FIX: Microsoft Photos app has disappeared

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Windows 10 comes with a built-in photo viewer called Microsoft Photos.
  • However, the app can sometimes crash and become unresponsive, and that's when measures need to be taken.
  • This article is just one of many that we've included in our dedicated hub for troubleshooting System Errors.
  • For more great articles, check out our Windows 10 Fix page.
microsoft photos app disappeared

Did Microsoft Photos app disappear on your Windows 10 computer? Don’t panic, we can help you fix this problem. The famous Windows Photos application is multipurpose image viewer available as a built-in program on Windows 8, Windows 10, and Xbox One. This program allows you to view, organize, and edit your videos and images.

However, some Windows users reported that things go unusual and Microsoft Photos app disappeared on their PC. Also, they get the error message “Element not found” whenever they try to open images on their PC.

What should I do if Microsoft Photos app has disappeared? First off, try running the Windows Store Apps troubleshooter. Photos app is a Windows Store app and running the troubleshooter might help. Alternatively, you can try downloading the Photos app by using PowerShell and Windows Store.

What to do if Photos app isn’t working?

  1. Run the app troubleshooter
  2. Download an alternative photo viewer
  3. Clear the Windows Store cache
  4. Download and Install Microsoft Photos
  5. Use PowerShell

1. Run the app troubleshooter

If Microsoft Photos app has disappeared, you can fix the problem by using the application troubleshooter. With the app troubleshooter, you can check for errors related to Microsoft Photos and then resolve them automatically.

Here’s how to run the Microsoft apps troubleshooter:

  1. Open the Start Menu and type in troubleshooting and hit the Enter key.troubleshoot search microsoft photos app disappeared
  2. In the troubleshooting window, scroll down to locate Windows Store store apps troubleshooter microsoft photos app disappeared
  3. Click on it and then click on Run the the troubleshooter microsoft photos app disappeared
  4. Follow the prompts to finish up the process.
  5. Restart PC.

Check to see if Microsoft Photos appears on your Windows PC after the restart. If not, you may proceed to the next step.

2. Download an alternative photo viewer

If Photo Viewer doesn’t work, then maybe its time you try out an alternative photo viewing tool, one good example being Adobe Lightroom.

  1. Download Lightroom free here
  2. Make sure you register for a free 7-day trial
  3. Install Adobe Lightroom on your PC.
  4. Press Start
  5. Go to Settings
  6. Choose Apps
  7. Go to Default Apps
  8. In the Photo viewer section choose Adobe Lightroom

Not only is this Adobe product an excellent photo viewer, but it comes with all the editing tools you will ever need to enhance and doctor photos. In fact, this program can be considered a lightweight version of Adobe Photoshop, but without the complicated UI.

3. Clear the Windows Store cache

Clearing the Windows Store can effectively resolve the missing Microsoft Photos problem.

Here’s how to clear the Windows Store cache:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to launch the Run program.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type wsreset.exe and hit the Enter key.wsreset microsoft photos app disappeared
  3. Restart your computer.

Check to see if the issue is resolved after restarting your computer. If not, you should try the next solution.

4. Download and Install Microsoft Photos

Microsoft Photos may have been accidentally or manually uninstalled on your Windows PC. However, you can manually install Microsoft Photos on your Windows PC from the official Microsoft Photos website or from the Microsoft Store.

5. Use PowerShell

PowerShell can also help if Microsoft Photos app has disappeared. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Go to Start > type PowerShell and then right-click on it and select Run as an as administrator powershell microsoft photos app disappeared
  2. When the User Account Control window pops up, click on Yes to launch PowerShell with administrator privileges.
  3. Type the following commands in the PowerShell window and then hit the Enter key.
    PowerShell –ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted
    $manifest = (Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.WindowsStore).InstallLocation + ‘AppxManifest.xml’ ; Add-AppxPackage –DisableDevelopmentMode –Register $manifestpowershell microsoft photos app disappeared
  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Now, launch the Microsoft Store.
  3. Search for Microsoft Photos to download and install it on your microsoft photos microsoft photos app disappeared

There you go, these are just a couple of solutions that can help you if Microsoft photos app has disappeared on your PC. Let us know in the comments section if you found our solutions helpful.

FAQ: Learn more about photo viewers

  • Where can I get a free photo viewer?

Windows 10 comes with a built-in photo viewer. However, this app has been known to cause issues, such as involuntarily rotating pictures.

  • Are there any great alternatives to Photo viewer?

One great alternative to Photo Viewer that can double as an image editor as well is Adobe Lightroom.

  • What can I do if I uninstalled my default Photo viewer?

If uninstalled, you can download Photo Viewer again from the Microsoft Store.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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