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How to View Photos from the Windows 8.1 Start Screen

Windows 8.1 removed the Start screen's Photos app's capability to pull in photos from your social networks such as Facebook and Flickr, making it easy to display all your photos from within one program.. To make up for it, Windows 8.1 tossed in some editing tools for touching up your photos.

To view or edit your photos in the Start screen’s Photos app, follow these steps:

  1. From the Start screen, click the Photos tile.

    The Photos app quickly appears. The Photos app shows tiles representing picture-filled folders within your Pictures folder.

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  2. Navigate to the folder and photo you want to view.

    Click or tap a folder to view its contents.

  3. Click a photo to see it full-screen and then choose any menu option to view, navigate, or share your pictures.

    When a photo fills the screen, you can perform any of the following functions:

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    • View other photos: Move your mouse anywhere on the photo, and arrows appear on the photo’s left and right edges. Click the right arrow to see newer photos; click the left arrow to see older photos.

    • Return to thumbnail view: Right-click the photo and then click the left-pointing arrow that appears in the photo’s top-left corner. (Keep right-clicking and clicking the left-pointing arrow to back out of folders, as well.)

    • E-mail the photo: Here’s the quick-and-dirty version: Fetch the Charms bar, click the Share icon, and click Mail.

  4. To manipulate your currently viewed photo, choose an option from the App bar.

    Right-clicking the photo brings up the App bar along the photo’s bottom, which offers these icons:

    • Delete: Right-click the photo and then click the Delete icon on the App bar along the screen’s bottom edge.

    • Open With: Right-click the photo and then click Open With to open the photo in another program of your choosing.

    • Set As: Click this icon to make the current photo act as the background for your lock screen or as the background for the Photo app’s Start screen tile.

    • Slide Show: View the contents of the currently viewed folder as a slide show. (Click any photo to stop the slide show.)

    • Rotate: This rotates your photo only from left to right; to rotate in the other direction, click it three times.

    • Crop: This places movable gridlines on your photo. Position the gridlines around the photo portion you want to save — your face in a crowd, for example — and click the Apply icon to save your changes. (While the gridlines are onscreen, click the App bar’s Aspect Ratio icon to change your crop size to your desired shape: widescreen or square, for example.)

    • Edit: New in Windows 8.1, this icon unleashes editing tools, including Auto Fix, lighting adjustment, color cast adjustment, and special effects.

  5. To exit the Photos app, head for the Start screen: Fetch the Charms bar and click the Start icon.

    The app remains running, as do all Start screen apps.

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