View Photos from the Windows 8 Start Screen

The two-headed beast of Windows 8 naturally includes two ways to view your digital photos on your computer: the Start screen’s Photos app and the Desktop app’s Photo Viewer.

The Start screen’s Photos app works best for quickly showing off photos. It pulls in photos from your social networks such as Facebook and Flickr, making it easy to display all your photos from within one program.

What the Photos app lacks, however, are options. It won’t rotate a sideways photo so it’s right-side-up. You can’t see the date you snapped a photo, or which camera snapped it. It’s awkward for managing photos. It can’t print, nor can it crop.

But when you want to show off your photos without a lot of fuss, follow these steps:

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

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    The Photos app quickly appears, showing tiles representing your main photo storage areas:

    • Pictures Library: These photos live in your own computer, inside your Pictures library. You can see these photos even if you’re not connected to the Internet. Photos stored in the other areas, by contrast, can’t usually be seen without an Internet connection.

    • SkyDrive: These photos live on Microsoft’s huge Internet-connected computers. You can access them from any Internet-connected computer after you enter your Microsoft account and password.

    • Facebook: This area shows all the photos you’ve uploaded to your Facebook account.

    • Flickr: These photos come from your account on Flickr, one of many photo-sharing sites.

    Depending on the social media accounts you’ve added to Windows 8, you may see other areas listed here, including photos stored on other Windows 8 computers connected to your network.

  2. Click a storage area to see its photos; while inside any storage area, right-click the screen to see its App bar, which offers that screen’s particular menus.

    Click or tap a storage area to see the photos and folders hidden inside. The Photos app shows photos in a long horizontal strip across your screen. The folder’s name appears across the top.

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    On a touchscreen, slide your finger up from the screen’s bottom edge to see the App bar. Depending on what you’re viewing, you’ll see icons to Delete, Select All, Browse by Date, or see a Slide Show.

    To navigate between folders, click the left-pointing arrow in the screen’s top-left corner. (Click or tap the photo to bring a missing arrow into view.)

    To delete a photo, right-click it and then click the Delete icon from the App bar along the screen’s bottom edge.

  3. Click a photo to see it full-screen.

    When a photo fills the screen, an arrow appears on its left and right edges; click the arrow to move from photo to photo.

    On a touchscreen, tap a photo to view it full screen and then tap the side arrows to navigate between photos.

    When viewing a photo full screen, right-click to see the App bar. From the App bar, choose the Set As icon for options to set the current photo as the background for either your Lock Screen, the Photo app’s Start screen tile, or the background for the Photo app itself.

    Viewing a photo that a friend has to see? E-mail it to them. Fetch the Charms bar, click the Share icon (or press Windows+H), and click Mail.

    To return to the strip view of your photos, click the left-pointing arrow at the top-left corner. (You may need to click the photo to see the arrow.)

  4. To view a slide show of the current folder, right-click any photo and then click the Slide Show icon on the App bar.

    The slideshow lacks any options for timing.

  5. To exit the slide show, click any photo.

To exit the Photos app, head for the Start screen: Press the Windows key or fetch the Charms bar and click the Start icon.

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

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