At last: how to get the "import pictures and videos" wizard to work in Win10

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Jan 3, 2012
Troy, NY
Posted by FixItDik-UK in the Microsoft community:

"Hi - I had the same problem whether I plugged in the camera or put the SD card in the reader slot it only gave me the option to import using the (very restrictive and basic) Photo App. I really struggled to find anywhere to help, but in the end the following works for me (and I have yet to find a way to get this any cleaner such as an Auto Play option):
  • After plugging in your camera or SD card in it cancel the Auto Play prompt
  • Open File Explorer and click on This PC where you should find your device (camera or card) listed as a "Removable Disk"
  • Right-click on this and you should have the option "Open as Portable Device" which you should select

  • Now look in the left hand panel of File Explorer and you should see the drive listed under "This PC", now right-click on it and, hey presto, the "Import pictures and videaos" option is present and IT WORKS!

  • Select this and you can set the destination folder, the granularity of the groups, how the folder names are built and you can add tags, just like you could in the older versions of Windows
This works for me with either my camera connected or with the SD card in the slot.

The only word of warning is: The import is a bit slower than the Photos one for some reason but for the ability to continue using the same filing structure you have used in all your previous versions of Windows, well it was worth it for me at least, I will leave it for you to decide.

And finally, if someone from Microsoft reads this: Please, please, please make this easier: either give us back control over the folder structure in the Photo App (and allow us to Tag the pics) or at least make it possible to chose the "old" import wizard in the Auto play even if we have the Photo app installed."

I tried this and it works. It reduces a multi-step process to a two-step process. It allows you to import photos and create a labeled, dated folder that holds all the imported photos and each of the photos has the same label as the folder and a unique number. This makes the searching and identification of photos at a later date incredibly easy. (I've been ranting about this for months, and now I'm all happy.)

Cheers, Jock

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Jan 3, 2012
Troy, NY

I get drag and drop but then what do you do about naming your photos in such a way that you can readily identify them later? The numbers that the camera assigns to the images aren't very useful to me.

Cheers, Jock


Aug 13, 2011
Sunny Frimley
Bill Palmer
Well, I have a few top-level folders. "Destinations", "Events and days out", "Family", "By Camera" are the main ones. Say I've been on hols. I open a new folder in Destinations, "location", month, year". I open a new folder in there, named by camera used - "XPRO2", "X100T", etc, and drag and drop from cards to folders. I then process from those folders, into a folder at the same level called "Finished". Filenames are "location, date. camera, thing, incremental #" thus I end up with "Madeira Funchal May 16 XPro2 Mercado 1" and so on.

This takes infinitely longer to type than to do. Everything is backed up to a NAS each night and finished jpgs are uploaded to Amazon Cloud in the same folder structure for Instagram use and to Ipernity for sharing places like here using their respective proprietary uploaders. Everything on Ipernity is keyworded.

As a result I can find pretty well any image within a few seconds and a few clicks on my own drives or on the cloud. My method may sound labour-intensive but it is software and app-agnostic and consistent over many years.


Jan 28, 2014
Helsinki, Finland
Heh, I have quite similar workflow than Bill has, with some tweaks, but I'm in Mac.
Firstly, I very seldom process my pictures other than crop. Nowadays basically never use RAW, just camera JPEG from X100S and X-T1. Eh, actually I have learned myself to process RAW IN camera. So, not always SOOC JPEGs :biggrin:

When I import from memory cards, I use Better Rename software to add info directly to images' name like: camera, lens, aperture, speed, ISO, time, date, description. This way I can easily find pictures from file system only, no need for catalog software. I still use Lightroom for cataloging, because little Jpeg tweaks are dead-easy and I have a procedure to export smaller images for forums like this. And only a couple of main directories: destinations, kids, parties, and few more.

After many years "practicing" different software and workflows I'm happy now. And usually find everything I'm seriously looking for within minutes... Adding info directly to images name has an advantage that no buggy software can mess around with my EXIF anymore. That has happened...

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