View Full Version : Using Irfanview on a USB memory stick.

09.11.2014, 10:32 PM
Important - Please note: The file i_view32.exe which I am encouraging you to put onto a USB stick and take out with you is subject to the Irfanview license agreement. That requires that if you intend using it at your place of work or for any commercial purpose you must register and purchase it. If in any doubt you should contact Irfan Skiljan at the email address on the Irfanview - Official homepage.

Irfanview is an ideal portable application and can be run from a USB memory stick very easily. Being a very compact program it runs fast too.

Although a special version is available that can be launched from a Portable Apps menu it is not needed if all you want to do is show your pictures on a computer that belongs to someone else who does not have Irfanview installed. Irfanview takes up a tiny space on the USB stick, so you will have plenty of room left for your pictures too.
If you have Irfanview installed on your own computer at home then a copy of what you have there will work fine on a USB stick too. You do not need to download it again. All you have to do is to find the program file i_view32.exe in the Irfanview folder on your computer and copy it to somewhere on the USB memory stick. That's all. You now have a working program on the stick that you can take out and run on any Windows computer that you plug it into.

I would recommend that you create a new empty folder on the stick and name it Irfanview, then put i_view32.exe there. That makes it easier to find and to add other things that you may want to include in the folder later. The easy way to copy the i_view32.exe file to the stick is to drag it from the Irfanview folder in Program Files on the C: drive (if that is where you have it installed) and just drop it into the Irfanview folder on your stick. See the image below.


Whenever you double click on the i_view32.exe file you have put on the stick, an empty Irfanview window should open on the desktop. In the View menu you can change the Display options to a Fit to Window mode instead of Fit to Desktop, if you prefer to have a window that does not move around, and you can then adjust the window size and position to where you prefer to have it. Unless you want the window centered on the screen then remember to uncheck "Center image in Window" too. When you close Irfanview you will see that a new file, i_view32.ini, has been created and saved in the Irfanview folder on the stick to hold your settings.

You may be surprised how much you can do with just this basic program. You will only be able to work with the more common Image file types and will not have all the editing functions you get when the Irfanview plugins pack is installed but you can very easily add plugins later should you need to.
You will probably find also, on another computer, that you cannot just double click on an image file to open it in Irfanview. If Irfanview is not installed there then the image file will almost certainly be associated with some other application and will open in that. Instead double click on i_view32.exe on the stick to open an Irfanview window, then left click on the image file and while holding down the mouse button drag the icon over to the window. Release the button to drop the image into the open window. You can also drop it directly onto the i_view32.exe file, or create a shortcut to that file on the desktop and drop onto that instead. You do not need to close the window when you have finished browsing that folder. Just drag and drop another image file onto whatever is currently displayed. You might also experiment with dropping a whole folder of images into an open Irfanview window to see what that does.
More about all this later. Meanwhile do let us know how you use Irfanview "on-the go".

16.11.2014, 03:40 PM
You need to be aware that when you plug your USB memory stick into another computer, it may not be given the same drive letter as it had on your own machine. That can be awkward if you have shortcuts on the stick to help you locate the Irfanview program file or if you have prepared a slideshow on your computer to show somewhere else. If the drive letter has changed then neither the Irfanview program file nor the images for the slideshow will be found.

Usually when you first plug in the USB stick a dialog box will appear where you can select and click on "Open folder to view files". Windows Explorer will then open showing the folders on your stick and you will be able to find the one named Irfanview fairly easily and open that to find the i_view32.exe file that starts the program. If you close Irfanview after using it and then want to open it again, it may not be so easy to open Windows Explorer again at the right drive on an unfamiliar computer. So it might be useful to create a shortcut to i_view32.exe on the Desktop of the computer you are using when you first locate it after plugging in. This time you click and hold down on the file icon using the Right mouse button and drag it onto the Desktop. When you let go of the right mouse button a small dialog appears allowing you to select either Move, Copy or Create a shortcut to the file. Choose "Create a shortcut" by left clicking on that option. If you want to remove it from the desktop when you have finished on that computer, right click the icon and choose Delete.

Sorting out the Slideshow problem is a bit more difficult. If you have previously run the show from the USB stick on your home computer you will find that a file called Slideshow.lst has been created in the Irfanview folder. This contains the full path name of each image file in the show and that path name will now be wrong because the drive letter has changed. You will need to open that file in Notepad on the new host computer and edit the drive letter at the start of all the path names using Find and Replace. You will probably not be able to open Notepad just by double clicking on Slideshow.lst because, by default, only .txt files will be associated with it and not .lst

If it is all sounding too difficult that is why I will tell you in my next post about a script file I wrote to make things easier. If you want to discuss the problems meanwhile though do post here.

24.11.2014, 07:04 PM
So here goes.
Attached to the bottom of this post you will find an attachment called "Irfanview.zip". To use it you need to download it and copy it to your USB stick. Then you need to extract its contents there and you have all you need to get started with a portable version of Irfanview.

You should also download the other file at the bottom, "How to use.txt". You can read there information about how to extract from the zip file, if you are not familiar with that. You can open "How to use.txt" by just double clicking it. It will probably open in Notepad. If it does that and the words go off the edge of the screen, you will need to click "Format" on the menu and put a tick against "Word wrap" by clicking on it. You should then be able to read the instructions that it contains. Although you may already know all about zip files, there is other information here that may be useful when you come to use the script file that is included in the package.

The script file, when double clicked, will create a shortcut on the Desktop of the host computer for you, so that you do not need to create one yourself as in the first post. It can also solve some of the problems that are listed in the second one. This file was originally posted in the Working scripts forum area to solve a different problem but I found it so useful myself that I developed it to use on a USB stick. You can read what I have been using it for and why I called it Irfanview bucket in this post (https://irfanview-forum.de/showthread.php?t=9675&p=43248&viewfull=1#post43248).

The shortcut is a link to the script file on the stick and makes full use of drag and drop operations from a USB memory stick . It accepts multiple files and folders, not just a single one as Irfanview does. It then builds those into a list and starts Irfanview using the "/Filelist=" command line option. That means it is a lot more versatile than a standard Irfanview shortcut. Here is an outline of what you can do with it:

1. Drag a selection of image files and folders from Windows Explorer and drop them onto the shortcut to the script file. Irfanview is opened automatically.
2. You can select as many files and/or folders to drop as you like and in any combination.
3. Only files and folders that you do select will be used. You do not have to load all the files in a folder when you do not want them.
4. You can select a block of files by using the Shift key as you select or a random set of files using the Ctrl key.
5. The order of selection does not matter. The images will be displayed in the order they appeared in Windows Explorer, except that the file you click on to drag the selection will be displayed first. Note: You can get Windows Explorer to sort the files in various ways before making the selection e.g. By date taken (from Exif data).
6. You can also use virtual folders such as Libraries or Search results and drag selections from those.
7. You can add to the selections by dropping more onto the shortcut as many times as you wish before viewing them all.
8. You can also drop text files that contain lists of image files onto the shortcut. The script tries to repair incorrect paths in a list by using the path to the list file itself as a guide. For this to work the list file should be on the same drive and preferably in the same folder as the image files that are listed in it.
9. A temporary text file "Bucket list.txt", which contains a full path list of all images that Irfanview can show, is created on the desktop. This file can be viewed or copied for future use while Irfanview is running but will be deleted automatically when Irfanview is closed.
11. When you have finished viewing the images close Irfanview in the usual way by clicking the Red X box or using Esc.
12. You can restart Irfanview by dropping more files onto the shortcut or by double clicking the shortcut. The latter will open an empty window in which you can Open files from the File menu in the normal way or by drag and dropping them directly into the window.
13. If you open Irfanview by double clicking the script shortcut and do not drop any files onto that shortcut while Irfanview remains open, then a dialog box appears when you close it. This asks if you would like to delete the shortcut icon and clear the desktop. Answer OK if you do or Cancel if you want to continue using the shortcut.

The real value of being able to drop a list of files onto the shortcut is that you can control the exact order that the images will appear when you show them. You no longer need to rename the files to do it. If you want to prepare in advance a list of the images to show, when you take the stick out with you, then you already have the tools to do it. I will tell you in another post how to use Irfanview's Slideshow and Thumbnails windows to compose and sort a file list and then where to put the list on your USB stick for best results.

29.11.2014, 09:30 PM
There are several useful things you can do with the Thumbnails dialog that may prove useful.
If you have dropped a lot of images onto the shortcut then you may not always want to start displaying from the start of the list. In that case press "T" to open the thumbnails viewer, find the thumbnail of the image you do want to start with and double click that. The Browser window comes to the front displaying the image where you want to start. Notice that as you advance through the list the selected thumbnail keeps in step with the image in the Browser. To bring the Thumbnail window to the front again at any time press the "Tab" key. Press "Tab" again to bring the Browser window to the front. Pressing "T" a second time will close the Thumbnail browser when you have finished with it. The "T" and "Tab" keys work with the browser in a window or in Fullscreen.

Another use of the Thumbnail window is to change the order in which the images are shown. The thumbnails can be moved around by dragging to a new position while holding down the left mouse key. It is a little different to Powerpoint and similar applications. You do not drop in the gap between 2 thumbnails. Instead you drop onto the thumbnail that currently occupies the position where you want to move it to. As you drop, the block of slides between where you drop and where you dragged from, moves to fill the space you left behind. So you always drop short, on the image you want to follow if dragging the thumbnail from earlier in the show and on the one you want to be in front of when dragging from later on.

To save the thumbnail list in your chosen order you must first select those images to be included. If you want them all, press Ctrl+A. If not select a block or random images in conjunction with Shift or Ctrl keys as usual. You now have 2 options - to use the menu option "File > Save selected file names as TXT..." and then choose a name and folder to put it in, or to Save it as "Slideshow.lst". If you intend to use the Slideshow.lst option, ensure beforehand that a file of that name does not already exist in the Irfanview folder on your USB stick. If there is delete it. After you have selected the images for the new thumbnail list as described above, just press F4. A new Slideshow.lst is created in the Irfanview folder. If you use this method you can append more files to the list if you wish by selecting other thumbnails and pressing F4 again.

Using v1.5 or later of the script file (see "Last edited.." line of previous post) either TXT or LST files containing image lists are accepted when dropped onto the shortcut, so no further renaming is needed. However if you want to ensure that the image files listed can always be located later, even if the folder structure is accidentally changed, you should move the file containing the list into the same folder as the images. If you do not want to mix list files in with the images, a subfolder can be created in the images folder for lists to be kept in.

If images are in a variety of folders try to arrange for them all to share a common folder at the head of a tree and ensure that the folder structure below is not subsequently changed. List files can then be placed anywhere within the folder structure. All that the script requires is a folder name, somewhere in the path of the list file dropped onto the shortcut, that is also contained in the path name of the image to be found.

05.12.2014, 07:20 PM
I will show a simple application of using the slideshow dialog first with step by step illustrations to show the principles and move on to more complex situations in another post.
In this first example I will build a file list using drag and drop and save it on the USB memory stick in the file Slideshow.lst
I will then show how to use the USB stick on another computer and what happens when you do.

Step 1. With the USB stick plugged in, open Windows Explorer by pressing Windows key+E. On a Windows keyboard, the Windows key is usually positioned between Ctrl and Alt and needs to be held down while "E" is pressed and released. You will see in the first attachment at the bottom of this post that I have 3 Hard drives and partitions so the USB stick has been installed as drive G: . It probably will not be G: when it is plugged in to some other computer so the list we make now will need to be edited before use but that will be done for you by the script file.

Step 2. Find and open the Irfanview folder. Apart from the 4 files you installed using the zip file in post #3, you may find the file "Slideshow.lst" too. If so, I recommend that you delete it. It is not essential to delete it, as you had to do in post 3, because this time we will be opening the slideshow dialog and we can remove previous images by pressing the "Remove All" control button, but it gives more confidence when you see "Slideshow.lst" again in step 6 to know that this is not the same file as you are looking at now. When ready double click "Irfanview bucket.vbs" to open the Irfanview bucket shortcut on the desktop.

Step 3. Double click the Irfanview bucket shortcut to open an Irfanview window, and launch the slideshow dialog window either from the menu , by selecting File > Slideshow, or by pressing key "W".

Step 4. In the Windows Explorer window find and open the folder that contains the images for your show and move it close to the slideshow dialog as shown in the 4th attachment. You can now start dragging image files from Explorer in the order you want them to be shown and dropping them into the "Slideshow files" pane of the dialog. You will find this much quicker than selecting from the "Look in" pane. If you do make a mistake in the order you can put it right by using the "Move Up" and "Move Down" control buttons.
When the list is complete save it by pressing the "Play slideshow" button. You do not have to watch the whole slideshow. Stop it as soon as it starts by pressing "Esc" key and then close the Irfanview window.

Step 5. You now need to open another Explorer window by pressing Windows+E again. Find and open the Irfanview folder and drag "Slideshow.lst" out to drop into the other Explorer window showing the image files. You can now close all open windows and delete anything else that you do not want to leave on the desktop before unplugging the USB stick ready to take out with you.

Step 6. We have now moved the USB stick to another computer where the show is to be run. Plug in the USB stick and use the "Open folders to view files" button to find the Images folder, or if it does not appear, use Windows+E again as before. Find the Irfanview window and double click "Irfanview bucket.vbs" as you did in step 3 to open the shortcut on the Desktop of this computer. Navigate to the images folder as you did in step 4 and drag "Slideshow.lst" back out of the folder to drop onto the Irfanview bucket shortcut.

Step 7. Irfanview should now open displaying the first of your images and you can start showing the images, hopefully all in the right order. Notice that another file icon has appeared on the desktop called "Bucket list.txt". This file contains the file list, but now with the drive letter adjusted to where the USB stick is installed on this computer.

Step 8. If you have problems or are just interested you can drag "Bucket list.txt" and drop it into the Irfanview window to view the list. If the writing is too small, press Ctrl+H to enlarge to original size. The text image is just temporarily fitted into the place of the image that it was dropped onto. The original show can be restored by moving forward one image then back.
Note that in this particular application all that needed to be changed in the list was the Drive letter. To do this the list file is only required to be on the same drive as the images, so it could have been left in the Irfanview folder and dragged to the shortcut from there. Putting it in the images folder however allows for the whole path to be rebuilt by the script, so the folder could have been moved around and nested with others anywhere on the stick before being shown and still operate successfully.

08.12.2014, 09:47 PM
In the previous post the script file had a fairly easy task since all that was needed was to change the drive letter from G: to E: in the file list. This one is a lot more challenging.
Images come from 4 different folders on the hard drive of my home computer and selected files are saved there as lists. Then the folders and lists are copied to a USB stick which is taken to another computer and one of the lists is used there to display the images in a defined order.
Here are the steps required, again illustrated in the attachments below;

1. Here one of the lists is being prepared using the slideshow dialog of the installed version of Irfanview on the C: drive. The same technique is used as in the previous post of dragging the images from Windows Explorer windows into the "Slideshow files" pane. We need not be limited to one Explorer window. Here we have 2 Explorer windows open to drag from as well as using the "Look In" pane of the dialog.

2. This time we will save the completed list as a .txt file using the dialog option. The "Save filenames as TXT file" button is pressed, and the list saved as "Gardens.txt". Note the paths of the files being saved. The 4 image folders are all in the same parent folder named "Australia" but the path to that folder is one that only exists on the hard drive of this computer. That part of the path will be of no use on another computer where the folder called "Australia" will not be on the hard drive but on a USB stick. If a copy of the list file we have just saved is put in the "Australia" folder though, it can be used to create a new path to it on the USB stick instead. There will be several file lists in the "Australia" parent folder, so a new folder has been made in the parent to hold them all.

3. The list we have prepared is designed to be used as a slideshow. On the USB stick though we intend to show them in the normal browser window. Irfanview does not provide any direct way to open a text file in the browser. So it is difficult to check that the list you have prepared does all you want it to. Attachment 3 shows the steps of a workaround where the images are opened from the list "Gardens.txt" in the Thumbnails window and then displayed in the browser by double clicking the first of the Thumbnails. Unless you use a script file this is probably the only way before you have copied all the images to the USB stick that you could check that the images will display in the right order in a browser window.

4. The structure of the parent folder "Australia" is now being copied to the USB stick. We could copy all the images contained in the 4 folders, but if we are short of space on the stick, we only need to copy those that were selected for use in the lists. We include the lists folder too of course since the lists are what specify the order of the images when shown.

5. We can now take the USB stick with us and use it on another computer by employing the Script file to sort out where the images are on the stick and which drive letter the stick has been given there. We start as before by finding the Irfanview folder and double clicking the Script file to create a shortcut on the computer desktop.

6. We now navigate to the folder "Australia" and open the Lists folder. The list "Gardens.txt" is then dragged out and dropped onto the shortcut.

7. All 42 of the images have been successfully located and can now be shown in the browser window, or by pressing the Enter button, in Fullscreen mode. Operation is exactly the same as when Irfanview is being used on your home computer with the full range of hot keys available if you want to drive the show from the keyboard.

8. You can see what the script has done to the list if you wish by dragging "Bucket list.txt" and dropping it into the Irfanview window. You may also like to rename and move Bucket list.txt to replace "Gardens.txt". Then when using the stick on another computer, all the script needs to do is to change the drive letter. For that this new "Gardens.txt" can be located anywhere on the USB stick.

14.12.2014, 08:59 PM
If you have been watching that "Last edited.." line at the bottom of post #3 you may have noticed that I updated the script file again. The previous post described how the path to a file list is used to guide the script to the locations of the images that are listed in it.

In script versions 1.5 and earlier, if the image file was not found using this method, a blank line was left in the Bucket list so that the user could type in the correct path and file name manually using a text editor. In v1.6 the original entry is left unchanged when the image cannot be found. That allows the user to make further attempts to locate lost image files automatically by using alternative paths as guides. An example is given below. Again there is an image in the Attached thumbnails at the bottom of this post to illustrate each of the steps in the example:

1. I am preparing a new version of my Gardens talk. It has 18 of the images of Australian Botanical gardens that I used in post #6 but I am also including 11 images of a Singapore garden that we visited on the way to Australia. I will save the list as Gardens 2.txt . As in post #6 I am preparing the list from images on my hard drive at home and will then copy it to the USB stick, putting Gardens 2.txt with the earlier list files in the Australia folder.

2. Now the USB stick has been moved to another computer. I have opened the USB stick on that computer, found the Irfanview folder, double clicked the script file "Irfanview bucket.vbs" which created the shortcut back to the script you can see on the desktop there, all just as previously. I am now about to drag the new list file "Gardens 2.txt" onto the shortcut.

3. The show has opened with 18 image files loaded. That is no surprise as the Singapore images are not in the Australia parent folder, so they were not found using the list file I put there.

4. By dropping the Bucket list into the Irfanview window we can see that the Singapore entries are still present but with their original location on my hard drive at home. I need to give the script file a different guide to lead it to these images on the USB stick.

5. This is where the missing images are, in a folder called "Singapore city" in the parent "SE Asia". So I now drop the Bucket list onto the Singapore city folder to move the list there.

6. I have closed the Irfanview window that contained the incomplete show and opened "Singapore city" in Explorer to show the Bucket list that I moved there. I will now drop the Bucket list back onto the Script shortcut icon where it will provide the guide path back to the missing images.

7. Success. I now have all 29 images available. I pressed the "End" key to jump to the last image in the show just to see that it was the one I expected to find there. The "Home" and "End" keys are very useful for jumping straight to the first or last image in the show. Dragging the bucket list into the Irfanview window ....

8. .. confirms that the Singapore files have now been correctly located. To save having to repeat this operation every time I show it, I have here renamed "Bucket list.txt" to "Gardens 2.txt" and am dragging it into the Australia>Lists folder to replace the list that we started with. If only the drive letter needs to be changed next time, that is as far as the script needs to be guided. The remainder of the paths to all image files will still be correct.

07.09.2017, 08:50 AM
Hello Mij, I have a 64 bit Win10 and the only i_view i can find on hard drive is i_view64. What can I do ?

Bhikkhu Pesala
07.09.2017, 06:07 PM
Hello Mij, I have a 64 bit Win10 and the only i_view i can find on hard drive is i_view64. What can I do?
That is the one to copy "i_view64.exe" instead of "i_view32.exe"

07.09.2017, 08:18 PM
Yes. If you want it to run i_view64.exe just replace the "i_view32.exe" file in your Irfanview folder on the USB stick with a copy of your "i_view64.exe" file.
You will also need to open in Notepad the copy of my .vbs script file that you propose to use, look for the line "strApp= Relocate(":\Irfanview\i_view32.exe", strVBS)" and change the 32 in "i_view32.exe" to 64. Then save the .vbs file again.

When you start the program Irfanview will be looking for a settings file called "i_view64.ini" in the folder on the USB stick instead of the one called "i_view32.ini" but if it does not find it, a new one will be automatically created for you.

The advantage of using 32bit Irfanview as a portable version on a USB stick is that it will run on any version of Windows, 32 or 64 bit, whereas 64bit Irfanview will only run on a 64bit Windows computer.