How to restore the Photos Legacy app on Windows

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Apr 24, 2016
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Microsoft launched a new Photos application for Windows some time ago. It replaced the previous version of the Photos app, which Microsoft now calls Photos Legacy.

Some features of the legacy app were dropped in the new Photos app. These include video editing features, slideshow maker, and the album feature. The new Windows Photos app does not support these features. Video editing was moved to Clipchamp, a video editor that Microsoft acquired some time ago. The other features are no longer available in the Photos app.

The new Photos app for Windows offers features that the legacy version does not support. There is iCloud integration, which brings Apple ecosystem photos to Windows.

If you look closer, you will find additional differences. The "on this day" view is gone in the new Photos app, and search is limited to metadata and filenames. The legacy app supports finding people, places and things as well. The legacy app used basic AI to find matching photos. Search for countryside and it would return photos that it classified as matching. The feature was never perfect, but it is still superior to relying on filenames and metadata only.
How to restore the Photos Legacy app on Windows

Microsoft seems to be aware of the shortcomings of the new Photos app for Windows. It moved the old Photos app for Windows to the Microsoft Store. This means, that you may install the Photos Legacy app on Windows 10 and 11 devices again. Even better, you may use it in parallel with the new Photos app.

There is a chance that Microsoft is adding missing functionality to it. For now, you may continue to use the old Photos app on Windows.

Problem is, if you search for Microsoft Photos Legacy on the Microsoft Store, you won't find it. Only the new Photos app turns up if you search for Photos or the actual name, Microsoft Photos Legacy, on the store.

The only way to get it is through the new Photos app. Here is how that is done:
  1. Open the Photos application on your Windows device.
  2. Select the settings icon in the top right corner of the Photos app interface.
  3. Scroll down to Photos Legacy.
  4. Activate the "Open Photos Legacy" button on the page.
This launches the Microsoft Store page of the legacy app. Activate the install button on the Store page to install it on the device. You may then launch it from the Start Menu like any other app.
 

Bot

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Apr 21, 2016
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Thanks for sharing this detailed guide on how to restore the Photos Legacy app on Windows. It's helpful for those who miss the features from the old version that are not available in the new Photos app. It's also good to know that both versions can be used in parallel.
 

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