If you use the Photos app to view pictures stored on your Windows 10 computer, you probably have noticed that normally it displays all pictures it can find on the PC. What if you don't want some of the pictures to be visible in the Photos app? This article will explain how to do that.
The most important thing to understand about how the Photos app finds the pictures to display is that it does NOT look for the image files stored on the hard drive directly. Instead, it uses information from the Windows search index: if it finds information about an image file in the search index, it uses it to display the image. So in order to prevent an image from appearing in the Photos app, we need to find a way to remove information about that image file from the search index.
Windows 10 offers just a tool for that: from the Start menu, open Settings, and there select Searching Windows. You should get to the screen that lets you control the folders that Windows search includes or excludes in its index. The amount of control that you have depends on the type of your user account: some features are only available to the administrators, and not to the standard users. Regardless, you should be able to open the Advanced Search Indexer Settings:
Another thing to understand about Windows search index that you cannot exclude individual files from it, you can only exclude folders. If you tell Windows to exclude a certain folder from indexing, then all files in that folder will be excluded. So, unless you have already done so, you should first create a folder for the image files that you want to be hidden from the Photos app, move the images files you want to be hidden in that folder, and then tell Windows to exclude that specific folder from its index.
For example, suppose, for whatever reason, you don't want the pictures of your cats to appear in Photos app. Open File Explorer, navigate to the Pictures folder, and create a new folder there with the appropriate name (Cats in our example). Move the image files of the cats into that folder (drag-and-drop should work just fine for that). Use the Folders link of the Photos app to navigate to the Cats folder to check that the images you want to hide are actually there:
Now return to the Indexing Option screen we've discussed above and press the Modify button. When the Indexed Locations screen opens (see below), navigate to the folder you want to exclude (do not use the check boxes for that, use the little arrows to expand and collapse folders as needed.) For a folder in your Pictures folder, expand Local drive C:, then Users, then locate your user name and expand that folder, and finally expand Pictures. The folder we want to exclude from the index (named Cats in our example) should appear there. Now clear the check box next to the Cats folder, and that will tell Windows to exclude it from the search index (only the folders that have the check marks next to them are indexed.)
Press OK to close the screens you've opened and ... wait. Yet another thing to know about Windows search index is that it's picky about getting itself updated. Oftentimes, when Windows detects that you are actively using your computer, it delays the updates to its search index until your activity stops or slows down. Other times it may update the index almost immediately after you make changes to it. If you are an administrator of the computer, you can try to force Windows to rebuild the search index: on the Indexing Options screen, press Advanced, and then use the Rebuild button:
However, even forcing to rebuild the index sometimes does not make it happen soon enough. If you've waited a few minutes and nothing seems to change in the Photos app, try restarting the computer and check the Photos after that. Eventually, Windows index should catch up with the changes you've made, and the Photos app should stop displaying the images from the excluded folder. If it does not, consider moving the Cats folder out of the Pictures area altogether. For example, create a Cats folder in the root of the C: drive, and move the pictures there. This should force Photos app to refresh and remove the images from the view.
That's nice, you might say, but what about other apps and File Explorer itself? Even if the images are not visible in the Photos app, anyone could still navigate to the Cats folder with File Explorer and see the images there. If you want to prevent that, excluding the folder from the search index is not enough, you need to protect access to the folder in some other way. Of course, we would be fools not to take this opportunity and suggest that our software Folder Guard was designed for just such a task! You could use it to add a password to the Cats folder, and any time someone would want to look into it with File Explorer, they would need to enter that password first. Check it out!
- How to stop Windows 10 from using thumbnail preview icons for folders
- How to hide pictures from the Photos app in Windows 10
- How to save Windows Spotlight photos to your computer
- How to move the OneDrive folder to an encrypted drive
- Windows 10 fails to upgrade? Here is how to fix it.
- How to stop Microsoft Edge from hijacking PDF files
- Preventing installations of specific programs with Folder Guard
- Folder Guard licensing explained
- Speed up the updates of the network folders
- Make your Windows laptop work as a Wi-Fi access point
- How to stop automatic updates on Windows 10
- Windows cannot connect to the printer. Access is denied.
- Migrating encrypted data from TrueCrypt to USBCrypt
- Enhancing a photo CD collection with PhotoLauncher
- “The Microsoft account service is unavailable right now. Try again later.”
- Using DiffMerge as the external tool of AB Commander
- How to erase the icon and/or thumbnail cache in Windows 10 and 8
- Transferring images between your PC and an Android device: Part 2
- Transferring images between your PC and an Android device: Part 1
- Case study: Using SoftDetective to suppress Corel Guide sign-in prompt
- Using junction points to change the iTunes backup folder location
- How to tell if my Windows is 32- or 64-bit?
- How do I stop Windows from rearranging my desktop icons?
- Organize your photo library with the Rename tool of AB Commander
- Windows does not offer the NTFS format option? Here is how to bring it back.
- Encrypt Firefox profile with USBCrypt
- Restarting Windows 10 and Windows 8 in the safe mode
- Integrating AB Commander with Universal Viewer
- How we host our web sites
- How to delete a protected EFI disk partition with Windows 10, 8, or 7
- Using Folder Guard to protect from the “social engineering” attacks
- How to erase Windows login password if you forget it
- How to unhide a folder hidden with Folder Guard
- How to repair Windows desktop icons with AB Commander
- Slow network in Windows 7 Virtual PC? Speed it up!
- How to show drive letters first in AB Commander and Windows Explorer
- What is my IP address?
- Amazon Cloud Drive offers free 5 GB online storage
- Why can’t I copy large files over 4GB to my USB flash drive or SD card?
- Test the strength of your password with USBCrypt
- Setting up the external text editor for AB Commander
- How to restrict Internet Explorer from downloading programs from the Internet
- Personal vs business license for USBCrypt
- Use Folder Guard to restrict access to Control Panel
- Compare MySecretFolder and Folder Guard
- Hide folders with Folder Guard
- Compare ActiveExit to WINEXIT
- Lock folders and drives with passwords
- Locking access to the external drives with Folder Guard
- Protecting Dropbox folder with USBCrypt
- How to set up Folder Guard to stop downloading from the Internet
- Is “Wipe the content” the same as “Secure Delete”?
- Can USBCrypt encrypt the C: drive?
- Make it easier to return your lost encrypted drive
- USBCrypt for users of Microsoft® Office
- Start programs elevated from a batch file
- How to make elevated programs recognize network drives
- How to disable hibernation with AB Commander
- Using names and labels to organize USBCrypt drives
- How to password-protect a USB flash drive
- Always have a backup of your important files