Discover the new Photos application

Windows 11 is very close to general release, with Microsoft setting the release date for October 5. Soon a lot of us will be using the brand new operating system and there is a lot of new stuff, so it’s good to know how things work in this new version. For Windows Insiders, most of the new features are already previewed, but for everyone else, we’re here to help. We’ll take a closer look at what’s new in Windows 11, and this time around. we are focusing on the new Photos app.

Like many other apps built into Windows, the Photos app receives upgrades for Windows 11, although not all of the changes are as significant as some of the other apps that have received upgrades. Still, there are some notable UI changes and new features that are definitely worth considering.

Home page and photo sections

When you launch the Photos app, it won’t immediately be much different from the Windows 10 version. In fact, most of the content here isn’t new – only the user interface has been changed slightly. You start on the Collection page, which shows you every image stored on your PC and OneDrive (if you have a signed in Microsoft account). These are displayed in chronological order and you can see a timeline on the right side of the app window. At the top, there is a set of AI-based photo groups, which are based on themes, dates, or locations.

In the top left corner of the app, you can choose from other views.

  • Albums allows you to view albums that you have created yourself, as well as all albums created automatically by the Photos app based on dates, locations, etc.
  • The People tab uses AI to recognize people (if you enable it) in your images and groups all images of the same person together.
  • The Files The tab lets you see the folders on your device or OneDrive, so you can browse your photos in a more traditional way.

There’s also the video editor, but we’ll get to that later. Next to the different tabs is a search bar, allowing you to search for people, places or things in your photos to find them more easily.

Finally, in the right corner are a few more options. The New The button allows you to start a video project or create a video automatically based on the images you choose, import a backup video project or create a new album. There is a Import to add images to your library, especially from external devices, and the ellipsis button provides additional options such as accessing app settings or starting a slideshow of the images in your current view .

Viewing pictures in the Windows 11 Photos app

The Image Viewer in the Windows 11 Photos app is where most of the edits are if you’re already familiar with the Windows 10 app. As you might expect, opening an image takes up the entire window. of the app, but now you have a button near the top right corner that allows you to make that image full screen. Of course, this is far from the biggest change.

Viewing an image in the Windows 11 Photos app

Near the top and aligned in the center, there is the new toolbar where you can find common options. Here you can zoom in and out, rotate, edit or draw on an image. You can also delete it, add it to your favorites, or view information about the photo, such as when and where it was taken, which camera was used, and more.

The ellipsis button gives you many other options like printing, copying image to clipboard, resizing, setting image as desktop background, etc. You can also make more “advanced” edits, like adding 3D animation or text to an image, which turns it more into a video.

One great feature that is revealed in this menu, however, is extension support. You will be able to download extensions from the Microsoft Store to enhance the image editing capabilities of the Photos app. It is not yet clear what these extensions might be, but we might have a better idea soon.

Toolbar Options in Image Viewer

This is not all that is new either. Near the bottom of the image, there is a carousel showing more images from your library. The images shown here are the same as you would see in grid view before opening an image, and you can easily switch between different images that way.

Another thing you can do is select multiple images and display them all on one screen. This can be useful when choosing your favorite images from a group, especially if some of the images look the same. You can easily delete images or add them to your favorites this way, but you can’t do any other action when viewing multiple images at once.

Viewing multiple images in the Windows 11 Photos app

Edit pictures in the Windows 11 Photos app

The image editing experience is also the same in Windows 11’s Photos app compared to Windows 10. Aside from the UI tweaks we see everywhere else on Windows 11, this is exactly the same. same thing. Of course, it’s possible that new tools will be added with extensions, but we don’t know what that will look like yet. There are many editing tools available in different places, so we’ll go through them separately.

Basic modifications

When you click on the Edit image In the toolbar mentioned above, you get three sets of options near the top of the app window, aligned in the center. The first set is for cropping or rotating the image. You can choose from different image formats or custom size, straighten the image, rotate or flip it.

The second set of options includes a variety of filters, as well as the ability to automatically enhance your image. This will adjust the brightness, contrast, and sharpness, and you can choose the intensity of the enhancements to make it look you want. Filters apply different color effects to the image, and you can also adjust their intensity as you like. Finally, there is the set of “settings”, where you can manually adjust the brightness and saturation of the image. You can also increase or decrease the clarity or add a vignette.


If you want to draw on one of your images, you must click on the button To design when using the image viewer. You can choose whether you want your scribbles to look like a ballpoint pen, pencil, or calligraphy pen, and each option lets you choose from a variety of colors. You can also adjust the thickness of the pen. Of course, there is also an eraser if you need it.

Draw on a picture in the Windows 11 Photos app

3D effects and animations

Another way to edit photos (and videos) is to add 3D objects, animations, or animated text. It turns your photo into a short video. To get started, click the ellipsis button in the image viewer, then go to Edit more and choose what you want to add. If you choose Add 3D effects, you can add animations like rain or fire to the picture, as well as 3D objects. If you choose to add animated text, you can add text in different layouts, zoom or pan effect, and apply filters to the image.

The video editor in Windows 11 Photos

Finally, let’s take a look at the video editor in the Windows 11 Photos app. Again, this is something that hasn’t really changed since Windows 10, other than the overall UI tweaks. You’ll see rounded corners and new icons, but nothing has changed other than that. When you switch to the Video Editor tab, you can create a new video project or see your most recent ones.

Once you have opened a project, you can add images and videos to its library, and from there you can add them to the “storyboard” or the video timeline. You can choose how long still images are displayed and for videos, you can crop them or increase their playback speed.

Just like with the image editor, you can add 3D effects, motion, text, and more to individual objects on the storyboard. In videos, you can even attach 3D effects to a specific point in the video so that it stays in one place as you move. You can also create animated title cards and add them to different points in the video.

In the upper right corner, you can also add background music to the video. You can choose from a selection of included music styles, or you can add custom sound such as your own music or narration for the video.

The ellipsis menu also has additional options, such as adding a theme to the video, which includes music, effects, and title / text card styles. If you have created title cards and text effects before, this will also apply to them. You can also change the aspect ratio of the video, although here you can only choose between 16: 9 and 4: 3.

Once you’ve added everything you wanted and made all the edits, you can export the final video using the End the video button near the top right corner. You can choose to export to 540p, 720p, or 1080p, depending on the quality and file size you are targeting.


To round things out, let’s take a quick look at the app’s settings. You can access it using the ellipsis menu. There are some noteworthy settings here, such as the ability to turn off viewing images from your OneDrive cloud storage. You can also choose to show pictures from all your OneDrive folders or just the default Pictures folder.

Other options include showing duplicate images in a single file, turning people recognition on or off in Photos, turning automatic albums on or off, or changing how the jog wheel works. mouse. One option available here that won’t work is to change what the app’s thumbnail displays because Windows 11 has no more thumbnails. This is a holdover from Windows 10, and it should be removed at some point in the future.

That’s pretty much all you need to know about the Photos app in Windows 11. Not much that has changed with the Windows 11 update, but the changes are welcome. The new toolbar and the ability to display multiple images at once are certainly welcome. We have yet to see what extensions can add to the capabilities of the app, but the potential is also exciting.

Want to learn about these and other features of Windows 11? We have a list of all the PCs that will support Windows 11 upgrade, and you might also want to check the system requirements.

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