Windows Photos is adding Google-like content search for your photos, background blur, and more

A number of new features for Windows Photos will make the app a little more like Google Photos and Samsung Photos.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
windows photos content search

A new update coming to Windows Photos is bringing some big-time upgrades that may just put the app on par with others like Google Photos and Samsung Photos.

One of the most popular features in Google Photos is the ability to search photos for content and context. For instance, if you're looking for a photo of that time your dog snatched the birthday cake at your kid's party, searching for the words "cake," "party," or even "dog" would all have a good shot at finding the photo.

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And now a similar feature is headed to Windows Photos -- and it's not the only addition.

Windows Photos may not be the most popular photo storage or editing solution, but Microsoft is hoping to boost its popularity by bringing it on par with its peers. In a post on the Windows blog, the company announced several fixes and features that were rolling out starting today. 

Also: OneDrive users will soon be able to access their files offline

First up is the content search, which lets users plug in keywords like "beach," "car," or "plane" and find images from their library that contain that object. 

To access this search, users will need to be signed in to their Microsoft account and head to the "OneDrive Personal" section where the search bar will be at the top. Also new in search is the ability to track down photos taken in a specific location based on the image's metadata.

windows photos content search

If you have a Google or Samsung device, support is being added for motion photos where the video portion of those pictures can now be viewed alongside the still photo. 

And if you want your images to pop a little more, there's a new Background Blur option in the editing mode, very similar to the portrait mode on most cell phones today. With one click, the subject is highlighted and the background is blurred. Users have the ability to change blur intensity or modify the area being blurred.

While a large portion of people just use the photo storage system that comes in default with their phone, the new Windows Photo features are certainly appealing to people who store photos on a computer as a backup or who use a computer to keep older photos organized.

Also: Google's Photo Unblur is an indispensable feature for fixing photos. Here's how to use it

These new features only apply to photos backed up by OneDrive. Microsoft added that users who are a part of the Windows Insiders program would receive the features first, followed by a release to the general public.

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