December 22, 2011

Moving Windows Live Photo Gallery Managed Photos to Another Drive

We recently purchased a better digital camera for our family’s use, which takes photos at a much higher resolution than our previous camera. I decided it was time to move all of our photos from the current hard drive they were on to a larger drive.

Below are the test steps I took to migrate the photos to a different drive, and have everything synced in Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011.

Test Setup

  • I created a Windows 7 virtual machine using VMware Player, and attached a virtual second hard drive as E:
  • I installed Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011
  • I created a “Photos” directory on the C: drive
  • I copied over some photos to use as samples, and tagged them with names and keywords


Remove the Original Library

Windows Live Photo Gallery (WLPG) uses the Pictures Library locations configured in Windows. I have my source photo directory located at C:\Photos. I needed to remove this from the Windows Pictures Library.

  • Open the Pictures folder


  • Click the “locations” link in the Pictures Library


  • Then remove the directory you want to move


If you open up WLPG at this point, you should no longer see any of the photos or videos that are in this directory.

Copy or Move the Original Directory

I then moved the directory from C:\Photos to E:\Photos.

Add the New Pictures Library

Now I added the new location as a Pictures Library location in Windows.

  • Open the Pictures folder


  • Click the “locations” link in the Pictures Library


  • Click Add, and browse to the new directory location


View in Windows Live Photo Gallery

Now, when I opened Windows Live Photo Gallery, I could see all of the photos, tags and all, but they are in the new location.



5 Comments on “Moving Windows Live Photo Gallery Managed Photos to Another Drive

May 8, 2012 at 7:45 am

That’s great to share all this information with us.

Do you know the way of moving tagged pictures from one computer to another one? 5 GB SkyDrive Sync is not enough because I have more than 45 GB of pictures. Can the pictures be moved to a new PC and keep the tags, ratings etc? Thanks, Mate!

May 8, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Are you wanting to migrate the photos to another computer? You might take a look at Windows Easy Transfer to move your files and program settings to a new computer:

September 25, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Thanks for writing this, but I think that WPG stores the tag data within the JPG files themselves using XMP metadata. Therefore you can move the photos wherever you want; once WPG finds them again, all the tag data will still be in them. However, videos are another story… WPG’s database stores those tags and metadata, they’re not in the file. So if you try to move them to another computer all of their metadata will be gone. Have you found a way to successfully move those?

September 26, 2013 at 7:56 pm

heiseheise, you are correct the tags are stored in the photos. As you can see from the steps I outlined, this was about moving an entire Library to another drive. No specific steps needed for carrying over the tags.

To move videos over to another computer with tags, you might try Windows Easy Transfer. I have not investigated your scenario myself.

January 31, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Thanks for posting! My disk was getting full so I had to move my library. This little guide was very helpful 🙂

Add a Comment