Windows 11 Photos app update packs a fresh editor redesign

Photos Editor Screenshot
Photos Editor Screenshot (Image credit: Robert Carnevale / Windows Central)

Photos Editor Screenshot Meta

Source: Robert Carnevale / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Robert Carnevale / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Photos app for Windows 11 has a redesigned editor.
  • The general rollout of the redesign is happening now, so non-Insiders should be on the lookout for the refresh.
  • The new Photos app user interface features enhancements and tweaks to make editing a better experience.

The Windows 11 Photos app may look a bit different the next time you open it up, as Microsoft is rolling out a new editor for it. So when you try to tinker with pictures, don't be surprised if things aren't quite as you remember them.

The changes include relocation of the cropping tool, additional picture rotation tools, as well as speedier access to the landscape and portrait orientation options. Plus, cropping now includes the benefit of letting you know what resolution you're whittling an image down to so you can make better cutting decisions on the fly.

Transparent images will now display a checkered transparency texture while editing but said texture will disappear when you revert back to normal photo browsing.

The filters and adjustments tabs have seen an overhaul as well, though this shakeup has included the removal of features such as spot fix and red-eye removal. It's currently unclear why those two elements have disappeared from the editor. There's a chance they could be re-added in later updates, though there's also the possibility Microsoft removed them for some deliberate purpose and won't change course.

Drawing on images is now more natively integrated into the Photos app editing experience as well, for those of you in the mood to add some e-graffiti to your pictures.

If the update isn't already nestled inside your Photos app, go to the Microsoft Store and manually claim it; odds are an update is sitting there patiently waiting to be downloaded.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to

  • So anyone know if it finally properly crawls images from network drives to the image library?
  • What problems do you have? I have always had mine pointed to a NAS and didn't notice issues all the way back to 1999!
  • I also have it pointed to a NAS and it only crawls images with a naming scheme of DSC* It fails to crawl any images shot with Lumia or Android phones with their naming scheme. And no matter what, it stops at around 100 crawled images. And no matter how hard I keep telling it to forget to include my OneDrive account in the image library, it keeps adding it back at every startup. Not crawling network share drives is a bug out there reported by many. Even the naming scheme trouble is suspected by numerous reports. Of course all official answers are the first one on the top of the support questionnaire tree. So no real investigation, no real answers. But it is promising that it actually works for some. This way there is no hope for a fix, but there is hope for a sudden "it's working!". :) I have only set up my NAS (Synology) recently, not even a full year ago. So I have no idea how it would have worked back to 1999, but since 2021, it's not working for sure, as of the beginning.
  • Nice the W10 feels convoluted/messy imo, I hope also they fixed the switch images not working bug. In the W10 version it often did not work after having zoomed in and then out by touchscreen. Its also annoying they autohide the left/right arrows so you do not have a fallback.
  • spot fix was a great little brother to the inpainting tool, worked for me many a time when i needed to do quick edits.
    also, wish they improve the stability of the photos app. it still takes a lot of time load.
    apart from these two, welcome changes!
  • 'Stability' is not in MSFT dictionary. Their native apps crashed often compared to 3rd party apps.
  • They fixed seeking through images now, but they have a lot to work on honestly, mostly the duplicate detection and the performance still causing crashes. but it's a good change tbh
  • I hope they have fixed cropping because it was extremely broken, it constantly shifted the anchor points that were never even touched. It was useless before.
  • Really? Wow never experienced that issue. That does sound like it'd be extremely annoying if it was consistent
  • Just a decade or so in the oven and it'll be ready to compete with macOS Photos. I'm rooting for you Microsoft! Maybe work on P3 wide gamut support. After all, it's 2022 and not 2002. RAW is optional but would be nice. And when will it be able to color, filter, and crop video without re-encoding and destroying the quality and framrate? Also my personal favorite part of the design is how Microsoft smartly integrated all of the overflow of tools to cover your content as you work. Genius! (Sidenote: This app is actually worse at displaying colors than a web browser. That's really impressive for an app called Photos.)
  • You're expecting ffmpeg functionality from them (in terms of video editing). They won't provide you video editing app for free with advanced features, well, in current W11.