Windows 11 Photos gets background blur and motion photo support

The Windows 11 Photos app is getting a blue background, and the Launcher is also getting Canary notes and Dev insiders.


  • Microsoft is introducing Blur Background in the Windows 11 Photos app, allowing users to easily apply blur to show the background of their photos.
  • The Photos app now includes content search, making it easy to find photos stored in your OneDrive account by searching for keywords or locations.
  • The Capture tool has been updated to recognize text on images, allowing users to copy and paste text from captured images. It also includes features such as resetting private information and accessing and editing photos from Android devices on PC via Phone Link.

Microsoft is releasing two major updates to the original Windows 11 software. Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels can now test the bugs in the Windows 11 graphics program. Also tested are the new Snipping Tool updates, which will now allow you to copy text from your photos.

To begin with, it’s a familiar feature, the Background setting in Windows 11’s Photos app works in a similar way to the controls you may have heard of on the Google Pixel or iPhones. Now, when you open an image in Edit mode, you can choose a new Blur Background option. The Photos app will zoom in, highlight your subject, and use blur. If you want, you can change the size by choosing the Blue Intensity and increase the texture of the image with the Brush Tool, to reduce the blurry areas, or to make it stronger. See it in action below.

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This is just one change in the Photos App. Microsoft has also added a search feature for photos that appear in the Photos app that may have been stored in your OneDrive account. You can use the search bar at the top to look for things like Car, Beach, or Vacation. Additionally, you can search where the photo was taken, too. Smaller changes include support for Samsung and Google Motion Photo, support for portraits, and photos that don’t look pixilated when zoomed in on a large object.

What’s being released today are different versions of the Launcher and Phone Link in Canary and Dev modes. snipping Tool version 11.2308.33.0 can now detect text in your captured images. This allows you to copy and paste any text you may have on an image. This is done by clicking the Text Actions button on the toolbar to display the selected text. Text Actions even now has the option to change the privacy settings on the screen, just choose Quick React.

Finally, with Phone Link version 1.23082.123.0, Microsoft is bringing the ability to access and edit photos from your Android device on your PC. You will see a notification and you will be able to open it in the Launcher.

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