How to clear tag suggestions

I’m a pretty hardcore tag’er.  I tag all my photos & videos which helps me quickly find them later when I want to show someone a specific file in my growing collection.  Of course tagging helps when I upload my photos online too, like to FlickrWindows Live Photo Gallery makes is very, very easy to tag your items but sometimes mistypes happen. 

Well, we’ve heard about some users occasionally experiencing a pesky little problem with the auto-suggest tag feature in the Info Pane.  Here’s the setup… you’re tagging some photos and you mistype a tag (e.g., you meant to type "Mom", but instead you typed "Nom" or something like that).  You deleted the bogus tag from the Tag list in the navigation tree (left pane in the program), but this bogus tag still shows up in this suggested list of tags in the Info Pane’s tag edit box.  So, whenever you go to tag a photo the auto-suggest list shows "Nom" with the other recently used tags.  Ack!

While we don’t have a one-click way to remove these yet, there is a manual way to do it.  First, this is a screenshot showing the auto-suggested tags when I clicked in the Tag edit box for this photo.  I want to get rid of the "t" suggested tag.


The workaround requires you open up the registry so the standard "beware" clause should be injected here…

Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.

Ok, now that is out of the way here’s what you can do:

  1. Close Windows Live Photo Gallery.
  2. Go to Start | Run | type regedit and hit Enter. (On Vista you’ll be prompted by the User Account Control dialog if you aren’t logged in as the local administrator.)
  3. In the Registry Editor browse to this location: HKEY_CURRENT_USERS\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Photo Gallery\Library\PreviewPane\LabelAssignment\MRU
  4. In the right pane you should see the list of tags that show up in the auto-suggest list.  You can delete the one(s) you don’t want.
  5. When you’re finished, close Registry Editor and open Photo Gallery.

Here’s a visual of Registry Editor browsed to the location I mentioned above:


Keep in mind, doing this manual workaround does not delete actual Tags from files or the Photo Gallery database.  So, even if you remove all the items in this list from this registry location, your actual tags remain untouched.  This only clears the auto-suggest list.

Hope this helps!  Happy tagging.

– Michael Palermiti (Program Manager)

Comments (8)

  1. Ross Snowden says:

    This is one of the little details that should be addressed in future updates to Live Photo Gallery.

  2. Shresht1993 says:

    Yeah. Small details should be taken care of.

    Such as the directory of the ‘Shared videos’ in XP (Not sure what it does in Vista) but somehow when selecting ‘Shared Videos’ as the import location, it shows the entire path to the file rather than just the file name.

    Another small thing: Emoticons in Messenger display names aren’t supported in Photo gallery, could this be added? :p

    More stuff: You should be able to select file types customly. Like, I like to open TIF in the Default XP Picture and Fax viewer because it has some useful tools for TIF files. If i click ‘No’ in the single dialog box, i have to configure the ‘Always use Windows live photo gallery to open this file type’ independently for each file type. Make a "File Types" tab in the options, allowing us to select whatever we want to use WLX as our default viewer.

    Another little thing: Ability to customly select and de-select folders to include in the gallery. There’s no way to remove "My Pictures" and all its cousins, for instance.

    Another little request: Facebook uploading support. Please. With sugar and cherries on top? ^_^

  3. jjb1962 says:

    There is undo/revert for individual photo edits but nothing for batch changes. I just made a batch "mistake" so what do I do? Picasa prompted me for saves but WLPG doesn’t do that for batch changes.

    One other thing: Would be great to have more advanced search box (search for filename, etc.).

  4. kkuphal says:

    This works great for the most recently used, but what about the auto-complete list that comes up as you type a tag?  I have a number of misspellings in there that I cannot seem to get rid of.

  5. mfp2 says:

    @Shresht1993: Thanks for the feedback and feature suggestions.  They are noted!

    @jjb1962: Thanks for the feedback and suggestions too.

    @kkuphal: The auto-complete is based on tags in your tag list.  If you’re seeing items you don’t want there, you should check the list of tags in the navigation tree for these items and delete the ones you don’t want.



  6. pocketDragon says:


    this isn’t directly related to your article, but since you mentioned tags…

    I would be really usefull if you to tag selected photos by draging the tag onto the photos in addition to the current method of draging the photos onto the tag. For me, at least, it’s a lot easier to drop the small tag precisely onto a photo that to drop a relatively large thumbnail, even though it is translucent, onto a relatively tiny tag.

    Hopefully someone has already thought of this and I’m just adding my vote to the feature balance.

    Otherwise I love the software.



  7. kkuphal says:


    If you click on "My URL" you’ll see a screenshot of what I’m referring to with the bad tags on the right and my entire photo list sorted by tag in the middle with those misspellings not present.


  8. pmbAustin says:

    That’s all well and good… but I have a different issue.  It seems there’s no mechanism for keeping the list of tags in sync with the actual pictures.

    I just installed Windows Live Photo Gallery.  Apparnetly it included a few sample gallery pictures that were tagged to hell (adding hundreds of tags to the list).  None of my existing photos (10,000 of them) are tagged.  I deleted the sample pictures, so now I have a list of tags in the left pane with HUNDREDS of tags, NONE of which refer to any actual pictures I have.  

    How do I clear that list?  The only way I’ve found is to laboriously delete them one by one.  I cannot multi-select and delete them, and I cannot find any way to say "Hey, resynchronize the tag list here with the actual tags in the photos" …

    How can something so fundamental as cleaning up unused tags have been left out for so long?  Am I missing something?