My system in Windows 7 and fully up to date with all patches and options (except for Microsoft Silverlight, which I refuse to install).

I get this error whenever I try to open an image using Windows Photo Viewer, such as when previewing from Explorer or when opening an image attachment to an email. I have already verified correct permissions to the file and all folders in the path.

The strange thing is that every other program I have seems to open the images fine, including "Slideshow" from Windows Explorer. Even more strange, in WPV there is an "Open" menu that lists the other programs for images including GIMP and MS Paint and they open the very file that WPV is complaining about just fine. That should eliminate permissions as being the problem, especially since (logically at least) they are read/write while WPV is read-only. I have even edited and saved the images that WPV does not open.

I am out of ideas, and searching for answer on the Web has resulted only in the same tired repitition of some flavor of "take ownership and reset permissions for the entire drive", which I have already done. And which is counter-indicated by the fact that only Windows Photo Viewer seems to have a problem.

The one thing which is slightly unusual is that for normal files they are all on a second HDD mounted into C:, however for email attachments the temporary folder is C:\Temp\, which is directly on that drive.


I know this is an old post, but I think this issue is due to a corrupted or damaged profile. I'm having the same problem on a Windows 7 SP1 Home Premium laptop and this error occurs on all images being opened by Windows Photo Viewer no matter the location or permissions. When I log in with another profile, it works fine.

This is not my laptop, and it has a bit of an unusual setup, which is the C:\Users folder is actually a symbolic link to a folder on a different drive (F:\Users). Sometimes the symbolic link gets damaged and I have to repair it. This issue occurred after I fixed the symbolic link and ran some scans to remove potential malware, etc. I am not sure when this issue occurred, but I thought maybe this information might help others, since even now (4 years after this was first posted) I still can't find a proper solution for this to fix it, but at least I've narrowed it down to the profile.


Okay, I fixed my issue. It turned out the permissions on the folder "C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Temp\" was screwed up (meaning there were no permissions set and no owner).


  1. I had to take ownership of the folder
  2. Remove all existing permissions
  3. Select "Include inheritable permissions from this object's parent" and click OK until all the permission windows are closed.
  • I'd forgotten about this, and have since had to do a full reinstall due to a Windows Update hosing my system (failure to boot). Permissions on the above folder are currently correct for me, and I have no problem anymore opening images in the viewer. But I cannot confirm the fix one way or the other. – Lawrence Dol May 3 '15 at 1:07

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