usage on the targeted devices. I am currently designing the interfaces for the IT department for daily use and also a Service view for the Support Desk Team. I am also a keen fisherman, having restarted again after 20 years. I set myself yearly targets to try to complete which makes this more interesting and belong to several forums of other like-minded folks. I, on occasion, fly fish for trout as a treat once in a while or when the fridge gets empty and also sea fly fish for bass and mullet. My main area is sea fishing from either beach, harbour wall or pier. There are so many species of fish to catch around the UK that you can mix up the locations to try something different.

7 Responses to “Associating .TIFF/.TIF files with Windows Picture Viewer”

  1. HI,

    I am tying to reset the default viewer back to Windows Picture Viewer for .tif and .tiff files after a program called BISCOM FAX viewer became the default. I have followed the instructions above and verified that the changes to those registry values took affect however when you view the default viewer in control panel it is still set to Biscom Fax Viewer. I can manually change it for my session only if I change the default association in Control panel. Any thoughts as to why it is not setting it back?

    • Hi.

      I am not familiar with this software but check the following:

      Can you confirm if there is a similar key held in HKLM? I wonder if that setting is forcing everyone to use the fax program as the default and is over ruling the HKCU settings. Also, does the software check if it is the default viewer for that file type each time it starts? Perhaps a systray icon is loaded on start up which could show you the settings.

      Let me know how you get on

      • I also should add that If I manually go into control panel and set the default file viewer for .tif to Wiindows Picture Viewer everything is set correctly for the current user. I can use Group Policy to set MODI as the default since it has a .EXE extention and GP allows me to specify the default program but MS Picture Viewer is a .dll and GP will not work.

      • Could you take a copy of the HKCU registry. Make the change in the control panel and take another copy and check for additional keys? Or use procmon to see where it is writing to, you may need a few extra keys for the software. You would also then have the settings you require in the registry file.

        Let me know

      • Yes, I was planning to use the sysinternals utility to do just that. Thanks!

      • Update me when you have tried it. Hopefully you will find what you’re looking for when you’ve tried this



  1. How to open .tif/.tiff files after office 2010 upgrade « Frustrated IT Engineer - June 21, 2012

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