FastStone Image Viewer 6.3 ships with internal video player

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 29, 2017

FastStone Image Viewer 6.3, a new version of then popular picture viewer for Windows, comes with a video player to play videos in the application.

We reviewed version 4.0 of the image viewer back in 2009, and -- recently -- the new FastStone Image Viewer 6.0 release that was published in 2016.

The program is offered as a free portable version and as a version that you can install on a Windows machine. It is ad-free, and the installer is free from other nasty things such as adware offers.

FastStone Image Viewer 6.3

fast stone image viewer 6.3

The big new feature of FastStone Image Viewer 6.3 is the built-in video player. This means that you may use the program now to view image and video files natively in the program interface.

One caveat is however that the video player relies on system codecs and does not come with its own set of binary codecs. What this means is that video formats are only supported by it if the code is available on the system.

That's the care for many popular format such as mkv or mp4, but not for other formats such as flv. If you want support for unsupported video formats, you need to install the codecs on the Windows machine using third-party distributions.

You know exactly if a format is supported or not as FastStone Image Viewer will hide all unsupported formats when you browse the connected hard drives and storage locations. If you get thumbnails, either in folders or when opening a folder that contains video formats the program supports, you know that the format is supported.

Each video file is listed with a thumbnail in this case along with basic information that include its type and resolution.

The selected file is displayed as a larger preview in the video player area as well. It highlights additional information, such as its size or date.

A click on the play icon starts playback right away in the program interface. You can click on the full screen button to play the video in fullscreen, or on the 100% or best fit buttons to adjust the playback area accordingly.

The player remembers the position of the video automatically so that you can continue playback. It furthermore plays the next video automatically if it exists, and plays videos in slideshows as well (instead of skipping them).

FastStone Image Viewer 6.3 comes with other improvements. The two that are noteworthy are improvements to the rendering quality of Draw tool annotations, and better support for high bitrate mp3 audio files in slide shows.

Closing Words

FastStone Image Viewer 6.3 adds native video playback support to the excellent media viewer. Video format support relies on system codecs however which limits the functionality of the feature somewhat.

Still, support for video is certainly a welcome addition, and it is likely that the feature will receive further improvements in future versions of the application.

Now You: Which media viewers do you use and why?

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Author Rating
3.5 based on 10 votes
Software Name
FastStone Image Viewer 6.3
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  1. Robotron 2084 said on July 22, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    I like FastStone Image Viewer over the rest, but I prefer MPC-BE to play my video, which I have FastStone Image Viewer point to.

    My main issue with FastStone Image Viewer is that it won’t make thumbnails of my HEVC video (mkv/x265), although I see that it should. Why?

    That said, I would love to see Xnview be able to fetch/display movie posters for those “related” video thumbnails. Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

    1. notanoob said on November 20, 2019 at 11:17 am

      If FastStone Image Viewer and/or Xnview could show video posters/covers for movies and TV video files, that would be great!

      What I dislike about Xnview is you have to right click the video image and select the option to play it. With FastStone it’s just one click. What I don’t like about FastStone is that it can’t show just one image in the folder icon, where the options are for 4 tiny images or basically nothing. Yet Xnview can do that, showing one full thumbnail image for each folder view, much like it was in XP before MS screwed that up.

  2. Jaakem said on July 31, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    If only Irfanview, Xnview etc had the UI like old ACDSee/Imagine (next best thing to ACDSee)

    Anyone know why the ancient ACDSee is still so freakin fast for basic jpg viewing/reading folders, what kind of coding magic the maker of that thing used ???

  3. Iain said on July 31, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Unfortunately Irfanview, Xnview and Faststone all need licences for commercial use. I need a viewer for my office, so I’m using nomacs which is entirely FOSS – It’s nice. A little more development and it’ll be just as good as Irfanview

  4. maxxxa said on July 31, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Another story of the fall .. ( ACDsee, Nero, utorrent etc ) Sadly ((((

  5. Anonymous said on July 31, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Another story of the fall …( ACDsee, Nero, utorrent ….etc ) ! Sadly ((((

  6. John C. said on July 31, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Martin, thanks very much for announcing this improvement to what I already consider to be the absolute best freeware image viewer. And for those who complain that adding video is bloating the program, remember that videos are simply *moving* images. I just did the update and love this new feature. In fact, I was wondering just the other day why FastStone didn’t play videos the way Cam2PC does. They must have been reading my mind!

    1. maxxxa said on July 31, 2017 at 11:30 am

      And stream ….images too ???

  7. Yuliya said on July 30, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I keep all (portable) FastStone Viewer, IrfanView and XnView (hey, I have eleven browsers, twelve if I count IE, why should I not keep three image viewers? :) ) and I really like them all, but I find FastStone Viewer to be the easiest to use, and probably the one with the better organised interface.

    I completely disabled video detection as I use it only as an image viewer, I use the excellent VLC for video, but I don’t mind it being able to run videos, especially since, if my understanding is correct, it is doing it through the system video player (much like the preview panel in Windows Explorer).

    I did notice a small issue on this particular version, 6,3, sometimes pressing the mousewheel does not exit fullscreen, unless I go to next/previous image, and it wasn’t like this in the version I was using before, 6,0. Ah well, it happens rarely though I hope they fix it.

    1. Yuliya said on July 30, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      >pressing the mousewheel does not exit fullscreen

      Narrowed it down to these settings:
      and if you zoom enough (200-300% depending on image size) so the mouse cursor turns into the “hand” indicating you can pan the image. Now mouse wheel click (click 3) won’t exit fullscreen anymore.
      It only happens to versions 6.3 and 6.2. Version 6.1 works fine, which I’m currently using.

      I have e-mailed the dev, let’s wait and see..

      1. Yuliya said on July 31, 2017 at 4:41 pm

        Developer replied and they will fix the bug in version 6.4 (:

  8. jupe said on July 30, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    After trying both Faststone and XnView, I prefer Faststone, I like that both are able to be run as portable apps though, call me old fashioned but I still prefer ini files.

  9. God Hates Figs said on July 30, 2017 at 10:48 am

    XnView, which I believe has a better overall capability than this, has had a video function for years.

    1. Darren said on July 30, 2017 at 11:22 am

      Tip to others on this subject:
      Update the XnView\AddOn\ffmpeg.exe file to the latest. You will see thumbs of all your favorite vid formats. For some reason it SHIPS with an old outdated decoder.

  10. Anonymous said on July 29, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    WMP needed means this new feature does not respect The European Competition Act, which means FSViewer is now an official partner of Microsoft:

    1. Jed said on July 30, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      There are many applications that are dependent on WMP components. From the article you linked, my interpretation of it is that Microsoft shouldn’t bundle WMP by default. However, there is nothing in the article stating that developers may not use the WMP components in their program. I’m pretty sure you are wrong. Even ShareX, the popular screenshotting tool, uses Internet Explorer components which is similar in principle.

      1. Anonymous said on July 30, 2017 at 9:20 pm

        You don’t understand my point. I just wanted to say that I would not continue to use a program forcing you to use windows embedded software like WMP or even IE (for many good reasons), but only programs that take into account your choices by default, or leaving you the choice in settings. Exactly What the european court asked to Microsoft. Even if you can turn off the feature, for me it is a question of principle, of respect.

  11. jmjsquared said on July 29, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    IrfanView has been supporting lots (most?) of common video formats, as well as some document formats(PDF, TXT, GS, etc.)out-of-the-box for years and years and…. well, you know.

    And, for a quick peek at a supported file, it is much quicker than firing up a full-blown video/word-processer application

    @Leandro – I do not mean, literally, “out-of-the-box”. I know that software usually ships in tins. :)

  12. Bobzer said on July 29, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    when I watch pictures, I don’t want a million features to edit the picture, much less do I need a videoplayer in my picture viewer. I have used Pictus forever and it’s just perfect for me, it shows pictures =) For videos I use PotPlayer, because it plays all my videos without bogging down my computer. Potplayer doesn’t make coffee, neither does it give you a massage with a happy ending: it’s a videoplayer, it plays videos. I think Faststone is having a midlifecrisis, and if it wants to be an “I PLAY EVERYTHING!” solution from pdf to cbr to lordknowswhat,there are other alternatives. That being said: Windows 10: how about a file explorer that plays/shos every file known to man, natively? Just sayin….

  13. whyy said on July 29, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Sometimes I have multiple files inside a folder and I hate it when image viewer views my other files like video or music.
    Similiar image viewers with this feature don’t have option to just ‘play image’. I don’t want to view other media files.

    I have video and music player to play video and music, why would I want to play those with image viewer?
    It should be renamed to FastStone MEDIA Viewer.

    1. Robotron 2084 said on July 22, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      Actually, better to just call it FastStone or FastStone Viewer.

  14. ilski said on July 29, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    “comes with a video player to play videos in the application.” – not true. For video playback requires an active windows media player. If you have disabled the system player, then FSV no play videos.

  15. jupe said on July 29, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    FYI although it will still show thumbnails for video files it won’t play them using its internal player unless you have WMP installed, which I have removed, instead it loads videos in your external player.

    I am not interested in the video playback features though anyway, but I just tried this program after seeing this post, I think it is a very good program which is fast and has a nice feature set, I think that now this will be my go to for dedicated image browsing, although I usually just use the thumbnail view in XYplorer on most occasion’s because I always have that running.

  16. beergas said on July 29, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Thank you Martin for reminding me of this one. Tried it years ago up to 6.0 but honestly never made it my go to as fell in with XnView/ViewNX. 6.3 is fast, smooth, with side borders method for tool access.
    Real keeper is the size of file, once some changes made, stays near original. I just made a few changes to test on 1 file (auto-adjust level) and sameish Noted that if do a large change like doubling size of image then file size rose by 10x but that is to be expected. Minor color changes barely move needle.
    Do go into the Settings/Settings to see the many file handling options. It does have Batch convert (resize) and Rename but don’t yet see in that area a way to save a Script like XnView does. XnView there allows for making alterations that will be made once Convert runs. I like that.
    For FS 6.3 I’ll have to adjust to highlighting the files first & then Colors or Ctrl+Shift+B to batch.
    Will be using this for while now since with Preview Window it is lot like XV with some extras. The dynamic way it shows the slider effects is contemporary too. There’s still a few programs that don’t do that until either release mouse or click again. Didn’t try the video media yet but assume decent. Thanks again.

  17. Anonymous said on July 29, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    I will keep the v6.2 .paf forever.

  18. Teiji said on July 29, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    This is how bloatware started. Arg, why can’t they just keep it as an IMAGE viewer…

    1. George said on July 29, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      I wouldn’t define video support as “bloat”. Social media support and “burn to disc basket” yes, but this is a welcome feature. In general, FastStone software is fairly awesome.

  19. Leandro said on July 29, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Martin, please stop using the verb “ship” in your articles. Instead, uses “now comes with …” or “introduces …” or “now features …”. I believe it is not the appropriated term in the software context. “ship” is suitable where the software is actually sold in market shelfs and the manufacturer is major like Microsoft or Apple or IBM.

    I really think using the ship verb in this context all the time polutes your articles.

    It is not wrong but misused (or over used).

    No other software reviewer uses that word so oftenly.

    Other than that, keep up the good work!

    1. Not impressed , Leandro said on July 31, 2017 at 3:28 am

      Leandro , Just who are you ??? to “criticize” & belittle Martin … I see OVER half a dozen spelling mistakes in YOUR article !!!

    2. Tony said on July 29, 2017 at 10:55 pm

      Oftenly, I bigly ship software.

      1. Delta said on July 31, 2017 at 2:18 am


    3. jmjsquared said on July 29, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      Geez! Complain much? I know, exactly, what ‘ships’ means in the context of software distribution and not only understand but like its use

      NOTE: If you must grouse, do it grammatically: To my knowledge, there is no accepted English-language word “oftenly”. What l33t dictionary do you use? :)

    4. chesscanoe said on July 29, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      Leandro says “No other software reviewer uses that word so oftenly.”

      No reputable English dictionary recognizes “oftenly” as a valid word. I suggest not using Internet sources of dubious quality to justify your use of the word, or to justify your narrow definition of “ship”.

      Just because US President Trump says “bigly” does not make its use correct. Let’s not nitpick small grammatical errors even if they are valid, but instead enjoy the technical accuracy of the newsletter.

    5. Straspey said on July 29, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      From Slashdot:

      Endless OS Now Ships With Steam And Slack FlatPak Applications – May 21, 2017

      From the CoreOS Blog:

      “CoreOS Tectonic 1.5.5 Now Ships with Highly Available Clusters by Default and Extends Installer”

      March 27, 2017


      “Visual Studio Code 1.14 Now Ships with TypeScript 2.4” (2 weeks ago)

      And thousands more……5078.14710.0.15060.….0…1.1.64.psy-ab..9.3.384…0i8i30k1.3NS0MRdqSeM

      You better get busy because you have a lot of work to do – correcting all those tech sites which still use the term “ships with”.

      Apparently none of them know that they’ve been doing it wrong all this time — but at least you’ve set Martin Brinkmann straight about this. (whew!)

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