View Photos from the Windows 8 Desktop

The Windows 8 desktop’s photo-management tools offer more control than the Start screen’s Photos app, but they have one drawback: Unlike the Photos app, the desktop’s Photo Viewer shows only photos stored on your own computer. To see photos stored elsewhere, you need to visit that site, be it on Facebook, SkyDrive, or Flickr, for example.

This article describes how to browse photos stored in your Pictures library, rotate pictures until they’re right side up, view them in a slide show, copy them to a disc, e-mail them to friends, and even print them if you’re not tired of paying exorbitant prices for photo–quality ink cartridges.

To take advantage of the desktop’s side of photo management, click the Desktop app’s tile on the Start screen. That fires up the Desktop app and places its file management tools at your disposal.

There’s one problem: When you double-click a photo from the desktop, the Start screen’s Photos app butts in to open the photo. To let the desktop’s Windows Photo Viewer program take over the job, follow these steps:

  1. From the desktop, load the Control Panel.

    Right-click the screen’s bottom-left corner and choose Control Panel from the pop-up menu.

  2. When the Control Panel opens, click the Programs category. Click Default Programs and then click Set Your Default Programs.

    The Set Default Programs window appears.

  3. From the left pane, click Windows Photo Viewer. Then select Set This Program As Default and click OK.

    That tells Windows Photo Viewer to open all of your photos, bypassing the Start screen’s Photos app.

After following these steps, a double-click on a digital photo fetches Windows Photo Viewer. The Start screen’s Pictures app still handles your photo displays when you’re visiting the Start screen. But while you’re on the desktop, the desktop’s Windows Photo Viewer takes over.

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For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.

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