What is an XPS File? Install and Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

XPS stands for XML Paper Specification and is a file format that is used to store documents with precise control over the layout and formatting of each page. The XPS format was designed as an open standard by Microsoft in order to compete with Adobe’s PDF, which has been the dominant document printing format for many years.

If you’ve ever wondered what an XPS file is, this article should answer any questions you have about it.

See more: 15 Best Free PDF Editors for Windows 11

What is an XPS File?

The XPS Viewer was included as a component of Windows starting with build 1803 of Windows 10. Unfortunately, the XPS format was unable to compete against PDF, and Microsoft has discontinued shipping it with Windows. This post will show you how to get the XPS viewer on your Windows 11 computer to read an XPS file that you can’t otherwise access.

A file with the file extension .xps or .oxps is an XPS document. This format allows for color and resolution independence. It allows you to manage a range of options, including printer, transparencies, color spaces in the CMYK color model, and color gradients.

XPS Viewer is Microsoft’s official application to view and edit XPS documents. The XPS viewer no longer comes bundled with the operating system in Windows 11. Although, Microsoft did give the option to add the viewer as an additional feature to the OS.

The XPS Viewer may not only view any .xps or .oxps documents, but it can also digitally sign them if required. You may also use XPS viewer to control file permissions or even convert them to PDFs. Here’s how to install XPS Viewer on a Windows 11 computer in some easy steps.

How to Get XPS Viewer on Windows

To launch the XPS Viewer, go to “Settings” from the Start Menu. Alternatively, holding the Windows+I keys together will open the app.

How to Change Wallpaper on Windows 11

Select ‘Apps’ from the left-hand menu of options in the Settings window.

Now, on the right panel, click the ‘Optional features’ tile.

Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

On the ‘Add an optional feature’ tile in the Optional features settings window, click the ‘View features’ button.

Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

A new ‘Add an optional feature’ window will appear. To discover more about (XPS Viewer), type “XPS Viewer” in the search bar. The XPS Viewer functionality will be around 3.27MB in size.

Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

Click the box next to XPS Viewer to select it, then click the ‘Next’ button.

After that, click the ‘Install’ button.

Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

Now, on the Optional features window, look for the ‘Recent actions’ category and you’ll see that the XPS Viewer is being installed. Let it sit for a while before you start the XPS Viewer.

Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

Using XPS Viewer on Windows 11

It’s time to utilize XPS Viewer once you’ve installed it. To launch XPS Viewer on Windows 11, search for “XPS Viewer” in the Start menu and select the option from the results.

From the toolbar, click on the ‘File’ option. Then, choose ‘Open…’ from the drop-down menu to find an XPS file.

Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

Open the XPS file by navigating to its location in the File Explorer window. After you’ve chosen the file, click Open.

The document will now appear on the XPS Viewer window.

How to Convert .xps or .oxps to PDF with XPS Viewer

You can’t only view .xps or .oxps files in XPS Viewer, but you may also convert them to PDF using the Microsoft Print to PDF function. To do this, you must have the XPS document open. Select the ‘Printer’ icon at the top of the screen.

Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

Under the Select Printer selection, choose ‘Microsoft Print to PDF’ in the Print window. Then hit ‘Print.’ 

Note: If you can’t find Microsoft Print to PDF on Windows 11, check out this article now.

Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

The file will be saved to your selected location in a File Explorer dialog box. Then, go to the folder where you’d like to keep the converted PDF file. After you’ve named it, click the ‘Save’ button.

Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

It’s complete. You’ll see the conversion process in a tiny XPS Viewer window, and then your converted PDF file will be saved.

XPS Viewer Uninstallation Instructions

If you want to remove XPS Viewer from your Windows 11 computer, follow these simple directions..

‘Uninstall‘ will appear in the Installed features section and all you need is just click on it. Now, turn off and restart your computer to completely remove XPS Viewer from your system.

Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

XPS Viewer & Converter for Online


If you’re in a hurry to convert just one or two XPS documents, there are several online converters that can assist you. XPS to PDF is one such conversion service. It’s a simple conversion site.

With this free online converter, you may instantly transform XPS to PDF. There’s no software to install or registration required. There is no watermark on the finished document.

Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

After selecting the appropriate conversion option, you may drag and drop your XPS file (maximum of 20 XPS files ) to convert it to PDF or select the “UPLOAD FILES” button to begin.

On the browser window, the XPS file will be converted to PDF. You may save the file by clicking on the “Download” button. Just wait for the conversion to finish and download individual files or in a ZIP package.


Convertio is a free tool for converting XPS files to PDF with the a few clicks of a button. It’s easy to use, reliable, and fast. Unlike most other tools on the market today, there are no watermarks or ads on your converted pdfs. With convertio you can convert any number of xps files at once and they’ll all be converted in seconds!

Click on Choose files

Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

Select Convert.

Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

Waiting for a second and click Download button now.

Use XPS Viewer on Windows 11

This is how to convert XPS files to PDFs using an online converter.


The XPS Viewer on Windows 11 is a feature that allows users to open, view, and print documents in the eXtensible Paper Standard (XPS) format. XPS Viewer is also a powerful tool for those who need to view XPS documents on Windows 11 and it has the ability to convert XPS files into PDFs. You can use XPS Viewer as an alternative way of converting Xps files without installing any third-party applications.

We hope you found our post helpful; if so leave us a comment below telling us how you use the XPS Viewer with other applications in your workflows today!

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