In Windows 10 and Windows 11, the Microsoft Photos app uses face detection and facial grouping technologies to help you quickly and easily identify and organize photos of friends and family. Face detection distinguishes faces from other objects in an image. For example, face detection helps the Photos app know when there is a face in a photo or video so that the app can further analyze the photo. Facial grouping identifies and groups similar faces across multiple photos or videos in your personal collection. 

For more information about the data that is collected and stored when you use the Photos app, see the Privacy Statement.

Manage facial grouping

When you start the Photos app, you may see a welcome screen that asks if you want to use the facial grouping feature. You can use that welcome screen to choose whether you want facial grouping, or you can use Settings to turn it on or off at any time.

When you start the Photos app, if you have Windows 11 or Windows 10 (2019.19061.17310.0, the July 2019 version, or later), you may be asked if you want to use the facial grouping feature.

  1. Select Start  and type photos, then select the Photos app in the list.

  2. Select the People tab.

  3. If you see a welcome screen asking for your permission to turn on the People setting in the Photos app, do one of the following:

    • Select Yes to leave the People setting turned on and preserve previously determined facial groupings.

    • Select No thanks to delete any previously determined facial groupings. When asked whether you’re sure you want to turn off this setting, select Yes.

Shows the welcome screen for photos with yes and no buttons after a question about turning on the People setting.

Any time you want to turn facial grouping on or off, you can use Settings.

Turn on the facial grouping feature

  1. Select Start  and type photos, then select the Photos app in the list.

  2. Select the People tab.

  3. In the upper-right corner of the Photos app, select See more () > Settings.

  4. Under the Viewing and editing section, toggle the People setting from Off to On
    Shows the on and off toggle for the People setting.

Turn off facial grouping

Turning off the People setting removes any existing facial grouping data generated by the facial grouping process. No photos or videos will be removed from your device if this setting is changed.

  1. Select Start  and type photos, then select the Photos app in the list.

  2. Select the People tab.

  3. In the upper-right corner of the Photos app, select See more () > Settings.

  4. Under the Viewing and editing section, toggle the People setting to Off and then confirm that you want to turn off the setting by selecting Accept.

    Note: If you decide to turn on this setting again later, your collection will be scanned again, and facial grouping data will be regenerated.

Use facial grouping

When you turn on the facial grouping setting, the People tab populates with facial groupings. As your photos and videos are being added to the Photos collection, your People tab might look something like this:
Screenshot of the People tab before it is populated with faces.

As more photos and videos are added, facial groupings will begin to appear on the People tab. 

Screenshot of the People tab populated with faces from the Photos app.

The groupings can be linked with contacts from the People app in Windows.

  1. Select the Start tagging link if you see it. If you don't see it, your photos have probably already been grouped and tagged, and you can skip this step.

  2. Select the Add name link under a grouping and select a contact. If no contact exists for that person yet, you can always add one.


Screenshot of the list that you can use to link contacts to facial groupings.

After you’ve linked your contacts, you can easily find your friends and family by using the search box.

Screenshot of the search box in the Photos app.

  1. Select a linked facial group to open a page showing the contact's profile picture and photos of the contact.

  2. Select the pencil icon next to a contact's name, then select Remove name to unlink the contact from the facial grouping.

    Note: You can select Open contact details to see the contact record from the People app in Windows.


    Screenshot of a contact showing the Remove name option.

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