How to Open an SVG File in Windows 10 and 11

How to Open an SVG File in Windows 10 and 11
The SVG Logo

If you're a design enthusiast or work in the creative industry, then you might come across SVG files quite often. SVG files are a popular vector image format and are widely used for logos, icons, and illustrations. However, opening and previewing an SVG file on Windows 10 and 11 can be a little tricky for those who are not aware of the process. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to open an SVG file on your Windows device. So, read on to discover how to open an SVG file on Windows 10 and 11.

What is an SVG file?

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is a widely used file format for graphics that is based on XML (Extensible Markup Language). It was developed in the late 1990s by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as an open standard for vector graphics on the web.

How Do I open an SVG file?

Opening an SVG file is straightforward. You can either double-click it to open in Notepad or your operating system's default text editor. To actually view the image file, you can open it in your web browser by right-clicking and choosing Open With... -> your favorite browser.

How Do I Edit an SVG File?

Now that we can open an SVG file, the next step is to edit it. There are many applications that can be used to edit SVG files, like Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Photo, and even! To open an SVG in Photoshop, follow Adobe's guide here (I don't have Photoshop). To open an SVG file in Affinity Photo, you can use the right click menu as mentioned before, but choose "Affinity Photo" instead of the browser. However, opening an SVG file in is more complicated.

First, you need to download and install This can be done from the Microsoft store or from their website, here. Download "SvgFileTypePlugin_setup.exe" from this GitHub page (or just click on the link, it is safe). Run the installer and accept all the terms. Then, right-click on the SVG file and go to Open With -> Choose another app ->

Click on "Just once" (or "Always" if you want to only open SVG files in

Note that will automatically rasterize the SVG file.

Another way to edit SVG files is to use Notepad. This requires knowledge of XML (something that I don't have), but can be accomplished quite easily otherwise.

How to Preview SVG Files in Windows

If you want to preview your SVG files in File Explorer without opening them, you can use PowerToys. This is a set of tools made by Microsoft that greatly enhances Windows. Some useful features include a color picker, FancyZones, and "File Explorer add-ons". The third item in the list is relevant to our situation. The first thing you want to do is download PowerToys. Then, open it and click on "Restart PowerToys as administrator" and turn on "Always run as administrator". Next, go to "File Explorer add-ons" and turn on SVG in both "Preview Pane" and "Thumbnail Icon Preview".

Now you should see your SVGs appearing in the preview pane as well as in the thumbnails. If you see any graphical issues with the SVG files either in the preview pane or as thumbnails, that is because this is still a beta feature (that's what PowerToys is all about).

Pros and Cons of SVG files

SVG files have several advantages over other types of image formats, such as JPEG or PNG. However, they also have some disadvantages compared to the other file formats.


  • SVG files are resolution-independent, meaning they can be scaled to any size without losing quality. This makes them ideal for use in responsive web design, where images need to scale up or down depending on the size of the device being used.
  • SVG files are much smaller in file size than other image formats, making them faster to download and easier to work with.
  • SVG files are easy to edit, allowing you to make changes quickly and easily.
  • SVG files are supported by most modern browsers, so they can be used on any website or application.


  • Not all browsers support SVG files, which means some users may not be able to view them properly.
  • Some older versions of software may not support SVG files, making it difficult for users with these versions to view them correctly.
  • Editing an SVG file can be more complicated than editing other types of image formats, as it requires knowledge of vector graphics software such as Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape.

Some browsers that support SVG files are:

  • Google Chrome
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Opera
  • Safari
  • Internet Explorer 9 and above

Some browsers that don't support SVG files are:

  • Internet Explorer 8 and below
  • Netscape Navigator
  • Older versions of Opera, Safari, Chrome, etc.

Use Cases for SVG files

SVG files are becoming increasingly popular due to their versatility and scalability. They can be used in a variety of ways, from creating logos and icons to animations and interactive graphics.

One of the main advantages of using SVG files is that they are resolution-independent, meaning they can be scaled up or down without losing quality. This makes them ideal for use on websites, as they can be resized to fit any screen size without sacrificing image quality. Additionally, SVG files are lightweight and load quickly, making them perfect for use on mobile devices.

SVG files are also SEO friendly, allowing developers to add keywords, descriptions and links directly into the markup. This makes it easier for search engines to crawl the content and index it appropriately. Furthermore, SVGs can be styled using CSS which allows developers to customize the look and feel of their website or application.

Another great use case for SVG files is animation. With the help of CSS or JavaScript, developers can create stunning animations with minimal effort. Animations created with SVGs are lightweight and perform well across all browsers and devices. Additionally, they can be reused multiple times without having to recreate them each time.

Overall, SVG files offer a wide range of benefits that make them an excellent choice for web development projects. From being resolution-independent to being SEO friendly and easily customizable with CSS, SVGs provide a great way to create stunning visuals that will look great no matter what device your users are viewing them on.


In conclusion, opening and previewing an SVG file on Windows 10 and 11 is not as complicated as it may seem. With the simple steps outlined in this article, anyone can open, edit and preview SVG files with ease. SVG files offer many advantages, such as being resolution-independent and lightweight, making them ideal for use on websites and mobile devices. They are also easy to edit and can be styled using CSS, allowing developers to customize the look and feel of their website or application. Overall, SVG files are a powerful and versatile tool for designers and developers, and their popularity is only set to grow in the future.