9 ways to start the Photos app in Windows 10

Windows 10 introduces the Photos app, making it easier than ever to view, browse, and organize the digital pictures you keep on your devices. On top of that, the app lets you do some basic editing of your photos and even create your own montages. The first thing you need, however, is to find a comfortable way to start Photos, so we created this guide to help you identify the best method for doing this. Here are all the ways you can start the app, so that you can enjoy it to the fullest:

NOTE: The screenshots and the instructions in this guide apply to Windows 10 May 2019 update or newer. If you do not know what version of Windows 10 you have, read: How to check the Windows 10 version, OS build, edition, or type.

1. Use search to open the Photos app

The Windows 10 search is a fast, reliable way to access what you need. Enter photos in your taskbar's search field and then click or tap on Photos, or on Open in the right side of the window.

Search for the Photos app in Windows 10

2. Use the Start Menu shortcut to open the Photos app

By default, the Start Menu displays alphabetically-organized shortcuts for all the apps on your Windows 10 computer or device. Either press the Windows button on your keyboard, or click or tap Start and scroll down to the letter P. Then, click or tap the Photos shortcut to launch the app.

The Photos shortcut from the Start Menu

3. Open the Photos app using desktop or taskbar shortcuts

In today's image-centric society, you might find it useful to access the Photos app with just one click or tap. Luckily, you can easily create shortcuts for it, by dragging the app's Start Menu shortcut and dropping it to a location of your choice on the desktop or taskbar.

Create a shortcut for Photos on your taskbar

You can use the same method to create a shortcut on your desktop.

4. Open the Photos app from its Start Menu tile

By default, the Photos app has its own tile in Windows 10 and you can click or tap on it to open the app.

Press the tile to open Photos

However, if your Windows 10 tile is missing, you can easily create it. Scroll to the same Start Menu shortcut referenced in the previous sections, right-click or press-and-hold on it, and then click or tap "Pin to Start."

Pin the Photos app to create a tile

A tile for the Photos app is now available in the tiles section of your Start Menu.

5. Ask Cortana to open the Photos app

You can also ask Cortana to open the Photos app. Click or tap on the Cortana icon to the right of your taskbar's search box to make Cortana hear you, or say "Hey Cortana." Then, say "Open Photos."

Ask Cortana to open Photos

Now you see Cortana starting the Photos app for you.

6. Use File Explorer to open the Photos app

File Explorer can also be used to open the Photos app. Although its executable file can not be accessed by browsing to its location due to security settings, you can click or tap the address bar, and enter the command ms-photos: in it. Then, you can either press Enter on your keyboard, or click or tap the "Go to" arrow next to the address bar, and the Photos app opens.

Enter ms-photos: in File Explorer's address bar

7. Use the Run window to open the Photos app

For some users, the Run window can be the fastest method to open apps in Windows 10. You can also use it to open the Photos app. Use the keyboard shortcut Win + R to open Run, enter the command ms-photos: and then either press the Enter key, or click or tap the OK button.

Enter ms-photos: in the Run window

8. Use the Task Manager to open the Photos app

You can also open the Photos app from the Task Manager. To launch the Task Manager, press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys on your keyboard, and, if it opens in its compact view, click or tap on More details. In the full version of the Task Manager, click or tap File and then press "Run new task."

Click or tap Run new task from the File menu

A new window opens, named "Create new task." Type in ms-photos: and then press Enter on your keyboard or click or tap OK.

Enter ms-photos: to open the Photos app

9. Use the Windows console (Command Prompt or PowerShell) to open Photos

If you are working with Command Prompt or PowerShell, you can type the command "start ms-photos:" and press Enter.

Open Photos from the Windows console

This immediately launches the Photos app.

How do you prefer to open the Photos app?

These are all the options we found for opening Windows 10's Photos app. Try them out and let us know which one works best for you. Also, if we missed any, please let us know in a comment below, and we are going to update this tutorial accordingly.