How To Preview PSD Images Without Installing Photoshop

preview-psd-filesHave you ever been in the situation where you want to preview something that you’ve done in Photoshop and accidentally you don’t have Photoshop installed at the moment? Maybe it could be on your friend’s PC, and you just wanted to show him your latest work or design or wallpaper made in Photoshop.

Sometimes you just forget to make flat image in JPEG format, sometimes you just save the file as it is in PSD and at the moment when you realize that on other PC you don’t have Photoshop installed, it’s too late…

Well there is one easy and quick fix that will let you preview images in PSD file format, even if you don’t have Adobe Photoshop installed on that PC.

It will enable you to see the image in Windows Explorer, like you see thumbnails of other known formats like JPEG or PNG, except this will work for PSD too!

There are two ways to do this little trick. I’ll show you both and then you choose which way is easier to you.

The Geek Way:

1. Download psicon.dll from here.

2. Now copy the file that you downloaded to location below:

C:Program FilesCommon FilesAdobeShell

If this folder does not exist, create it and finish the step 2.

3. Now open Windows Notepad and copy the text below in it and save it as “Photoshop.reg” (without quotes)

[note]Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


“C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Shell\psicon.dll”=dword:00000001


@=”Photoshop Icon Handler”


@=”C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Shell\psicon.dll”

4. Now run the reg file you have created using steps above and click Yes when asked for permissions.

By finishing these steps, you have successfully made possible to see or preview PSD files with you Windows Explorer, even when you don’t have Adobe Photoshop installed!


And if you wanted to know what’s the second way to do this, here you go:

The Second Way:

This method supports the following image formats: cut, dcx, dds, mdl, mng, pcd, pcx, pic, pix, png, pnm/pbm/pgm/ppm, psd/pdd, psp, pxr, sgi/rgb, tif/tiff, tga/vda/icb/vst, wal and xpm.

This includes PSD files and as you can see, many other file formats, so this is much more practical and maybe preferred method. You can view all of these file formats in Windows Explorer.

All of this can be made possible by using a tiny software called ThumbView Lite which does this job easily. This software is less than 0.5 mb. It supports amazing 19 image types. All you need to do is install it, (it’s pretty fast) and enjoy the benefits!

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10 Responses
  • Swagat Reply

    Wow! This is great.. It often happens when you dont have Photoshop installed.. Nice trick..

  • Bash Bosh Reply

    A very nice trick indeed. I didn’t know that!
    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • Yunus Ye?ilmen Reply

    Very nice tricks. thanks @Gennice

  • RobbyDesigns Reply

    Great article; as a freelance web designer I have a number of PSD files in my computer and find it annoying to have to open in Photoshop just to see what the file is; this should help.

    • Dennis Reply

      +1 here. Totally agreed.

  • pet e self Reply

    i have photoshop cs3 but explorer will not show my .psd thumbs. i downloaded your easy approach and i get your little icon but still don’t see a thumb of the image.. it is making searches very hard.. thanks… it did all the steps several times. i’m not geek enough to know how to run the reg edit for the advanced approach.. thanks

  • Dia Reply

    there is no file called (shell)

    • Dennis Reply

      If this folder does not exist, create it and finish the step 2.

  • Val Reply

    The non-geek way works like charm on XP. Thanks a lot!

    • Dennis Reply

      You’re welcome. ;)

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