Users hate the new Windows 10 Photos App, want to restore the old version

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Managing Editor
42 Comments
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Last week, Microsoft completely revamped its Windows 10 Photos App. Users can now draw directly on pictures with various tools, customize their photos to their liking, or save doodles and apply them directly to another photo later on.

The Redmond giant also changed the app’s user interface. More specifically, the Photos App UI has a new coat of paint along with a new image and a fresh aspect that screams “clean”.

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Despite Microsoft’s best intentions and efforts, users hate the new Windows 10 Photos App — and this is no exaggeration. Many consider that the new app is actually a downgraded version and don’t agree with Microsoft’s decision to remove a series of useful features.

Windows 10 users don’t get along with the new Photos App

Users complain that the new Windows 10 Photos App is limited. A series of features, such as brightness, contrast, highlights, shadows, color boost, selective focus and others have disappeared. Users are puzzled and can’t understand the logic behind Microsoft’s decision. Since when is massively reducing functionality an upgrade?

The old Photos app was very easy to use, very intuitive and most importantly, users were used to it. Microsoft should have never done such a major change all of a sudden. If the company had chosen to gradually deploy these changes, maybe user feedback wouldn’t have been so fierce.

Put it back and stop fixing stuff that doesn’t need fixed!!! This is ridiculous. At least let us CHOOSE whether to update or not, but don’t just change stuff. It sucks. It’s terrible. I hate it.

Photos App users also say they had more control over their editing in the previous version. Many are tired of Microsoft’s experiments and already decided to use other photo editing tools such as Photoshop.

How to restore the old Windows 10 Photos App

You can undo unwanted system changes by reverting your computer to a previous restore point. In other words, you can roll back the update of the Photos App, provided that you had enabled a restore point on your machine.

Microsoft has yet to issue any comments on this situation. However, we’re sure that somebody must be reading the comments from this forum thread. Keep putting pressure on Microsoft and we may have the old Photos App back!

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  • i have a feeling a lot of the “updates” are due to flunky interns and ambitious staff trying to dazzle their superiors with “new” ideas. they are so out of touch with the average consumer that they really seem not to give a flying *&^% about what end users really like and want.

  • This was a stunningly bad move on MS part.
    The broke the golden rule of “don’t fix what ain’t broken”.

    if they wanted to release a new “enhanced” version, and give users a choice, maybe, but honestly, I could care less about the “doodle” and other garbage – I lost functionality.
    If I wanted a company that forced me to use the computer by “their” vision, I would have a mac.

  • Where did the ‘color enhance’ and ‘shadow’ tools go? Those were one of the most important and useful tools, yet they removed them.

    Looking for alternatives!

  • Microsoft, A complaint about Windows 10. I had two photos scanned in together, and wanted to crop them apart. After cropping and editing one of them I accidentally clicked “save” when I should have clicked “save a copy” so I could go to the original and crop the 2nd picture. In the old days I could click “restore previous version” and get the original back. Restore previous version is gone — and from what I’ve learned the original IS GONE. I CAN’T bring it back. This is ridiculous — I am sure I’m not the only person to make this mistake. Please bring RESTORE PREVIOUS VERSION back.

  • I had to get a new laptop with windows 10 on it and was so annoyed that the photo editor has changed! The old version was so good and much more functionality! I don’t understand the thinking behind this at all, the new version is so basic! I have been searching for a way to download the old version but it doesn’t seem to exist 🙁

  • I just caught up with the new version because I’ve been editing offline. I am horrified, almost broke my computer by banging on it, and got in a fight with my boyfriend who kept trying to tell me to just use something else. I’m VERY easy going but this update has caused me all kinds of distress. I’m going to have to purchase Adobe now. Thank you, Microsoft.

  • One solution is to (re)install the old Office Picture manager … You can get it by downloading the SharePoint Designer 2010 from the MS site and uncheck all other parts but this before installing the SW. Vintage, sure, but working.

  • Stunned…What in heavens name is Microsoft thinking of?
    Overnight they have destroyed a perfectly good and tactile product.
    How can something like this be an improvement?
    They are obviously employing ex ebay employees.
    The next thig will be a press release from Microsoft saying something along the lines of;
    “We asked our customers what they wanted and they said…dumb down everything in the photo app.”
    Tragic..

  • Endorse everything that’s been said. As someone relatively new to this, I found myself searching for a solution to a presumed malfunction until I realised these incomprehensible changes are actually deliberate.

  • I feel like Microsoft has stolen from me. This can’t be legal. I’m too poor to buy photoshop. I just tried downloading aviary but that won’t work right either. I am a knitwear designer and used the older version of the photo editor nearly daily. My pictures look like total crap now. I don’t know what to do. I was just researching how to get it back and reverting to older version of windows is not an option.

  • I have never seen so big downgrade in an application! Now it’s absolutely unuseful! I have come back to Picasa. I don’t like too much but It’s much better than new one. The old photo editor was perfect!!

  • As a photographer I’ve kept windows 8 on my laptop terrified of having these
    people mess with my life
    Microsoft is like the banks to big to fail
    If you ever go into there offices coffee shops everywhere they have forgotten what
    work is.
    That people need effective tools to work

  • The new photo editor is a HUGE downgrade! This was one of the main selling points for me in buying the Surface Pro when I saw it in a Microsoft store last year and saw that it had a really nice built-in and responsive photo editor. Now the new photo editor is absolute garbage and on top of that, simple editing shows a slight lag! Microsoft, this is the exact type of “upgrade” that pushes people to lose brand loyalty.

  • Everything said above is true. The new Photos App is crap. The old one was brilliant. I have over 3000 slides converted to Jpeg that need editing. I was crashing through them with the old App. Now I can’t carry on. It’s useless. All the best features have gone & it was so quick to use. I’m fast losing it with Microsoft & all the crap they force on us. Got to find another editor now & I don’t think there is one as good as the old Photos App. Bring it back ASP & give us the option of which one we want then every one is happy.

  • Legit this new app is for the people who call tech support asking why there pc is not working when they haven’t plugged it in at the back! RETARDS!

  • Windows 10 photos app pre November 2016 was an amusingly simple and powerful tool. I can’t believe its been dumbed down to compete with Instagram filters.

    It’s the one program that made me like Windows 10.

  • I never post on things like this, but I’m also so annoyed by Microsoft’s unwanted update to my photo editor that I have to join in. I loved the old Windows 10 photo editor, and am completely baffled by why they would remove great features like selective focus (which I used all the time), shadows, highlights, contrast, saturation, and other detailed and sophisticated (and useful!) editing tools. As others have said, the new version feels very much like a downgrade, and I feel I can’t really do anything to my photos now. The filters are beyond terrible, and there’s almost no functionality in the other editing features. So disappointing. I honestly can’t imagine what they were thinking, except that they must not employ anyone who actually enjoys photography and editing photos.

  • If this isn’t an intentional downgrade then Microsoft is hiring incompetents. The 8.1 version was best. They should make the previous version in windows 10 available for download.

  • Restore previous version of Windows 10 keeping files etc. You now have previous version of photo app. Go to app store/settings and turn off auto updates. Did this a few days ago, so hope it will stay.

  • Please, please, restore the edit functions that were there! We were actually using them! The colour boost, the shadows and highlights, the saturation! How could they take them all from us? ;-(

  • Absolutely agree… The new “update” is actually a downgrade. Why would they take out so many functionality? The program is utterly USELESS now without the shadows, highlights, contrast, saturation and hue adjustments. Also missing is a very convenient button that allowed to compare the changes made to the original pic.

    • Don’t give a rat’s *ss anymore… I splurged for Adobe Lightroom and will never go back to stupid PHOTOS program even if they fix it again. There’s just no comparison.

  • I want shadows/highlights, contrast, saturation and hue. I also really enjoyed selective color and focus. I have zero need to ‘draw’ on pics. You can add that feature, but not at the expense of all the original ones. I don’t want to have to use a 3rd party app for simple, yet effective picture editing, especially when I have a whole folder I want to clean up. It was just about my favorite feature of windows 10 and now it is ruined. It take more clicks to crop. I can’t achieve the clean or creative pictures in moments that I could before. The arrows for next and previous are worse as well. In fact just about everything is worse. Filters I can take or leave, same for drawing. I am struggling to think of a single feature I actually like better compared to the old version. At least give us the choice to have the old features back.

  • I hate microsoft! Why they ruined so nice and elegant photo app. This is why I hate modern apps, there is no way to go back if wanted. In the old good days I could simply pick up the previous .exe version, keep it, and run it. Not anymore. If an app (on Android, Windows, iOS, etc) is updated (and fucked up) there is no way to go back to an old good version.

  • Too many features were dropped as stated in the article. Especially shadows, contrast, selective color enhancement. When I enlarge a photo for spot fixing I cannot move it around to get to the edges. Please give us back the old awesome photo editor!

  • I was already extremely disappointed with the change, and today noticed something even worse: the CROP feature is now basically the CRAP feature! The aspect ratio for 4×6 (and maybe the others as well, which I didn’t try) only allows for vertical as opposed to horizontal photos. What morons were in charge of this new version?????

  • I nearly cried after finding out. Gone are the days when editing can be as simple and fast as the Windows 8/Old Windows 10 Photos app. Let’s hope Microsoft brings it back.

  • I like the new photo app, Still needs some work to clean it up, still has far to much crap on the screen.

    The old photo app was nothing but a loud unuseable mess. Am certainly glad they decided clean it up and remove all the editing crap I don’t need while organizing photo folders for clients. I had to buy a brand new laptop running 7 because 10 was forced on my laptop breaking the Win7 partition, making going back impossible.

    I couldn’t disagree more with this article, less is absolutely better; than the mess the photo app was originally.

    I had absolutely zero control over my work when Windows 10 photo app was released still using Windows 7 photo viewer for work, until Microsoft further cleans this mess up giving me back total control of my photos

    • You do realize that you’re in the minority, right? The extreme minority? Sure, the “editing crap” was useless to kids who only want their instagram features and to people like you who only use it for the simplest things, but you both were not the target audience. Now (like they have done before) Microsoft wants to “modernize” their apps by making them so simple and dumbed down that a child could use them.

      It was not cluttered in the slightest, so I have no clue what you’re talking about. You had all the tabs meant for editing, and other than that I don’t know why you would use the app in the first place other than to view photos and edit them. Unless file explorer is way too daunting for you to use, then yes, the simplicity of a caveman seems right up your alley. What is you job, exactly? I’d like to know what kind of work you use this for to get a better idea about why you would possibly favor moving backwards.

  • I don’t have a restore point before the upgrade anymore! Someone tell me how to remove this CRAP and go back to the old version!!! I have Photoshop for personal projects but I have to edit a lot of photos for my job where speed, not quality is important. This damn upgrade is costing me money! I can’t afford the time it takes to bring each photo into Photoshop for simple edits!

  • Why cant Microsoft just say what the update is so i can uninstall it. it not rocket science
    I hate it it no longer works for me in fact its crap

  • I have been looking for how to restore the app without having to roll back windows, but I will, and disable updates if i have to.

  • Agreed, the updated version of this windows10 photo app is awful. There appears to be a serious lack of intelligence working at Microsoft.