The Photos app in Windows 10 and 11 isn’t exactly a fan favorite. Many users prefer the good old Photo Viewer, for its speed, simplicity and overall utility. That could change, as Microsoft rolls out a new update for the Photos app for Windows 11, and brings a new interface to the program. This is the same design that was shown to users of the Windows Insider program in September 2021.
The GUI of the program follows the design of Windows 11 with rounded corners and supports the Mica material effect. The main screen of the app now has a Camera Roll (thumbnail bar) at the bottom, which acts as a mini-gallery to display all images in the same folder. There is a full screen button at the top, which you can toggle for an immersive viewing experience. It’s pretty, but the button placement is weird.
The toolbar appears at the top of the screen, it looks like the old version, but for a change there is a new navigation button at the left end of the bar. Right-clicking on an image hides the toolbar and the filmstrip.
The graphical interface of the photo editor has been completely overhauled. The Crop tool buttons are now located at the bottom of the screen, you can control the zoom levels using the options on the left side. Use the slider to tilt the image to a different angle, or rotate the images, change the aspect ratio, or flip the image horizontally or vertically. The Adjust tab has also been redesigned and features sliders for adjusting Brightness, Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Vignette, Saturation, Warmth, and Hue.
The editor no longer has options for Spot Fix and Red Eye Correction. The Filters tab has various new effects and an auto-enhancing tool.
The Annotation section of the new Photos app lets you draw on images using the pen and highlighter tools.
The new Photos app has a feature called multi-views, which lets you view two images in a side-by-side comparison. To use it, select the images from the thumbnail strip at the bottom.
It also works with multiple images which is pretty cool.
The three-dot menu now displays a link that takes you to the Photo Editor section of the Microsoft Store. So, yeah, it’s an ad, I guess.
The new release, first reported by XDA, has build number 2021.21120.8011.0. If you haven’t received the update yet, open the Microsoft Store app and check for updates. When it comes to program performance, I think Windows Photo Viewer is still a bit faster than the newer Photos app.
Don’t like the Photos app? You can restore Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 11, by following our guide.
The Groove Music application is replaced by the new Media Player. Several websites are reporting that a new Notepad update is also available and brings the dark theme that debuted in the Insider Preview program. I haven’t received the update on my stable version of Windows 11, but it’s possible that the new Notepad app is now available for the beta channel.
What do you think of the new Photos app?