AutoTag 'n Search My Photos Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What are the supported architectures for AutoTag 'n Search My Photos?

    AutoTag 'n Search My Photos is a modern Windows 8 application that runs on any Windows 8 x86/x64 architecture. We do not have a version for Surface RT yet. It is suitable for both touch enabled and non-enabled devices.

    2. What is the minimum memory and processing capability needed for this application?

    We recommend running the application on a powerful tablet, laptop or desktop running Windows 8 or higher.  A min of 4 GB memory is recommended and a min of Intel I-5 core @1.7 GHz.  The faster the processor and the more the memory the better will be the tagging performance.

    3. Why do we need to collect face data?

    When you initially launch the app you will see an opt-in page. Please opt-in as the data we collect will be used to improve the recognition accuracy. If you want to see the data that is being collected you can find it at  C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.AutoTagnSearchMyPhotos_8wekyb3d8bbwe\TempState  

    All data will be stored securely for upto 30 days and will be used solely for improving recognition accuracy.

    4. I've signed into Facebook via the application. Now what?

    AutoTag 'n Search will download tagged photos of you and your friends from Facebook in order to build face models. If you have specified any strong connections in Facebook such as spouse/in a relationship with, siblings, family, close friends, the application will automatically learn them. Otherwise you can always select friends you want to learn using the Learn Faces button.

    5 The application does not complete learning my strong connections. It seems to have got me only. What's happening?

    First check that you have internet connectivity. Please go to Manage Web Credentials and remove your Facebook entry created by AutoTag 'n Search. This
    should pop up a Facebook sign-in page and hopefully this will fix the issue if not send mail to

    6. On first launch the application takes several minutes before I see my profile picture in the learn tile.  What is happening?

    AutoTag 'n Search connects with Facebook and obtains your social graph.  On initial launch it also performs various one time housekeeping functions resulting in the period of no status when the application appears to be doing nothing.

    7. Why does the application only look at Pictures library for tagging?

    The application expects your personal photo collection in Pictures Library for autotagging. However you can have Autotag 'n Search automatically tag photos on OneDrive or your Windows 8 phone by including the OneDrive (named SkyDrive in Windows 8/8.1) folders in Pictures library and making them available offline (in the File Explorer menu).  Your Windows 8 phone pictures are automatically uploaded to OneDrive in the SkyDrive Camera Roll folder and when included in Pictures Library you will see these photos appear in the Pictures Library view within the application.  Note that the top level folder hierarchy of photos in SkyDrive Camera Roll is lost when displayed within the application.  So for example all folders and photos under OneDrive\SkyDrive Camera Roll will appear directly in Pictures Library when included.  The application also does not delineate OneDrive versus local photos as they all appear local for tagging to AutoTag 'n Search My Photos.

    8. Which photos are being tagged automatically? Can I tag specific folders/albums?

    After learning the people you want tagged, the application automatically tags photos in Pictures Library starting with the most recent.  You can let Autotagging proceed and click on tile 3 to view your photos organized by person.  You will see tiles corresponding to people you have learnt as long as they have tagged photos and new people may appear as photos containing them are tagged.  You can stop Autotagging at any time but while Autotagging is in progress you can browse photos, edit and confirm tags and identify Unidentified faces.  To tag a specific folder select pictures library from the drop down menu.  You can select any folder(s) or set of photos and swipe in the app bar to Autotag.  Note this will cancel the automatic Autotagging of most recent photos and tag the specific folder(s)/photo(s) selected.  After Autotagging of the selection is done Autotagging resumes from where it left off. 

     9. How often should I learn my friends?

    If your friends have adequate number of tagged photos in Facebook you'll notice their status in the details pane of their tile will indicate a Face Count that is high (over 50).  For such friends there is no advantage learning them again.  On the other hand for friends whose Face Count is less than 50 you can periodically learn them and if there are new tagged photos of them in Facebook, AutoTag will learn a better model.

    10.  What about certain friends who I learnt but don't appear on tiles?  

    This may be because of either of the reasons below:

    • Your Facebook friend has disallowed apps to access his/her photos
    • Your Facebook friend has set their Timeline and Tagging Settings to Only Me. You can check if this is the case by going to their Facebook photos and noticing that they do not have a Photos of <name> tab visible to you.

    You can still learn a face model for such friends by user-tagging them in a few photos (around 10) if you can't get them to change their Facebook settings OR If such a friend may have photos of them in Facebook tagged and uploaded by other friends (like you) simultaneously select the two friends together and the application will look at the others albums in the friends selector list to learn this friend who has disallowed apps.

    11.  How can I improve tagging accuracy?

    Tagging a folder consists of two phases (1) detecting faces (2) recognizing faces from a  set of faces learnt.  By default the application will assume the scope to be all faces learnt. However you can restrict the scope to a subset (for example if you know a folder has only pictures of you and your family) of people learnt by swiping the app bar and Select Friends and AutoTag  to only the subset of people to be recognized.   If friends are de-selected from the friends selector the face models learnt will persist and can be reused for future tagging when re-selected.  You can also improve accuracy using the  Confirm AutoTags feature and fixing incorrect tags.  Once tags have been confirmed they will disappear from the Confirm AutoTags view. 

    12. I notice several of my friends photos in Facebook are tagged but the application does not show the tags for these photos. Why is that the case?

    The Facebook API does not return all of the tag information pertaining to photos of a person. For now we know we are only getting a subset of tagged photos and continue investigating.

    13.  Sometimes AutoTag does not tag a face but clicking/tapping on the face reveals a set of suggestions.  Why doesn't it always tag a face?

    Based on a confidence threshold the application automatically tags a face if it is over the threshold.  However if it is below and still in a high enough range it displays a set of probable tag names.  If none of them are correct, typing in the box will bring up the auto-complete feature and you can select any tag name from the list of friends. 

    13.  I see two types of tags a green tag and an orange tag.  What do the colors mean?

    First orange tags are AutoTags generated by our application.  The tag is associated with the Facebook ID of the person which means we can propagate tags back to Facebook.  Green tags are tags that the application reads on the photo metadata generated by an external application like OneDrive or Picasa.  When AutoTagging a folder containing external tags, the application will not attempt to AutoTag faces that have an external tag.  This is because we do not want to overwrite any human tagging you may have done and ideally want to leverage your hard work.  How you may ask?   If you choose to you can merge an external tagged (green) Person to an AutoTag managed (orange) person using the Merge Tags app bar button in the photos by person view.  Once merged, these externally tagged faces will be added to the face models of the persons making them richer.

    14. This is great but I want to tag friends/family/kids not on Facebook. Can I do it?

    For friends/family not on Facebook the application can still be used. Edit such a person's face and type in their tag (give them a name). The app then creates a UserCreated person. Associate a few photos of the person using their UserCreated name by editing a few photos with them and now you are ready to select that person into the friends selector list to AutoTag.  Before creating a UserCreated tag ensure that the person is not already in your friends list possibly under a different name to avoid creating multiple tags for the same person. 

    15.  I notice that sometimes a face is completely undetected i.e., AutoTag 'n Search does not even display a bounding box with an Unknown tag.  How can I help?

    Tap or click on the face and a bounding box will appear which you can position on the undetected face and type a tag from the auto complete list of tags known to AutoTag 'n Search or create a new tag if the person is not known to AutoTag 'n Search.

    16. How can I search for all photos containing a group of people say X, Y and Z?

    Use the search box to search across all your photos (Your Facebook albums + Pictures library) using people tags. Searching for "X Y Z" where X,Y, and Z are the tag names of people (i.e., people tags). You can click on any of the search results to view the photo, tags and other metadata for Facebook photos (Likes, Comments etc.). 

    17. I have my camera photos from a recent trip and want to selectively share some of them on Facebook.  Can I do this? 

    Yes absolutely.  Plug your SD card in and copy your camera folder to your pictures library.  Start the AutoTag 'n Search Application and tag the folder just copied.  Once AutoTagged, select Upload to Facebook and choose an existing album or create a new album to upload.  Select pictures to be uploaded and click upload.  You should see the photos with tags being uploaded rightaway. 

    18. I notice for a particular album in Facebook uploading with tags does not propagate the tags.  What is happening here?

    This has to do with a particular setting in Facebook when creating the album.  If you find that tags do not propagate you may need to upload to a different album or change the settings on the album