FastStone Image Viewer 7.6: improved performance and new rating system,

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 4, 2022
Windows software

FastStone Image Viewer 7.6 is the latest version of the free (for home use) image viewer for Microsoft Windows devices. The new version is the first release since the release of FastStone Image Viewer 7.5 in March 2020. While it is a point release, it could have been a major version release as well thanks to its new features and improvements.

faststone image viewer 7.6

FastStone Image Viewer 7.6 is already available on the official website. It is offered as a portable version that does not need to be installed and as an installer that installs the program on the system.

Existing users may notice the performance improvement right after they have upgraded the application to the latest version. One of the main changes of FastStone Image Viewer 7.6 is that a new database engine is used. The database is not mentioned, but it promises better performance, capacity and reliability according to the release notes. The program's startup time, folder tree creation and network folder access have also been improved and users should notice improvements in these areas.

The second improvement comes in form of a new rating system. It is a basic one, as it allows you to assign ratings between 1 and 5 to files. Ratings are not enabled by default, selecting Rating > Enable File Rating unlocks the functionality.

The keyboard shortcuts Alt-1 to Alt-5 may be used to assign ratings to files in the application from that moment on. Ratings can be removed with the shortcut Alt-0, and the same options are available in the right-click menu under Ratings.

image ratings

The rating system would not be very useful if you could not use it to filter images in the application. Select the new ratings filter option to display images that match a specific rating or a rating range. Use the keyboard shortcut Shift-1 to Shift-5 to apply the filter quickly; Shift-0 displays all unrated images. Options to display greater or equal, or less than or equal, ratings are provided as well.

The new FastStone Image Viewer 7.6 supports two additional sorting options: date and tagged.  Tags and ratings are preserved in the database when files are moved or copied.

Another new option is found under Settings:  "Pre-scan folders into thumbnail databases" will scan selected folders or drives automatically, even before they are accessed by the user. Drive letters or paths need to be added to include these in the automatic operation. Subfolders are scanned automatically, but this can be disabled in the configuration window.

FastStone Image Viewer 7.6 has several minor improvements as well:

  • Image Strip Builder has a new Center option.
  • The status bar displays the size of selected items.
  • The three native themes have been improved.
  • Preserve Aspect Ratio added to Image Size in the Design and Print tool.
  • Google Maps and Google Earth may be accessed via the hotkeys Ctrl-Shift-M and Ctrl-Alt-M for images with GPS coordinates.
  • EXIF Lens Model option added to caption in Contact Sheet, text in Slide Show and text in Batch Convert tool.
  • Images in the active folder may be shuffled prior to the completion of thumbnail generation.
  • Windows View mode: merge two status bars into one to maximize the viewing area.
  • New option to select the secondary monitor under Settings > Dual Monitor if more than two monitors are detected.

Closing Words

FastStone Image Viewer 7.6 improves the application in several meaningful ways. Users should notice performance improvements in several key areas, including program launch but also when performing database operations.

Now You: which image viewer do you use, and why?


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Author Rating
5 based on 3 votes
Software Name
FastStone Image Viewer 7.6
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  1. me said on April 10, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    ACDSee 2.4 here – ancient(!), basic, blazingly fast. XnView MP for color profile & webp support, configuring this beast is a nightmare. for image editing.

    Winamp 2, Freecell XP – ah, oldies but goldies ;)

  2. Marc said on April 9, 2022 at 4:16 am

    Xlideit portable here…

    1. owl said on April 9, 2022 at 2:33 pm

      > Xlideit portable

      Xlideit Image Viewer
      I tried it out.
      Pretty good!
      I intend to continue using it.

      My concern is that the developer has been out of communication (whereabouts unknown) for 14 months and development support has stopped.

  3. clown said on April 6, 2022 at 3:00 am


    That is the nature of software: bugs. They come and go as they’re eventually fixed. Welcome to the world of updates!

    1. Alex said on April 6, 2022 at 5:55 pm

      How long of an “eventually” is considered reasonable?
      That bug was first reported on December 2018, that’s over 3 years and 26 non-beta releases ago.

  4. Alex said on April 6, 2022 at 12:34 am

    XNView (both classic and MP) still has a bug that flips portrait videos upside-down.
    Check their forum for details.

    1. owl said on April 6, 2022 at 4:24 am

      Certainly, that bothered me at the time.
      In any case, I will continue to use “XnView MP” and see how it goes.

  5. OldGamer said on April 5, 2022 at 5:07 pm

    Irfanview.. On All Systems.. For ages. :D

  6. Anonymous said on April 5, 2022 at 6:29 am

    I wonder if anyone still actually uses ACDSee?

    1. Jake said on April 8, 2022 at 10:31 am

      I do….
      I still want someone to do updated take on amazingly fast small viewer with UI like ACDSee “2.43/3.0″… still using it because of the UI (way you can navigate between folders and files, still the best)

  7. a neighbor named Larry said on April 5, 2022 at 4:33 am

    I’m not a fan of proprietary software, but if I had to choose between FastStone, Irfanview, and XnView MP, I’d choose XnView MP.

    XnView provides Linux builds too.

    XnView is the clear winner here hands down. I tried FastStone a few times and it never struck me as anything special.

  8. Trey said on April 5, 2022 at 4:00 am

    All the apps mentioned here are awesome and most are free. Just a friendly reminder about donating if you’ve been using them for a while and they’re worth something to you.

  9. Erdogan said on April 4, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    Try Imagine Image Viewer (1.11 MB)-

  10. Circassian genocide said on April 4, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    The most lightweight & fastest image viewer I’ve seen so far. Ideal for low-end PCs-

  11. Pet said on April 4, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    Fastest thing around for so many years.

    1. Pet said on April 4, 2022 at 8:19 pm

      IrFAN lol sorry.

  12. Sebas said on April 4, 2022 at 3:46 pm

    Faststone has been my main image viewer for years and these are very welcome improvements. The edit section is good also, as is the option to make and edit videos and the option to show raw images.

    Xnview I never could get the grip on it, but that is typical for software, doesn’t mean it is bad, just that Fastone works for me.

  13. owl said on April 4, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    My family and I enjoy hobby photography (mainly, snapshots).
    We own a vast amount of Reversal films and digital data from the film era, and are working on their digital archiving.
    Therefore, I use it differently application software for the purpose.

    Currently, my favorites are as follows.
    For “image viewer,” MassiGra
    Image editing: IrfanView
    RAW image processing: darktable
    Archive management function: digiKam
    Data sharing: nomacs

    1. owl said on April 5, 2022 at 12:07 am

      My photo collection is enormous, over 1 million files (3 terabytes). It is “UltraSearch” that has shown unparalleled performance in organizing them (searching for duplicate files, renaming, moving, and deleting).
      I use “UltraSearch” and “windows_czkawka_gui” for organizing (checking duplicate and similar images) dummy files for archiving and editing purposes of my too large number of images.
      Since each has its own characteristics, they are very useful when used together to find all useless or half-finished files, and they can be easily deleted, renamed, moved, copied, etc.
      Find duplicate files and more with open source cross-platform tool Czkawka – gHacks Tech News
      In addition, I always use “FastCopy”, which is equipped with a verification function, in consideration of accidents involving image damage during copying or moving.

    2. Chris said on April 4, 2022 at 2:24 pm

      >Currently, my favorites are as follows.
      >For “image viewer,” MassiGra
      >Image editing: IrfanView

      Depends what type of image editing you do, I moved from Irfanview to XnView when I discovered that it supported Levels, the ‘go-to’ tool for enhancing scans, and I would think also photographs, easily.

      Now I prefer to spend my time in Linux I have no choice, anyway!

      1. John G said on April 5, 2022 at 2:21 am

        My history with photo viewers is large because I have a gigital camera to make photos of flowers and plants with big quality and details, so first I used to run Photosizer, then Fastone, then Xnview, then Irfanview and finally I have arrived to the app of W11 Photos. Probably it’s not the best of all considering the number of options to edit or modify a photo, however it’s the fast way to open large photos (more than 100mpx). Also it has some good integration with MS cloud and some other things that increases its importance for my studies and homework. Thanks for the article. :]

      2. owl said on April 4, 2022 at 2:41 pm

        > Depends what type of image editing you do, I moved from Irfanview to XnView when I discovered that it supported Levels, the ‘go-to’ tool for enhancing scans, and I would think also photographs, easily.

        Thanks for the reply.
        Based on your comments, I will give XnView a try.
        I actually moved from XnView to Irfanview a few years ago; I was so happy with Irfanview that I stopped checking out the others. Thanks for the fresh pointers.

      3. Chris said on April 4, 2022 at 5:51 pm

        >I will give XnView a try.

        XnView MP is now the main software, nearing maturity, with quite sophisticated image manage tools which are well-regarded. And also cross-platform with support for Mac and Linux.

        And for image processing specifically, also a Curves tool if you know how to use it, not really understanding it I’ve always managed with Levels!

      4. owl said on April 5, 2022 at 9:06 am


        Thanks for informative information.
        I obtained the portable (zipped program: Zip Win 64bit).
        Powerful Image Viewer· XnView MP |
        I just adjusted the preferences and other settings, nevertheless it still has smooth behavior, streamlined UI, It shows the quality of the elements and the high degree of perfection.
        For now, it is my first impression, I will continue to use it for a while to test it.

  14. chesscanoe said on April 4, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    I happened to upgrade yesterday and am really pleased with the product. Martin’s fine review of necessity had to be briefer than the product upgrade deserves.

  15. Henk said on April 4, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    Software preferences are a personal thing of course, and FastStone certainly is a very good, fairly light-footprint image viewer. I happen to keep the portable version of FastStone on my maintenance USB stick, for when I need an image viewer on a computer other than my own.
    For myself, I prefer installing XnView which still offers a bit more versatility and configurability with, for example, far better right-click menu integration (that’s to say, when combined with the XnView Shell Extension).
    So personally, I would rate FastStone 2nd from the top. But it’s getting close.

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