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Troubleshooting Guide: Photos App Freezes Upon Import In Windows 10

Photos app freezes upon import in Windows 10

Last Updated on March 27, 2021 by Muhammad Junaid Khalid


Experiencing the Photos app freezing in Windows 10 when importing pictures is not infrequent, but when it happens, it’s too frustrating. Maybe you simply want to see vacation photos from a digital camera or get the photographs from your cell phone. Perhaps you are a professional photographer who needs to edit photos on your PC. But have no fear – there are a few ways to go about resolving the app freezing while importing photos.

Usually, the Photos app crashes due to several common reasons such as errors in system processes, an old data cache, or corrupted program files.

Thankfully, Windows 10 offers a range of options that you can use to fix all these issues easily. These methods range from easy to medium in difficulty, so finding a fix for the Photos app freezing in Windows 10 won’t vex you too much! You will be on your way to organize your photo library in no time. Read on for solutions to the Photos app freezing while importing pictures.

Solution 1: Repair Or Reset the App To Fix Photos app Issues

Windows 10 offers the option to repair troublesome apps. If that doesn’t work, resetting works as a fix for a lot of apps, including the Photos app freezing in Windows 10 issue as well! However, resetting an app deletes its data. Whichever option you choose, here’s how to go about it:

  • Navigate to the Start > Settings and then open Apps.
  • Select “Apps & Features” from the navigation menu on the left. In the list of apps on the lower half of the screen, search for the Photos app.

apps and features

  • Click on the tile to expand it, and select “Advanced Options”.
  • On the next screen, scroll down to the Reset section, and click on “Repair” or “Reset” according to your wish.

repair photos app freeze issue

  • It’s recommended to reboot your device once you finish with the reset/repair. Check to see if the Photos app freezing while importing pictures is still an issue.

Related: Troubleshooting Guide: My System Keeps Shutting Down While Gaming

Solution 2: Troubleshoot the Photo App

Windows 10 has the benefit of being bundled with a troubleshooter, which helps fix basic issues in most apps. However, there isn’t any option to individually troubleshoot the Microsoft Photos app. The troubleshooter lumps it in with other Windows Store apps, and that is the option to choose. To use the troubleshooter to fix the Photos app freezing while importing pictures, follow these steps:

  • Open the troubleshooter through Start and select Settings, represented by the gear icon. Click on Update & Security. From the left, select “Troubleshoot”.

troubleshoot photos app

  • Scroll down to the tile for “Windows Store Apps” and click it, then click on “Run the troubleshooter” when the tile expands.

run windows app store troubleshooter

If there is any issue with the Microsoft Photos app, the troubleshooter detects and fixes it. If the troubleshooter does not find any problems with the app, it prompts users to reset using the method outlined in Solution 1. Resetting the app usually resolves the app freezing in Windows 10.

Solution 3: Restoring Settings For Photos Folder

If you find the Photos app freezing while importing from the default Pictures folder, try restoring the location to default settings. This is quite easy – just follow along as below:

  • Launch This PC, then right-click on the Pictures folder icon and open “Properties”.
  • Switch to the Location tab. Click “Restore Default”, and save your settings by clicking OK. The directory for Pictures is set to its official default folder.

restore settings to fix photos app freeze problems

Alternatively, you may want to change the location to another location, e.g. a different drive. This helps correct the file paths. To do this, simply click on “Move”, use the location browser to find and select it, and then save your settings. If the wrong file paths caused the app to freeze in Windows 10, this may help fix it.

Instead of automatically allowing the photo import through autoplay, you can also specify folders for import straight in the Photos app. Open the app through the Start menu. Click on “Import” in the top-right corner of the Photos app main window, and you have the option to import “From a folder” or “From a USB device”.

When you click on the first option, the app automatically brings up folders with pictures for you to select. In the second option, the app scans for any attached devices for you to import from.

import from folder or usb

Related: Troubleshooting: Bluetooth Headset Detection Failed In Windows 10

Solution 4: Check Your Media Device For Viruses

Trying to import pictures from a portable device like a digital camera, cell phone, or SD card? The Photos app may have difficulties importing your files if they were corrupted due to a virus. If you get notifications for malware or viruses on your device, then immediately scan and remove viruses from it before opening it on your PC. Windows 10 has its own antivirus, aptly named Windows Defender.

Simply open This PC, right-click on the device icon, and select “Scan with Windows Defender”. Any antivirus program will do the job, and stop the app from freezing in Windows 10.

scan for viruses t solve photos app issues

Solution 5: Modifying Media Device Settings

It’s worth looking at your device’s settings to fix import issues! Some cell phones provide the option of connecting as either strictly a media device (MTP/PTP – usually termed as “Camera”) or mass storage. Make sure you select PTP or MTP when asked on your cell phone. Similarly, your digital camera may have options too – search around in the settings menu, or go through the instruction manual. Changing the USB port from 2.0 to 3.0 may help prevent the app from freezing in Windows 10 as well.

Solution 6: Uninstall Troublesome Updates

Sometimes, all your PC needs is an update. Alternatively, you updated your PC and something broke in the Photos app, resulting in the app freezing while importing photographs.

  • First, check for updates in Settings, in the section titled Updates & Security by clicking on “Check for updates”.

check for updates

  • To uninstall an update, you need to select “View update history” in Updates & Security.

view update history

  • Click on “Uninstall updates”.

recovery for photos app

A window listing the new updates pops up, and here you can find that specific mischief-making update and right-click (or click on the button) to uninstall it. It is recommended you read up beforehand so that you don’t install the wrong update!

uninstall updates to fix photos app freezing problems

Note: Does this article provide the info you’re looking for? Is there any information you think of missing or incorrect? You can give your opinion in the comments section below.

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