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  • Can’t find the MS XPS viewer

    Home » Forums » AskWoody support » Windows » Windows 10 » Questions: Win10 » Can’t find the MS XPS viewer

    • This topic has 6 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago.

    I submitted this question a few minutes ago, but somehow got timed out when I was presented with one of those robot tests, with my question then being submitted as “anonymous,” which now doesn’t appear anywhere. So here goes again, with apologies if the anonymous one shows up as well.

    Both my desktop and laptop have Win 10 Pro Version 21H1.

    A while ago I installed the MS XPS viewer on my desktop. I did it through Windows settings, app & features, by simply selecting it from the list I found there.

    I now want to install it on the laptop, but can’t find it in apps & features. And when I double click on an XPS file, Windows gives me the option only of going to the MS store. But the store doesn’t appear to have it.

    Can anyone tell me where to find the viewer?




    Viewing 2 reply threads
    • #2403533

      When you went to Settings>Apps, you were almost there, you just needed to go a little further. The full instructions on how to restore the app are at the following location on the WindowsCentral site:

      Although the article talks about how MS has “retired support for” the app and has not included it on new installations (i.e those that weren’t upgraded from 1709) since Windows 10 version 1803, the instructions are fully valid for Windows 10 21H1, because I tried following them (up to the point of actually installing the viewer) before posting this. My computer has 21H1 that was originally 2004 when I bought it new from a mom and pop shop back in August of 2020.

      The part with the actual instructions you’re looking for is under the heading titled “How to install the XPS Viewer app on Windows 10“, which is just below the article’s introductory paragraph and an ad towards the end of the introductory paragraph. I bolded the title above because it’s in bold within the body of the article.

      The screenshots in the article are great at showing exactly what to look for on your screen as you go through the procedure.

      HINT, HINT: The XPS Viewer will probably be the last one listed in a LONG list of optional programs/apps to install, and should be listed as, simply, “XPS Viewer”. That list includes a great number of language fonts, by the way.

      • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Bob99. Reason: Added hint to find the app in the list
      • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Bob99.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2403567

      It is on my Windows 10 21H2. I’ve never used it but this computer is four years old and think it came on it and keeps coming along for the ride each time I update Windows.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2403614

        In the Windows Central article I linked to above, they do indeed say that MS kept the app intact as an integral part of Windows if you were upgrading to 1803 from 1709 or earlier but, as noted above, they were no longer including it on clean, non-upgrade installations of 1803 and beyond.

        Since your computer is 4 years old, it probably came with 1709 or 1703 which would have included the XPS viewer by default, and through the upgrades you’ve performed over the years the viewer has persisted, as per MS’s stated policy.

        At least if you want to use it, you don’t have to go through the steps to “activate” it (my term for the process) as I would have to or others would have to who didn’t get it by default.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

        • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Bob99. Reason: Clarified a term used
    • #2403732

      Perhaps just create a shortcut?

      Step 1: *Right*-click blank area on the desktop, select New in the menu then select Shortcut.
      Step 2: Enter %windir%\system32\xpsrchvw.exe and choose Next in the pop-up window.
      Step 3: Type XPS Viewer to rename the shortcut and press Finish.
      Hope this helps…
      • #2403778

        Well, Rick, I’ve checked both of my machines that have 21H1 installed as an upgrade from an original, clean installation of 2004 and neither one has that specific file in the system32 folder by default. The listing of files goes …XpsRasterService.dll, Xpsservices.dll, xpwizard.dtd…, so there is no file named xpsrchvw.exe, even with enabling the viewing of hidden files and folders and protected system files and folders. This leads me to believe that the only way for this file to show up for those running 1803-21H2 (and that wasn’t upgraded from 1709 and earlier), is to add the viewer from the optional apps section of the Settings>Apps and features area as described in the linked article above from Windows Central.

        However, for those using anything newer than 1709 who have upgraded from an original, clean installation of 1709 (or earlier) to their current version, that file should be available, from what MS has stated in their support described in the article linked to above. For these folks, your suggestion about creating a shortcut on the desktop makes the viewer really easy to use, no need to remember where it hides within a menu somewhere!

        • This reply was modified 1 week ago by Bob99.
        • This reply was modified 1 week ago by Bob99.
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