Fix: Photos App not opening in Windows 8.1, 10

By: Radu Tyrsina
4 minute read
fix photos app won't open

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We’ve been hearing reports that certain apps either open slow or don’t open at all in Windows 8.1, Windows 10. Such is the case with the Photo app, which doesn’t open after the Windows 10 upgrade for some users.

Now there's a fix for the annoying problem

Now there’s a fix for the annoying problem

Many users have been complaining that the Photos app is either not opening in Windows 8.1, Windows 10 or not working at all. We finally have some fixes suggested by users on the Microsoft Community support forums. One user said the following:

It doesn’t seem to want to load all of my local photos. Directories which contain 30-40 photos sometimes only display 1 image…and some photo directories don’t show up at all. SkyDrive integration is pretty much zero as it simply throws me into the handicapped Metro browser

And somebody else completed, saying this:

I am unable to open photo app. All that happens is that it sits there for a while then opens showa thumbnails of photos then shuts down and goes straight to desktop. Any help would be appreciated. I have tried trouble shooter, re booted but no change.

Multiple forum postings have been created with the same problem on Microsoft’s community network, but I’ve managed to obtain some solutions that seem to solve the issue. Here’s what you need to do.

Fix Photos App won’t open on Windows 10

  1. Disable Photo Shuffle
  2. Update Windows 10
  3. Update the Photos App
  4. Run the Windows App Troubleshooter
  5. Repair your Registry
  6. Restore the Photos app
  7. Install third-party photo apps

1. Disable Photo Shuffle

  1. In Windows8.1, 10 Photos App, turn off “Shuffle Photos” from the Charms > Settings > Options
  2. Delete the jpg and dat files from AppData\Local\Packages\FileManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState
    and AppData\Local\Packages\FileManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\Settings
  3. Enable Library Options in any Explorer File Folder
  4. Move all pictures out of the Pictures Library folder to a different folder, but then copy that new folder back to it
  5. Enable Thumbnails by unchecking “Always show icons, never thumbnails” in Folder Options
  6. Open Windows 8.1 Photos app and try Setting a Photo as Tile Photo. You can also try re-enabling Photo Shuffle instead; this cancels setting a photo as the tile photo. Close app.
  7. Check Photos app on Start Screen for Live Tile option

2. Update Windows 10

Running outdated Windows 10 versions on your PC may cause the Photos App to stop working. Install the latest system updates on computer, restart it and then try to launch the app again to see if this fixed the problem.

As a quick reminder, Microsoft constantly rolls out Windows updates in order to improve the system’s stability and fix various issues. Some of these updates may target native Windows apps, including the Photos App so make sure to turn automatic updates on or check for updates from time to time.

To access the Windows Update section, you can simply type “update” in the search box. This method works on all Windows versions. Then go to Windows Update, check for updates and install the available updates.

3. Update the Photos App

If you don’t want to install all the Windows updates available for your OS version, you can update only the Photos app. Go to the Windows Store, open the Photos App page, click on the menu (the three dots) and check for updates.

update photos app

New updates will automatically get installed on your computer.

4. Run the Windows App Troubleshooter

Windows 10 Creators Update features a dedicated built-in troubleshooter that can fix a bevy of PC issues, including Photos App issues.

1. Go to Settings > Update & Security > select Troubleshoot in the left hand pane

2. In the new window, go to the section ‘Find and fix other problems’ > scroll down to Windows Store Apps > Run the troubleshooter.

fix photos app

5. Repair your Registry

Corrupted or missing registry keys may prevent the Photos App from launching. The simplest way to repair your registry is to use a dedicated tool, such as CCleaner. Don’t forget to first backup your registry in case anything goes wrong.

You can also use Microsoft’s System File Checker to check for system file corruption. Here’s how to run an SFC scan:

1. Go to Start > type cmd > right-click Command Prompt > select Run as Administrator

2. Now type the sfc /scannow command

3. Wait for the scanning process to complete and then restart your computer. All corrupted files will be replaced on reboot.

6. Restore the Photos app

You can also try to restore the Photo app if none of the solutions listed above helped you fix the problem.

  1. Go to Start > type ‘powershell’ > launch WindowsPowerShell (Admin)
  2. Enter the following command, and then hit Enter:
    • get-appxpackage *Microsoft.Windows.Photos* | remove-appxpackage
  3. Wait until the Photos App is removed from your computer and then reboot it.
  4. Go to the Microsoft Store and download and install the Photos App again.

7. Install third-party photo apps

Well, if nothing worked, the best solution is to install a third-party photo management app. For more information about the best photo apps to install on your Windows PC, check out the articles below:

Read AlsoWindows 10 Photos app update adds AI, mixed reality support

Has this solved your issues with the Photos app in Windows 8.1, Windows 10? If not, leave your comment and we’ll look together into your problem and try to find a working fix for it.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2013 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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