The Mouse Trap – My favorite way to organize photos

Janis Weber

(You may want to save this article!)

Photos can become a hassle to handle. All those pictures we take because we can, oh my! Let’s get them organized once and for all. It is not that hard but it can be time-consuming. No time is better than today, but no hurry to get them done in one sitting. Pictures are saved as a .jpg, the extension you may not ordinarily see.

First, find all your pictures and move them to one folder. Your machine already has a pictures folder and you can use that. It makes no difference what order they are in at this point. Just get them all. They can be hiding in downloads, emails, wrongly saved in documents or other folders too. File Explorer has a quick trick for searching for these different types of documents. It’s not exactly hidden, but most people never bother with it.

To see all of your pictures at one time, no matter where they reside, do this exactly. Open FILE EXPLORER, then click on THIS PC, then click in the search box at the very top right-hand side of the window (It will have a tiny magnifying glass as a reminder that this is a search box.)

Now type this exactly in the box: *.JPG (asterisk/period/characters JPG). Press the blue arrow, or just press the ENTER key. This exercise may take a half hour, especially if yours looks anything like mine. When the gathering was done, I had 76,000 pictures in JPG. I did it again using the letters JPEG and found another 100. This total may not reflect pictures in your cloud representing your phone images. FYI, you can use your computer while this is going on as long as you don’t touch your pictures files. I would just leave it alone, personally.

When the JPG search is done there will be a total at the bottom left corner of the window. These are all the jpg results. Stop.

Next, we are going to select all of these pictures and move them to the one central folder, like the one called PICTURES. Carefull! If you lose the results list, you will have to start over.

Start by tapping on the VIEW tab at the top left menu. Click on DETAILS. You will see columns of information sorted by a title at the top of each column. Let’s add more columns. Click on ADD COLUMNS in the dropdown list and make sure there is a check mark by NAME, DATE CREATED, TYPE, SIZE and FOLDER. Everything will just fall in line by itself. Stop and just admire your work.

Ok, now let’s select all and MOVE. I hope you have not lost anything yet. Click on the HOME tab at the top left menu. Click on SELECT ALL at the end of the row of home items. Everything will turn blue because they are ALL selected. Keep the arrow inside the blue area. Remain on the Home tab and locate the yellow icon at the top that says MOVE TO. Click on that. Within the dropdown choose PICTURES. Witness all your pictures flying to the designated folder.

Go to the Pictures folder in your File Explorer. You should see a lot more items here now. There may even be duplicates. We will deal with them later. Let’s sort the pictures by date created. Go to View and tap on details so you can see the headers on the columns. Right click on the phrase DATE CREATED. It may take a bit, but all your pictures will be sorted by the date taken. Notice the oldest or newest is at the top. Press the DATE CREATED again and you can reverse the order. The exact date the picture was created will show, allowing you to select let’s say everything from 2018.

Stay in the pictures folder. Create a sub-folder called 2018. Now select all the pictures from 2018. Click on CUT, then open the empty 2018 folder and select PASTE. If you are not crazy by now, you just moved an entire year to a designated year folder. Now you can create a sub-folder within 2018 that says 01; that represents all photos taken in January of that year. Grab the January 2018 photos and cut them followed by paste in the new folder called January. Do this for each month of the year.

From now on, when saving pictures take the extra time to place them in the correct folders you just made. You can rename the pictures another time or ask me. I can help put them in groups for easy searching later. Have fun!

Definition of The Day

JPG photo extension is the exact same thing as JPEG except for the format they were saved as. 98 percent will be JPG which means Joint Photographic (EXPERTS) Group.

I Make House Calls (I am fully vaccinated and masked if requested)

I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades, and personal software tutoring. I can be your resident “geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Give me a text or call at 419-290-3570. FYI, I will be holding classes at The Sylvania Senior Center beginning in October. Check its website for details.


Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training & Support, is a professional computer adjunct instructor. E-mail any specific questions or comments to or contact her for assistance at 419-290-3570. Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call, text, or email away. Classes begin at the Sylvania Senior Center in October. Check its website for details.

Leave a Reply