Windows 8.1 Photos App Crash Fix Steps

Posted Posted in Windows 8.1


It’s obvious from the number of posts and threads in Microsoft Communities that the Photos App in Windows 8.1, besides having been gutted of features loved by many, that QA on this app pretty much didn’t happen and customers are suffering.

Symptoms include (but are not limited to)


  • attempting to open the Photos App and immediately crashing back to the Start screen
  • message from Photos “please try again later”
  • message “your SkyDrive could not be created”
  • message “no content found”



Following is a collection of fixes and issues.


Before trying these fixes, make sure the Photos App is not running. I recommend that you restart your computer or tablet which will insure that Photos is closed.


1. Photos App Opens but No Content is found

This could be a corrupt/damaged library issue.


a. Open Windows File Explorer on the classic desktop.

b. Select the Navigation pane and insure all options are checked, especially Show Libraries





c. Now Navigate to Libraries (shown in Purple) and right click Pictures (tap and hold on a tablet) and then select Delete. Be sure you are in the Libraries hierarchy before you do this.



d. Now restore default libraries by right clicking on Libraries and then selecting Restore default libraries




2. Manually Rebuild the Index


If after performing Step 1 there is no content in the Photos App, try rebuilding the Index.


a. On the Start screen, type or search for indexing


b. Select Indexing Options and then select Advanced in the Indexing Options window



c.  In the Advanced Options window, select Rebuild. This will take some time. You can continue to use your computer, but this will slow down the process.



3. Indexing Can’t Run or the Photos App Crashes on Startup


If the  Windows Search Service is not running, the Photos App may crash on startup in Windows 8.1. To start the service:


a. Type or Search for services.msc on the Start screen and then select it



b. Scroll down in the Services Window and verify that Windows Search is running.



c. If it is disabled, right click it, select Properties and set it to Automatic (Delayed Start) and verify it is started.



d. Restart your computer or tablet and try Step 2 again.


4. Can’t Start the Windows Search Service or File Not Found Error

Some Registry tools like iolo System Mechanic and PC Doctor have reportedly damaged the registry and prevent Windows Search from starting. It has also been reported that some vendor utilities that ship with computers with SSD drives turn Windows Search off.


a. If you have used a utility as described above, undo the changes made. My opinion is that most third party registry tools do more harm than good (and this current situation is just but one example).


b. If you can’t undo the changes or un-doing the changes does not work, it has been reported that there is a registry fix that may resolve the issue. I have not tried this personally, but there are many confirmations that it does work. See the reply marked as Answer in this thread on Microsoft Communities. My recommendation is that if you try this fix (which I will repost below) that you first back up the registry and export the original key so that you have a way back. Using the registry editor is not something you should do unless you understand the consequences.

Find this key


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\FileChangeClientConfigs\{A010C594-BAB6-4690-952C-28A0C0365307} value=ScopeToMonitor


Rename it to


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Search\FileChangeClientConfigBAK\{A010C594-BAB6-4690-952C-28A0C0365307} value=ScopeToMonitor

c. Restart your computer and then attempt to start the Windows Search Service (Step 3).


5. Photos App Still Crashes on Start Up After Performing above Steps


It has been reported that if a firewall rule blocks access to SkyDrive that the Photos App crashes on start. If you can change the rule, it may resolve the problem.


You can let me know on twitter @barbbowman if any of the above helped you resolve your issue or post in Microsoft Communities

PhotoWeaver has functionality cut from Win 8.1 Photos App

Posted Posted in Play To, Windows 8.1

The PhotoWeaver App is free for a limited time. If you are one of the people complaining about the great stuff Microsoft ripped out of the Windows 8.1 Photos App like Facebook and Flickr integration and the ability to Play To your DLNA DMR device because Microsoft decided to not implement the Play To contract, grab this one while it is free.




As you can see above, you can include Facebook, Flickr, Google+, and SkyDrive content.


Play To works as it should from PhotoWeaver.

Use WLPG in Win 8.1 to display images from NAS in Photos App

Posted Posted in Windows 8.1


I’ve been frustrated, as have many others, with the inability of the Photos App in Windows 8.1 and the Libraries to recognize and use images stored on Linux based NAS boxes.  So what’s the hack? Install Windows Live Photo Gallery and add your NAS based folders to the library from within WLPG. This  hack that will supply some relief for x86 users (but not RT users since WLPG can’t be installed on ARM based systems, etc.).


The frustrating experience “as is” on Windows 8.1 results in “This network location can’t be included because it is not indexed”, as shown below.


Here are the steps you need to take to enable Linux NAS based images to appear in the 8.1 Photos App.


First, install Windows Live Photo Gallery and open it.


Second, using WLPG right click Pictures under All photos and videos and then select Manage Pictures Library.



Third, click Add



Fourth, browse to the folder on your NAS box you want to include and then select Include folder. In the example below, lighthouse jpgs is the folder that has been selected.



Fifth, no errors, no warnings, no nastigrams. The Linux based NAS folder can be added successfully. Click OK to close the window.




Sixth, confirm that your images display inside the Windows Live Photo Gallery browser.




Finally! Open the Windows 8.1 Photos App and view your Linux NAS based photos.



Note: Sadly, there will be no folder hierarchy and only the individual images are displayed on the main screen. It may take a few minutes for the new main Photos App screen to populate, but if you can accept the flattened, non hierarchical view,you are further ahead than before you experimented with this kludge. 



Cyberlink’s DVD Mobile App trumps the Photos App in Windows 8.1

Posted Posted in Windows 8.1


I really wanted to title this post “Microsoft ruined the Photos App in Windows 8.1 for me and many others, but if you spend $15, there is a wonderfully elegant app that not only returns the functionality that Microsoft amputated, but adds striking new functionality” but that’s way too long for a blog post title.

I’ve been dismayed since I first installed the Windows 8.1 Preview (and later 8.1 RTM) over the dramatic reduction in functionality, usability, and capabilities of the Windows 8.1 Photos App. Microsoft elected to redesign the app, removing much loved features like Facebook and Flickr integration, the Play To contract (so you can use the Play menu with DLNA capable DMRS’s) and in general ruined the experience for many people, as evidenced by

Microsoft’s implementation of including network folders on non Windows NAS boxes, or lack or implementation also is frustrating.

I’ve spent many months trying to figure out how to replace all the functionality Microsoft removed and for $15, have a solution I’m pretty happy with. If you feel as I do, run, don’t walk, and grab a copy of Cyberlink’s Power DVD Mobile App for Windows 8. Don’t let the name DVD Mobile fool you, this is a TRUE media hub, better than Microsoft’s, and better than anything else out there. There is a 15 day free trial, so you really have nothing to lose.

I rarely review software, and this is, by no means, a software review. I’m posting this because it does all of the things Microsoft removed from the Photos App and adds a few really nice features. I haven’t even tried the Music features yet. But I will I bought this app after seeing what it did for Photos and Videos after using it for 24 hours. It’s that good.

I installed the app and looked around. This app has a stunning visual presentation. The Most Recent screen is a mixed media collage of your collections..


There’s a lot of functionality in the Photos area, and you can view your photos in multiple ways.


There’s a really nice calendar view, and the screen shot below should be self explanatory.


One of my biggest complaints was about what Microsoft amputated from the 8.1 Photos App – Facebook and Flickr integration, and this App brings it all back.



My Facebook albums:


My Flickr Photostream



Bonus points – if your ‘Nix based NAS box has any kind of DLNA server (and many do), this app can display the content.



Microsoft didn’t implement the Play To contract in the Photos App in 8.1. This app does not have that flaw. Cyberlink did it right.




More bonus points: I’ve got some HD mkv files stored on a networked drive. Using Windows File explorer, I’m able to navigate to these network shares, tape and hold to display the shortcut menu and Open with this App, and these videos play with no delay. Better still, I can even stream them using Miracast to my Netgear Push2TV 3000 from within the Cyberlink app. Even more bonus points: HD mkv playback on my Surface 2.

Specify the 50 images that Photos App 8.1 selects from for Live Tile

Posted Posted in Windows 8.1

You read that correctly. Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 Photos App by design won’t let you select what images are used on the Photos App Live Tile. Microsoft uses your 50 most recent images, regardless of location, which means they can be on your local PC or on SkyDrive and from the base of 50, randomly selects 5 to use as the Live Tile Slide Show (which changes every 24 hours only).


This was driving me crazy. Here is a semi-ugly work way to specify the pool of 50 images.


1. Pick the 50 images you want in this pool (these must be from folders IN your Library or on SkyDrive). Copy them to a NEW folder on your local computer.

2. Do NOT add this new folder to the Library – it is your backup.

3. Navigate to the images in the original location one at a time in Windows explorer.

4. Make sure the Details pane is displayed.

5. Change the year to something in the future.

6. Click/tap Save.(A progress bar may appear quickly)

pick 50

7. Do 49 more in the same manner


If you want to see the results right away, follow the steps in