Family photos, made simple

Who doesn’t love a family reunion? Whether it’s a holiday or a summer get-together, you’ll always treasure the raucous meals, the nostalgic stories, the lifelong memories—and the 1,000 pictures that you now have on your digital camera.

Reunion photos don’t have to be overwhelming. Windows Photo Gallery makes organizing, editing, and sharing family photos a snap. Best of all, it's free.

Get started

You can download Photo Gallery for free. Then follow these steps to get up and running:

  • Click the Start button Picture of the Start button.
  • In the search box, type Photo Gallery, and then in the list of search results, click Windows Photo Gallery.

  • Click the Sign in button located in the upper-right corner of the screen. Once you have an account, you’ll be able to share photos and videos with family and friends.

  • Enter your Microsoft account email address and password.

The photos that automatically appear in Photo Gallery are stored in the My Pictures (or My Videos) folder on your computer. You can also upload images from a digital camera, storage card, or scanner.

Separate photos by the people in them

No one—not even your family—wants to see all of your photos, especially the so-so shots. Uncle Joe might just want to see the photos that his family is in, for example.

With face recognition in Photo Gallery, you can organize your photos by the people in them. Face recognition is easy—all you need to do is tag a person in your photos once, and the computer will figure out who they are in your other photos.

Tagging people in Photo Gallery
You can tag the people in your photos and Photo Gallery will recognize their faces and tag them in your other photos

To tag a person in your photo

  • Double click a photo in the gallery.

  • On the Edit tab, in the Organize group, click Tag and caption, point to People tag, and then click Tag a person.

  • Click the face of the person you want to tag, and either type a name or select one from the list.

To select and tag multiple people

  • On the Home tab, in the Organize group, click Batch people tag. Photo Gallery will compare people tags you've added to other faces in your photos.

  • To verify a tag suggestion or assign a new people tag to a photo, in the Actions group, click Confirm or Tag as.

Keep in mind that you can also add multiple tags to photos so they're even easier to find in the future.

Making good shots great

Photo Gallery does more than just organize your photos—it also lets you edit them. You can adjust the exposure and color, crop or straighten the photo, and make the images black and white, among other things.

Fixing a photo in Photo Gallery
It's easy to edit your shots in Photo Gallery to make them look their best

To fix a photo

  • To make automatic adjustments to a photo, double-click it, and then, in the Adjustments group, click Auto adjust.

  • You can also automatically edit a batch of photos. Select the photos you want to edit, and then, on the Edit tab, select the adjustments you want to make from the Quick adjustments group.

  • For precise editing control, double-click a photo, and then, in the Adjustments group, click Fine tune. Select an adjustment and move the corresponding slider. Click Close file to automatically save your changes and return to the gallery.

Or make it look like you have the perfect family by using Photo Fuse to combine the best parts of two or more photos into one. Photo Fuse is useful in improving photos, like group portraits, where a person might look better in one photo than in another.

To use Photo Fuse

  • Select the photos you want to fuse. Be sure you choose a set of photos taken from the same scene and vantage point.

  • On the Create tab, in the Tools group, click Photo Fuse.

  • Click the area of the photo you want to replace. Drag one of the points to adjust the size of this area. Click the replacement photo that you like best, and then click Save.

Sharing your photos

Once you’ve picked the best of the best, it’s time to share your photos online by sending a photo email.

A photo email
You can share your photos by sending a photo email

To send a photo email

  • Select the photos you want to share, and then click Photo email in the Share group on the Home tab.

  • You’ll have a choice of sending your photo within an email or sending it as an attachment. Photo Gallery will automatically launch your default email app. If you don't have a default app, Windows Live Mail will open (follow the instructions to add a new account if you don't already have one). Then enter the recipient's email address and send.