How to Find Lost Photos in Windows 10 - dummies

How to Find Lost Photos in Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

Windows 10 indexes your e-mail down to the last word, but it can’t tell the difference between photos of your cat and photos of your office party. When it comes to photos, the ID work lies in your hands, and these four tips make the chore as easy as possible:

  • Tag your photos. When you connect your camera to your PC and choose Import Photos and Videos, Windows graciously offers to copy your photos to your PC. Before copying, Windows asks you to tag those pictures. That’s your big chance to type a few words describing your photo session. Windows indexes those words as a single tag, making the photos easier to retrieve later.

  • Store shooting sessions in separate folders. The Windows photo importing program automatically creates a new folder to store each session, named after the current date and the tag you choose. But if you’re using some other program to dump photos, be sure to create a new folder for each session. Then name the folder with a short description of your session: Dog Walk, Kite Surfing, or Truffle Hunt. (Windows indexes the folder names.)

  • Sort by date. Have you stumbled onto a massive folder that’s a mishmash of digital photos? Try this quick sorting trick: Click the View tab and choose Large Icons to make the photos morph into identifiable thumbnails. Then, from the View tab menu, choose Sort By and select Date Taken. Windows sorts the photos by the date you snapped them, turning chaos into organization.

  • Rename your photos. Instead of leaving your Tunisian vacation photos with their boring camera-given names like DSC_2421, DSC_2422, and so on, give them meaningful names: Select all the files in your Tunisia folder by clicking the Home tab on the Ribbon and clicking the Select All button. Then right-click the first picture, choose Rename, and type Tunisia. Windows names them as Tunisia, Tunisia (2), Tunisia (3), and so on. (If you messed up, press Ctrl+Z to undo the renaming.)

Following those simple rules helps keep your photo collection from becoming a jumble of files.

Be sure to back up your digital photos to a portable hard drive, CDs, DVDs, or another backup method. If they’re not backed up, you’ll lose your family history when your PC’s hard drive eventually crashes.