Photos app update for Windows 11 rolls out with a new interface and editing options

Jan 6, 2022
Windows 11 News

The Photos app in Windows 10 and 11 is not exactly a fan-favorite. Many users prefer the good old Photo Viewer, for its speed,  simplicity and overall usefulness. That could change, because Microsoft is rolling out a new update for the Photos app for Windows 11, and it brings a new interface to the program. This is the same design that was introduced to users in the Windows Insider Program, in September 2021.

Photos app update for Windows 11 rolls out with a new interface and editing options

The program's GUI follows Windows 11's design with rounded corners, and supports the Mica material effect. The main screen of the application now has a filmstrip (thumbnail bar) at the bottom, which acts like a mini-gallery to display all images in the same folder. There is a full screen button at the top, that you can toggle for an immersive viewing experience. It looks nice, but the button placement is weird.

The toolbar appears at the top of the screen, it looks similar to the old version, but for one change, there is a new browse button at the left end of the bar. Right-clicking on an image hides the toolbar and the filmstrip.

new photos app windows 11 crop tool

The GUI of the Photo Editor has been completely overhauled. The Crop tool's buttons are now located at the bottom of the screen, you may control the zoom levels using the options in the left-hand side. Use the slider to tilt the image to a different angle, or rotate images, change the aspect ratio, or flip the picture horizontally or vertically. The Adjustment tab has been redesigned as well, and has sliders to adjust the Brightness, Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Vignette, Saturation, Warmth and Tint.

new photos app windows 11 adjustment

The editor no longer has options for Spot Fix and Red Eye Correction. The Filters tab has various new effects, and an auto enhance tool.

new photos app windows 11 filters

The Mark-Up section in the new Photos app lets you draw on pictures using pen and highlighter tools.

new photos app windows 11 mark-up

The new Photos app has a feature called multi-view, which allows you to view two images in a side-by-side comparison. To use it, select the images from the thumbnail strip at the bottom.

new photos app windows 11 multi-view

This also works with multiple images, which is kind of cool.

new photos app windows 11 multiple images side by side

The three-dot menu now displays a link that takes you to the Microsoft Store's Photo Editor section. So, yeah it's an ad I guess.

new windows 11 photos app menu

The new version, first reported by XDA, has the build number 2021.21120.8011.0. If you haven't received the update yet, open the Microsoft Store app and check for updates. As for the performance of the program, I think Windows Photo Viewer is still a bit faster than the new Photos app.

Don't like the Photos app? You can restore the Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 11, by following our guide.

The Groove Music app is being superseded by the new Media Player. Several websites are reporting that a new Notepad update is also available, and that it brings the Dark theme that debuted in the Insider Preview Program. I didn't get the update on my stable version of Windows 11, but it is possible that the new Notepad app is available for the Beta Channel now.

What do you think about the new Photos app?

Windows 11's Photo's app has a new interface and image editor
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Windows 11's Photo's app has a new interface and image editor
Microsoft has overhauled the Photos app in Windows 11. It has a new design and some cool image editing options.
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  1. orc said on January 7, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    Picasa still works, despite being shuttered years ago.

    Digikam is very useful.

    1. Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarian said on January 10, 2022 at 4:24 pm

      @orc. Can confirm. I installed Picasa for a library patron as part of my day job using and it still works; he was very happy about it!

  2. MS product said on January 7, 2022 at 2:37 am

    Win10/11 photos is a very bad program when reading photos from OneDrive. (1) Timeline of photos is really not that smooth. (2) CPU usage is too high. (3) Cannot sync face recognition to onedrive. (4) difference user experience by compare to web and pc application. (5) “Baby level” Ai tag function. (6) Can’t search for the photo you need. (7) Loading speed is too slow. (8) HEIF/HEIC must pay to install the plugin from the store. (9) Cannot view photos in specific formats, such as webp. (10) and other “small bug” that broken user experience.

    One more thing for onedrive (web). When the currently viewed photo is closed, the timeline jumps to the very top. Yes. this is the product from Microsoft with good reputation.

  3. chesscanoe said on January 7, 2022 at 2:33 am

    Photos, like most photo apps, has unique function that is well worth exploring to know when its unique function will be useful for a particular image you may already have.

  4. Anonymous said on January 7, 2022 at 12:55 am

    Still the same horrible app with a new look. There are better alternatives out there.

  5. Croatoan said on January 6, 2022 at 11:46 pm

    I don’t like it. Irfan is faster and has more options if you need.

  6. Dedmond said on January 6, 2022 at 10:54 pm

    Ah there’s the ad. Pass. I will remove this from every install, guaranteed. Also, if it takes more than half a second to open on a new computer, it’s garbage. With adware, it’s supergarbage. Probably sends a copy of all your pictures to the NSA too.. Pray to God you don’t have any pics of your children.

  7. Akina said on January 6, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    I switched from Photos app to ImageGlass and do not think to turn back. It works just as it should be and very customizable. ps. W10

  8. John G. said on January 6, 2022 at 9:05 pm

    I was not a fan of Photos while using W10, however after upgrading to W11 it has been a positive discover for me, and now I use it frequently because I am doing some job with with large PNG files. :]

    1. Anonymous said on January 7, 2022 at 12:54 am

      What makes it different in Win 11?

      1. John G. said on January 7, 2022 at 3:37 pm

        @Anonymous the difference is mainly the speed to manage large PNG files, in W10 was quite slow for my taste so I needed Irfanview with PNG optimizer installed. However in W11 there is some speed improvements out of the box so I started to use Photos for a couple of things and now I use more frequently than expected for every photo viewing. :]

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