"No file format information can be found in the Registry" error message when you start Photo Editor


When you try to start Photo Editor, you receive the following error message:

No file format information can be found in the Registry.
When you click OK, Photo Editor starts. However, if you try to open a graphics file, such as a bitmap (.bmp) or a Windows Metafile (.wmf), you receive the following error message

Photo Editor cannot find or open file name
where file name is the path and file name of the file that you are trying to open.


Photo Editor is trying to access registry keys that require permissions that your account does not have. In this case, information needed to build the Files of type list and to open graphics files is not available.

The problem can occur on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, and Microsoft Windows XP.


Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

WARNING: After you implement the following workaround, members of the Users group can change any subkeys and values for the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Graphics Filters

For Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 or Microsoft Windows 2000

  1. Log on to Windows 2000 or Windows NT 4.0 by using an account that is a member of the administrators group.
  2. Click Start and then click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type regedt32.exe and then click OK.
  4. In the Registry Editor, select the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Graphics Filters
  5. On the Security menu, click Permissions.
  6. In the Registry Key Permissions dialog box, in the Name list, click Users.
  7. In the Permissions list, under Allow, click to select Full Control.
  8. Click OK.
  9. On the Registry menu, click Exit.
NOTE: You can apply a slightly more restrictive set of permissions to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Graphics Filters key by clicking Advanced in the Permissions for Graphics Filters dialog box.

Minimum permissions are required to allow the following actions:

  • Query value
  • Set value
  • Create subkey
  • Enumerate subkeys
  • Notify
  • Create Link
  • Write DAC
  • Write Owner
  • Read control
In a Microsoft Windows 2000 enterprise, you can set registry permissions via Group Policies in Active Directory Users and Computers, if the clients are running Windows 2000.

For additional information about Windows 2000 Group Policies, see the Windows 2000 Resource Kit at the following Microsoft Web site:

For Microsoft Windows XP

  1. Log on as administrator or as a member of the administrators group.
  2. Click Start and then click Run. In the Open box, type Regedit.exe.
  3. Select the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Graphics Filters
  4. On the Edit menu, click Permissions and then click Advanced.
  5. Verify that the Inherit from parent the permission entries that apply to child objects check box is selected.
  6. Select Users from Permission entries, and then click Edit.
  7. In the Allow column, select the Full Control check box, and then click OK.
  8. Click OK and close the Registry Editor.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More Information

The default permissions that are assigned to the relevant registry keys differ between Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000, making it more likely that this issue will occur with Windows 2000.

The first post-Windows 2000 product release (Office 2000 SR-1) carries the following disclaimer:

Note: Microsoft Photo Editor is a minor auxiliary application that does not meet the requirements of the Windows 2000 Logo compliant program. Core Microsoft Office applications do not depend on this application for their functionality.
If you only need a graphics file viewer, you can use other components of Office 2000 (Word, PowerPoint, Clip Gallery), Microsoft Internet Explorer, or Microsoft Paint to view graphics files.