IrfanView Shell Extension is a plugin for the free graphic viewer IrfanView that adds options and tools to Windows Explorer for quick access.

IrfanView is a popular image viewer for Windows that opens quickly, supports all major and many minor image formats, and offers great functionality that you may extend with plugins.

While IrfanView is an image viewer first and foremost, it supports other features of interest besides that. You may use it to manage and randomize wallpapers, capture screenshots, or edit images.

IrfanView does not add options to the Windows Explorer context menu by default; you can install the IrfanView Shell Extension plugin, however, to add functionality to Explorer so that you may run supported actions right from the default file browser.

IrfanView Shell Extension plugin

The very first thing you have to do is download the plugin from the IrfanView website. It is offered as a setup version that adds the required plugin to the IrfanView directory and a zip file that requires manual extraction and moving of the plugin to the IrfanView plugin folder.

The new context menu entry, called IrfanView Operations, should be visible right after installation. It supports the following options:

  • Play slideshow with selected files -- this option starts a new slideshow with all selected (and supported) image files).
  • Start Thumbnails with selected files -- displays the selected files as thumbnails in the IrfanView interface.
  • JPG Lossless Rotation (auto rotate) -- rotates the image based on EXIF data.
  • Convert picture to format -- converts the selected images to a new format that you need to select using the context menu.
  • Save selected filenames as TXT -- saves all filenames to a text document.
  • Create multiplage TIF with selected files -- creates a single TIF image from the selected files.
  • Create multipage PDF with selected files -- creates a single PDF document with the selected files.
  • Create vertical panorama image with selected files.
  • Create horizontal panorama image with selected files.

There is no option to hide some of the tools; the use depends largely on how you use your computer. If you need to convert images regularly and use IrfanView for that or don't mind using it, you may benefit from integration in Explorer.

The same is true for other tools provided such as rotating images, starting slideshows, or creating TIF or PDF files using the selection.

Closing Words

Plugins extend IrfanView's functionality and IrfanView Shell Extension is just one of the plugins that are available for the media viewer. Whether that is something for you depends largely on how useful the options are that the plugin adds to Windows Explorer.