How to Download and Install Canon’s ZoomBrowser EX Software on Windows XP and Vista
[Note: For Windows 7, see this post. It’s slightly different.]
Canon offers some useful free software to help you use your camera. Canon’s ZoomBrowser EX is a great example. ZoomBrowser EX helps you import files to your computer, organize/view them, and perform some editing.
The trouble is, even though Canon makes the latest version of the software freely available on its website, the software is designed so that you can’t download and install a new version unless you’ve already installed an older version from a disc. These CDs are included with each Canon camera, but it’s highly possible that you lost it or bought the camera second hand without a CD.
So is there a workaround, so that you can download the software and install it on Windows XP / Windows Vista anyway…?
Yes, yes there is. And it’s amazingly simple.
All you have to do is make a tiny edit to your Windows XP/Vista Registry. While you can do some damage to your system if you edit the wrong parts of your Windows XP/Vista registry, don’t worry. Making these minor adjustments is perfectly safe, and if you follow the instructions you won’t mess anything up.
First, open the Windows Registry Editor. In the start menu, choose “Run” and type in “regedit”. Run the program, and select “Yes,” if the User Access Control dialog box comes up.
In the Windows Registry, navigate to Computer -> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Canon. To install Zoombrowser EX, you need to create two new registry keys to trick your computer into thinking that you’ve already installed the software. Right click on the “Canon” key (folder), select “New -> Key.” Call the new key “ZoomBrowser EX.” Then, right click on the new “ZoomBrowser EX” key, and create another new key, called, “Settings.”
Now, all you need to do is download and install the latest version of ZoomBrowser EX from the Canon website (currently version 6.7.2). Unfortunately, I can’t directly link to the file, the way the Canon website is set up.
Go to the product page on the Canon website for your camera – as an example, let’s use the Canon t3i product page. Click on the “Drivers & Software” option. Choose your operating system, Windows XP / Vista, in the dropdown menu.
Now look down the list of “Software” that’s available. You’re looking for something like “ZoomBrowser EX 6.7.2 Updater (zb672upd-en.exe).” Download the file, install it, and you’re good to go.
[Note: The reason why I specified Windows XP / Vista throughout this post is that the registry key is slightly different on a Windows 7 system. If you're on a newer machine, create the registry keys in Computer -> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SOFTWARE -> Wow6432Node -> Canon. The Wow6432Node key is a new addition in Windows 7.]
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