Windows 8.1

Photos App in Windows 8.1 Does not Support PlayTo

If you are trying to use the DLNA Play (Play To) functions in the Windows 8.1 Photos App (display an image, then Charms, Devices, Play) and getting nowhere fast with a This app can’t play to a device right now like:


play photos support

You can stop beating your head against the wall trying to make it work, The Photos App in Windows 8.1 does not support the PlayTo contract. There is no info as to when or if this might be added.

Just one more thing in the long list of things Microsoft ruined for customers in the 8.1 Photos App.

Windows 8.1 RTM Photos App Supports Indexable Network Locations


Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 RTM Photo App displays photos stored on networked computers as long as the location is indexable after using the classic desktop Windows/file explorer to add that location to the Pictures Library. Linux powered, non Windows indexable NAS boxes, etc. can not be included, which is the same behavior as Windows 8.0 RTM.


Here are the steps you need to perform in order to show content from qualified network image folders in the Windows 8.1 Photos App.

Adding Top Level Folders (eg C:\Pix)

1. Enable Library View (and optionally, other advanced options) so that you can see the contents of your libraries easily in Windows file explorer.


a. Open Windows file explorer on the desktop and click or tap the View menu

1 view tab


b. Click or tap the Navigation pane icon

2 select nav

c. Check the Show libraries item by clicking or tapping it. It’s a good idea to enable the other options presented as well if not selected if you want a detailed view of the contents of your computer, networked computers and devices, etc.


3 show libs

d. Good to have, but not needed to get started adding network locations: To always display more information in Windows file explorer default, select the Options menu, then select the View tab, then Always show menus and click or tap the Apply to Folders button.


3a default menu


2. Including a network location in your pictures library

a. In the left pane, navigate to the folder you want to include in the library. In the example below, the folder named Pix on Bossgal is the target location.


b. Right click or tap and hold to show the shortcut menu and then select Include in library

4 right click include in lib


c. Select Pictures.


5 select pictures lib

3. Confirm the content is added on the classic desktop

a. Select the Pictures library in the left pane (you previously should have enabled library view using the above instructions)

b. The network folders should now show in the right pane by network location. In the example below, the folder Pix from my Windows 8 computer Winnie8 is shown in the library. (It may take a few minutes for thumbnails to appear in non local locations.)

5a lib with network


4. Confirm the content appears in the Windows 8.1 Photos App

a. Launch the Photos App and verify that the content from the networked locations appears. (Note: the view is flattened, you cannot view by computer/device name, all content is presented on the Pictures Library main screen for This PC).

6 photos app 8.1 RTM


As you can see by the marked up screen shot below, network folders now display in the Windows 8.1 Pictures App.

7 marked up locations


Note: After you get started and have added your first networked folder, you can also use the Manage Libraries function as described below. Note that the Start Screen Photos App handles conent from top level folder WITH subfolders differently than when you add a subfolder without adding the root folder as you will see below as well.

Adding Content from Network sub folders (eg, \\computername\folder\subfolder_name)

When you add a networked subfolder in Windows 8.1 but don’t add the root level folder above it, you can use the same process as above or the process below, and as you will see, the contents appear at the root level in the Start Screen Photos App and are not contained in a folder/collection.

To add contents from a folder not at the root level from a networked computer (a subfolder), these are the steps”

1. In Windows file explorer, select the Pictures Library, Library Tools, and then select the Manage Library icon as shown below.

manage 1

2. In the Pictures Library Locations window, select the Add button.

manage 2


3. Browse to the sub folder you wish to include in the library (in the example below, pix is the root file, secret garden is the subfolder that I wish to add to the Library. Highlight the folder and then click or tap the Include folder button.


manage 3


4. The contents of the subfolder are displayed in your library as in the example below.

manage 4


5. You can continue to add content or close the Pictures Library Locations window.

manage 5


6. When you are finished, the Photos App displays content you’ve added.



Show and Restore Broken Libraries in Windows 8.1

If you have upgraded to Windows 8.1, you may discover that the Photos – Music – Video’s Apps (one or more of these Apps) reports no content.

Windows 8.0 showed libraries by default in the Classic Desktop Explorer view but does not in Windows 8.1.

How to Show the Libraries in Explorer

1. Open the Classic Desktop

2. Open Windows/File Explorer

3. From the File Menu, select the Navigation Pane

4. Select Show Libraries



Restore Default Libraries

Restoring Default Libraries may allow the Photos- Music – Videos Apps to re-index and display your media files. To do this:

1. Right Click Libraries in the left pane and select Restore Default Libraries



How to Use Non Certified Play To Devices in Windows 8.1

If you read my blog posts this Spring on enabling legacy DMR’s in Windows 8.0, you know that you had to create individual entries and modify them for each device you have in your home.

Gabe Frost from Microsoft has just shared a single Registry key that will enable all your legacy Digital Media Renderers to appear on the Charms/Devices/Play tab in Windows 8.1.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\PlayTo with a DWORD ShowNonCertifiedDevices with value 1 will enabled all your legacy Digital Media Renderers. Without this modification, Windows Store Apps won’t be able to use the Play function to send content to your non certified devices.

I have an older Samsung TV which without this registry key, is not capable of sending mp4’s on my hard drive to my TV using the Device/Play Charm. You can see below that it appears as TV, Not Windows Certified.



As before, your first step is to insure your device works as expected on the Classic Desktop with your Photos, Music, and Videos (depending on the device, not all would be appropriate).

Fire up regedit.exe by typing regedit.exe on the Start screen, acknowledge UAC and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft

Create a NEW key by right clicking Microsoft and name it PlayTo



Once the key is created, right click it and create a new DWord




The new Dword should be named ShowNonCertifiedDevices. After you have created the key, right click, edit and change the value from 0 to 1.


End result: My non certified Samsung TV shows up in the Play menu from the Devices Charm and successfully can send to my TV.



Note: You alternatively could use HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\PlayTo with a DWORD ShowNonCertifiedDevices with value 1 which would limit functionality on a per user basis.

How to Associate Your Web Site With Your Windows Store App


(And how to light up Get this App in Modern UI IE 10 or 11)

I previously posted an article on how to associate your web site with a pinned Live Tile. Today, I’m going to provide some information on how to associate your web site with your Windows Store Application so that visitors can automatically see that you have an app for your site and navigate directly to it in the Windows Store if they wish to install it.

You may have noticed in Windows 8.0 or 8.1 that using the Modern UI version of Internet Explorer that when you select the wrench icon on the AppBar, an entry named Get this App appears, but is greyed out for most sites.

As of today, when you visit you will see that the site is now associated with Barb’s Connected World Blog Reader in the Windows Store.

Enabling this is easy to do (I had to hunt around to find a site actually using this as it is not really documented anywhere.)

I added two lines to header.php in my wordpress theme:

<meta name="msApplication-ID" content="App" />
<meta name="25241Digitalmediaphile.BarbsConnectedWorldBlogRead_m2thxh7x439cm" />

The first entry should be exactly as listed above. The second entry is obtained by examining a computer where the app is installed and getting the name from

C:\Users\YOUR USER NAME\AppData\Local\Packages


In the screen shots below, you can see that the standard wrench icon now has an extra item, signifying that there is extended functionality.

IE11 on Windows 8.1 Preview:

associated with app


Close up view of icon:


ie 11 shortcut menu

IE 10 on Windows 8.0


get app app bar

If you are using the Windows 8.1 Preview and Modern IE 11, and don’t have my app installed, you will see

ie get app when not installed

And on Windows 8.0, using Modern UI IE 10, you will see


ie10 shortcut menu

As you’d expect, when you select Get app for this site, The Windows Store will open and display Barb’s Connected World and you can install the app.

Once my app is installed, if you happen to visit my site and are not using the associated app, you can easily switch TO my app, as shown below in the screen shot using IE 11 on Windows Preview 8.1


when installed on ie11 8.1

Windows 10 users: Read this blog with my PWA (Progressive Web App) from the Windows Store

Read this blog with my Windows 8 App

Get the App