How to Use Microsoft Photos

Edit and organize your pictures with this Windows Photo app

How to use Microsoft Photos

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

This article applies to the Microsoft Photos app on Windows 10.

Where to Find the Microsoft Photos App

The Photos app should be installed on your computer by default.

  1. Click Start.

  2. Select Photos or type photos into the search box and choose the Photos app.

View Photos with Microsoft Photos

When you open the app, you can browse through your photos or search for people, places, or things.

The app recognizes objects as well as faces. It automatically tags images to make it easier to find what you are looking for.

For example, you can type snow to browse your wintry images, or click a picture of someone to find other photos of the same person.

The Photos app should also be the default program for any photo, so it should open automatically when you open an image. If not, reset it as the default app.

Add Photos to the 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, USB drive, or device.

  1. Connect the device, card, or drive to your computer with a USB cord.

  2. Select Start and then choose Photos.

    The location of the Photos app in the Microsoft Windows 10 menu.
  3. Select Import. Follow the on-screen instructions to import photos to the app.

Use the Windows Photo Editor

The Photos app is more than just a tool for viewing images. You can also edit and enhance images with it.

Create Videos in the Windows 10 Photo App

  1. Open Microsoft Photos and select the photo you want to edit. It will open inside the app.

    An picture open in the Microsoft Photos app.
  2. Select the Edit & Create drop-down menu in the upper-right corner.

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

    The Edit option on the Edit & Create menu in the Microsoft Photos app.
  4. 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.

    Screenshot of photo editor in Photos app.
  5. Select Draw from the Edit & Create drop-down menu to add your own artistic effects to an image. The options available in this window include ballpoint pen, pencil, calligraphy pen, and eraser. When you select a pen or pencil, more options will appear such as colors and line sizes. Once you make a selection, you can draw or write freehand on the image. Choose Save or Save a Copy to apply the changes.

    Screenshot of Draw feature in Microsoft Photos.
  6. Select Add 3D Effects from the Edit & Create drop-down menu to add 3D images you can also animate, such as rain or confetti to your image. 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.

    Screenshot of animated effect in Windows 10 photo editor
  7. Select Add Animated Text from the Edit & Create drop-down menu to add words that appear, disappear, or move across the image. Select the Filters tab to apply a filter. Select the Text tab to choose a text style or layout. Enter the desired text in the Type your text here box. 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.

    Screenshot of Animated Text in MS Photo app.
  8. Select Create a Video with Music from the Edit & Create drop-down menuto 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 Photo app.
  9. Select Add Animated Text from the Edit & Create drop-down menu to add effects such as cutouts, stickers, and shapes.

    Screenshot of Edit with Paint 3D
  10. Once you have edited your image or video to your heart's content, don't keep it to yourself. Select Share in the upper-right corner of the app to share it by email, in messenger, on social media, and more.

    The Share option in the Microsoft Windows Photo app.