How to Crop Photos on Windows: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to this tutorial on how to crop photos on Windows! Cropping photos can be a useful and necessary task for anyone, whether you’re a professional photographer or just want to improve your social media game. Windows offers a variety of built-in tools to crop and edit photos, and in this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to crop photos on Windows in a few simple clicks.


Step 1: Open the Photos app

The built-in Photos app in Windows is a great tool for basic photo editing tasks like cropping, rotating, and resizing. To open the Photos app, simply search for “Photos” in the start menu and click on the app.

Step 2: Select the photo you want to crop

Once the Photos app is open, navigate to the folder where your photo is stored and select the image you want to crop. The photo will now open in the Photos app.

Step 3: Click on the “Crop & rotate” button

The “Crop & rotate” button is located on the right-hand side of the Photos app, in the toolbar below the photo. Click on this button to open the “Crop & rotate” menu.

Step 4: Choose the aspect ratio you want to crop to

The “Crop & rotate” menu offers a variety of aspect ratios to choose from, including square, 4:3, and 16:9. Choose the aspect ratio you want to crop to based on your specific needs.

Step 5: Adjust the crop box

Once you’ve selected your desired aspect ratio, you can adjust the crop box to fit your photo exactly how you want it. You can click and drag the corners of the box to adjust the size, or click and drag the box itself to reposition it on the photo.

Step 6: Apply your crop

Once you’re happy with the crop box, click on the “Apply” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the “Crop & rotate” menu. This will apply your crop to the photo.

Step 7: Save your cropped photo

After applying your crop, you can now save your newly-cropped photo. Click on the “Save a copy” button in the top right-hand corner of the Photos app to save your photo to your desired location on your computer.

Step 8: Undo or redo your crop

If you make a mistake or change your mind about your crop, you can undo or redo your crop by using the buttons on the top left-hand corner of the Photos app.

Step 9: Rotate your photo

If your photo is not oriented correctly, you can also use the “Rotate” button in the “Crop & rotate” menu to rotate your photo 90 degrees at a time.

Step 10: Use the “Filters” tool

The Photos app also offers a variety of filters you can use to enhance your photo, including black and white, vivid, and sepia. Explore the “Filters” tool in the Photos app to see what options are available.

Step 11: Adjust the brightness and color

If you want to adjust the overall brightness or color of your photo, the Photos app also offers a “Light” tool where you can adjust these settings with a slider.

Step 12: Share your photo

After cropping and editing your photo, you can easily share it with others using the built-in sharing tools in the Photos app. Click on the “Share” button in the top right-hand corner of the app and select your desired sharing method.


Now that we’ve gone through the basic steps of how to crop photos on Windows, let’s dive a bit deeper into some of the key concepts and options available in the Photos app.

First, it’s important to understand the difference between aspect ratio and resolution. Aspect ratio refers to the proportional relationship between the width and height of an image, while resolution refers to the number of pixels in the image. When you crop a photo, you may be changing both the aspect ratio and the resolution of the image, so it’s important to keep this in mind when choosing your crop box and your desired output size.

Additionally, the Photos app offers a variety of other editing tools beyond just cropping. The “Filters” tool is a quick and easy way to add a stylized look to your photo, while the “Light” tool allows you to fine-tune the brightness and color of the image. Experimenting with these tools can help you take your photo editing to the next level.

Tips and Tricks

1. Use the “Constrain aspect ratio” option

If you want to ensure that your crop box stays at a specific aspect ratio, you can check the “Constrain aspect ratio” option in the bottom left-hand corner of the “Crop & rotate” menu. This will lock the aspect ratio of the crop box so that it cannot be changed.

2. Use the “Straighten” tool

If your photo is slightly crooked or tilted, you can use the “Straighten” tool in the “Crop & rotate” menu to fix this. Simply draw a line along the horizon or another straight edge in the photo, and the app will automatically adjust the rotation of the image to match.

3. Consider using keyboard shortcuts

If you use the Photos app frequently, using keyboard shortcuts can help speed up your editing process. For example, you can use the “Ctrl+Shift+S” shortcut to save your photo, or the “Ctrl+Z” shortcut to undo your most recent edit.

4. Use the “Compare” tool

The “Compare” tool in the bottom right-hand corner of the Photos app allows you to view your edited photo side-by-side with the original. This can be useful for checking your edits and making sure you’re happy with the final result.

5. Keep backups of your original photos

While cropping and editing can be fun and creative, it’s important to always keep backups of your original photos in case something goes wrong or you want to start over from scratch. Make sure to regularly back up your photos to an external hard drive or online storage service.

6. Use the “Focus” tool for portrait photos

If you’re working with portrait photos, the “Focus” tool in the “Filters” menu can help you create a shallow depth of field effect and blur the background of the image. This can be a great way to add a professional-looking touch to your portraits.

7. Use the “Crop & rotate” menu in bulk

If you need to crop and edit multiple photos at once, you can use the “Crop & rotate” menu to do so in bulk. Simply select all the photos you want to edit, click on the “Crop & rotate” button, and apply your desired edits to all the photos at once.

8. Crop for specific social media platforms

If you’re cropping photos for social media, it’s important to keep in mind the specific aspect ratios required by each platform. For example, Instagram photos should be square, while Facebook and Twitter photos prefer a 16:9 aspect ratio. Doing a bit of research on the required aspect ratios can ensure your photos look their best on social media.

9. Get inspiration from other photographers

Browsing social media or photo-sharing websites can be a great way to get inspired for your own photo editing. Take note of how other photographers are cropping and editing their photos, and try to apply similar techniques to your own work.

10. Practice makes perfect!

Finally, the best way to become an expert at cropping and editing photos on Windows is to simply practice. Spend some time experimenting with different crops and edits, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. The more you practice, the more you’ll learn and improve.

Advantages and Disadvantages of How to Crop Photos on Windows


1. Easy to use – With the Windows operating system, the built-in photo viewer and editor makes it simple to crop photos without needing third-party software.

2. Precise control – The cropping tool allows for precise control over the area of the photo that is being removed, providing the ability to focus on specific details.

3. Time-saving – Since it is built into the operating system, it saves time from having to download and open a separate program to crop your photos.

4. No additional cost – As previously mentioned, no additional cost is required since it is included within the operating system, making it a budget-friendly option for photo editing.

5. Seamless integration – With Windows, cropping photos can seamlessly integrate with other photo editing tools on the operating system.

6. Multiple format options – The crop tool allows for versatility in file formats such as .jpg, .bmp, .tif, and .png.

7. Non-destructive cropping – The Windows crop tool has the option to crop non-destructively, meaning the original photo remains intact in case you want to revert back to it.

8. Consistent quality – With the built-in crop tool, the cropped photo maintains the same quality as the original image.

9. No internet required – Crop your photos without the need for internet connection, making it a practical tool for those who work in areas without internet access.

10. Privacy – Unlike online photo editors that may access your photos, using the Windows crop tool ensures your photos are secure and are edited privately on your own device.


1. Limited features – The crop tool in Windows is limited in features compared to other photo editing software, allowing for only basic cropping options.

2. No batch cropping – It does not allow for batch cropping of multiple photos, making it time-consuming for users who need to crop large amounts of photos.

3. May not be compatible with all Windows versions – The crop tool may differ depending on the version of Windows you are using, possibly limiting user accessibility across different devices.

4. No resizing options – The Windows crop tool only offers the option to crop photos, with no additional resizing options.

5. May not support all file formats – While Windows supports multiple file formats, there may be some formats that the crop tool is not compatible with.

6. Limited artistic expression – For users who wish to have greater artistic expression in their cropping, the limited features of the Windows crop tool may not suffice.

7. Limited control over perspective – The crop tool only allows for two-dimensional cropping, providing limited control over perspective and depth in photos.

8. Limited photo enhancement options – The crop tool does not provide extensive photo enhancement options such as red-eye correction, brightness adjusting, and color correction.

9. Limited photo sharing options – Windows’ built-in crop tool does not offer extensive sharing options, requiring users to save the cropped photo to their device first before sharing.

10. Limited ability to undo edits – While there is the option for non-destructive cropping, users have limited ability to undo other edits made to the photo.


1. What is photo cropping?

Photo cropping is a process of removing unwanted parts of an image to improve its composition or focus on a specific subject.

2. How do I crop photos on Windows?

You can use the built-in Photos app on Windows to crop photos. Simply open the photo, click on the “Edit & Create” button, select “Crop & Rotate,” and drag the handles to crop.

3. Can I crop photos without losing quality?

If you are cropping a high-resolution photo, you can crop it without losing quality. However, if you are cropping a low-resolution photo, it may become pixelated.

4. What is the best aspect ratio for cropping photos?

The best aspect ratio for cropping photos depends on the purpose and platform. For example, if you are cropping a photo for Instagram, the best aspect ratio is 1:1, while for Facebook, it is 16:9.

5. Can I crop multiple photos at once on Windows?

No, you cannot crop multiple photos at once using the Photos app on Windows. You will have to crop each photo individually.

6. How do I undo a photo crop on Windows?

If you want to undo a photo crop on Windows, simply click on the “Reset” button in the “Crop & Rotate” menu.

7. Can I crop photos using Microsoft Paint?

Yes, you can crop photos using Microsoft Paint, but it is not as user-friendly as the Photos app. Simply open the photo, select the “Select” tool, drag the cursor over the area you want to crop, and press “Ctrl+X”.

8. Is there a limit to how much I can crop a photo?

Yes, there is a limit to how much you can crop a photo. If you crop too much, the photo may become too small or pixelated.

9. Can I crop photos to specific dimensions on Windows?

Yes, you can crop photos to specific dimensions on Windows using either the Photos app or Microsoft Paint.

10. How do I rotate a cropped photo on Windows?

To rotate a cropped photo on Windows, click on the “Rotate” button in the “Crop & Rotate” menu, and choose either “Rotate left” or “Rotate right”.

11. Can I crop photos using third-party software on Windows?

Yes, there are many third-party photo editing software that allow you to crop photos on Windows. Some examples include Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, and PaintShop Pro.

12. What file formats can I crop using the Photos app on Windows?

The Photos app on Windows supports cropping for JPEG, PNG, HEIF, and BMP file formats.

13. Will cropping a photo change its file size?

Yes, cropping a photo may change its file size, depending on how much you crop and the file format. Cropping a lot may decrease the file size, while cropping just a little may not have any effect on the file size.

Cropping photos is a common task that many of us have to deal with frequently. Whether you need to adjust the size, focus on a specific subject, or remove unwanted background, cropping can be an effective solution. If you are using a Windows computer, you may wonder how to crop photos easily and quickly. In this article, we will show you how to do it step by step.

How to Crop Photos on Windows

The easiest and most straightforward way to crop photos on Windows is to use the built-in Photos app. This app comes pre-installed on most Windows devices and offers a variety of basic editing tools, including cropping. Here is how to do it:

1. Open the Photos app on your Windows computer.

2. Navigate to the photo that you want to crop and select it.

3. Click the Edit & Create button on the top right corner of the screen.

4. Choose Crop & rotate from the menu.

5. Adjust the cropping box to fit your desired frame by dragging the edges inwards or outwards.

6. Click the Apply button when you are satisfied with the result.

7. Save the cropped photo by clicking the Save a copy button on the top right corner of the screen.

That’s it! You have successfully cropped your photo using the Photos app on Windows. As you can see, the process is simple and intuitive, even for those who are not familiar with photo editing.

Conclusion and Closing

In conclusion, cropping photos on Windows can be done easily and quickly with the help of the Photos app. This app offers a simple yet powerful set of editing tools that can help you make basic adjustments to your photos without the need for any third-party software. Of course, if you need more advanced editing features, you may want to consider using a dedicated photo editing program. But for most casual users, the Photos app is more than enough.

We hope this article has been helpful in showing you how to crop photos on Windows. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading, and see you in the next article!