Show recently added files and photos in Windows

The Pictures folder or library in Windows is ideal for storing photos and you can organise them into subfolders by date, occasion, subject or whatever is most useful. How do you view the most recently added photos though? It is easier than you might think.

This tip will work in Windows 7, 8 and 10. It isn't even specific to photos and you can use it to find the most recent files in any folder and its subfolders. It is a useful trick to learn and it makes finding files much easier that browsing in Explorer or searching. We'll use photos as an example, but you could just as easily find Microsoft Word documents.

To view the latest photo additions you need to go to the desktop. Open an Explorer window by clicking the icon in the taskbar and select Pictures in the left panel.

It works for the main pictures folder and Pictures in the OneDrive folder. Go to the View menu and select Extra Large Icons or Large Icons depending on whether you want small or large thumbnail images.

Now go to the search box in the top right corner and enter date: (the colon is important). This displays a drop-down calendar like this:

Explorer search by date

Now select a specific date on the calendar to find files created on that day or use the preset options below, such as Today, Yesterday, This week and so on. The photos on the day or within the selected time period are displayed as thumbnails in the Explorer window.

Right click the first thumbnail and on the menu that appears, select Open with, Photos. This opens the Photos app from the Start screen and you then can browse the photos or play a slide show.

Alternatively, right click a thumbnail and select Open with, Windows Photo Viewer. Click the big slide show button in the middle or use the forward and back buttons to browse through the images.

The key to finding files is that calendar and it makes the search function so much more powerful. Try this trick in the Documents folder and general files like Word, Excel, and others are listed. Use it to show documents created in the last week or month, and so on.


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