Microsoft is Adding AVIF Image Support to Windows 10

Starting with Windows 10 Insider build 18305, Microsoft has started to add support for the AVIF image format. This support is first being added to Microsoft Paint and File Explorer, but can be expanded to other applications through an API.

AVIF, or the AV1 Image File Format, is an image format that is compressed using the open source and royalty free AV1 encoding and stored in the HEIF file format.

According to a GitHub repository that keeps track of applications that support this image format, native support has been introduced in the most recent Windows 10 insider 19h1 build. This build is the next major update scheduled to be released in the spring.

  • Windows File Explorer can show AVIF thumbnails, display Exif metadata and preview AVIF images. Requires the Windows 10 “19h1” preview release, which can be obtained from the Windows Insider program, and the AV1 Video Extension.
  • MSPaint.exe. The “Paint” app in Windows 10 can display AVIF images. Requires Windows 10 “19h1” preview release build 18305 or later, which can be obtained from the Windows Insider program, and the AV1 Video Extension.

As you can see below, in the current version of Windows 10 (build 1809), there is no support for AVIF files in File Explorer.

Build 1809 does not generate thumbnails

In Build 1305, though, you can now preview and see thumbnails for this image format in File Explorer.

Build 18305 displaying AVIF thumbnails in File Explorer

Furthermore, Microsoft Paint now supports AVIF files and is the default applications associated with this file format.

Microsoft Paint with an opened AVIF file

Microsoft is not the only organization adding support for the AVIF image format. VLC has already introduced support and Mozilla plans on adding support in the future.

Mozilla Bug Report to add AVIF support

Currently, no browser can open this image file format and when attempting to do so will simply download the file.

AVIF support can also be added to other applications utilizing an API exposed by the AV1 Video Extension from Microsoft. This extension is currently in beta, but also introduces support for the AV1 video format.

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