Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1.

View and import photos and home videos

You can use the Photos app to view photos that are on Surface and on your OneDrive. If you have photos on your camera or phone, you can import them using this app.

Add a folder of photos to your Pictures library

The Photos app shows photos in your Windows Pictures library on your Surface. This can also include external drives, shared network folders and other folders on Surface. If you’d like to see pictures from other folders in your Pictures library, move them to the Pictures folder or add them to your Pictures library. Here's how:

Step 1:  If the folder or location holding the pictures is on an external hard drive or removable media such as a USB flash drive or microSD card, make sure the hard drive or removable media is connected to your Surface and that you can open it.
Step 2:  From the Start screen, tap or click Desktop (or press Windows logo key windows logo+ D).
If you don’t see Desktop on the Start screen, swipe up and tap or click Desktop in Apps view.
Step 3:  Tap or click File Explorer on your taskbar.
Step 4:  Browse to the folder of pictures that you want to add, then press and hold or right-click it.
Step 5:  Tap or click Include in library, then select Pictures.

  • You can include files and folders that are on a USB flash drive or microSD card or other external storage location in your Pictures library, but the files and folders will be available only when the USB flash drive or microSD card is connected.
  • It’s best to copy the pictures to your Surface using the above steps so that if you disconnect or remove the storage media from your Surface, the pictures will still appear in your Pictures library.

For more info about working with Libraries, see Libraries: frequently asked questions

View photos and videos

To use the Photos app to view photos and videos in your Pictures library or on your OneDrive:

Step 1:  From the Start screen, tap or click Photos.
Step 2:  Tap or click the arrow Arrownext to Pictures Library, and then tap or click either OneDrive or Pictures library.
Step 3:  Tap or click the photo folder in which you want to view photos and videos.

Import from a camera, phone, DVD or external drive

You can add photos and videos to Surface directly from a microSD card, compatible USB camera, phone, USB flash drive or other USB storage device. Here’s how:

Step 1:  Connect a compatible USB camera, phone, USB flash drive or other USB storage device to your Surface, or insert a microSD card into the microSD card slot.
To learn how see Connect a USB mouse, printer, and more and Surface storage options.
Step 2:  From the Start screen, tap or click Photos.
Step 3:  Swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen to see the app commands.
(If you're using a mouse, right-click within the app.)
Step 4:  Tap or click Import.

Import is only available while you’re looking at a folder of pictures, not if you’re looking at a single photo.
Step 5:  Tap or click the device that you want to import from.
Step 6:  Next, do one of the following:

  • If you want to import everything, tap or click Import.
  • If you don’t want to import everything, tap or click Clear selection, and then tap, click, or swipe down on the photos you want to import. When you have chosen all of the items that you want to import, tap or click Import.

The photos and videos are saved in your Pictures folder in a subfolder named for the date when you imported the photos and videos. For more info, see Import photos or videos.


If you have lots of photos or videos, you can store them on OneDrive and access them from any web-connected device, including Surface. For more info, see OneDrive: FAQ.

Edit photos and videos

You can edit photos and videos using the built-in Photos app. This app includes many options for adjusting your photos, but if you're interested in making more advanced edits or working with metadata, search the Windows Store for other photo editing apps.

A good option for video editing is to use the Movie Moments app. For more info, see Movie Moments app for Windows: FAQ. The app is free to install from the Windows Store.

For more info on editing photos and videos, see Edit photos and videos.