Photos app for Windows help

You can use the Photos app to view or edit photos and videos in your Pictures library and on OneDrive, and to import photos and videos. The Photos app includes a wide range of editing options to enhance your photos, from automatic fixes to advanced adjustments. After you've finished editing your photos and videos, you can then share them with friends and family without leaving the app.

This app includes many options for adjusting your photos, but if you're interested in making more advanced edits or working with metadata, search the Windows Store on your PC for other photo-editing apps. Another option is to download Photo Gallery. Note that Photo Gallery isn't available for Windows RT 8.1.

For information on taking photos and videos, see Camera app and webcams help and Movie Moments app for Windows: FAQ.

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Opening the Photos app

There are a few different ways of opening the Photos app.

If you're on Start

Tap or click the Photos tile.

If you're using another app or the desktop

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

  2. Enter Photos in the search box, then tap or click Photos in the results.

If you're using File Explorer

  1. Go to the photo you want to see in the Photos app.

  2. Right-click or press and hold it, tap or click Open with, then tap or click Photos.

If you’d like change which app is used to automatically open your photos, see Choosing the applications Windows uses by default.

Viewing photos and videos in the Photos app

The Photos app shows the photos and videos in the Pictures library on your PC and on OneDrive. The Pictures library is primarily your Pictures folder, but can also include external drives, shared network folders and other folders on your PC.

To see files on OneDrive

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Tap or click Pictures library in the top-left corner, then tap or click OneDrive.

Note

  • You might need to sign in with your Microsoft account to see your OneDrive files.

To see files from the Pictures library

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Tap or click OneDrive in the top-left corner, then tap or click Pictures library.

If can't see some of your photos and videos in the app, see the troubleshooting section for help.

Importing photos and videos

  1. Connect a camera, phone or external drive to your PC.

  2. Open the Photos app.

  3. Swipe up from the bottom edge.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)
  4. Tap or click Import.

    If you have problems or want to import from a DVD, see Importing photos and videos from a camera, phone or DVD.

  5. Tap or click the device you want to import from.

  6. The app automatically searches for all photos and videos that it hasn’t imported before and selects them. You can also swipe down on or click each photo and video that you want to import, or tap or click Select all.

The photos and videos are saved in the Pictures folder in a folder with the date the files were imported.

Editing photos and videos

To crop a photo

  1. Open the photo you want to crop.

  2. Swipe up from the bottom edge.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)
  3. Tap or click Crop.

  4. Tap or click Aspect ratio and pick from the preset options or drag the borders where you want them.

  5. Tap or click Apply.

  6. Save the cropped photo. You can update the original photo or save a copy with your changes.

To rotate a photo

  1. Open the photo you want to rotate

  2. Swipe up from the bottom edge.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)
  3. Tap or click Rotate. The photo rotates 90 degrees clockwise. Each tap or click turns it another 90 degrees.

The photo is saved automatically.

Note

  • Videos can’t be rotated in the Photos app.

To edit a photo

  1. In the Photos app, open the photo you want to edit.

  2. Swipe up from the bottom edge.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)
  3. Tap or click Edit.

  4. Tap or click a category on the left, like Auto-fix or Light. That category’s editing options appear on the right side of the photo.

  5. Tap or click an option on the right. For more information on each option, see Editing photos and videos.

  6. Keep selecting new options until you’ve finished editing.

  7. Swipe up from the bottom edge.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)
  8. Save the edited photo. You can update the original photo or save a copy with your changes.

Trimming a video

  1. In the Photos app, open the video you want to shorten.

  2. Swipe to the right or click the arrow on the left-hand side of the screen to look through your recent photos and videos. Keep swiping or clicking the arrows until you find the video you want.

  3. Swipe up from the bottom edge.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)
  4. Tap or click Trim, then move the handles at the left and right ends of the time line to new start and end points.

  5. Tap or click Save a copy.

Deleting a photo or video

  1. In the Photos app, go to the folder with the files you want to delete.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If you’re looking at your list of photos and videos, swipe down on or right-click the files you want to delete. You can also tap or click Select all.

    • If you open a photo or video, swipe up from the bottom or right-click to see the app commands.

  3. Tap or click Delete.

You can also delete photos using the Camera app, the OneDrive app or File Explorer.

Organising files and folders

You can use the Photos app for basic organisation, like creating new folders and moving, renaming and deleting files. For tasks like organising files in multiple folders and changing advanced settings, it’s best to use File Explorer. For more information on using File Explorer, see How to work with files and folders.

When using the Photos app to organise files, you need to be in the list view. If you’ve opened a photo or video and want to do something like renaming or moving it, use the back arrow and then swipe up or right-click to see those commands.

To create a new folder

  1. In the Photos app, go to where you want to create the folder.

  2. Swipe up from the bottom edge.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)
  3. Tap or click New folder.

  4. Enter a name for the folder and then tap or click Create.

To cut, copy, paste, rename or delete files

  1. In the Photos app, go to the folder with the files you want to organise.

  2. Select the files.

  3. Tap or click the command you want to use.

  4. Do the following:

    • For Cut or Copy, go to the new place where you want to put the files or folders, then tap or click Paste.

    • For Rename, enter the new file name, then tap or click Rename. (You can only rename one file at a time.)

    • For Delete, tap or click Delete.

Personalising the Photos tile on Start

To use your own photo on the tile

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Go to the photo you want to use on the tile, then tap or click it to open it.

  3. Swipe up from the bottom edge.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)
  4. Tap or click Set as, then tap or click Photos tile.

Next time you're on Start, you'll see that photo as the background of the Photos tile. Tap or click it to open the Photos app.

To shuffle photos on the tile

When you turn this on, the Photos tile will rotate through 5 images from the 50 most recently added photos.

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, then click Settings.)
  3. Tap or click Options.

  4. Set Shuffle photos on the Photos tile to On.

To stop showing photos on the tile

  1. Go to Start.

  2. Press and hold or right-click the Photos tile.

  3. Tap or click Turn live tile off.

Showing photos on the lock screen or as a picture password

The lock screen is the screen you see when you lock your PC (or when it locks automatically after you haven't used it for a while). You can add your favourite photos of your kids, pets and holidays, or even create a slideshow to rotate through lots of pictures on your lock screen. You can also use a photo as a picture password, which is a fun way to sign in.

To set a photo as your lock screen

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Go to the photo you want to use, and tap or click it to open it.

  3. (Optional) Do the following to crop the photo to fit the lock screen:

    1. Tap or click Crop.

    2. Tap or click Aspect ratio, then tap or click Lock screen. You'll see a rectangle showing which part of the photo will display on the lock screen.

    3. Move the photo to show the part you want to show on the lock screen, then tap or click Apply.

    4. Save the photo.

  4. Swipe up from the bottom edge.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)
  5. Tap or click Set as, then tap or click Lock screen.

Playing slideshows

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Go to the folder with the photos you want to use in the slideshow.

  3. Swipe up from the bottom edge.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)
  4. Tap or click Slideshow. The app will rotate through the photos in that folder.

You can also play slideshows on the Photos tile or on the lock screen.

Sharing photos, videos and panoramas

There are a couple of options for sharing options from the Photos app, depending on where they're stored. All photos and videos in the Photos app can be shared with any apps that are available in the Share charm, like the Mail app. For files stored in OneDrive, you have the option to send invitations that give specific people permission to see the files or get a link to share with a wider audience.

Sharing photos and videos in your OneDrive

  1. In the Photos app, swipe down on or right-click files and folders to select them.

  2. Tap or click Share.

  3. To share with specific individuals or groups, choose Invite people. To share with lots of people who you might not even know personally, choose Get a link. For more information about sharing, see OneDrive: FAQ.

Sharing photos and videos from your Pictures library

You can also share photos in your OneDrive this way.

  1. In the Photos app, go to the folder with the photos or videos you want to share.

  2. Swipe down on or right-click each photo or video you want to share. You can also open a single photo or video.

  3. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Share.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, then click Share.)
  4. Tap or click the app you want to share with and follow the on-screen instructions.

Tip

If you see "Sorry, there was a problem"

If you see the error message Sorry, there was a problem, it's likely that a problem occurred during the upgrade that can be fixed by restoring the default libraries. If the app still isn't working after trying this, have a look at the Music, Photos and Video community page in the Windows forum for other possible solutions.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

  2. Enter File Explorer in the search box, then tap or click File Explorer in the results.

  3. Tap or click the View tab.

  4. Tap or click Navigation pane and make sure that Show libraries is ticked.

  5. In the left pane, tap or right-click the Libraries folder, then tap or click Properties.

  6. Tap or click Restore defaults.

  7. Tap or click OK.

If you can't see the photos and videos you expect to see

There are a couple of reasons photos and videos you expected to see in the Photos app aren't showing up. For example, if your files aren't in the Pictures library, the Photos app won't find them. Here are a couple of things to try so that you can see them in the app.

Move the files to the Pictures library

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

  2. Enter File Explorer in the search box, then tap or click File Explorer in the results.

  3. Browse to the folder that contains your photos. (If your files are on an external drive, connect the drive to your PC.)

  4. Tap or click the File menu, then tap or click Open new window.

  5. Drag or copy the folder or photos you want to see in the Photos app from the original folder into the Pictures folder.

Add files, folders and drives to the Pictures library

If you have photos in another folder or drive and don't want to move them to the Pictures folder, you can add them to the Pictures library. To learn how, see “How do I add a folder to a library?” in Libraries: FAQ.

Showing thumbnails from the Pictures library

If you've upgraded from a previous version of Windows, your thumbnail files might not be showing up in the Photos app. Here's how make them appear.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

  2. Enter File Explorer in the search box, then tap or click File Explorer in the results.

  3. Tap or click the View tab.

  4. Tap or click Options then tap or click Change folder and search options.

  5. Tap or click View and untick Always show icons, never thumbnails.

  6. Tap or click OK.

Why can’t I see photos from Facebook, Flickr or other drives in the Photos apps?

The Photos app for Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 doesn't support connecting to Facebook or Flickr.

Check for answers in the Microsoft community

If the suggestions here don't solve your problem, have a look at the Music, Photos and Video community page in the Windows forum for solutions that other people have found for specific problems. This can be particularly helpful when you're experiencing hardware problems or error messages.

Need more help?