What is Microsoft.Photos.exe & How to Disable High CPU Usage

  • Ankita 
  • OS

Microsoft.Photos.exe is the executable application for its main program Microsoft Photo, developed by Microsoft Corporation for Windows operating system. It is not a virus and also not an essential part of the Windows operating system.

If you have installed a good firewall like Zonealarm, then you may have noticed that Microsoft.Photos.exe trying to access the internet and show pop-up windows like this:

microsoft.photos.exe Access Internet

Quick Overview

File Name: Microsoft.Photos.exe
File Type: Application
File Version: 2019.19071.17920.0
Product Name: Microsoft Photos
File Size: 473 Kb

Microsoft.photos.exe Properties

What is it and its Uses?

Microsoft Photos is a digital image manipulation tool with graphics and video editing capabilities.

It was first developed for the Windows 8 operating system as a replacement of the Windows photo viewer app and later continued up to Windows 10. Its special features are:

  • It is integrated with Microsoft Sway, a presentation program developed by Microsoft. Users can make presentations on Sway using the photos from the MS Photos app.
  • MS Photos is also integrated with social media and allows users to upload their photos from its gallery to various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, GroupMe, Instagram, and OneDrive.
  • It has photo management features wherein it automatically organizes the pictures into relevant albums. It also offers users to manually organize the photos.
  • MS Photos offers raster graphics editing like Noise reduction, blemish elimination, shadow & sharpness adjustment, Cropping, filter options, red-eye removal/ reduction, and color correction.
  • It also offers import of videos and photos.
  • From Windows 10 Fall Creators Update onwards, Microsoft Photos has added an in-built three-dimensional video editing software called Story Remix to it. It makes stories out of the photos stored by users in their gallery and offers them options like 3D animations, effects, transitions, and soundtracks to add to their videos.

File size and location

The location of Microsoft.Photos.exe is in the C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\ folder. In some systems it is located in the C:\Program\Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.Windows.Photos_16.722.10060.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe\ and in some systems it is located in the C:\Program\Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.Windows.Photos_15.721.12350.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe\ folder. It varies depending upon the product version.

Its average file size is approximately 470 KB on most of the Windows operating system versions.

Is it safe or a virus?

Microsoft.photos.exe is a trustworthy program developed by Microsoft. But, sometimes malware writers name their programs as Microsoft.photos.exe.

In such a scenario, if you suspect a program to be malware, you can identify it by checking if its location is not in the C:\Program Files\Windows Apps\ folder. Once its location is known to be outside it, delete or quarantine it using a reliable antivirus.


Most of the time the  Microsoft.Photos.exe keeps running in the system background and consumes high CPU resources. Many users have a complaint that Microsoft.Photos.exe is consuming nearly 15% to 20% of the CPU resources.

You can identify it by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc button and go to Details tab, as shown below:


You may also notice that the multiple Runtimebroker running the system background.

Some common errors corresponding to microsoft.photos.exe are:

  • “End Program – microsoft.photos.exe. This program is not responding”.
  • “Microsoft.photos.exe – Application Error. The application failed to initialize properly (0xXXXXXXXX). Click OK to terminate the application”.

How to disable Microsoft.Photos.exe to stop consuming high CPU?

Microsoft.Photos.exe is reported to be using high CPU memory in Windows 10. This is because it keeps making thumbnails for pictures and runs as a background process. However, there is a way to fix this issue:

Remove the Photos app as your default program for displaying photos on your system. For this, follow the below steps:

1) Click on Windows logo

2) Click on Settings, located on the bottom left-hand side with circle sign.

3) Type photos in the search bar and click on  Choose a default photo viewer

Windows settings for photos

4) Now, click on + sign, that says Choose a default under Photo viewer and choose Irfanview or Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

Now close the window.

You are done, now the Microsoft.Photos.exe has been stopped and it won’t be running on to the system background.

There is another option to disable the Microsoft.Photos.exe using Folder and Search option.

1) Open any folder

2) Click on File located on the top left corner and choose Change folder and search options

Change folder and search options

3) Click on check-box that says Always show icons, never thumbnails

Always show icons never thumbnails on Windows 10

4) Click on OK and Apply

Now, restart the PC.


If you still have any other queries related to Microsoft.Photos.exe then feel free to leave your message below. Or if you have any other solution to fix this issue, then also you may leave your valuable comment below.



Founder and Writer @ WinOSBite. Future plan is to make this platform open to community to resolve and discuss various issues, usage related to Operating System.

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