How to uninstall Photos from Windows 11
Photos is the default image viewer of the Windows 11 operating system. As with many other default apps, it is okay, but not great. Windows users have a wide range of options when it comes to installing a photo viewer on their devices.
Microsoft continues to work on the Photos app. In 2022, the company launched a new version with an updated interface and editing options for Windows 11.
Windows users who install third-party image viewers can make it the primary tool for opening supported image and media formats. This works well, but it can happen that Windows 11 resets the associations after updates or displays prompts to pick an app from a list when opening a supported file. This is frustrating, especially when it happens regularly.
One solution to this is to remove the Photos app from Windows 11. While there is still a chance that it will make a comeback after updates, it is the best option to deal with it.
Microsoft announced plans to let users uninstall the Photos app and some other system apps in Windows 11 in August 2023. This is still in the works and has not launched on stable systems.
Remove the Photos app in Windows 11 (and Windows 10)
When you research options to remove the Photos app right now, you will discover that it can be done using PowerShell. While that is a viable option, inexperienced users may feel uncomfortable running commands from terminal.
Still, here are the four steps needed to remove it from Windows 11 and 10:
- Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-X to open the admin menu.
- Select Terminal (admin).
- Confirm the UAC prompt.
- Paste the command get-appxpackage *photos* | remove-appxpackage and press the Enter-key to execute it.
Using O&O AppBuster
There is a better option, one that does not require running commands from Terminal. Download the free program O&O AppBuster from the developer's website.
We reviewed O&O AppBuster several times already on Ghacks. It is updated constantly. You can check out some of the reviews here:
- Remove pre-installed Windows 11 apps with O&O AppBuster
- Uninstall Windows apps for all users in bulk with O&O AppBuster
- O&O AppBuster: remove Windows 10 apps (even hidden ones)
Here are the steps:
Step: 1 Launch O&O AppBuster
The app can be run right after it has been downloaded to the system. The interface is clean. Switch to the Windows tab at the top and check the Microsoft Photos app in the list of apps. Select the Remove button at the top to continue.
Step 2: Confirm the removal
You may remove the Photos app for the current user or all users on the device. Make a choice and select the Yes option to continue.
The app recommends to create a System Restore point, which you may want to do. It allows you to restore the Photos app using it.
Note that System Restore may not be enabled on Windows machines. You find the option to enable it in Settings > System > About > System Protection. This launches the classic System Properties window with options to configure System Restore.
Removing Photos from Windows 10 and 11 has positive effects for users who use third-party image viewers. Photos is removed from the File Explorer context menu and Windows can no longer reassign supported file types to the Photos app.
While there is a still a chance that Photos will be installed again through updates, it is easy enough to remove it again using the methods described above.
Now You: do you remove stock Windows apps from your devices? If so which?