How to Open and Read Comics in Windows 11

Comics, much like their bigger book brothers, are available in both paper and digital forms. Unfortunately, Windows 11 doesn’t have any kind of comic book reader app installed on it by default.

However, you can read digital comics in Windows 11 with third-party software that can open common comic file formats, such as CBZ and CBR. This is how you can read comics with the Cover and YACReader apps.

First, Download Some Comics

Firstly, download a few comic books to open and read in YACReader and Cover. The GetComics website is a good place to download some freely available comics. Click a cover image for a comic to download there. Then select the Download Now option to save the file for it to a folder.

There are also many other similar websites you can get comics. Some comic libraries have freely available downloads, but others are storefronts selling them. Check out our best comic book website guide for details about alternative sources.

When you’ve downloaded comics, it’s a good idea to set up a new, empty folder to store them. Right-click the desktop area of Windows 11 and select the New > Folder options. Then input Comic Books for the directory’s title. Move your downloaded comics into that folder by dragging and dropping their files within File Explorer.

How to Read Comic Books With Cover

Now you’ve got some comics to read; it’s time to open them in Windows 11. Cover is a Microsoft Store app with which you can open and read comics. That app supports all major comic file formats, which makes it a good enough choice. Cover is freely available up to a point, as the free app version comes with a 25-comic limit. These are the steps for installing and opening a comic in Cover:

  1. Open the Cover – Comic reader page on Microsoft Store.
  2. Press Cover’s Get in Store app button.
  3. Select the Open Microsoft Store option.
  4. Click Get to download and install Cover.
  5. Select Open on Cover’s MS Store page to launch the comic reader app.
  6. Press the Add folder to library button.
  7. Click the Add local folder option.
  8. Next, select the Comic Books folder previously set up that includes some comics.
  9. Press the Select Folder button.
  10. Now you’ll see some thumbnail images for the comics in the selected folder inside the Library tab. Click a comic you want to read there to open in Cover.
  11. You can flick through the pages by clicking the comic and dragging the slider on the bar. Or press the left and right arrow keys.

It’s best to read comics in a maximized Cover window since the text might otherwise be a bit small. Click the comic and select its Two Page and Fit width options to view double pages across the full width of the window. Then you can scroll down the pages with the mouse and flick through pages by pressing the arrow keys.

Cover has a Night Mode option you can adjust brightness with and enable a night filter. Click the comic and press the Night mode button to bring up the Brightness bar. Then you can drag the bar’s slider down. Or click the Night filter button to dim the light for comics in Cover.

As you’re limited to a 25-comic library in Cover, you’ll probably need to erase some comics you’ve read to view new ones at some stage. To do that, open a comic’s source folder in File Explorer. Right-click a comic file in that folder and select Delete. Then click the See more button at the top right of the Cover app to select Refresh library.

How to Read Comic Books With YACReader

YACReader is a good alternative freeware comic reader to Cover for Windows platforms dating back to Vista. Unlike Cover, YACReader doesn’t restrict you to a 25-comic library. It also incorporates some nice unique features. This is how you can open up comics with YACReader:

  1. Open the Download page on the YACReader website.
  2. Press the Download YACReader button.
  3. Select the File Explorer shortcut on the Windows taskbar.
  4. Open the folder your browser downloaded YACReader’s installer to, and double-click the YACReader-v9.10.0.2210304-winx64-7z-qt6.exe file.
  5. Select Next to click YACReader’s I accept agreement option.
  6. Then click Next > Install to add YACReader to your software library.
  7. Bring up the YACReader app.
  8. Click the button with the speech mark bubble icon on YACReader’s toolbar.
  9. Select Open to view a file selection window.
  10. Then select a comic file in your Comic Books folder, and click Open to view it.
  11. Press the Next and Previous arrow buttons on the toolbar to turn the comic’s pages.

The comics will also be a little small in a non-maximized YACReader window, as in Cover. So, it’s recommended to maximize the app’s window. Click the Double-page mode button to view two pages in a single window. Selecting the Fit to Width option will give you a view of the comic that’s not too small or big.

You can save pages in YACReader by clicking the Set bookmark button. Select the Show bookmarks option to view thumbnails for your saved pages. You can select a bookmarked page to open from there.

YACReader’s Show go to flow option is one of its more unique features. Pressing that button brings up a box that displays page thumbnail previews you can flick through and open pages with. That’s a useful feature for selecting specific pages in a comic.

Page flow has five transition effect presets you can choose in the Options window. Click Options on the right side of YACReader’s toolbar. Select the Page Flow tab, and choose one of the five preset options. You can also tweak each preset by clicking Show advanced settings and dragging the bar slider options. Press the Save button and restart YACReader to apply a new preset.

How to Read Comics in Your Web Browser

You don’t have to install third-party software to read comics in Windows 11. Instead, you can view and read them in a browser. Some comic book websites include options for viewing comics on them. Alongside the best ways to read comics online for free, you can also try:

You can read comics on those websites by scrolling down their pages in your browser or clicking the next/previous page buttons. However, the page view options for comics on websites are more limited than those in YACReader and Cover. Nor can you select to bookmark pages. So, most users will probably prefer to download and read comics in Cover and YACReader.

Get Stuck Into Comics in Windows 11

Now you can get stuck into a multitude of freely available comics in Windows 11 with Cover and YacReader. Those apps have all the options and tools you’ll need to open and read comics. However, you can also open comics in Windows with the likes CDisplay Ex MComix, which are two of the best alternatives.

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