How do I view XPS documents in Windows Server 2008?

The XPS Viewer is a component of the .NET Framework 3.0, which in turn is a feature of the operating system. So you need to make sure you have it installed. Start up Server Manager, select Features and add the feature:


[Update: because I realised there was a problem just after I published the post, here's the "science bit"...]

Hopefully this will just work for you. On my Windows Server 2003 x64 machine it did not. Double clicking an XPS document brought up the "which program do you want to open this document with" dialog and XPS Viewer was not listed

So hit the "Browse" button and point it to "C:WindowsSysWOW64XPSViewerXPSViewer.exe".

Thereafter, the same dialog should offer you just XPS Viewer and you can then check the checkbox for "Always use this program"



Comments (3)

  1. And the reason I was trying to view an XPS document was because I wanted to print my MCP transcript which

  2. sparky00 says:


    I have all this enabled but the problem is with IE – whenever I try to open the xps doc I keep getting a security error and no matter what it will not allow me to add the folder containing the files to the trusted sites list. I even when in and enabled everything I can find but I keep getting that security error all the time. I am getting incredibly annoyed since all the Windows 7 whitepapers are in xps and I can’t open a single one. Running Server 08 64bit

    thanks if you have some ideas

  3. Hi Sparky00

    I see the same problem as you when I have Internet Explorer enhanced security enabled (which it is by default) and I have saved the XPS locally.

    I could not immediately see the right syntax to add a local file location as a trusted site. However the following worked for me:

    Share out the folder with the PDC docs to yourself, eg, so you can access the folder as \mymachinepdcdocs

    Now add file:\mymachinepdcdocs as a trusted site.

    (in fact, when you look in the list after clicking "Add" you’ll see that IE has added file:\mymachine (i.e. your machine is now the trusted site, not just that share, which makes sense)

    Now when you browse to the share and double click the document it should work.



Skip to main content