Photos + camera

Take, edit, and share photos and videos

Windows Phone 8.1 brings several handy changes to the Microsoft Camera app. One of the most useful is burst mode, which captures multiple images each time you take a picture. Burst mode is great for photographing fast-moving subjects—like kids or pets—and reducing the number of retakes on group photos. The Camera app now also lets you customize the viewfinder for faster access to favorite settings.


  • Don't have Windows Phone 8.1? Some options and features described below might not be available on your phone or might look a little different. See How do I update my phone software? to learn how to check for the latest updates.
  • Your Windows Phone might have come with a different default camera app. To check or change it, tap Photos Photos icon in the App list, tap More More icon > Settings, and then look for the camera name in the Default camera app box.
Camera viewfinder settings on Windows Phone 8.1

To take a photo or video

  1. Press the Camera button, usually found on the edge of your phone.


    • If your phone doesn't have a physical Camera button, go to the App list, tap Camera, and then tap the screen to take a photo. (For more info, consult your phone manual.)
    • You can also launch the camera in a single tap from action center. To learn more, see Use quick actions on my phone.
    • Phone locked or asleep? You can still quickly capture the moment—just press the Camera button.
  2. Do one of the following:

    • To take a photo, first press the Camera button halfway down to focus, and then press it all the way to snap the photo.
    • If your phone doesn't have a Camera button, you can tap Single photo Camera icon on the viewfinder to take a photo.
    • To record a video, tap Video Camera video mode icon on the viewfinder, then press the Camera button or tap Record Record icon to start or stop recording.

    The photo or video will be automatically saved in the Camera Roll album in the Photos Hub.


    • To zoom in or out, just stretch or pinch the viewfinder with your thumb and forefinger.
    • To change advanced camera settings (such as ISO or White Balance), in the Camera app, tap More More icon, and then tap either Photo settings or Video settings.
    • Taking a picture in a quiet place? You can mute the shutter sound. From the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Ringtones + sounds, and then clear the Camera shutter check box to turn off the shutter sound.
  3. After you take a photo or video, swipe over or down (depending on how you're holding your phone) to see it.


    • Your photos can get even cooler (or weirder) with Lenses that integrate right into the viewfinder. From the Camera app, tap Lenses Lenses icon, and then tap the Lens app you want to use. To get more, tap Find more lenses. (If Lenses isn't one of your quick settings for the viewfinder, tap More More icon, tap one of the slots under Show these settings in the viewfinder, and then tap Lens picker.)
    • Got some extra special pics? Add them to Favorites, then use them to personalize your phone. Learn how in Personalize my phone with my photos.
  4. If you see Burst at the bottom of a photo, tap it to review and save the best shots from a burst photo series before they're automatically deleted.

To use burst mode when taking photos

Burst mode is a great way to capture fast-moving subjects and group photos. (You can switch between camera modes by tapping Burst mode Burst mode icon, Single photo Camera icon, or Video Camera video switch icon in the viewfinder.) When you take a picture in burst mode, your phone captures a series of shots in rapid succession. Afterwards, you can browse them and save the best ones to your Camera Roll. Any photos you don't save are automatically deleted after a set period—the default is seven days, but you can change it. To select the burst mode photos that you want to keep or delete, follow these steps:

  1. In the App list, tap Photos Photos icon, and then tap a photo taken with burst mode to open it.

  2. Tap Burst Burst mode icon to see all the photos in the series.

  3. Once the photos have loaded, you can swipe the filmstrip left or right and tap any photos you want to keep to select them. A check mark will appear on shots you've selected. (Even if you don't make any selections, one photo in each burst series is always saved by default.)


    Want to quickly save all the photos in a burst series to your Camera Roll? Tap More More icon > Select all.

  4. Tap Save Save icon to save the selected photos to your Camera Roll. Any photos in the series you didn't select will be immediately deleted.


Want to hold on to unsaved burst photos a bit longer? From the Camera app, tap More More icon > Photo settings, and then tap in the Keep unsaved burst photos for box to choose how long you want to keep them.

Burst mode in WIndows Phone
Burst mode lets you choose which photos you want to keep

To use and change viewfinder settings

A perfect photo won't take itself, which is why Windows Phone 8.1 displays important quick settings at the top of the camera viewfinder. Flash, resolution, your Camera Roll, and more can be accessed instantly with the tap of a finger. You can change which settings show up in your viewfinder by doing the following:

  1. Press the Camera button, usually found on the edge of your phone, or tap Camera in the App list.

  2. Tap More More icon, and then tap any of the slots under Show these settings in the viewfinder.

  3. Tap a setting from the list to replace the setting currently being used in your viewfinder.


You can choose the default action for each of your quick settings from the camera viewfinder—just tap More More icon > Photo settings or Video settings, tap a setting to see a list of options, and then tap an option to set it as the default.

To edit a photo

After taking a photo, you can rotate it, crop it, or apply the fix filter. Fix will automatically apply some of the most common photographic fixes—exposure, color temperature, and shadow/highlight adjustment—in a way that's tuned for each photo.

  1. In the App list, tap Photos Photos icon.

  2. Find the photo you want to edit, and then tap the photo to open it.

  3. Tap Edit Edit icon, and then do one of the following: (If you have photo editor apps installed on your phone but still want to use the built-in tools below to edit the photo, tap Crop, rotate, auto-fix first on the Edit screen.)

    • To rotate the photo, tap Rotate Rotate icon as many times as necessary until your photo is right-side up.
    • To crop the photo, tap Crop Crop icon. Tap and drag one of the corners of the rectangle, or tap Aspect ratio Aspect ratio icon to choose a specific ratio (such as 16x9) and then drag the rectangle. When you're finished cropping, tap Done Done icon.
    • If the color of your photo doesn't look quite right, try tapping Fix Fix icon. If you don't like the way it looks afterward, just tap Undo fix Undo fix icon to undo.
  4. Tap Save Save icon to save all your changes.


Want to edit your photo using a photo editor app you have already installed on your phone? On the Edit screen, just tap the name of the photo editor app to open and edit the photo in the app. If you're looking for more photo editor apps, just tap Find more editors to search for more of them in the Windows Phone Store.

To share a photo or video

So you took an awesome photo or video—now what? Show it off to your friends, of course! You can text or email your picture or video to someone, or post it to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, depending on what apps you have installed.

  1. In the App list, tap Photos Photos icon.

  2. Tap the photo or video you want to share, and then tap Share Share icon.

  3. Choose a sharing option such as messaging, email, or a social network like Facebook.


Tell us what you think