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When I go to the Pictures library on my Win7 machine and Arrange by Month it says "This folder is empty". If I Arrange by Folder I can see all my folders and photos. Actually arranging by anything other than Folder shows "This folder is empty" when I know it isn't.

I have tried sharing the folder with the homegroup, have run sfc and repaired my libraries - but the problem remains. I just like the simple way all my photos are grouped by month and am loathe to install extra software just to get this view that I like.

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The month tag isn't the month part of the timestamp but actually a separate set of metadata besides the normal timestamps. To do what you want to do like arranging by months in the timestamps require third party software.

edit That was the most butt ugly answer I've ever given.

I have no idea what I was thinking. I think it is the lack of sleep and all the off hours tasks I've been trying to complete.

This functionality has existed for a while.

I'll add another edit when I have time.


The arrange by .. is essentially a virtual folder with a bunch of saved queries. Like Outlook. So each month "folder" just launches a query for all files created that month. AFAIK, It will use the JPEG metadata, then use the filestamp.

It's possible your index is corrupt, but I have no idea. I've never had to rebuild any Windows Search indexes around here, even the federated search.

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I was hoping to avoid 3rd party options, I know I could use something like Live Photo Gallery - but the Arrange by Month feature is part of Win7 the problem is that it isn't working / finding any photos when organised in this way. So my question is how to restore that functionality, if it is using the metadata then surely that still exists and it would suggest that the indexing isn't working? – Simon Martin Jul 28 '11 at 7:53
I have tried rebuilding the indexes but it hasn't made any difference and the By Month view is still empty. Looking at the Date Taken property of the images I can see valid dates - so assume that's ok. Which would suggest it is something about the indexing view. I created a new Library, set it to a different folder (C:\Windows\Web\Wallpapers) and set it to Pictures; it took a minute before that showed pictures by Month - Folder was instantaneous. Any ideas / suggestions? – Simon Martin Aug 5 '11 at 21:04
The indexer uses the Ifilters to see inside the files as well as gather properties. I have no idea which properties though and would have to dig up the MSDN articles. For the record, it looks like I'm using the Windows Live Photo Gallery filters. – surfasb Aug 5 '11 at 23:35

I was having the same problem and it seems that my "Pictures" folder wasn't indexed which stopped the Arrange by Month, etc from working.

If this is the same problem as you're getting, here's how to solve this:

  1. Open Control Panels -> Indexing Options
  2. Click "Modify" and look at "Included Locations"
  3. Click "Users" -> then find your user's "My Pictures" in the top window called "Change selected locations" (eg./User/Jesse/)
  4. Select "My Pictures" in the top window

Hope this helps... for more basic info (eg. your indexing is turned off), look at this link:

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