Organize photos without program


For easy photo management, no program is required at all. Organize the photos into folders and subfolders and sort them by name.

Use the Explorer to create a folder in which all the others will come. Named, for example, ‘All photos’. Then there are base folders. A classification by year is obvious: a folder ‘2021’, ‘2020’, ‘2019’ and so on.

Less handy with Windows Explorer? Refer to the articles ‘The Explorer’ and ‘Organizing files’.

Create subfolders within each volume. That’s where the photos come in. Here too, a name with date is an obvious choice. Then it becomes easy to sort the folders. A description can be added after the date.

Write the date in the following way: year in 4 digits; month in 2 digits; day in 2 digits. This format allows the folders in Windows Explorer to be sorted by date.

Add a description to the date. Folders then look like this:

  • ‘20210511 Day in Den Bosch’
  • ‘20210618 Texel Weekend’
  • ‘20210723 Italy’
  • ‘20210815 Birthday Annie’

So August 15, 2021 was Annie’s birthday. The image below shows the result in Windows Explorer.

root folders

First move the photos to the correct folders. Then the photos can be numbered.

  • Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder containing the photos. For example the folder ‘Photos > 2021 > 2020815 Birthday Annie’.
  • Sort the photos by date. Do this as follows:
    • Windows 10: click Image > Sort by > Date.
    • Windows 11: click To sort > Date.
  • Select all photos in the folder. Do this as follows:
    • Windows 10: click Start > Select all.
    • Windows 11: click the icon with the three dots > Select all.
  • Right-click on the first (=top) photo in the series.
  • In Windows 10, click Renaming. In Windows 11, click Show more options > Renaming.
  • Type the name you want to give the sequence, then a space and then the number 1 in parentheses. For example, ‘Birthday Annie (1)’.
  • The number in parentheses is necessary because the series of photos will have the same name: (1) represents the first photo in the series and Windows automatically increments this number.
  • Press the Enter key. The other names are immediately updated.
    Photo names

In this way, the entire photo collection can be organized. Although it is advisable to look for a photo management program with a collection of thousands of photos. But if you only take some photos now and then, you can do just fine with this method.

Finally: change via Image > Extra Large Icons (Windows 10) or To display > Extra Large Icons (Windows 11) the image of the contents of the folder. That way, large previews of the photos appear in File Explorer.

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