The built-in Photos app in Windows 8 has a live tile on the start screen that shows photos from your pictures library. It's a cool little visual, even if it's not particularly useful.

The problem is that a lot of image files on my computer are not really photos per se -- I have a lot of screenshots, PNGs of technical drawings, graph images, etc. Those all look pretty awkward on the start screen. I look pretty awkward on the start screen too... sometimes photos like resume profile shots show up that I don't want to delete, but they're not really what I want to be staring at when I start my computer up.

I'm looking for some way to configure which folders the Photos app should look in for images to display on the live tile. That way, I could point it to some directories of pretty scenic pictures I've taken, and not have to see graphs and my own mug.

For the time being, I've just disabled the live tile (right click -> disable live tile), but I would ultimately like to have this functionality, just with more control over it.


2 Answers 2


Apparently the photos are selected from your library by some criteria that includes recentness, You can set one specific photo by bringing up the picture to being full screen, then bring up the app command bar( ctrl - Z , and selecting 'set as app tile'. Source: Tom's Hardware

As is there's no obvious way to select folders, so I'd guess the solution would be to store things you don't want turning up outside the library. Tweaking metadata to reduce interestingness might work as well, but thats an extraordinarily ugly solution, and one that would need further understanding of the criteria the app uses.

EDIT: Further investigation shows it uses your pictures library, and by adding a folder to your pictures library it shows up there. Likewise removing a library removes it from the 'playlist'. Quite simply the way to remove a folder from showing up on the photos tile is to remove it from the library, and adding a folder to the library adds it to the tile.

There does seem to be a certain amount of 'lag' between changes in the library structure, and photos catching on with it.

  • Hm. Good to know that I can select just one at least. I'm pretty sure it looks everywhere, not just in the Photos folder, because I'm having pictures show up that are saved in my Dropbox folder, my Downloads folder, etc.
    – nhinkle
    Oct 20, 2012 at 16:50
  • I've definitely had pictures show up that weren't in my photos library...
    – nhinkle
    Nov 5, 2012 at 21:51

If you need a step-by-step guide, here's how-to add your folders.


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