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 universal Windows 8.1 application that runs on any Windows 8.1 x86/x64/ARM architecture. 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 8.1.  A min of 4 GB memory is recommended.  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 application 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 my Photos will download tagged photos of you and your strong connections 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 My Photos.  You may need to close the application and wait for a few seconds to see the cached entry in the Manage Web Credentials UI.  Also remove other extraneous Facebook entries if they exist.  On relaunching the application, this
    action 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 my Photos 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. You can have the application automatically tag photos on OneDrive or your Windows phone by including the OneDrive folders in Pictures library.  Your Windows 8 phone pictures are automatically uploaded to OneDrive in the 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 Camera Roll is lost when displayed within the application.  So for example all folders and photos under OneDrive\SkyDrive Camera Roll will appear in the application Pictures Library view without the top level SkyDrive Camera Roll folder when included.  The application also does not delineate OneDrive versus local photos as they all tagged locally by the application.

    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 ones.  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 left bar.  You can select any folder(s) or set of photos and hit the Autotag button on the appbar.  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 learn the friends together and the application will look at the others albums in the friends selector list to learn the person 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 recognition scope to a subset (for example if you know a folder has only pictures of you and your family taken on a vaction) of people learnt by choosing the Select Friends and AutoTag button in the appbar.   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 'n Search my Photos 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 suggestions.  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 blue tag.  What do the colors mean?

    First blue tags are AutoTags generated by the 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 user generated 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 (blue) 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 application 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 in 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.  There is no

    15.  I notice that sometimes a face is completely undetected i.e., the application does not display a bounding box with an Unknown tag.  Can I help the application see that it has missed detecting the face?

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

    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 and Comments). 

    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.

    19. Are there any known issues with the application?

    Yes this is a Beta version of the application and has several known issues.  Sometimes the application may hang in the blue splash screen.  Just close the application wait for a few seconds and restart the application and you should be on your way.  Another known issue is that sometimes after the first launch experience is completed and the user has progressed to the home page and closed the application and restarted it goes back to the first launch experience.  This is fine and you can stop learning and progress to tile 3 to the home page.  Sometimes a page load may take a long time especially if you have several thousand photos or when the application is doing a lot of work (like background tagging, learning or merging) while browsing.  Please be patient or reload the page! There are several annoyances such as the touch to select a name in the search dropdown is sensitive to where you touch and the search in the photoview details does not work.