Fix: How to Remove the Photos Media Engine Add-on

The ‘Photos Media Engine add-on’ is an add-on to the Microsoft Photos app and it enhances the Photos app search functionality. You may fail to uninstall the add-on from the Control Panel or Settings app as it is not available in the programs list.

The issue arises when the user suddenly gets a message that Photos Media Engine Add-on is installed after connecting a USB device (with photos) on it but the user cannot find/uninstall the Photos Media Engine Add-on like a normal program (from the Control Panel/Settings).

How To Remove the “Photos Media Engine Add-on”

You can try the following solutions to remove the Photos Media Engine Add-on but before that, make sure the Windows of your system is updated to the latest build. Also, make sure all the Windows Store apps (especially the Photos app) is updated to the latest build.

Solution 1: Uninstall the Photos Media Engine Add-on from the System’s Settings

The Photos Media Engine is an add-on to the Photos app and you may uninstall it from the system’s settings.

  1. Press the Windows key and open Settings.
  2. Now open Apps and expand Microsoft Photos. Then click on Advanced Options.
    Open Apps in the Windows Settings
  3. Then expand Photos.DLC.MediaEngine in the section of App Add-ons & Downloadable Content and click on Uninstall.
    Open Advanced Options of Microsoft Photos
  4. Now let the uninstallation complete and then check if the add-on issue is resolved.
    Uninstall Photos.DLC.MediaEngine Add-on
  5. If the issue reappears, then check if uninstalling the add-on (steps 1 to 3) and Resetting the Photos app together (keep in mind the app data will be lost) resolves the problem.
    Reset the Microsoft Photos App

Solution 2: Use the PowerShell (Admin) to Uninstall the Photos Media Engine Add-on

If the issue reappears after uninstalling the add-on, then you may use the PowerShell (Admin) to get rid of the add-on but it may uninstall the Photos app altogether.

  1. Launch the Power User menu (by right-clicking on the Windows button) and choose the PowerShell (Admin) option (click Yes if UAC prompt received). You can also try the same command in an elevated Command Prompt.
    Open Windows PowerShell (Admin)
  2. Now execute the following (make sure to press the Enter key afterward):
    get-appxpackage Microsoft.Windows.Photos | remove-appxpackage
    Uninstall Microsoft Photos App Through the Windows PowerShell
  3. Then let the process finish and hopefully, the add-on issue is resolved.

If the issue persists or the add-on reappears, then you may have to stop the Exe file of the add-on from launching (be extremely careful, as these steps may cause non-recoverable damage to your system) but you may have to take ownership of the installation directory of the WindowsApps folder in the system’s drive. You may disable the inherited permissions, remove all the permissions except read/write for your user account (make sure to replace the permissions on all the child objects) for the Add-on folder (in the WindowsApps folder).


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.