Does Windows 8 support Gif images and Animated Gif images?

To some of us it may sound like a strange question, but developers which are used to Silverlight or Windows Phone development know why I ask this question. In both Silverlight and Windows Phone Gif images aren’t directly supported. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know why. Luckily Silverlight and Windows Phone developers are helped by an open source project called Image Tools which enables support for Gif and Animated Gif.

Windows 8 – HTML5 + JS

For a starter I just downloaded an ordinary gif-image from the internet and with no knowledge about how to add an image to a Windows 8 application I used my web-knowledge.

<img src="/images/window.gif" />

And yes it does work. What about an animated gif? So I recall an interesting animated gif on Shawn Wildermuth’s blog, his head-shot. So without do anything else than changing the source of the image tag I created it started working. A surprise? Not really I already heard that the rendering engine for Windows 8 applications that are build in HTML5 + JS is based on IE, so this is what I did expect.

Windows 8 – XAML + C#

So I used my Silverlight knowledge to do in XAML what I did in HTML5, add an image.

<Image Source="/Images/window.gif" />

A really fast surprise it started working in the design view of the xaml document even before I ran the project. And also after running the application it seems to work perfectly. And the animated gif? It appears in the designer as well, but doesn’t animate in there. Also when running the application the animation doesn’t work.

Just a quick thought: Silverlight doesn’t support gif at all, what about WPF? After some googling it seems that WPF does support gif images, but not really the animated gifs. But there are people who created solutions that should work to enable animated gifs in WPF. So let’s see how much of that is possible in Windows 8.

The solution for WPF makes use of the GifBitmapDecoder which isn’t there in Windows 8. But I found something that sounds similar the BitmapDecoder. I tried to get the a small proof-of-concept working, but failed so far. I invite you to solve this Animated Gif problem using the information I’ve given. Please share your solution with the readers of this post.


We all know WinRT isn’t finished, we are just looking at a developer preview. If I recall it correctly WinRT should have the same features in XAML+C# as in HTML5+JS. Will this small difference in features be tackled in the final release?

  • Gravatar Axel January 26th, 2012 at 01:13
    So in short, No... Right?
  • Gravatar Mark Monster February 1st, 2012 at 15:57
    Hi Axel,

    In short depends on the technology you're using. XAML+C# no support, HTML5+JS support.


    Mark Monster
  • Gravatar zhaohui November 26th, 2012 at 06:44
    Hello,"Win8 Support Animated Gif images" this problem is solved? if solved, can you share your method,Thank you!This problem has troubled me for a long time,Accidentally saw your blog,I hope you can help me.
  • Gravatar zhaohui November 27th, 2012 at 02:48
    Hello,Windows 8 Animated Gif images in C#+xaml,Today,I solved this problem.
  • Gravatar Steph November 28th, 2012 at 18:14
    Hi zhaohui

    I'd love to know how you solved this. Any resources you can point me to?

  • Gravatar colra90 December 4th, 2012 at 14:47
    To all who need this solved: it is as easy as right clicking on a .gif file in windows and pointing it to another program to open it. The default is set to Internet Explorer, but if you change it to open with Picture Viewer you can view the .gifs just fine. Change the default from IE and you're good to go
  • Gravatar Henrik Brinch February 22nd, 2013 at 16:18
    I've had the same issue - I've written a blog post with a user control for Windows 8 that can load and display animated GIFs.

    Check out:
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