Photos and Albums in the New SkyDrive – organizing

Organizing your photos is an important part of getting your SkyDrive albums just right to show of your work. This means creating albums, moving photos from one album to another and re-arranging the order of the pictures inside an album.

With the many recent updates to SkyDrive the methods and tools for these tasks have changed, so here is a review of these procedures.

Albums in SkyDrive should preferably be arranged in a “flat” hierarchy – no albums inside albums. SkyDrive-16Although putting an album inside another is easily done, you cannot upload from Windows Live Photo Gallery to an album that is inside another. The sharing settings of an album will also apply to any sub-albums inside, this might not be what you want. When viewing photos you can step only through the pictures in the current album, there will be no indication that a sub-album is available.

That said, albums inside albums will show slide shows of their photos on their tiles – charming to say the least.

Creating an Album

You create an album in SkyDrive that is located in the current album of folder. See Photos and Albums in the New SkyDrive – uploading for details on creating an album and uploading photos.

Moving and Copying Photos

Moving photos from one album to another in SkyDrive is fairly easy for one photo. Unfortunately, there is no way to select multiple photos to be moved, so the procedure has to be repeated. imageClick on a photo imageyou wish to move, it will be shown large. If you don’t see the info pane on the right, click on the left-pointing arrow in the upper right. In the info pane are a number of links. To move a photo to another album, click Move. If you wish to copy a photo to another album, so that you will have the photo in the current album as well as in the destination album, click Copy. The remainder of the procedure is the same for moving or copying. The next page presents a list of all the folders and albums on your SkyDrive. Click on the destination album. If that album contains more albums, you will see them on the next page. SkyDrive-17SkyDrive-18

Note the choices: Move this file into …, New Album, and if there are additional albums they will also be shown. You can create a new album at this step. Click the Move this file … (or Copy this file …) when the desired album name is shown. After a short delay, while the action is performed, the destination album will be opened.


Above the thumbnails you can see a message describing the action just performed. You can also see the path of the current album. Click on the a album name in the path or SkyDrive to get to another album.

Move an Album

imageYou can move albums around just like photos. In album view, when thumbnails or the contents list are displayed, the info pane offers a Move command. This works just like the move process for a photo, except that the entire album can be moved to another album. You cannot copy an album – something not normally needed anyway.

NOTE: This is not available for primary albums, only for albums inside albums.

Rename an Album

Note that there is also a Rename command to change the name of an album.

Delete a Photo

imageWhen a photo is displayed by itself, the info pane also offers a Delete command. This works just as you would expect.  A delete confirmation is required, there will be a message dialog about like shown here. It advises that you are about to permanently delete an item from your SkyDrive and you have the option to click OK or Cancel.

Delete an Album

imageWhen in album view showing thumbnails there is not a delete command option in the info pane. I have wondered if this is intentional or an oversight. imageThe procedure for deleting an album requires an couple of additional steps. Above the thumbnails in the upper right area, there are a couple of icons, one offers Thumbnail view, the other Details view. Click the Details view icon. You are now presented with a list of the contents of the present album (or SkyDrive). Move the pointer to  the album that you wish to delete. While the pointer is on the item line, to the right of the entry there is a “Show information” icon, image . Click this icon. The info panel will provide information for this album and also include a Delete command.

Arrange photos

You may wish to arrange the photos into a particular order. In SkyDrive is is easily accomplished. Any time you are in an album the info pane includes an Arrange photos command. If you have Silverlight installed and are using the 32-bit Internet Explorer or another browser, a very neat drag-and-drop method is available.

With the pointer over the thumbnail you wish to relocate, just press down on the left mouse button and drag the thumbnail to the desired location. Note how the thumbnails move apart to make room for the newcomer. The thumbnail in the original position will fade out.


There is another method. It is the only one with 64-bit Internet Explorer or if Silverlight is not installed. It may also be the only method by the time you read this, as continuing changes to SkyDrive are released.

You can also bring up this alternate method by clicking “standard arrange photos page”. This method may seem complicated at first view. Each thumbnail has a number and you need to renumber the order. It is easier that it appears.


The instructions are to number the photos in the order you’d like them to appear in your album. Note the number of the photo where you want to place another photo. Then replace the number in the number box of the photo to be moved – it is a plain text box, you know how to replace and type text. In the illustration here, I want photo 6 in place of photo 5. So I enter 5 in the box of photo 6. Press Enter and the photo instantly is relocated and the thumbnails are renumbered. The procedure is not as pleasant as drag-and-drop, but just about as fast.


After the thumbnails are in the order you like, click Save.

SkyDrive is a bit different in the way things work, but after some practice you will be proficient in organizing your photos so you can show them proudly.



© 2011 Ludwig Keck


11 comments on “Photos and Albums in the New SkyDrive – organizing

  1. Robert says:

    I have my albums stored by date, for some reason one of the older albums move to the front. Nobody can tell me how I move and album back to the right place by date.


    • Ludwig says:

      SkyDrive is undergoing a lot of changes currently. Some major changes were made November 2011, some minor ones seem to happen at random times. The managing of the ordering of albums and folders has been on the request list for quite some time. Presently the default order is by date. That is the date any change was made to or in the album. If you reorder by name, for example, that works until you close the browser. When you come back the order will be again by date. The most recently updated album will be at the end. Nothing you can do about this at present. With luck, Microsoft will make the ordering a user option soon.


  2. gcyoung says:

    Ludwig, how does one enable comments for photos? I only see global settings for People tags, but no “folder” or “album” properties that would allow me to enable comments for a publically shared folder of photos?


    • Ludwig says:

      Even in the most recent update (23 April 2012) the tags and comments deficiencies have not been corrected. Let us hope …


      • gcyoung says:

        *sigh* I uploaded about 1150 old family photos for relatives to comment on with person/place/date information…


      • Ludwig says:

        Did you make sure that you got your 25 GB SkyDrive storage? See my post on that. Also remember that people tagging does work in SkyDrive. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for the tags and comments.


      • gcyoung says:

        Yes, I did get the 25 GB, thanks. I noticed that people tagging works on the web site, but it’s not even close to what WLPG can do, especially in terms of recognition and remembering names.


  3. gcyoung says:

    Ludwig, do you know how one enables comments for a publically-shared photo folder/album? I don’t see a setting anywhere. Also, any thought on how to set the default folder photo (looks like SkyDrive just uses the last one uploaded). My kingdom for a folder properties link!!!


    • Ludwig says:

      Sorry, no help on comments. This problem has been reported to Microsoft and complained about in numerous places. Maybe now that the major overhaul of SkyDrive has been released they can tackle little problems. You can get to folder properties – although nothing there you can use – in the new desktop SkyDrive app. For the tile image, SkyDrive seems to start with the last one – but remember, it plays a slide show of all the photos in the folder on the tile. If you really want to show a specific photo on the tile for the folder – don’t cry! – do like I did: I put just one photo in the folder, and everything else into sub-folders. I hope to visit your kingdom soon, so don’t give it away just yet.


      • gcyoung says:

        Ludvig, thanks for your response. I had an idea when you said “desktop SkyDrive app” (which is strangely hidden away in the popup notifications area), so I copied and renamed one of the photos “folder.jpg”. That did make it the single tile for the folder in Windows, but, alas, SkyDrive does not seem to respect that convention. So, it’s last photo in the folder for now…

        Hard to believe that something as basic as comments are messed up. Ah well…


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