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Microsoft Photos.exe High Memory Usage (SOLVED) on Windows 10

Photos is the stock image viewer on Windows 10. It comes with basic image editing tools, a few image effects, and a video editor. The app runs into problems from time to time, and it tends to freeze when dealing with large photo albums, or when importing photos from devices like a phone or camera.

Photos may be a stock app but it isn’t a core Windows 10 tool. You can select any other image viewer and use it in its place. The only problem is that while you are free to use a different app, Photos tends to run in a suspended state. 

Microsoft Photos.exe High Memory Usage

Fix Microsoft.Photos.exe high memory usage

The Photos app normally runs in a suspended state. In theory, this allows is to start more quickly if you were to launch it but practically it does no good. The app takes a long time to come out of its suspended state but if instead of running in a suspended state, Photos is using a lot of memory, you have a different problem on your hands. Here’s how to fix it.

1. Quit Photos background processes

If Photos has been running for too long, and you don’t restart your system routinely, the app’s memory usage may eventually climb. This is likely a one-off thing that may be fixed by restarting the system. Follow these steps.

  1. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. Go to the Processes tab and select Photos Background Task Host.
  3. Click the End task button.
  4. Look for Runtime Broker and select it.
  5. Click the End Task button.
  6. Restart the system.

2. Turn off live tile

The Photos app supports a live tile and it is sometimes the reason the app ends up using too much memory. It normally has to do with the app indexing photos and generating thumbnails whenever it finds new photos on your system.

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Right-click the Photos app and select More>Turn live tile off.
  3. Restart the system for good measure.

3. Disable OneDrive sync

OneDrive will sync photos directly to the Photos app. OneDrive is another stock app on Windows 10 and it tends to invade quite a few different parts of the OS. The good news is, you can disable it from syncing photos to Photos.

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Click the more options button at the top right.
  3. Select Settings from the menu.
  4. Remove all OneDrive folder locations.
  5. Scroll down and turn the ‘Show my cloud-only content from OneDrive’ switch off.
  6. Restart the system.

4. Uninstall and reinstall Photos

The Photos app updates from time to time, and it also updates when Windows 10 receives a feature update. These updates may result in problems with the app and the easiest way to fix them is to uninstall and reinstall the app.

  1. Open PowerShell with admin rights.
  2. Run this command to uninstall the Photos app.
Get-AppxPackage *photo* | Remove-AppxPackage
  1. Once it’s been uninstalled, install the Photos app from the Microsoft Store.

5. Try a different app

Photos isn’t bad but you will find better options for Windows 10. Try giving IrfanView a try or look for any other tool. There are plenty of free third-party solutions you can use in its place.


The Photos app has had problems sporadically over the years. They tend to happen most often after a feature update but outside of updates, the app will run smoothly. On the off chance that it acts up, you can uninstall and reinstall the app to fix the problem.

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