A Graphics Interchange Format file, or GIF, is one of the most popular image file types on the web along with JPEG, according to File Info, a file extension resource website. This is because GIF format is able to compress images to a reasonable file size without losing too much quality. It also can contain small animations. Unfortunately, the Windows image viewer Photo Gallery does not support GIF files. To open GIFs, you will need to associate them with an Internet browser.
Save a GIF to the desktop.
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Right-click the GIF to pull up the options menu.
Select the "Open With" option. This will pull up a small list of applications that may support the file.
Press the "Choose Program" button at the bottom of this screen. This will pull up a more extensive list.
Click an icon representing a browser, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome, to highlight it. All browsers are programmed to support GIF files.
Check the box next to the "Always use Selected Program to Open this Type of File" option at the bottom of the screen. This will ensure that you do not have to go through this process in the future to open GIFs.
Press "OK." The file will then open in a browser window.