How to enable the XPS viewer on Windows 10

Publication of documents online is governed by PDF format. No matter what type of file you download; brochure, magazine, report, brochure, chances are high that it will be in PDF format. A PDF document will look the same no matter what device or app you are viewing and will print the same no matter what device you print it on.

PDF is not the only format that does this. There is also an XPS file format.

XPS files

Microsoft developed the XPS file format to compete with PDF. The format has not been completely removed but that does not mean that you will never run into an XPS file. To create an XPS file, you need a document editor that can save to this format. All Microsoft Office applications can save to XPS format but cannot read them once the file is created. No modern browser can but you will find that some PDF readers support the format.

XPS Browser – Sumatra PDF reader

A good PDF reader will support XPS format. There are many great third-party PDF readers you can try. We recommend that you try Sumatra PDF Reader. It’s free, has an accessible and portable version, and supports XPS file format.

  1. Download Sumatra PDF Reader (select any version of your choice).
  2. Install and run Sumatra PDF reader.
  3. Drag & drop the XPS file on the app and it will open.

XPS Browser – Google Drive

If you do not want to install an app to view an XPS file, go with Google Drive. You can upload the XPS file to Google Drive and it will display the contents.

  1. Visit him Google Drive and sign in with your account.
  2. Click on the New button and select Upload file.
  3. Select the XPS file and wait for you to upload it.
  4. Double-click to open the file in Google Drive and it will open.

XPS Browser – Windows 10 stock app

Windows 10 used to come with its own XPS browser app. Unfortunately, Microsoft decided to stop it. The latest version of Windows 10 will not work out of the box but you can still install it.

  1. Open the Configuration application with keyboard shortcut Win + I.
  2. go to Apps.
  3. Select the Apps Tab & Features.
  4. Click Optional features.
  5. Click Add a feature.
  6. Choose an XPS browser from the list.
  7. Select Install (installation takes some time).
  8. Once installed, set it up right click on XPS file and select Open with.
  9. Choose XPS Browser from the context menu to open the file.


XPS is not widely supported, even by Microsoft ‘s own products. If this does not change, the format is unlikely to become more common. With our tests, we found that the Windows 10 XPS stock viewer was often unable to open certain types of XPS files, even those created in Microsoft Word. Sumatra PDF reader, on the other hand, was able to handle the format without issue, regardless of the content of the document. If you want to open an XPS file, and do not want to use the apps recommended here, look for a good PDF viewer and it should be able to do the job.

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