How to Open NEF Files in Windows 10?

Confused about how to open NEF files in Windows 10?

Well, NEF files are very commonly used out there.

If you use Nikon cameras, then you’d have definitely come across files with the NEF extension.

In this article, we’ll explain you about the NEF file extension.

Along with that, we’ll also be sharing an easy method to open NEF format files in Windows 10 machines.

Also Read -> Download Full Windows 11 Version for Free

What is the NEF File Format?


In the introduction, we mentioned that Nikon camera users will usually come across NEF files.

Why is that?

Well, NEF stands for Nikon Electronic Format.

As you may have already guessed, the NEF format is a standard image format from Nikon to store their images.

All the Nikon cameras will have the option to store images in NEF file format.

As the NEF format is developed and used by Nikon in their cameras, it is able to provide the best results in images.

Unlike standard and commonly used image formats such as JPG, JPEG, PNG, etc. NEF files will contain more image data that can be handy while editing the photos.

Thus, with the NEF images, photographers and editors get more flexibility with what they can do with the image file.

How to Open NEF Files in Windows 10 using Official NEF Codec?

Even though Nikon cameras are very popular, the NEF format really isn’t.

So, not all image editors and photo viewer software products can open NEF files by default.

Nikon provides an official codec file for NEF format which allows such files to be open in systems running Windows.

To install the codec, below are the necessary system requirements:

  • Either 32-bit or 64-bit Windows OS (Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8.1 Enterprise, Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Home).
  • 1GHz or better processor in the Intel Pentium 4, Core, or Celerion series.

Now, below are the steps to follow to install official Nikon NEF Codec in Windows 10.

  1. Visit the official Nikon NEC Windows Codec download page here.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the web page.
  3. Click on the “Accept” check box, select your region, and click on the “Download” button.
  4. Now, on your preferred hard drive location, create a folder and name it as you desire. We will store the codec data in this folder.
  5. Make sure to move the downloaded codec installer to the new folder you created in step 4 above.
  6. Double-click on the codec installer that you just downloaded.
  7. A new window will now appear.
  8. Follow the instructions displayed on the window to follow through the installation of the codec.

The latest version of the Nikon NEF Codec is 1.31.2.

While installing the latest codec version, make sure to uninstall any previous versions that may already be present on your computer.

Final Words

The NEF Windows Codec does not support all the cameras in Nikon’s lineup.

The codec does provide support for all the popular and newer digital SLR cameras, mirror-less cameras, advanced interchangeable lens cameras, and compact digital cameras.

You can find the complete list of supported Nikon cameras by the NEF codec in the download page.