Unable to open very high resolution file in Windows Photo Gallery

Applies to: Windows Vista BusinessWindows Vista Business 64-bit EditionWindows Vista Business N More


Consider the following scenario:
  • You start Windows Photo Gallery
  • You select File, then choose Import From Camera or Scanner.
  • You then import a very high-resolution image. For example, you use a high-resolution scanner to scan a full-page document at a resolution of 1200 dpi.
Alternately, you try to view a previously-created image which is very high resolution (such as a 1200 dpi full-page scan) using Windows Photo Gallery.

In this scenario, Windows Photo Gallery will fail to display the image, and will display the following message:

Photo Gallery can't open this picture or video. This file format is not supported, or you don't have the latest updates to Photo Gallery.


This problem occurs because, by default, Windows Photo Gallery will not open an image file which is larger than 100 megapixels.

For example, if you scan a full 8.5x11" page using a resolution of 1200 dpi, the resulting image file will be extremely large (approximately 136 megapixels). This exceeds the default size limit for Windows Photo Gallery.


To work around this issue:

When scanning an image, reduce the size of the image by scanning a smaller area (not a full page), or by using a lower resolution, such as 600 dpi or less. This will allow Windows Photo Gallery to open the scanned image successfully.

Alternately, you can override Windows Photo Gallery's image size limit by editing the registry:
  1. Click Start, type regeditin the Start Search box, and then click regedit.exe in the Programs list. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type a valid password, or click Continue.
  2. Locate and then click the following subkey in the registry:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Photo Gallery\Viewer
  3. Click Edit, click New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  4. Type MaximumFrameSizeMegapixels for the value name, and then press ENTER.
  5. Double-click the MaximumFrameSizeMegapixels value, click Decimal, enter a new value in the Value data box, and then click OK.
  6. Exit Registry Editor.
  7. Restart Windows Photo Gallery.
The Value data to enter is the maximum image size that Windows Photo Gallery will be able to open, in megapixels. For example, entering a value of 150 will allow Windows Photo Gallery to open files of up to 150 megapixels in size. This value would be sufficient to allow viewing of 1200 dpi full-page scans.

Note: Entering a value of 0 will disable the image size limit. However, this is not recommended, because if Windows Photo Gallery then attempts to open an extremely large or corrupt file, it could potentially result in a hang or crash.

More Information

You may also encounter problems opening very high resolution images in Microsoft Paint. For more imformation, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Unable to scan or open very high resolution file in Paint on Windows Vista or Windows 7