Why Media Discovery in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update isn't worth your time

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update offers a lot of new, easy-to-use features and life simplifiers. Unfortunately, the Media Discovery feature falls a bit short.

Video: How to make Windows 10 discover media folders in the Fall Creators Update

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is here, and with it are a lot of new, easy-to-use features and life simplifiers. The following feature was intended to be one of those, but unfortunately, it falls a bit short.

Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps include Photos, Videos, Groove Music, and other media apps. Windows 10 users who save a lot of media files to their computers know what a headache organizing libraries can be, and Microsoft made an honest attempt to make it easier in the Fall Creators Update by adding the Media Discovery feature.

Media Discovery will recognize any folder containing 30 or more media files (photos, music, and movies) and suggest that you add that folder to the library of the respective UWP app. The feature does what it's designed to do--it just requires a lot more work than it should.

SEE: Software usage policy (Tech Pro Research)

If you want to check out Media Discovery, follow these steps.

  1. Place a folder with at least 30 media files on your desktop (this is the only location that worked for me in tests).
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Click on System, then on Storage.
  4. Click on the hard drive capacity graph at the top of the Storage window.
  5. Wait while Windows does a storage scan. You can verify that the scan is complete by scrolling to the bottom and looking for the Last Refreshed date and time, which should be current.
  6. Close the Settings application and open the media app for the file type you placed on the desktop. For this how-to tip, we'll use Photos.
  7. In Photos, click on Import. In the window that pops up, click In A Folder.
  8. If everything was done correctly, you should see a window to recommend the folder you dropped on the desktop. Check the box next to it, and it will be added to your library.

If that sounds like it could be helpful, there are a couple qualifications that make it less so: Storage scans need to be done manually each time you add more media, and moving an imported folder from the desktop causes the UWP app to fail to load the images (they aren't actually added to the library as much as linked to it).

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Microsoft really could have added a neat feature here, but it falls short of being useful, especially when the alternative is so simple.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click and drag the media folder from your desktop (or wherever it's located) to the respective library (Pictures, Music, or Videos).
  3. Open the associated UWP app, and you'll find all the files added to your library.

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