3 Ways to Open .PSD Files without Installing Adobe Photoshop

.PSD extension file stands for Photoshop Document and is related to the Adobe Photoshop application. The .PSD file works only in the Adobe Photoshop as it stores many imaging options available in Photoshop.

So if you like editing the images but do not want to spend lots of bucks on the software then this tip is surely for you and also because the following tools do not occupy huge memory as compared to Adobe Photoshop.

Method 1:


We have written about this image editor before and it is a really cool image editor. But by default this can not edit the .PSD files. For that you will be requiring a plug-in that will make this tool to open and edit the .PSD files.

•    First download and install Paint.NET
•    Now download the psdplugin, unzip and copy the PhotoShop.dll to the “FileTypes” folder in the Paint.NET directory. By default it should be in C:\Program Files\Paint.NET\FileTypes.

Now you can open PSD files.

Download Paint.NET

Method 2:


IrfanView is a small, free and fast image viewer/converter that can open .PSD files easily.

Download IrfanView

Method 3:


GIMP standing for GNU Image Manipulation Program is a free image retouching tool that supports .PSD files by default.

Download GIMP

32 Replies to “3 Ways to Open .PSD Files without Installing Adobe Photoshop”

  1. As usual ,you not only provide great content but also great resources.Before I burnt out 2 computers and fried the motherboard on this one [obviously replaced and upgraded ],I had all 3 of the above .These new versions are a lot easier to install.Thank you very much.Regarding Irfanview, it is always one of the first programs I install after a crash of Windows or similar occurances.

  2. Hey dud this trick was really cool! But do u have any shortcut for rotating the images (Horizontal or Vertical) in picasa 3. if yes then soln?????!!!!

  3. fist of all thanks to everyone I had download the Irfanview and it’s work very good no need to instal Photoshop to view the PSD Exetension files.thaks very much my problem is solved.


  5. Just today I found out that IrfanView will view PSD files. Paint.NET is terrible, GIMP and Paint Shop Pro still misinterpret a lot (I use both), but IrfanView is very true in how it displays the images. Too bad it can’t separate the layers, but at least it gives something accurate from which you can crop pieces.

  6. I searched in Google “How to open PSD files” and got your’s among the top result and by visiting your website i got my answer. You deserve to be in the top.

  7. There is another way: download adobe photoshop 30 day trial.

    You cannot easily edit text layer with GIMP, all the font info is lost.

  8. You cannot edit text layers in Paint.net either:


    “The filetype plugin does not include every feature in the PSD file format. Only those elements in PSD that have counterparts in Paint.NET are implemented. For example: Text layers, layer effects, and vector masks do not exist in Paint.NET. PSD files with these features may load using the plugin, but a number of elements will be missing.”

  9. Paint.net has got to be the worst download package. It came with so many other garbage programs. Man, what a pain uninstalling everything else it came with.

  10. Thank you very much, it worked like a charm with IrfanView, only problem I had was that it took a lot of time to open it, the psd file was quite large.
    Thanks again!

  11. Thanks for the information. It totally worked without having to pay for a system or downloading adware, spyware or a virus. Two thumbs up

  12. Hey.. thank you. You made my day 🙂 I already had Paint.net and that little plugin just made the software better. Totally appreciated….Cheers

  13. All three methods are no good.

    1. Paint.net and Gimp does not support vectors, effects or other blending. Most PSD-files will not look as intended.

    2. Irfanview does not support layers.

    Does anyone know of a viewer that can do both layers and all the effects?

  14. Just read this post and found it useful. I found it on Reddit. Now I just downloaded the PSD file because I use GIMP but when I went to open it I got the error message “file could not open choose program”.

    Well I realized that I updated the laptop and had not re-installed GIMP. However, when i searched programs it suggested Snag IT.

    I just downloaded it the previous day. Hadn’t even used it or gone through the tutorials for it but… it opened the file. So I guess you can add “SNAG IT” to the list of programs to open PSD files.

    Now can anyone suggest a tutorial for blending the profile photo with the cover photo (on windows), using GIMP. Thanks in advance.

  15. thanks for the info.
    i just wanted to view some psd files i had exported from coreldraw before i sent them off to a vendor.
    psd viewer very slow to open the file and kept crashing on the large, complex files.

    irfanview opened very quickly. the problem is that when i went back to check a file, irfanview was not among the listed programs. i had to open by clicking on exe file in win explorer. irfanview is also having trouble with the file header in the exported file. if i use touch the scroll wheel on my mouse i get an error message. then it closes the window. if i try to use the file>reopen button i get just the error message.

    but while i was looking for irfanview i noticed that i had installed free file viewer some time ago. it opens the psd files just fine and lets me move around the image to take a closer look at something. even the 50meg file i was working on.

    just a heads up to those just looking for a viewer.

  16. Thank you for giving the instructions on how to install the psdplugin. I had downloaded Paint.Net specifically to view .psd files (I use Xara and although I can create and view .psd files, I wanted to make sure that other viewers would open the file) so this article was a life-saver! Thanks for the info, the psdplugin with Paint.Net works great!

    P.S. Xara works really well to create and view .psd files, and is less than half the cost of Photoshop!

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