Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This question already has an answer here:

I have a really big PNG image, it's ~11GB. Is there any way to open it? I would just like to view it without too many problems.

I tried Photoshop CS6 and it's too big even for this kind of modern software.

I am using Windows8 64.

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Shekhar, Mokubai, HackToHell, Carl B Sep 28 '13 at 19:48

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

do you have access to a system with 16GB ram? if so, use it. – Frank Thomas Sep 27 '13 at 15:58
@FrankThomas I have 12GB. Any what do you mean by use it? – alex Sep 27 '13 at 15:59
I have trouble seeing how an 11GB PNG would be useful for ANYTHING. :) Regardless, aside from using a memory hog like PS, did you try viewing it with any image viewers? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 27 '13 at 16:00
to load a file, your system must have at least as much ram + page/swap as the filesize + the amount the base system needs to run. if you are having trouble with the file, I recommend you use a box with 16GB ram, since it will have enough capacity to load your file and run the OS without having to do too much paging. by "use it", I mean open the image on a system with 16GB ram. – Frank Thomas Sep 27 '13 at 16:02
What operating system are you using? Do you want to view the image or edit it? – terdon Sep 27 '13 at 16:07
up vote 16 down vote accepted

Photoshop CS6 probably has the most overhead per pixel of any program (i.e., is probably one of the worst for opening huge images like that).

You are not going to be able to view a 11GB image without too many problems. These images are specifically known as gigapixel images and there's actually a lot of research/development that's gone into this subject in the past few years. Image viewers/editors are not designed to operate on files of that size; 32-bit viewers in particular are very likely to exhaust their address space, and 64-bit viewers might not be much better.

The key point is that your image is not 11GB. It's 11GB compressed as a .png file. As an uncompressed bitmap (which is what an image viewer must convert it to in order to display it), it could well be over 50GB-100GB of data depending on how well it compressed.

If you only have 12GB of RAM, you might try restarting your system (to close everything down and free up as much memory as possible) and then loading the image in a 64-bit version of Paint.NET. If that doesn't work, then you'll probably want to start looking into something like VIPS, which is specifically designed to process large multi-gigabyte images in small chunks using multiple threads. This will not allow you to directly view the image, but you can break it down into smaller chunks that you can view.

You might also look at HDView, which is designed to process and display large images in a web viewer, and the GMaps Image Cutter is designed to do the same and present it in a Google Maps-like interface (works on more browsers/platforms than HDView).

share|improve this answer

First I would recommend you to use pngcrush. It will reduce/optimize the size of the png. With a tool like GIMP it shouldn't be a problem to open the PNG-file.

In GIMP, under Preferences -> Environment, you can adjust the "maximum new image size" and the "maximum filesize for thumbnailing". Maybe that will help. With the 12GB of RAM, that shouldn't be a problem to open the png-file.

Also you should close everything, that you wont need. Kill any processes, that aren't necessary to run the system.

share|improve this answer
pngcrush won't be of any help here. A viewer has to decompress the image to display it. – Darth Android Sep 27 '13 at 16:56
I'd look at the memory usage and swap settings of GIMP, set them up properly so that it has a specific upper limit (e.g. 10 GB) on its memory use, and then I'd open the image with GIMP. – pts Sep 27 '13 at 23:27

I would advise you to resize it, then open.
You could try with some command line tool, or if you don't like command line, this is a gui.

share|improve this answer

Does the Very Large Image Viewer work for you?

share|improve this answer
this works for .tiff only – alex Sep 27 '13 at 17:53
This is getting further afield, but you could convert it to a tif: – Dane Sep 27 '13 at 18:21

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .