How to View Your Photo Collection with the Windows 10 Photos App

By Andy Rathbone

When opened, the Windows 10 Photos app automatically grabs your photos and places them on the screen in large thumbnails, sorted by the date you took them. That makes it easy to show off the latest vacation photos on a tablet, smartphone, or even a computer that’s hooked up to a TV or large monitor.

The app even performs subtle photo tweaks when showing them, enhancing the highlights and straightening those tilted horizons.

To launch the Photos app and start showing off your photos, follow these steps:

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

    The Photos app quickly appears, shown in the following figure. The Photos app searches for photos in your computer’s Pictures folder, as well your OneDrive folders, and displays them one group, all in the order they were taken.

    The Photos app also appears when you open a photo on the desktop’s File Manager.

    The Photos app displays photos stored on your computer as well as on OneDrive.
    The Photos app displays photos stored on your computer as well as on OneDrive.
  2. Scroll down to the photo you want to view or edit.

    The Photos app displays your photos in one long stream, without folders. Called simply Collection, the scrolling display places your most recently shot photos at the top, with the oldest ones at the bottom.

    Scroll down with a mouse by using the scroll bar along the app’s right edge. On a touchscreen, just slide your finger up or down the screen to see newer or older photos.

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

    When a photo fills the screen, as shown here, sometimes the menus are hidden. You can bring the menus into view by either moving your mouse or clicking (or tapping) the photo.

    Click any of these places to do different tasks while viewing a photo.
    Click any of these places to do different tasks while viewing a photo.

    When the menus appear, you can control the app and photos in a variety of ways:


    • Next/Previous photo: 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 or click the left arrow to see older photos.


      Return to collection: Return to the thumbnail view of your photos by clicking the left-pointing arrow in the photo’s top-left corner. (You may need to click or tap the currently displayed photo before it appears.)


    • Share the photo: Click the Share button to share the photo with apps that can handle the job. (Chances are good that the Mail app appears, ready to e-mail the photo to your destination.)


    • Slide show: A click of this button clears the screen, and then the app begins cycling through all of your photos, showing each one for about five seconds before moving to the next. (Click any photo to stop the slide show.)


    • Enhance: The Photo app automatically enhances your photos to look their best. Click the Enhance button to turn off the enhancement if you think it looks better au naturel.


    • Edit: This brings a new menu for editing the currently viewed photo. Click the X in the photo’s upper-right corner to exit the editing menu.


    • Rotate: This rotates your photo clockwise by 90 degrees; to rotate in the other direction, click it three times.


    • Delete: If you spot a blurred photo, click this icon to delete it immediately. No sense keeping it around.


    • More menu: A click on these three dots brings a new menu, shown in Figure 17-6 earlier. This menu lets you copy or print the photo, set it as your computer’s lock screen, and see details such as the photo’s name, size, date taken, resolution, and similar information.


    • Zoom: Click these little buttons in the bottom, right corner to zoom in or out of the photo.

  4. To exit the Photos app, click the X in its upper-right corner.

    The app clears itself from the screen.