How to Fix the “These Files Have Properties That Can’t Be Read” Photos Error in Windows 10 & 11

The Microsoft Photos app (Photos Legacy in Windows 11) is an image viewer that also incorporates a video editor. That editor usually enables Photos users to set up video projects. However, some users see this error message when they try to add MP4 files in that video editor, “These files have properties that can’t be read.”

Users can’t add and edit their MP4s in the Photos video editor because of that error. Does the same error pop up when you try to add MP4s in Photos? If it does, this is how you can fix the “properties that can’t be read” issue in Windows 10 and 11.

1. Select the Repair and Reset Options for Photos

The Apps & features tool in Settings includes two troubleshooting options for apps that aren’t working right. Those Repair and Reset options available for the Photos app are worth a try. This is how you can select to repair and reset the Photos app in Windows 11/10.

  1. Open the Apps and features utility inside Settings. You can open this tool using a method from our how to open Apps and features guide.
  2. Click the three-dot menu button for Photos Legacy in Apps and features and select Advanced options. In Windows 10, you’ll need to select Microsoft Photos and click Modify.

  3. First, select the Repair option. Then try adding the MP4 file in Photos again.
    The Repair app button

  4. If the Repair troubleshooting option isn’t effective, click the Reset button. Select Reset a second time to give your confirmation.

2. Delete Previous Video Projects

The “properties that can’t be read” error can arise because of corrupted data from previous video projects in Photos. Some users have resolved that issue by erasing previous video projects in their Photos apps. Delete previous video projects in Photos as follows:

  1. Open the Microsoft Photos app (or Photos Legacy in Windows 11).
  2. Select the Video Editor tab.
  3. Next, select the checkboxes for all video projects there.
  4. Click the Delete (trash) button.
    Selected video projects in Photos

  5. Select the Delete confirmation option.
  6. Close out of Photos, and restart Windows 11.
  7. Then try adding your MP4 files again for a new video project. Select to add each MP4 for the project one at a time instead of all together.

3. Manually Select a Source Folder for the Required Videos

Other Photos users have been able to work around the “properties can’t be read” error by manually selecting a source folder in Photos. Those users selected to add folders that include their clips outside of Photos’ video editor. These are the steps for manually selecting a video source folder:

  1. First, set up a folder that includes all the MP4 files you need for your video project.
  2. Launch the Photos image viewer.
  3. Click the See more menu button in the top-right corner of Photos.|
    The Settings menu option in Photos Legacy

  4. Select Settings on the menu.
  5. Click Add a folder to bring up the selection window.
    The Add a folder button

  6. Select the folder that includes the MP4 video clips you need for the project.
  7. Press the Add this folder to pictures button to import the video clips you need.
  8. Click Video Editor in Photos.
  9. Then try starting a new video project again by clicking New video editor > + Add. Click the From my collection button to select imported MP4 files.
    The From my collection option

4. Reregister Photos

You might need to fix the “properties that can’t be read” error because the Photos app has been deregistered. Reregistering the app will likely resolve the issue if that’s the case. You can reregister Photos with PowerShell like this:

  1. Press Win + S to open the search box.
  2. Type PowerShell inside the search tool.
  3. Select Windows PowerShell’s Run as administrator option.
  4. Execute this command to reregister Photos:
    Get-AppxPackage -allusers Microsoft.Windows.Photos | Foreach Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"
    The reregister Photos command

  5. Then exit PowerShell, and restart your PC.

Windows 11 users will need to input a different command for the Photos Legacy app. To reregister Photos Legacy in Windows 11, you’ll need to replace Microsoft.Windows.Photos in that command with Microsoft.PhotosLegacy_2022.31100.20005.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe. That command looks like this:

Get-AppxPackage -allusers Microsoft.PhotosLegacy_2022.31100.20005.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register

5. Reinstall the Photos App

Reinstalling Photos will give you a fresh new copy of the app. You can’t uninstall Windows 10’s Photos app via Settings, but a PowerShell command will do the job. This is how to reinstall Photos with PowerShell in Windows 10:

  1. Open Windows Powershell as instructed in the first three steps of the preceding resolution.
  2. Then input command for uninstalling Photos and press Return:
    get-appxpackage *photos* | remove-appxpackage
    The Uninstall Photos command

  3. After uninstalling Photos, input the following command to reinstall:
    Get-AppXPackage -allusers | Foreach Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"
    The reinstall apps command

  4. Restart your PC after reinstalling Photos.

Windows 11 users with Photos Legacy can uninstall that app via Settings. To do so, open Apps & features; and click the Uninstall option for Photos Legacy. Then reinstall that app by clicking Get in Store on the Photos Legacy Microsoft Store page and selecting the Install option.

The Microsoft Photos Legacy app page

6. Repair the Video File You Can’t Add in Photos

If none of the other potential fixes in this guide work, there might be an issue with one, or more, of your MP4 files. The MP4 files you can’t add in Photos could be corrupted or damaged. To check if that’s the case, try adding other videos in Photos to see if the same happens for all MP4s. If not, try repairing the broken MP4s the issue arises with the web app in the following steps:

  1. Bring up the web app in your web browser.
  2. Click the Upload your broken video option there.
    The video repair web app

  3. Select an MP4 file for which the “properties that can’t be read” error occurs.
  4. Click Open to upload the selected file. The app will then scan and apply repairs for the corrupted video.
  5. Press the Download Full Video button.

There are plenty of other video repair tools, but is a freely available one. However, not all the most effective Windows video repair software packages are freeware. Our best video repair apps guide tells you about some of the best Windows software for repairing MP4s and other clip formats.

7. Roll Back Windows With System Restore

System Restore is a tool that rolls Windows back to a system snapshot for a previous date. That utility might help you fix the “properties that can’t be read” if it’s enabled on your PC. Selecting a restore point that predates that Photos error on your PC could resolve the matter. Your best bet is to choose the oldest restore point available. You can roll back Windows as covered in our guide on utilizing System Restore for Windows.

The System Restore tool

Set up Exciting Video Projects in Photos Again

The “properties that can’t be read” error isn’t always straightforward to fix. However, the potential resolutions in this guide have resolved that video-editing issue for some Photos users. So, maybe one will fix the video editor in your Photos app as well. However, remember that there are also plenty of other alternative video editors (both freeware and proprietary software) you can use instead of Photos.

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