Organizing photos in batches with Windows Live Photo Gallery

Sometimes I want to organize my collection by re-arranging or adding new folders. Moving photos in batches around speeds such tasks. Here I want describe one of the techniques.

In a previous post I described how to convert photo file-type using the “Resize…” feature in Windows Live Photo Gallery. See my post “Batch file conversion using Windows Live Photo Gallery”. The “resize” command allows specifying the destination folder – even creating a new one – but by default places the resulting copies into the current folder. I typically use the default, because it really is the originals that I later store away. Having grown up in the days of film, I still think of the original photos coming out of the camera in “raw” format as the precious “negatives” to be stored away safely once “prints” – now copies in JPG format – have been made.

The first step is to make a new folder for the “originals”. This can be done by right-clicking the folder name in the navigation pane and selecting Create new folder. Normally you would do this in the destination folder – as shown in the first illustration here, but to demonstrate more features, I will do it in the current folder (right image).



So here is my gallery after I made the new folder:


My new JPG files are mixed in with my original, “NEF”, files (the type produced by my camera, yours may have a different suffix). I could move them one at a time, but this post is about batch processing, so I want to select all the “NEF” files at once. One way is to hold down the Ctrl key and click each NEF file. For a large number that is much too tedious and prone to errors. The better way is to just type “.nef” (or whatever the suffix of your photos is) into the search box (upper right in the gallery pane, it says Find a photo before you type into it).

Now just the NEF files are shown. They can all be selected with Ctrl-A (or File – Select all). Clicking on any one and then dragging to the target folder in the navigation pane will move the files.


Bit of caution: Dragging to a folder on another drive will not move the files to the destination but copy them.


You can can define your intention by holding down the Shift key when you want to move the files, or by holding down the Ctrl key if you want to copy the files.

I will move the files to the folder I made in the current folder (as shown in the larger illustration above). Another note of caution: When dragging a collection of selected photos, you see a faint image of part of the collection. This may make seeing the folder names in the navigation pane a bit difficult. I like to point the the left-top thumbnail before pressing the mouse button, so the resulting faint image will be below and to the right of the pointer as I drag.

Now if you do as I just described, dragging the selected photos to a sub-folder in the current folder, there appears to be no change after the operation. The thumbnails still show. That’s just the way Photo Gallery works, unless you specify otherwise, the photos in the current folder and the subfolders will be displayed. Click on the subfolder name and the photos will be there. Click on the folder containing the subfolder and all the photos will be shown.


The display will be (by default) divided into groups for the folder and the subfolders. You can right-click a folder name and click Select without subfolders to remove the display of thumbnails for the subfolders.

You can re-arrange the folders by dragging them. Again, be aware that dragging a folder to a folder on another drive will result in a copy operation. So to move it, hold down the Shift key, and make sure that the little message confirms the operation that you want to accomplish.


For selecting batches of photos you can use the search box or define them by selecting just the tag names or the ratings or a combination of these.

Well, I moved my “originals” into the archive. Now the funny names that Photo Gallery gave to my photos bothers me. When you use the resize command Photo Gallery tacks the new size to the file name (by default). If that bothers you as it does me, see my next post for a solution.

About Ludwig

Lending a helping hand where I can. . . My motto: If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
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3 Responses to Organizing photos in batches with Windows Live Photo Gallery

  1. William Swisher says:

    Ludwig, thanks for the discussion of Win Photo Gallery. In the navigation pane, I have the folders, but under several, pictures I added went into subfolders. The sub-folders do not show in the nav. pane until I click on the parent file. How can I get these subfolders into their own folders with their name in the nav. pane index? i.e. Amy (dau.) has a subfolder: Brendan & Katie (her ch.). How do I get them their own folder? Thanks. Sarah

  2. William Swisher says:

    Ludwig, you are a genius…….certainly Windows doesn’t explain anything. Thanks again. Sarah

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