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Photo Gallery vs. Windows Live Photo Gallery????

DavidHaggerty asked on

Basic question: which of these two programs should I be using as my default to "open anything that this program can open?"  I have both of these programs on my laptop, for whatever reason.  My "Photo Gallery" is dated 2006 (it came on computer; I have Windows Vista Home Premium) but an update check indicates I am running the latest version and no additional updates are available at this time.  (I have automatic updating selected.)   My "Windows Live Photo Gallery" is "Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011," copyright 2010.  I did not download it intentionally; did I get it when I installed Microsoft Office 2010?  I cannot find any way of checking for updates, update history, etc., on this program. 


I am only a casual photographer (camera phone), but often get pix from others.  Sometimes I get an error saying "Photo Gallery Cannot Open: you don't have the latest updates or file format not supported."  I am wondering if this could be rectified, at least sometimes, if I had the "open this picture" process defaulting to the better choice of the two versions of Photo Gallery that I have. 


Any comments that would shed light on any of the above, or related matters, would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!  (Especially since I see that Windows Live Photo Gallery, in its latest incarnations, is now called just Photo Gallery. Yet my Photo Gallery is older than my Windows live Photo Gallery!  So I don't really know which of my two programs is the most up to date, etc.) 

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Geoffc1 replied on



Vista came with a version of Photo Gallery; as you say it dates from 2006.


Microsoft's Windows Live Services then started including a later version of Photo Gallery, and rebranded it as Windows Live Photo Gallery. Now that Microsoft has dropped the "Live" branding, the name has changed yet again to just Windows Photo Gallery.


This Wikipedia article shows you the full tortured history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Photo_Gallery


It appears that you have both the (bundled with Vista) Photo Gallery and Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011 installed.


My advice would be to download the latest version of WPG: Windows Photo Gallery 2012 and try to install that. Although it appears as though it requires Windows 7 or later, it may install on Vista. Microsoft have withdrawn Windows Live Essentials 2011 for Vista because of a security issue in Windows Live Writer 2011.


If you are able to install the 2012 version on Vista, you will update to the latest version, and set it as the default application for your photos. Otherwise, you will need to manually set the 2011 version as your default application for photos (and try and avoid using Windows Live Writer!)

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