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Canon .CR3 files do not show thumbnails in Windows 10

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I have searched for answers and get very confused by the answers. Plus, many say that installing RAW file extension from Microsoft helped for a short time but then stopped working.

Do you have an answer that, a NOT techie, can solve this issue?

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That's because the software that is built into Windows isn't updated to support the CR3 files. Keep in mind, that even though you shoot Raw, the Images that you see in Explorer are actually the JPEG Preview that is part of the Raw file, and not the Raw Image itself.

From what I've found, is that there seems to be a Raw Images Extension Program that gives you the ability to view CR3 files. But with anything like this that comes from Microsoft, it takes time, usually years, to finally get it right and by that time, we will be onto CR4 files! :D  

Honestly? You are either going to have to find a free program put out by Canon to view the CR3 files or purchase one like File Viewer Plus or the program I use, Photo Mechanic 6.

I know what you are after. Back in the day, you used to be able to download a piece of software called a "Codec" that gave you the ability to view files in the Windows Explorer as a Thumbnail and such. Well, it's not that simple anymore. The reason is the way the CR3 files are and how they are written. Here is a blurb from Photo Mechanic:



Some Canon models will embed an HEIF in CR3 files when shooting in their HDR modes. Photo Mechanic cannot preview these CR3 files at this time. We recommend setting your camera to record an HEIF sidecar file along with the RAW if you would like to be able to use Photo Mechanic to browse these images. 

So even a beefy program like Photo Mechanic will have trouble reading CR3 files, and this is something they specialize in. Microsoft and Windows on the other hand, have to cater to every developer on the planet and if Canon won't give the recipe on how to view CR3 files correctly, too-bad-so-sad, you are SOL.

From the little bit of searching that I've done, it doesn't look like you can do it the way you want to. I'd try File Viewer Plus to see how that works for you, otherwise, you are looking at using Adobe Bridge or Lightroom to view the files and just skip trying to make Windows bend to your will. CR3 files aren't like CR2 files.

Give it a shot and report back. This question does get asked on a normal basis.

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