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How can I get thumbnails for Canon RAW (*.CR2) photos in Windows XP's Explorer?

Do I have to install a codec, and if so, which one?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Hands down, it's got to be IrfanView. It's freeware and can handle most image types with the installation of additional plugins:

Get the app here:

..and the plugins here:

One thing to note, from the readme:

CRW - (version 4.22): allows IrfanView to read Canon CRW/CR2 files (high resolution image version) Note: this PlugIn requires additional Canon DLLs. You can download these DLLs with the Canon ZoomBrowser program: or try here:

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Tried this already. I can open the images, but I still don't have preview thumbnails in Explorer. This may be some other issue, as I don't have thumbnails for .png ang .jpg either. Any suggestions? – takeshin Nov 2 '11 at 14:33
Hmm, is this any good? – Moif Murphy Nov 2 '11 at 14:57 download link does not work anymore. – takeshin Nov 2 '11 at 15:56
This is going well :) I've Googled for the file and came up with this: - and obviously the usual recommendations hold true if you're going to take a look at the zip: scan the zip file with anti virus before opening. – Moif Murphy Nov 2 '11 at 16:11
I have been looking for mirrors as well, but without suceess. Your link does not work either. – takeshin Nov 3 '11 at 7:13

Several years ago, Microsoft published a RAW thumbnailer and viewer specifically for XP that installs a shell extension inside Explorer for providing thumbnails of RAW files. Reading the description posted on the site, it appears to work for both Canon's and Nikon's RAW file formats.

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