How to Use Microsoft Photos

Edit and organize your pictures with the Photos app for Windows 10

How to use Microsoft Photos
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Microsoft Photos is a free program available for Windows 10 users. You can use it to view, edit, and enhance your images. Learn about what Microsoft Photos is, what it does, and how to use it. 

Information in this article applies to the Microsoft Photos app on Windows 10.

How to Find the Microsoft Photos App

The Photos app should come installed on your computer by default. To open it, select the Windows icon in the taskbar and choose Photos from your list of apps.

Alternatively, type photos in the Windows search box and select Photos from the list that appears.

Select the Windows icon in the taskbar and choose Photos from your list of apps.

How to View Images With Microsoft Photos

When you double-click an image file, it will open in the Photos app by default. If another program is set as your default picture viewer, right-click the image and select Open with > Photos.

You can reset your default apps in Windows 10 to make all images open in the Photos app automatically.

right-click the image and select Open with > Photos.

After the image opens in the app, you can use the tools at the top of the window to delete, rotate, crop, or zoom in on your photo.

Select Share in the top-right corner of the app to share the photo via email or social media.

use the tools at the top of the Photos app to delete, rotate, crop, or zoom in on your photo.

How to Add Pictures to the Photos App

Adding Microsoft OneDrive to your phone enables you to automatically upload images from your mobile device to the Photos app. You can also import photos and videos from an SD card, a USB drive, or another device:

  1. Connect the device, card, or drive to your computer via USB port.

    Connect the device, card, or drive to your computer via USB port.
    Sean Gallup / Getty Images 
  2. Select the Windows icon in the taskbar and choose Photos from your list of apps.

    Select the Windows icon in the taskbar and choose Photos from your list of apps.
  3. Select Import in the top-right corner of the photos app, then select From a USB device.

    Select Import in the top-right corner of the photos app, then select From a USB device.
  4. The Photos app will scan the drive and present a list photos it found. Select Import selected to start importing your photos.

All photos will be selected by default, but you can click Unselect all and choose the individual photos you want.

elect Import selected to start importing your photos.

How to Tag People in the Microsoft Photos App

When you open the app, you can browse through your photos and search for people, places, or things. The Photos app can recognize objects as well as faces, and it automatically tags images to make it easier to find what you are looking for. To enable this feature:

  1. Select the People tab and select Accept under Do you consent to enable these settings?

    Select the People tab and select Accept under Do you consent to enable these settings?
  2. Select Start tagging to give the Photos app access to your contacts.

    Select Start tagging to give the Photos app access to your contacts.
  3. Select Yes to confirm.

    Select Yes to confirm.
  4. Enter the name of a person or object in the search field, or click a picture of someone to find other photos of the same person.

    Enter the name of a person or object in the search field, or click a picture of someone to find other photos of the same person.

How to Edit Photos and Create Videos With the Windows 10 Photo App

Open your image in Microsoft Photos to start editing:

  1. Select the Edit & Create drop-down menu in the top-right corner.

    The location of the Edit & Create menu in the Microsoft Photos app.
  2. Select Edit from the Edit & Create drop-down menu to crop the image, add filters and effects, or otherwise edit the photo.

    The Edit option on the Edit & Create menu in the Microsoft Photos app
  3. The editing screen will open with three tabs across the top: Crop & Rotate, Filters, and Adjustments. When you select a tab, more options will appear in the right pane. Select an option to preview it and choose Save or Save a Copy to apply the changes.

    The photo editor in the Microsoft Photos app
  4. Select Draw from the Edit & Create drop-down menu to open the draw tools. The options available at the top of the screen include ballpoint pen, pencil, calligraphy pen, and eraser. When you select the pen or pencil icons, more options will appear such as colors and line sizes. Once you make a selection, you can draw or write freehand on the image. Select Save (the disk icon beside the X) to apply the changes.

    The Draw feature in Microsoft Photos
  5. Select Add 3D Effects from the Edit & Create drop-down menu to add 3D images and animations such as rain or confetti. Select an option from the Effects tab or the 3D Library tab to add it to the image. Use the handles to rotate the image, or create an animation by dragging the animate handle at the bottom of the image. Select Save a Copy to apply the changes.

    Animated effect editor in the Windows 10 Photos app
  6. Select Add Animated Text from the Edit & Create drop-down menu to add words that appear, disappear, and move across the image. Select the Filters tab if you want to apply a filter, then select the Text tab to choose a text style or layout. On the Motion tab, you can choose the motion you want to use, such as zoom in, zoom out, or tilt up. Select Save a Copy to apply the changes.

    Animated Text in MS Photos app
  7. Select Create a Video with Music from the Edit & Create drop-down menu to make a custom photo slideshow with music, text, and other effects. After entering the name for your new video, you will find options for background music and custom audio, image editing, animations, and more. Select the Add button to add more photos to the video.

    The video creator in the Windows Photos app
  8. Select Edit with Paint 3D from the Edit & Create drop-down menu to add effects such as cutouts, stickers, and shapes.

    Edit with Paint 3D in Microsoft Photos.