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You downloaded pictures from your camera, phone, or USB drive. Now you want to share these galleries with friends and family in a nice presentation. This guide shows you how to view a slideshow on Windows 10 using native tools.

This guide explains two built-in methods: using the Photos app and using File Explorer. The benefit of the Photos app is that you have immediate access to other albums and folders without digging through File Explorer. Meanwhile, the File Explorer version provides built-in slideshow controls not present in the Photos app.

Use the Photos App

Normally, all you need to do is double-click on an image file to launch the Photos app. If Photos isn’t set as the default image application on your computer, right-click on a photo, hover over “Open With,” and select “Photos.”

Once the app loads, you’ll see the static picture on your screen. Hover your mouse over the picture’s left or right side and you can advance or “rewind” to another image using the virtual arrow overlays.

To start a slideshow, click the three-dot button located in the top-right corner. This expands a drop-down menu listing a “Slideshow” option at the top. Click this option to start the show.

Use Slideshow in Windows 10 Photos App

Once the slideshow begins, it will cycle through all images stored in the initial photo’s associated folder. The slideshow will not add pictures stored in sub-folders.

For controls, you can press the Right Arrow key to move to the next picture or press the Left Arrow key to rewind back to the previous image.

Alternatively, you can add a folder to the Photos app and view a specific slideshow at any time.

First, click the Windows button in your taskbar followed by the Photos app located on the Start Menu. If you can’t find it, type in “Photos” immediately after hitting the Windows button.

Windows 10 Select Photos App

With the Photos app open, select “Folders” on the app’s toolbar followed by the “Add a Folder” tile.

Windows 10 Photos App Add Folder

In this next step, you might see one of two scenarios:

  • A pop-up window with suggested folders. Ignore those and click the “Add Another Folder” link to open File Explorer. You can always add folders later.
  • No pop-up window. The “Add a Folder” button sends you straight to File Explorer.

With File Explorer open, locate the folder you want to add and click the “Add This Folder to Pictures” button.

Add Folder to Pictures

After File Explorer closes, click once to open the folder you just added in the Photos app. Once inside, click the three-dot button in the top-right corner followed by the Slideshow option in the drop-down menu.

Use Slideshow in Windows 10 Photos App

Your display(s) will grow dark, and the slideshow will begin.

You can view specific images in a slideshow by holding down the CTRL key while selecting each image in the folder. You can also select a string of images at once by holding down the SHIFT button while selecting the first and last images.

In both cases, right-click after selecting your images and select the “Open” option on the pop-up menu. Once the Photos app loads—if it’s set as your default—start the slideshow as instructed.

Right-Click Open Photos App

Read our guide for additional instructions on how to use Windows 10’s Photos app.

Use the Picture Tools in File Explorer

This method does not use the Photos app. Instead, it relies on built-in tools in File Explorer. You can view pictures in a slideshow located in any folder, whether it’s on your PC, a USB stick, or an external drive.

For instance, if you have pictures stored in the Downloads folder, you can select any image and view them all in a slideshow, even if they’re all divided into separate subfolders.

First, click the folder icon located on the taskbar. This opens File Explorer.

Open File Explorer in Windows 10

Navigate to the folder storing your pictures and single-click on any image to select it. The “Manage” tab appears along with the “Picture Tools” option on the toolbar. Click this new “Picture Tools” entry followed by the “Slideshow” button on the resulting drop-down menu.

File Explorer Start Slideshow

Your displays(s) will grow dark, and the slideshow will begin.

If you’d rather just view pictures in a specific subfolder, enter that folder, select an image, and follow the steps.

Similar to the Photos app, you can view specific images in a slideshow by holding down the CTRL key while selecting each image in the folder. You can also select a string of images at once by holding down the SHIFT key while selecting the first and last images.

However, unlike the Photos app, select “Picture Tools” in both cases followed by “Slideshow” to watch your selected pictures in a presentation.

File Explorer Start Slideshow Selected Images

Control Your Slideshow in File Explorer

This is simple: Just right-click on any image displayed during the slideshow. You’ll see this pop-up menu as a result:

Windows 10 Slideshow Controls

As shown, you can change the speed, shuffle or loop your pictures, and so on.

This menu does not appear during slideshows within the Photos app.

Kevin Parrish Kevin Parrish
Kevin is a first-generation gamer and a former mall rat that grew up in the arcades. He began writing online in the mid-1990s after his uncle dropped a box of computer parts at his feet, saying "have fun." Developer id Software released Quake shortly thereafter, which began supporting a new thing called a GPU. That kicked off Kevin's (costly) obsession for better graphics and better performance in his PCs and games. After writing about games for over a decade, he switched over to mainly hardware and devices in 2008. Published articles previously appeared on Tom's Hardware, Tom's Guide, and Maximum PC. Recent articles spanning news, reviews, how-to guides, and op-ed pieces are currently available on Digital Trends and Android Authority.
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