The best free file viewing/converting software for your Windows PC

Every now and then, you might come across a file type you can't open. We've got a utility that can help you here – and we've also got plenty more when it comes to file viewing and converting tasks, none of which cost a penny. Dive in for our top picks including FreeCommander, and that golden image converting oldie, IrfanView...

Modify a batch of images with this utility. It'll resize photos, flip them, rotate them, change the format on the fly, or add watermark text.

FreeCommander is considered, by many, to be the perfect version of Windows Explorer. It features dual-panels, an optional tree for each panel, tabs, built-in FTP, built-in archive handling, file wipes, and a lot of very cool features in general.

Occasionally, everyone runs across a file they just can't open. That probably won't be the case if FreeOpener is on hand. It will let you view more than 80 kinds of file formats, from docs to videos to audio to images to archives.

Since 1996, multi-lingual IrfanView (pronounced "ear-fan-view") has been the leader among tiny programs providing instant viewing and conversion of graphics – and indeed video and audio, more recently.

It's all about access with Listary, which makes a search seem better than storing shortcuts or even using folders to launch programs. But it does more than just launching; it also has a smart menu of file commands, and that's just the start.

Dual-pane xplorer2 lite packs tabs, file previews, an integrated text editor, batch file renaming, and more in a light package.

This image-only converter/viewer can read 400 types of graphics and export to about 50, including Animated GIF files. Get the sister program, Nconvert, to do batch conversions as needed.