How to Add Photos to Windows 8.1 Photo Gallery - dummies

How to Add Photos to Windows 8.1 Photo Gallery

By Woody Leonhard

Any pictures or videos that you add to your PC’s Pictures or Videos Libraries will get picked up by Windows 8.1 Photo Gallery automatically. So if you want to add photos or videos to WPG, you only need to figure out a way to get them into your Pictures or Videos Libraries.

Although there are sneaky ways to get photos and videos into the Libraries, most people will use one of two methods:

  • Use File Explorer to copy or move a picture (JPG, TIF, JXR, PNG, WDP, BMP, or ICO file) or video (ASF, AVI, MPEG, MPG, MP4, WMV, MOV) to one of the Libraries.

  • Use WPG’s Picture and Video Import program to pull them off a camera, phone, tablet, or sufficiently advanced toaster oven and add them to the Photo Gallery automatically.

Here’s how to import pictures using WPG:

  1. Attach your camera, phone, tablet, camera-equipped toaster oven, or car to your PC using a USB cable.

    Bluetooth works, too. Sometimes. Alternatively, you can take the SD card or other memory card out of your camera and put it in the PC, if you have an SD card reader.

    If everything works according to plan, a toaster notification appears in the upper right and invites you to tap (or click) the notification to choose what to do. If you see a notification like that, click or tap it and choose View Pictures/Photo Gallery.

  2. If you aren’t in WPG yet, start it. You end up on the main window with the Home Ribbon visible. On the left of the Home Ribbon, click Import.

    The Import Photos and Videos app appears.


  3. Select the Review, Organize, and Group Items to Import option and click Next.

    The Import app looks at the time and date stamps on the pictures and groups them into suggested folders, based on when you took the pictures. Click and type in names for each of the folders and optionally add tags by clicking the Add Tags link.

    If you don’t like the way the import program breaks up your pictures into groups, you can change the sensitivity of the time grouping by moving the Adjust Groups slider in the lower-right corner.

  4. When your pictures are grouped and tagged appropriately, click Import.

    The pictures are put in separate folders inside your Pictures folder; similarly, videos go in your Videos folder.

    You can optionally have the Import app delete the pictures and videos as they’re being imported.

    Selecting the Delete Files from Device After Importing box requires a small leap of faith, but after you use the Import Pictures and Videos program a couple of times, you’ll probably let Windows do the deleting.

    If something goes bump in the night and you accidentally delete photos on your camera memory card, don’t panic. File undelete programs such as Recuva take advantage of the fact that the data (your picture) isn’t deleted until the camera needs to re-use the space on the memory card. With a bit of luck, you can recover pictures that you took a long, long time ago.

  5. Move the pictures around using File Explorer, if you like.

    They’re files. Treat them as such.