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Updated by Alisa Cassiel - Last Updated: Contact Author

How to Fix Windows 10 Photos Choppy and Slow Performance?

Windows 7 is going end of life on January 14, 2020, and a large number of users have to update their ten-year-old operating system to Windows 10. Just like the system updating, Microsoft's built-in apps are coming and going all these years. Since you installed Windows 10, there has been no built-in video editor called Windows Movie Maker, Microsoft Photos instead.

Microsoft Photos

Photos is Microsoft's modern image organizer, graphics editor, and video editor. It lets you edit and enhance pictures by cropping, correcting exposure and colors, reducing red-eye, blemish, the noise of photos. On top of that, it allows simple video edits as well, cutting video clips, and adding effects, texts and filters.

However, no matter you are using Windows 10 or just update to Windows 10 recently, you may notice it introduces new problems. For the Photos app, it randomly

  • • Gets choppy or keeps crashing when cropping photos and videos.
  • • Loads videos very slowly.
  • • Can't import images or video files.
  • • Outputs videos with black stripes.
  • • Doesn't run smoothly sometimes.
  • • ...

Why Microsoft Photos is Choppy, Lagging, and Crashing?

Possible reason 1: Photos is not compatible with the present operating system. This is because you haven't updated the app to the latest version yet. You can check your system info in Settings and get it updated in Update & security.

Possible Reason 2: Your hardware does not match the operating requirements. Though it is an easy and basic viewer and editor built-in Windows 10, it features hardware acceleration. If your hardware is too old to catch up with this technology, failure to edit videos and images happens.

Possible Reason 3: Photos app conflicts with other software. It is generally due to a programming bug and typically manifests when they compete for the same resource (memory, peripheral device, register, etc.)

How to Fix Microsoft Photos App Chopping, Freezing Issues?

If you meet one of these problems, do not worry too much. We'll walk you through all these solutions step by step. We will start from app reset and update firstly, if you have tried this before, just go to the rest solutions directly.

Solution 1: Use the Troubleshoot tool in Windows 10.

Troubleshooter is a new tool comes with Window 10 Creators update in 2018. It troubleshoots problems with files, microphones, video playing, and built-in apps, of course including Photos. Here’s how to fix Photos app problems with Troubleshooter.

1. Go to Start > Settings to open Settings.

2. Choose Update & Security, and click Troubleshoot.

3. Choose Windows Store Apps, and hit Run the troubleshooter, Then it will start detecting problems.

Windows 10 Troubleshoot

4. If it figures out any problem, like file corruption in the Photos app, just follow its instructions to fix it. And reboot your computer finally. If there's no problem, go to the next solution.

Solution 2: Reset the Photos app.

If Photos app isn't working right, Windows can repair and rest it. This app will be reinstalled and revert to its default settings.

1. Go to Apps in Settings.

2. Type Photos in the search box.

3. Click Advanced options, and go to Reset.

Reset Windows Photos

4. Refresh to check if the problem is settled.

Solution 3: Update Windows and the Photos app.

Another reason why the Photos app keeps crashing or fails to load video files is that is app is not compatible with the operating system. You need to make sure that both the Windows system and the app are updated.

1. Go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update.

2. Check for updates.

Windows updates

3. Go to App Store to check if there is an update button to update the Photos app.

4. If they are all updated, and the problem hasn't been solved, go to the next solution.

Solution 4: Turn off hardware acceleration in Photos.

By default, Photos enables hardware acceleration to speed up video encoding. But it can lead to visual issues with exported videos if you are using old hardware that doesn't support GPU acceleration, or when a driver has problems with enabling it. Disable hardware acceleration in Windows 10 Photos app to see if you can edit videos and photos without chopping.

1. Open Photos.

2. Click the 3-dot icon in the top right corner to open Settings in Photos.

3. Scroll down to Video option.

4. Turn off the option Use hardware-accelerated video encoding.

Disable hardware acceleration in Photos

Note: This is used to accelerate video encoding. If your app has problems with photo edits, go to the next solution.

Solution 5: Restore libraries to default.

Since Windows 10 Photos is connected with libraries in the File Explorer, anything wrong in libraries will cause problems in the software that import files from it as well.

1. Open This PC and hit the View tab on the upper side.

2. Click on Navigation pane and choose Show Libraries.

Windows 10 - show libraries

3. Now you can see Libraries in the left pane, right-click it and choose Restore default libraries.

Restore libraries

Solution 6: Create a new User account on the computer.

Photos app chops and freezes when cropping photos or videos, it is likely because that a third-party software modified the register info, or deleted certain files of the system. But don't worry too much, we can set up a new account on the computer.

1. Press "Win + X", and choose Computer Management option.

2. Go to System Tools > Local Users and Groups > Users

3. Right-click on the blank area, and click New User.

4. Type User name, Full name, Description, Password, confirm the password and Create.

Create a new User account

5. Go to Photos to check if it is fixed.

Solution 7: Remove conflicting apps.

Another guess for Photos chopping issues here is anti-virus software is creating a conflict. It is not 100 hundred percent, but if your problem hasn't been solved, at least give it a try.

1. Open Control Panel.

2. Go to Programs and Features, and find a third-party security software that you are using.

3. Right-click to Uninstall.

Uninstall conflicting software on Windows 10

Note: This is a guess for security software conflicting. You can detect other apps by using a clean boot.

Solution 8: Scan and remove malware.

Once lightly infected by malware, the computer runs with errors. It is downloaded with some software from an unknown site, plugins with some apps, etc. But don't be frightened, it is not like malicious malware. Figure out and delete it with Windows built-in defender to recover it.

1. Open Windows Security in Settings.

2. Select Virus & threat protection > Scan options.

3. elect Windows Defender Offline scan, and then select Scan now.

4. Go back to Virus & threat protection, and click Protection history to check the results.

Scan Malware Windows 10

Note: Windows Defender Offline will auto delete malware after scanning. It will take 15 minutes to run and then the computer will be restarted.

Solution 9: Upgrade your hardware.

Although you have updated Windows OS and Photos app, the low-end configuration encumbers software performance as well. So it is time to upgrade your hardware, buy a PC built for smooth 4K video editing or you can build your PC with high-end CPU, GPU, RAM, and SSD. A 4-core CPU and 8GB RAM are capable of basic software running and video editing. But for 4K and higher resolution video files, more processing cores and space bring a better experience.

Solution 10: Use an alternative to edit videos smoothly.

Walking through all these methods above, you might be upset if you cannot edit video smoothly in Photos yet. But hey, Photos is the only tool that can view and edit photos and videos. MS Paint can edit images as well as screenshots, and Media Player can be a video and audio player as well. As for video editing, there are more options for you. In case you get in trouble like Photos editing is chopping or lagging, you'd better choose a video editor that is safe, lightweight, and multifunctional enough in video edits.

VideoProc is such editing software by your side, featuring powerful 4K video editing capability. No matter you're using low-end or high-end hardware, it runs smoothly and even faster than many other video editors. Like Photos, it allows cutting, merging, rotating, filtering and adding effects. But what it does excellently is more, converting video formats to hundreds of formats, saving YouTube videos to the local computer, etc. For editing pros, it allows customizing output parameters: format, frame rate, bitrate, resolution, and aspect ratio. This all-in-one video editor can make up for what Photos doesn't do for you.


Alisa Cassiel

Alisa Cassiel, an English Copywriter of Digiarty, has 4 years of writing and marketing experience. Love writing and always provide thoughtful how-to guides and tips related to video processing, recent hot topics, new digital devices, hit movies, music, etc. She is a life-enthusiast who is independent, persistent, enthusiastic, energetic, and interested in music, exercise, travel, dance, painting.

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