Once you've taken some great shots, don't leave them languishing somewhere on your hard drive, never to be found again. We show you how to add tags and organise your images in Windows.

Step 1

Metadata is information held about an image, such as the camera used, the exposure time and most importantly any tags associated with it. Tags are searchable keywords that can help you group together similar images.

Click on a photo in Explorer to see its tags at the bottom of the window.

Step 2

To add a tag, click on a photo in Windows Explorer, then click the Tags field at the bottom of the window. Enter a descriptive term, multiple tags should be separated with semicolons.

To later find that image or similar photos, enter tag: x (where x is the descriptive term you chose earlier) in Windows Explorer's search field.

Step 3

Alternatively, open the photo library and select Tag from the 'Arrange by' menu. A list of available tags and thumbnails of associated images will be displayed. Select the tag you're looking for.

To see the file information, including the number of pictures with that tag, right click a blank spot in the folder and select View, Details.

Step 4

If you're still running Windows XP, several free tools can help you manage your photo library. Windows Live Photo Gallery, part of Windows Live Essentials, lets you batch convert photos, perform quick fixes, add tags and share the best images on Flickr, YouTube and Facebook.

Step 5

Download and install Windows Live Essentials Photo Gallery. You'll need to enter a Windows Live ID, registration is free if you don't have one. The software then trawls through your hard drive and displays any images it finds. Click an image to view its tags.

Step 6

To add a tag, click on a thumbnail and edit the information displayed on the right. Click underneath the title 'Descriptive tags', enter your chosen keyword(s) and hit return.

Alternatively, you can add 'People tags' - the software counts the number of faces in the image and lets you assign each one a name.

Step 7

You can also give each photo a caption and a star rating - click a photo and adjust the metadata displayed on the righthand side of the window. To search for a set of tagged images, enter your keyword in the search box. To search for multiple tags you should separate each keyword with a forward slash (/).

Step 8

Windows Live Essentials Photo Gallery also lets you make basic edits. Select an image and click Fix at the top of the window. Options are then available to adjust the image's colour and exposure, to crop or straighten it, fix red-eye and add filters or turn the photo black and white.