Photos

Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1

Take photos with a PC

If your PC has a built-in camera or a connected webcam, you can use the Camera app to take photos and videos. For more info on using this app, see Camera app and webcams help.

How to take photos

From the Camera app

  1. Open the Camera app.

  2. (Optional) Change what's emphasized by tapping or clicking that area in the viewfinder.

  3. Tap or click the Photo button Photo button.
  4. If you want to look at the photo, drag the screen to the right or click the left arrow.

Note

  • All photos and videos you take with the Camera app are saved to your camera roll. You'll find the Camera roll folder in the Pictures folder on your PC. If you'd like to back up your camera roll to OneDrive, see Store photos in OneDrive.

  • If tapping or clicking the viewfinder takes a photo instead of emphasizing that area, you might not have the latest update to Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1. For more info, see Install the latest Windows 8.1 Update.

From the lock screen

  1. When you're signed in and your PC is locked, swipe down on the lock screen or click and drag down to get to the Camera app.

  2. (Optional) Change what's emphasized by tapping or clicking that area in the viewfinder.

  3. Tap or click the Photo button Photo button.
  4. If you want to look at the photo, drag the screen to the right or click the left arrow.

  5. If you want to see the rest of your camera roll or change settings, tap or click the Unlock button, sign in to your PC, and open the Camera app. If you'd like to turn off the lock screen camera, see Camera app and webcams help.

How to change settings, like the flash or timer

You can make some adjustments before you take a photo or video, like turn on the flash or timer. Other options you’ll need to change in Settings, like showing grid lines and including location info in your photos and panoramas. Which options are shown depends on your device. For example, you'll only see the button for flash settings if your device has a flash built-in. For more info on how to change settings, see Camera app and webcams help.

How to take a panorama

You can use the Camera app to take panoramic photos on most PCs with a built-in, rear-facing camera. Panoramas are a great way to capture a horizon or skyline. You can even create an immersive panorama that captures an entire space. For best results, keep the camera in the same place as you tilt and rotate it, as if it’s on a tripod. Move slowly and steadily when lining up the image, and then pause to capture it. If your body blocks the viewfinder, keep the camera in the same place and step around it until you’re out of the way. See Camera app and webcams help to watch a video showing best practices for taking a panorama.

  1. Open the Camera app.

  2. Determine what you want to be the starting point for your image and aim the camera at it.

  3. Tap or click the Panorama button Panorama button. This captures the first image.
  4. Slowly tilt the camera in any direction to line up the next image.

  5. Watch the borders in the viewfinder as you tilt the camera. When those borders fill in, the camera automatically takes the next image.

  6. Repeat the previous two steps until you've completed your panorama.

  7. Tap or click the check mark.

The Camera app stitches together the images and saves the panorama in the camera roll. To view panoramas, you'll need to use the Camera, Photos, or OneDrive apps or post them to OneDrive.com.

How to get the best shot

On certain tablets, the Camera app automatically takes a several photos in a row (known as a photo loop) every time you take a photo. This loop includes images that are captured right before and after you take a photo. If your device supports this, every time you take a photo you’ll see a rectangle showing the default image in the lower-left corner. You can then review the images and save your favorite one. If you don’t have time to review them, the default image will be automatically saved to your camera roll.

Preview in the viewfinder
The preview appears in the lower-left corner

To review the images and save the one you want:

  1. From the Start screen, open the Camera app.

  2. Take a photo.

  3. Tap or click the preview image in the lower-left corner.

  4. Turn the dial to review the images.

  5. When looking at the one you want to save, tap or click the Save button in the dial.

Next: View and import photos