Photo Handling

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1

Photo handling assessment measures the time that it takes to complete common photo-related tasks, such as viewing, searching and manipulating a set of photos. The purpose of this assessment is to enable comparison of the photo handling experience across computers and to diagnose any performance issues with software and drivers that affect the photo handling experience. In interactive tasks such as photo viewing and manipulation, response times are very important for user satisfaction. Therefore, this assessment mainly uses response times to measure the user experience.

The following graphic illustrates the Photo Handling assessment process.

In this topic:

  • Before You Begin

  • Workloads

  • Settings

For more information about results and issues produced by this assessment, see Results for the Photo Handling Assessment.

Before You Begin


The first-run help tips in Windows 8.1 can negatively affect assessment results. To disable these, run the following command from an elevated command prompt, and reboot the computer:
reg.exe add "HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\EdgeUI" /v DisableHelpSticker /t REG_DWORD /d "1" /f


Run this assessment only while the desktop is full screen. Do not run this assessment if you have another Windows Store app opened side-by-side with the desktop.


When running this assessment on Windows 8.1, make sure the Collect Analysis Trace setting is unchecked when assessing expected battery life. When checked, this option will produce an incorrect estimation.
Enable analysis trace collection only when you need additional information to investigate other energy-related problems.

To prepare to run the assessment, follow these steps:

  • Avoid touching the mouse or keyboard after the assessment job starts. Any user interaction with the computer causes the assessment to fail.

  • If your computer is using a VGA video driver, update to a newer driver version before you run the assessment.

  • Do not run the assessment over Terminal Services, also known as Remote Desktop. Running the assessment remotely may affect the accuracy of the measurements.

  • Do not run on battery power during the assessment, except when the assessment is running as a workload in a battery run down test.

System requirements

You can run this assessment only on the Windows 8 operating system.

Supported architectures include x86-based, x64-based, and ARM-based systems.

You can run this assessment on a Windows RT system in either of the following ways:


A workload is a set of automated tasks that simulate user activity in a predefined, repeatable manner. The workloads run independent of each other. You can select any combination of these workloads to run during the assessment. This assessment measures durations and throughput for each workload that you use, and stores the metrics in the results file.

The following table describes the workloads that are available for this assessment.

Workload Description

Explorer Experience Workload

Specifies whether the assessment runs the Explorer Experience workload. This workload measures core actions that occur in File Explorer, such as view changes and sorting of photos. By default, this check box is selected.

Photo Manipulation Workload

Specifies whether the assessment runs the Photo Manipulation workload. This workload measures core photo manipulation actions by simulating Windows Photo Viewer operations such as opening a photo, zooming, cropping, and saving changes. By default, this check box is selected.


The Photo Handling assessment can also be used as a workload in an energy efficiency job. When the Photo Handling assessment runs as a workload it uses the photo dataset to perform basic file functions in File Explorer. However, the assessment does not collect photo-handling metrics. For more information about energy efficiency jobs, see Create and Run an Energy Efficiency Job.


Microsoft defines the recommended settings so that you can compare the results across multiple computer configurations or over time on the same computer. When you review the results, the run information includes metadata that indicates whether the assessment used the recommended settings.

You can also customize the settings for an assessment, if you want to gather data that is different from the default data. For example, you might identify specific data that would help you perform a detailed analysis of a particular aspect of the computer.

The following table describes the assessment settings, recommended values, and alternative values for each setting.

Setting Description

Use recommended settings

Specifies whether the assessment uses the recommended settings. By default, this check box is selected. To change the settings for this assessment, you must first clear this check box.


Specifies the run location of the assessment. By default, the assessment uses the photo dataset that is in the AssessmentData folder. You can also specify a location that is different from the default location to use a custom photo dataset. Be aware of the following configuration implications:

  • If you do not define a content path by using the Content Path setting, the local path must be a relative path to the %TEMP%\ PhotoAssessment{9EFF6A22-7006-48E5-8DF7-7C15796237F6}\AssessmentData folder or an absolute path.

  • If you define a content path by using the Content Path setting, the %TEMP%\ PhotoAssessment{9EFF6A22-7006-48E5-8DF7-7C15796237F6}\AssessmentData folder must not exist.

Content Path

Specifies the current location from which the assessment job copies the photo dataset. By default, the folder is {ADK Installation Root}\Content based Assessments\Contents\PhotoAssessment\PhotoData. You can use the default or specify a different folder. If you supply your own test content, the assessment supports the use of a network folder.


Specified the number of times that the assessment runs. By default, the value is 1. To run the assessment multiple times and see the average values of these runs, increase this value.

When you are running the assessment by using the default iteration value, the results that appear for most metrics are averages. In cases where the same action is repeated two or three times, even running the assessment with a single iteration can produce averages in the results.

Keep Local Content

Specifies whether the assessment keeps the photo corpus in the destination directory. By default, this check box is cleared.

This parameter applies only if you have defined a content path by using the Content Path setting.

See Also


Create and Run an Energy Efficiency Job


Results for the Photo Handling Assessment
File Handling

Other Resources

Windows Assessment Toolkit Technical Reference
Windows Assessments Console Step-by-Step Guide