Reset the Microsoft Photos App on Windows 11

The Microsoft Photos app is one of the most popular and useful apps in Windows 11. This is the default image viewer, allows you to view, edit, and organize your photos and videos easily. Recently Microsoft updated the Photos app with significant features including the ability to blur the background and search by querying content from an image. However, sometimes you may notice the photos app not working, crashing, not opening, or displaying errors. This article explores the reason behind this and how to repair or reset the Photos app in Windows 11 to fix common issues and restore its functionality.

Why Photos app not working Windows 11?

There are many possible causes for the Photos app not working in Windows 11. Some of the most common ones are:

  • The Photos app is not set as the default app for opening photos and videos. This can happen if you have installed another app that changes the file associations or if you have changed them manually.
  • The Photos app is outdated or has some bugs. This can happen if you have not updated Windows 11 or the Photos app for a long time or if there are some glitches in the app itself.
  • May Photos app has some corrupted or missing files. This can happen if you have deleted or modified some files related to the Photos app or if your system has some disk errors or malware infections.
  • The Photos app has some incompatible settings or preferences. This can happen if you have changed some settings or options in the Photos app that are not compatible with your system or hardware.
  • The Photos app has some conflicts with other apps or programs. This can happen if you have installed some apps or programs that interfere with the Photos app’s performance or functionality.

How to repair or reset the Photos app in Windows 11?

Repairing the Photos app will try to fix any issues with the app without affecting your data or settings. Resetting the Photos app will reinstall the app and delete its data and settings, so you may need to set up the app again after resetting it. If the Photos app is not working properly in Windows 11, repairing or resetting the Photos app can resolve persistent issues.

  • Open the Settings app by pressing the Windows + I keys on your keyboard or by clicking on the Start menu and selecting Settings.
  • Select “ Apps ” in the left panel, and click “ Installed apps ” in the right panel.
  • Click the three horizontal dots in front of the Microsoft Photos app, and click ” Advanced Options ” in the context menu.

Photos app Advanced Options

  • You will see two options: Repair and Reset. Click on Repair first and wait for the process to complete. This will try to fix any issues with the Photos app without affecting your data or settings.

Reset repair Photos app

  • If repairing does not work, you can try to reset the Photos app by clicking on Reset. This will delete all your data and settings related to the Photos app and restore it to its default state.
  • After resetting, you may need to sign in again with your Microsoft account and grant permission to access your photos and videos.

If repairing or resetting the Photos app does not solve your problem, you can try some other solutions, such as:

Update Windows 11 and the Photos app

Microsoft regularly releases updates to address bugs and improve system stability. Keeping your Windows 11 updated not only enhances system performance but also addresses compatibility issues, ensuring a seamless Photos app experience.

To update Windows 11:

  • Press Windows key + I to open Settings
  • Go to Windows Update then click  Check for updates.
  • If new updates are pending there allow them downlaod and install on your computer.

Windows 11 update download

To update the Photos app, go to Microsoft Store > Library > Downloads and updates and click on Get updates.

Update Microsoft store apps

Updating the app ensures you have the latest features and fixes, often resolving compatibility problems that could lead to malfunctions.

Run the Windows Store troubleshooter

Running the Windows Store troubleshooter can indeed be a helpful step if you’re facing issues with the Photos app, as the app is often associated with the Microsoft Store. The troubleshooter can identify and attempt to fix problems that might be affecting the store and its associated apps.

  • Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app.
  • Go to the system then troubleshoot and click on Other troubleshooters,
  • click Run next to Windows store apps, The troubleshooter will begin detecting and attempting to resolve issues.

Windows store app troubleshooter

This will scan and fix any issues with the Windows Store and its apps, including the Photos app. After the troubleshooter completes its process, it’s advisable to restart your computer.

Repair system files using SFC and DISM commands

If certain files essential for the proper functioning of the application are missing or damaged on Windows 11 you may experience photos app not working or crashes. If you’re experiencing problems with the Photos app and suspect that it might be due to corrupted system files, Run SFC and DISM commands to scan and repair any corrupted or missing system files that may affect the Photos app’s performance.

  • First open Command Prompt as administrator, press Windows key + S, type cmd, and select run as administrator,
  • Then type sfc /scannow and press Enter to run SFC (System File Checker).
  • Wait for it to finish and then type DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and press Enter to run DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management).
  • Wait for it to finish and then restart your computer.

SFC and DISM command

These steps are general troubleshooting measures and may not specifically target Photos app issues. They are more focused on resolving system file corruption that could impact various aspects of your operating system.

Reinstall the Photos app using PowerShell

This is a more advanced solution that will completely uninstall and reinstall the Photos app on Windows 11. Reinstalling Photos app ensures that any corrupted files causing the issue are replaced with fresh, functional ones.

  • To do this, open PowerShell as administrator by pressing Windows + X keys on your keyboard and selecting Windows PowerShell (Admin) from the menu.
  • Then type Get-AppxPackage *Microsoft.Windows.Photos* | Remove-AppxPackage and press Enter to uninstall the Photos app.
  • The Microsoft Photos application has been uninstalled, close Windows Terminal, and restart your computer so that the application is correctly uninstalled.
  • Open the Microsoft Store, type ” Microsoft Photos ” in the ” Search for apps ” field, and press the ” Enter ” key. Click the “ Get ” button to download and reinstall the Photos app on your device.

Download photos app on Microsoft store

Now go to the Photos application to check if it is now fully functional.

In addition, Confirm that the Photos app is set as the default application for opening image files. Go to Settings > Apps > Default apps > Photo viewer, and select “Photos.”

Perform system restore

If none above solutions fix your problem, and the photos app not working on Windows 11, you should try system restore. Performing a system restore helps resolve issues with the Photos app, especially if the problem started after a recent system change, update, or installation.

Press Windows key + R, type sysdm.cpl and click ok, move to the system protection tab, and select the system restore option.

Perform system restore

Note: System restore does not affect your personal files, but it may uninstall recently installed programs and drivers.

Also read:

Steve Ballmer
With over 7 years of experience in the IT industry, I have experience in IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. Certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.