I am looking for a photo management application that will run on Windows 7 and 10. Previously I used Google's Picasa application. It was useful. Then life happened, I got way behind and apparently this application no longer exists.

Needed requirements:

  • Facial recognition is semi-accurate and can automatically offer suggestions
  • Metadata for the photos is not modified
  • Ability to search by people in photo
  • Runs on my local environment and does not require connecting to 3rd party to make face suggestions
  • Can handle tens of thousands of photos
  • List of photos per tag can be exported
  • "Easy" way to select all photos that match search results to copy them to a single location for manipulation for a 3rd party tool (ie. creating mosaics, etc).

Optional (but highly desired)

  • Non-face tagging is support (ie. location, date, event, etc) and if this is supported, searching can incorporate these tags as well

For cost, I really liked Picasa's "free", but I am willing to pay a bit. However, there can be no ads in the product if it is free.

I have seen this question and am not impressed with FotoBounce (the only one listed with face recognition) because of it's need for 3rd party integration.

4 Answers 4


Windows Essential Photo Gallery can do most of what you ask:

  • Accurate facial recognition. It finds similar faces, you give them names. Over time you confirm/deny enough faces, and it will get them right all the time. The only issue I've found is with family (since my photos span decades) the accuracy starts to diminish.
  • Search is powerful. Filtering options make it very easy.
  • There is a specific geotag option, then you can add any other tags you like (I tag by event, for instance).
  • Doesn't need an internet connection (but does let you post directly to facebook and others, if you want that)
  • I have over 20,000 photos in my collection, so you should be good there.
  • Doesn't change file metadata. I just tagged a photo and the file size (down to the byte) was not affected.
  • It's free.

Things it can't do:

  • No exporting of photo lists (at least not anyway I could find just clicking around for a bit)

Other things it does:

  • Basic but useful re-touching.
  • Stores original photo so you can undo edits at any time.

EDIT: According to @vclaw, it seems that metadata will be changed.

  • 3
    Windows Photo Gallery does modify the metadata. The tags are stored within the photo files, so they can be viewed in Windows Explorer, or other software. I think this is a good thing, as you can switch to other photo tagging software if you want.
    – vclaw
    May 8, 2016 at 17:39
  • 1
    A MAJOR problem with Microsoft Photo Gallery (even the latest 2012 version) is that it requires SQL Compact Edition 2005 which is now EOL and no longer receiving security updates. Per Secunia, SQL CE 2005 has a high threat rating which they describe as 'hackers are currently exploiting this on the Internet to gain full control of PCs'. How Microsoft is continuing to REQUIRE an EOL version of its own software to run another of its own software package is mind boggling. Posts from users in various Microsoft forums asking for a solution or upgrade path have gone unanswered for months.
    – user24681
    Jun 25, 2016 at 21:57

Windows Essential Photo Gallery was a good solution, and so was Picasa. But it seems that the good face tagging solutions are now cloud-based. I came across Tag That Photo and have been using it for 6 months now. Doesn't have all the features of Picasa for output, but it does do a decent job of tagging. Bonus was importing my Win Photo Gallery tags. And it appears to get regular updates and keep my data local.

(tag that photo link)

  • 1
    Welcome Bez! Can you add a link to your recommendation to your answer? Thanks, and again, welcome! Oct 9, 2021 at 1:05

https://www.digikam.org/ is a FOSS multi-platfrom application that has local Facial Recognition.

It allows to manage metadata in a database or sync it to the file's metadata.


Tonfotos fits your description perfectly. Can handle huge collections (mine is ±1Tb), does not send your photo to the cloud for face recognition (unlike Windows Photo Gallery). Other ways of grouping are also supported (geo, timeline, albums)

The easiest way to export huge amount of cherry picked photos is to add them to album, and then export all photos from album.

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