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Disable OneDrive pictures from Photo app on Windows 11

Photo app on Windows 11 shows pictures on the system. By default, it shows the pictures from your local drives. It also defaults to OneDrive to show cloud based pictures on the system. OneDrive images from the remotely hosted cloud storage are displayed alongside the local images stored in the local OneDrive folder. Quite clearly, some people may not be keen on showing the cloud based pictures on the local system. This may be on account of privacy reasons or other personal reasons.

Disable or disallow the pictures hosted on OneDrive in the Photo app on Windows 11


When you use Photos app to display images on the computer, it will automatically pick images from three different file locations. These folder locations are:

  • the local pictures folder corresponding to your user account on the computer
  • the local OneDrive folder on your computer. Normally, this would display the content of Pictures folder on the local OneDrive folder. The path may look something like the local pictures folder of OneDrive on an HP laptop: C:\Users\HP\OneDrive\Pictures. The path will differ with different manufacturers of the PC or the laptop.
  • the cloud based OneDrive folder also becomes a source of photos that are displayed on the computer. The photos from the cloud based OneDrive are picked from the Pictures folder.
Photos app on Windows 11

We can disallow the Microsoft Photos from displaying local and cloud based OneDrive pictures on the computer. For this, we will click on the 3 dots menu on the extreme top right of the screen. The image grab shows you the menu corresponding to the three dots on the Photos screen. One of the options in the menu is for ‘Settings’. Please click on the settings option.

When you click on the Settings, you will be taken to a new screen. This screen lists the source of picture files that will be displayed on the Photos app. There are three folder locations that are being used to source the pictures for display on the Photos app.

  • remove the local folder location corresponding to the pictures in the local OneDrive folder.
  • Under the ‘Microsoft OneDrive’ option, you will notice an option that states – ‘Show my cloud content from OneDrive’. The default setting is set to ‘ON’. We will toggle this button to an ‘OFF’ state. This means, we are instructing the Photos app to not show any cloud based picture from OneDrive.

Once we have cleared the OneDrive as source of local pictures and cloud based pictures, the Photos app will restrict itself to showing images ONLY from the local pictures folder on the computer.

Disable OneDrive cloud only images from Photos app


OneDrive has a local folder and the cloud based storage. In both these folders, there is a ‘pictures’ folder. By default, both the OneDrive ‘pictures’ folder are used as source of images by the ‘Photos app’. Some people may like to show the images or photos from the local OneDrive folder. You may wish to disallow the cloud based OneDrive folder to be used for photos. There could be any reason for such a need. Internet connectivity may not be up to mark or you may have segregated your personal and professional pictures in the cloud based OneDrive storage.

The good thing is that Windows 11 allows you to use OneDrive local or cloud storage or both for the photos app. Some people may wish to only use the OneDrive local folder of pictures. To achieve this desired outcome, you will need to access the following steps to disable cloud based OneDrive cloud pictures:

  1. Open the Photos app by searching in the taskbar of Windows 11 computer.. You may also find the Photos app through the Control Panel —-> System —–> Apps.

Photos app on Windows 11

2. Click on the three dots menu on the extreme right top of the screen. Now, click on settings. The image above shows you the ‘Settings’ on the three dots menu.

3. Under the source of pictures, turn off the option to use OneDrive cloud based pictures by the Photos app. The image below shows the exact setting that is needed to disable OneDrive cloud pictures from showing up in the Photos app.

Photos app - turn off OneDrive cloud pictures from showing on the photos.

Disable local pictures from showing in Photos app


Depending on how you organize the pictures, you may want to show pictures only from the internet based or cloud based OneDrive folder. In other words, some people may not like to show any images from the local pictures folder. Local pictures are picked up from your profile’s pictures folder and the local OneDrive pictures folder.

To disable local pictures from showing up on the photos app, we will need to disable:

  • local pictures folder as an image source for the photos app
  • local OneDrive pictures folder as an image source for the photos app

Disabling the local images from showing up on the photos app can be done by following the steps below:

  • Open the photos app by searching for Photos app in the taskbar on the Windows 11 computer.
  • Once the photos screen comes up, click on the three dots menu on the extreme right top panel of the photos app.
  • Click on settings to bring up the settings of photos on the app.
  • In the left pane of the screen, you will see the source of pictures that are part of the Photos app.
  • Delete the source that corresponds to the pictures folder on your local drive.
  • Also, delete the source that corresponds to the local folder of pictures under OneDrive.

This will ensure that the pictures displayed on the Photos app are sourced only from the cloud based OneDrive storage.

Photos app - local picture sources

Conclusion


Photos app is a highly customizable app to show pictures from different sources. You may choose to show pictures from the local folders or the remote cloud based OneDrive pictures folder. Essentially, the choice to select the pictures and source of pictures is customizable by the end user of the Windows 11 computer.

You may also like to read the following related Microsoft Windows 11 content: