Photos app not working on Windows 10? Here are the fixes

The new Windows Photos app isn’t bad. It’s actually been around since Windows 8, but it’s still the latest built-in photo viewing option. It has a nice user interface and decent image filter options out of the box. However, it’s also likely not to work as it should.

If you have a problem with Photos app not working, these fixes can be implemented just like this Windows built-in alternative.

NoteNote: Before following the tips below, as with many Windows issues, you should first try to run a basic scan for corrupted system files on Windows 10. To do this, just open Command Prompt and type sfc /scannow command and restart Windows.

Use the Windows Store apps troubleshooter

Photos is a Windows Store app that uses Microsoft’s proprietary UWP format that causes all sorts of problems. (See the litany of Xbox Game Pass for PC issues for an example.) The first place to look to fix this problem is to use the built-in Windows troubleshooter for Photos and other Windows apps.

Go to Settings -> Update & Security -> Troubleshoot -> More troubleshooters.

Scroll down to Windows Store Apps and click “Run the troubleshooter” to see if that fixes the issue.

Photo app not working

Tweak the internal settings of the Photos app

If your Photos app is running slowly, one solution might be to change the internal settings to make it run smoother.

App slow photos by default

Open the Photos app from the Start menu. Go to the three dots icon in the top right and select “Settings”.

In the Photos app settings

Many configuration settings with the Photos app may be enabled by default. To ensure a fast response time, you should optimize these settings. Most importantly, the Photos app syncs with OneDrive, which you may not need often. Being online can affect the speed of the Photos app. Therefore, you need to turn off the “Only show my cloud content from OneDrive” option.

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Cloudonly Photos app settings

Also, you can disable “Show delete confirmation dialog” which consumes additional memory. Hardware accelerated video encoding is also something you don’t need unless you plan on using the Photos app as a video editor.

Photos App settings Internal hardware acceleration

The Photos app can get very busy and use a lot of memory to load a folder of pictures. As such, you should also “disable indexing of portions of your photo library stored on network locations.”

Installer Windows Media Pack (Windows 10 Net KN)

As with any Windows release, there are several different versions of Windows 10 available for purchase. We’re not just talking about the usual Home and Professional versions. For example, “N” and “KN” versions of Windows 10, which are special versions of Windows designed for Europe and Korea.

The main difference between these versions and other versions of Windows is that they do not include Windows Media Player, Groove Music and other multimedia applications, nor the libraries needed to play these multimedia contents. Oddly enough, this can affect the Photos app as it also relies on media libraries.

Photos app not working windows 10 media pack

You can check your version of Windows 10 by clicking Start, then typing “About” and selecting “About your PC”. In the new window, scroll down and see what it says next to “Create an operating system”. If you see an “N” or “KN” next to your OS version, try downloading the Windows 10 Media Feature Pack to fix the Photos app.

Check file system permissions

One of the most common reasons why the Photos app – or any other UWP app – might not work is changing permissions on the file system. What exactly is file system and what does it mean?

Simply put, the file system organizes how Windows organizes the storage of files and data on your PC. There are many layers to this, ranging from metadata (length of music files, photos of the location were taken, data file was created, etc.) to surface-level filenames.

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Part of the file system are permissions, which determine which users on the PC have access to the file and what level of access they have (read, read, write, etc.). Whether by user or system error, these permissions can sometimes change in a way that effectively prevents you from using a specific file or application.

This can also happen with the Photos app.

To check this you need to access three folders on your system and make sure the permissions for “ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES” are ok.

To do this, navigate to each of the folders listed below the screenshot, right click on it, then click on the “Security -> ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES” tab and ensure that the following permissions are allowed. (On the Security tab, click Edit.)

Photo app not working

  • program files – Read, read and execute, list folder contents
  • the window – Read, read and execute, list folder contents
  • AppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsWER – Special permissions, list, read and execute folder contents
  • Update the Photos app

    There are many complex solutions in this list, so we thought it best to start with the simple ones. Your first stop should be the Photos app update, which can improve functionality and get rid of trivial bugs in it.

    To do this, go to the Microsoft Store app, click the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner, and then click “Downloads and Updates.”

    Photos app not working Windows 10 Microsoft Store 1

    On the new screen, click Get Updates. If you haven’t yet installed an update for the Photos app, it will appear in the download queue and the download will begin.

    If the download doesn’t start immediately and is stuck on “Pending”, you can click the three-dot menu icon to the right of it and then click “Download Now” to start it.

    Reset the Photos app

    Resetting the Photos app will clear the app’s cache and reset all of its data to default settings.


    To do this, right-click on the Start menu and navigate to “Apps and Features”. Next, scroll down the list to “Photos” and click on it, then click on “Advanced options” and in the next window click on “Reset”. This will erase all data from the Photos app, including any saved picture presets or settings you may have had, and restore it to its original state.

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    Delete and reinstall the Photos app

    The most drastic option is to manually remove and then reinstall the Photos app. Unfortunately, you can’t do this from the Apps & Features list like you can with a regular app. Instead, you should use an elevated PowerShell command.

    Click on the start menu, type powershell, then right click on PowerShell and “Run as administrator”. In the Powershell window, type:

    get-appxpackage *Microsoft.Windows.Photos* | suppresser-appxpackage


    After you press Enter, the Photos app should disappear from your computer. To reinstall, go to the Microsoft Store app, search for “Photos,” then select and install the Photos app (with “Microsoft Corporation” listed as the developer).

    Perform a system restore

    If you more or less know when the problems with your Photos app started, you can perform a system restore to a happier time, before the problems started.


    Go to the start menu, type recovery, and then click “Create a restore point”. In the new window, click on “System Restore” and then follow the instructions until you can select a restore point. Select the one you want (ideally before your Photos app troubles start) and continue with the process.

    Just use Windows Photo Viewer


    For many people, the old Windows Photo Viewer worked just fine. While not as flashy as Photos, it served its purpose and was a functional and convenient way to browse your photos in a specific folder.

    However, Microsoft has discontinued Photo Viewer, and if you have a PC with Windows 10 preinstalled, you’ll need to be a little technical to set Photo Viewer as the default.

    However, Windows 10 isn’t that bad, and you can make it even more fun by checking out our list of 10 awesome screensavers you can get for it. Also see our guide on how to set the allocation unit size with your new hard drive.

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