Where are my right and left arrows in Photos?
December 14, 2020 2:03 PM   Subscribe

I like taking two or three photographs because that's how I get the best one. I used to be able to compare those photos by clicking arrows to go back and forth in Photos (not a slideshow, but only as many as I wanted to see at once) , but I am flummoxed. And annoyed since I got 10 on this no-longer-new laptop.

Is it word 10 that is different? This laptop is fine for basic use, but nothing else. By the way I googled a bit and suggestions ranged from adding code (in my case, you might as well ask a five year old to do brain surgery) to downloading various programs and drivers -- I'd prefer not to download unknown items I just read about on the internet. I have heard Stories. (Which is not to say, that someone here might not have an idea.)

Can anyone solve the mystery? I'd hate to go back to my old and slow computer.
posted by intrepid_simpleton to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hitting the space bar may make the arrows come back. Alternatively, you should be able to press the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard to flip back and forth through your photos. If the arrow keys just move the image around on the screen, hold Control and press the number 0 to get rid of any zooming, then try again.
posted by pocams at 2:57 PM on December 14, 2020

By “I got 10 on this… laptop” and “Is it word 10 that is different?”, do you mean you’re using the Photos app built into Windows 10? (This matters because Mac OS also has an app called “Photos”, and the answers will be different depending on which you are using.)

How are you opening the photos in the first place? Do you go into a folder in File Explorer and click on a photo to open it?

If you hit the right and left arrows on your keyboard, can you scroll the photos that way?

Have you tried opening a different photo from a different folder? Restarting the machine?

When I googled it, I didn’t find any suggestions to download programs or drivers or add code, and I would not suggest following any suggestions to do any such thing. I did find this step by step answer for how to try doing System Restore and then how to reset the Photos app itself.
posted by snowmentality at 3:06 PM on December 14, 2020

Try pressing the left and right arrow keys. In my up-to-date Windows 10, I can make the clickable arrow show by moving the mouse to the right or left side of the screen. But keys are easier.
posted by sageleaf at 3:15 PM on December 14, 2020

It's sometimes been my experience that if you have really high resolution pictures, when you open them in photos with Windows 10, there isn't an option to click back and forth on those arrows, or use the right or left arrow bars right away. I think this is a consequence of the demand on processing power and Photos loading slowly; it doesn't happen every time, but enough that it's sort of annoying. When this happens, if I want to compare photos, I just open multiple photos at once.
posted by ChuraChura at 3:26 PM on December 14, 2020

You said you don't want to download unknown stuff, but for what it's worth IrfanView is a super-well-known and well-loved image viewer for Windows. It's been around forever and is one of the few things I miss when working on other operating systems. It's lightweight and will let you use your arrow keys to go back and forth between images.
posted by trig at 4:25 PM on December 14, 2020

If you are using Google Photos (and if you are taking these pictures with an Android phone it's very likely you are), the arrows only appear when you move your mouse into a certain area and they are hidden the rest of the time. You can still use the right and left arrow keys on the keyboard to go back and forth through the photos even if the arrows are hidden though.

IrfanView is a great program if you need something that will run on your machine. I use it myself.
posted by yohko at 5:14 PM on December 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Windows Photos is a crazy buggy application and seems to fail in new and exciting ways for me three or four times a year when MS rolls out a Windows update. Resetting Photos has cleared the problems about 50% of the time for me. Otherwise I just end up being frustrated until a new update comes out.

If you are open to other viewers I use XnView. It's faster than Photos but doesn't have the easy enhance features of Photos. It's been around since Win95 and is free.
posted by Mitheral at 7:17 PM on December 14, 2020

Thirding Irfanview. It can do so much more than (it appears) you are asking for. I have been using it for years and it is very well known.
posted by forthright at 8:41 PM on December 14, 2020

I also use Irfanview on Windows 10. However, bringing up Photos (and clicking exasperatedly through all the popups trying to get me to configure a cloud account and import photos and turn on facial recognition and goodness knows what else), I find I can navigate through photos either by using the left and right arrow keys or by mousing over the left and right edges of the photo: move your mouse to where an arrow should be, and it appears.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 2:42 AM on December 15, 2020

Response by poster: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/14312-restore-windows-photo-viewer-windows-10-a.html

Not saying I would NEVER download something, just that I need guidance (as you kindly provided) before I do.

You know how when you talk about something and it shows up on your Google/FB feed the next hour? So, arrows/points just showed up on all my photos. (The force is stronger than you think with this one!) I'm not being funny.

Thanks for all the hints & tips.
posted by intrepid_simpleton at 7:42 AM on December 15, 2020

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