Error message when you use Paint to open a 48-bit TIFF image file on a Windows XP-based computer

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Article ID: 917498 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you open a 48-bit Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) image file in Microsoft Paint, you may receive an error message that resembles the following:
Paint cannot read this file.
This is not a valid bitmap file, or its format is not currently supported.
You experience this issue on a Windows XP-based computer.

Note In this scenario, the 48-bit TIFF file has 16 bits per channel. Additionally, this file uses the red-green-blue (RGB) color model.

Note In this scenario, you may be able to open the same TIFF file on a Microsoft Windows 2000-based computer if Microsoft Office XP is also installed on the computer.


The Paint program in Microsoft Windows XP uses Microsoft Graphics Device Interface (GDI+) handler to access image files. GDI+ does not support all the image file formats that are supported in earlier versions of Windows.

This issue occurs because Paint does not support 48-bit TIFF image files.


To work around this issue, use a program that supports 48-bit TIFF image files. Alternatively, use TIFF image files that have a lower bit rate.

For example, use a 24-bit TIFF image file. Paint supports 24-bit TIFF image files.


Article ID: 917498 - Last Review: May 23, 2006 - Revision: 1.2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Starter Edition
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