Picture Library In SharePoint | An Introduction

by | MS SharePoint

In this tutorial, we’ll talk about the picture library in SharePoint and its difference from the document library. Document library is where we can create or upload different types of files like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, DLL files, and so on. It’s like a storage for all types of files.

Picture library is a subset or a different version of a document library which is specifically for images or photos. 

For this example, I’ve created a picture library named Cars

picture library in sharepoint

Picture Library In SharePoint Vs. Document Library

One of the differences between picture library and document library is that when we click the New button, we’ll see that it doesn’t give us an option for creating other types of files. It’ll only give us options for adding a folder, link, and a picture. 

picture library in sharepoint

To upload images to our picture library, just click Upload, then select Files. We can still upload different types of files to the picture library. However, all the metadata for the picture library are also automatically set for images. Hence, adding files like Word, Excel, and other non-related picture files won’t be helpful and won’t make any sense. 

picture library in sharepoint

After that, we can now look for the images that we’d like to upload. For this example, we’ll upload car photos.

As a result, we now have car photos in our picture library. By default, they are displayed via Thumbnails view. 

picture library in sharepoint

We can click on the photos to make them bigger if we want. It’ll also give us options at the top for sharing, copying the link, downloading, deleting, and so on. To view the other photos, we can navigate through them by just clicking the Next button at the bottom right, and X button for closing the photo viewer.

If we want to view the metadata of these images, we can change the view from Thumbnails to List.

Now, we’ll see the metadata of our images. As we can see, we have the default metadata columns here called Picture Size and File Size which are useful for viewing photos or images. This is another difference between picture library and document library. The document library doesn’t have these two metadata columns by default.

picture library in sharepoint

Adding The Picture Library To The Menu

To add this picture library on our menu, just click the Edit option.

picture library in sharepoint

Then, hover over to our menu list and click the + button.

picture library in sharepoint

Add the link to our picture library, set the name to Cars, and click the OK button.

Lastly, click the Save button.

We now have our picture library on our menu that we named as Cars

picture library in sharepoint

***** Related Links *****
Adding Document Library In SharePoint
SharePoint Templates For Document Libraries
Check Out And Check In SharePoint Files


To sum up, the default things on a picture library are related for photos and this library is optimized for pictures or images. Therefore, adding other types of files are not meant for this library.

Since SharePoint knows that this is related to pictures, it loads these images in a way called image rendition. This makes things a lot faster for the user and provides a better user experience, rather than if this was a document library. Hopefully, this was helpful to your SharePoint learning journey.

All the best,


author avatar
Henry Habib
Henry Habib is an accomplished Power Platform and Office 365 trainer, with over 100 hours of recorded content and over 30,000 paid students on e-learning platforms.

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