Image Restoration Center Blog Logo

How To Use Digital Photo Frames: A Basic Guide

Digital photo frames are often touted as the future of photography because of their many features. From multiple photo displays to time and music controls, they’re a wonderful, nostalgic addition to anyone’s home. But how do you make the most of their special features, and is there a way to resize old, damaged images for a photo frame?

How do digital picture frames work, and how can you make the most of their features? our simple guide will tell you everything you need to know. From displaying the right orientation to maximizing sound and display options, these simple tips will teach you how to use a digital photo frame.

What Is A Digital Picture Frame?

How To Use Digital Photo Frames

A digital photo frame is designed to look like a physical frame for pictures. However, instead of displaying physical photos, the frame has a CPU, an LCD monitor, a power component (e.g. AC charger or battery), and a memory component (e.g. USB hard drive or memory card) for displaying your digital photo album.

The CPU (central processing unit) is similar to what you have in your computer. This basic processor downloads and reads photo or audio files, then displays them on the screen. Your digital picture frames can be set up in either landscape or portrait orientation.

All digital photo frames will also have a set amount of built-in memory. Others will have an SD memory card slot that allows you to increase the storage capacity.

Once you’ve set up your frame on a surface or on a wall, it’s ready to start displaying images or playing slideshows of its contents.

What To Look For In Digital Frames

digital frames

All digital photo frames rely on a few basic components: the processor, the memory input, and the power input. But not all photo frames have the same specifications or features! These added benefits come at an extra cost, but they can also make them more convenient for displaying your photos.


Digital frames work no differently from a very basic media player on your computer. The frame has a processor that reads pictures in common digital formats like JPG, BMP, and TIFF. You can feed pictures into the frame through different means, typically through internal or external storage.

Most digital frames will have their own internal storage, but you can store and display more photos through external storage input. External storage options include a memory card reader, syncing folders through a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection, or a USB memory stick.

By using external storage, hundreds or even thousands of images can be stored on a digital frame depending on image quality and size.


A frame’s output determines how it will display and organize the audio and video files. Display orientation and transition effects are also two things you should consider.

Basic frames are really simple to set up without external input from your computer. However, if your frame’s input comes from Wi-Fi syncing, you’ll be able to edit playback, slideshow, and transition features on your computer. Check your chosen frame to see if it allows you to customize displays on the frame itself using installed software, or if you’ll have to connect to your computer.

Another output feature to look at is orientation. While all frames have a default orientation, others may have an orientation sensor – this changes how your pictures are displayed depending on how you hold it.

Some digital photo frames even have built-in image resizing for your pictures, transforming them into the right screen size and aspect ratios. This allows you to fit the image without compromising picture quality.


A digital photo frame may run solely on AC power or batteries. Though a battery may seem like an expensive option for your digital photo frame, it could save you money in the long run if you travel a lot or want more flexibility in where you can display your images. If portability is essential for you, look for digital photo frames that have a battery option.

Resize And Crop Your Photos To Fit

The first thing to do when optimizing your digital photos so they’re fit to display is to make sure they’re the right size. For instance, your digital picture frame’s resolution is 1920×1080, but your photos are in 2048×1536. If you display them as-is, they’ll appear stretched or distorted.

To fix this problem, you need to resize and crop these pictures so they fit the frame’s resolution. When you adjust photos properly, they’ll fit better into the frames. You may also end up saving storage space, allowing you to store and display more photos.

Additional Features

The best digital image frames offer extra bells and whistles, such as clock and calendar options. Some of them even come with their own camera, where you can take photos stored onto their memory card for instant display.

A select few models even allow you to print your favorite images. Guests or visitors can simply press the print feature to print their chosen image, then the device’s cloud storage will send it for printing through a connected printer. It’s a tech-savvy way of sharing your memories with other people!

Keep in mind that these additional features often come with a higher price tag. If you’re on a budget, really consider whether you’ll actually use these capabilities before you buy.

Tips For Making The Most Of Digital Picture Frames

Not all photo frames have the same display options. To find out how to use a digital photo frame, have a look at its instruction manual and check out our tips below!

Mind Your Storage

Wondering how to put pictures on a digital picture frame? The first thing you need to check is the memory input of your digital frame device. Your device may only display JPEG images on a card using a memory card reader, or it may rely on a flash drive plugged into a USB port for pictures.

Find out which option your frame uses before you buy one. If you don’t have extra memory cards or USB port devices, this is an additional expense that you’ll have to factor in. To save space, compress the images. Compression shrinks the file sizes, allowing you to store and display more photos.

The latest products also allow photo frames to sync directly to a computer using a Wi-Fi connection. By syncing to your computer or cloud storage, your digital photo frames will have more space for photos in its internal memory. These frames can be more expensive, but they get rave reviews for portability and easy customization. Check your Wi-Fi connectivity options to see if you can sync your chosen frame with JPEG images on your computer.

Convert Your Family Pictures To A Universal Format

Some photo frames won’t read the file extensions of certain software, such as PSD. If your digital frame doesn’t specify what file extension it supports, save your images on your USB thumb drive in a universal format like JPG. This will ensure that all of your photos on your USB flash drive or memory cards will be properly displayed on different digital frames.

Take Advantage Of The Slideshow Feature

Many digital frames have a slide show feature. This setting changes your displayed images automatically after a set period of time. The transitions for images may even vary from frame to frame – some use a simple dissolve effect, while others have dynamic changes between pictures!

Check your device instructions to find out the interval for displaying photo files. You can also customize some slideshow features using your frame’s remote control, if it comes with one. Have a look at the instruction and buying guide to find out how you can set timer controls.

Verify Your Digital Picture Frame Orientation And Aspect Ratio

Check the default orientation of your digital photo frame. Some photo frames only have a horizontal landscape orientation. Other frames allow a vertical orientation for photos but at a smaller size. This will help you decide before you buy one for your home or for gifting.

A keychain-sized frame is more portable and easily viewed on the go. It can also be more forgiving for lower-quality photos, but the smaller size keeps you from displaying more detailed images. A larger one can be as big as a computer monitor, but the problem with this larger display is that it will make lower-quality photos look grainy. Size differences have their trade-offs, so choose wisely depending on their intended purpose!

Your frames may also come with a set size range. There’s no standard size for digital frames – some are less than 2 inches, but they can get as big as 20 inches. Digital frame sizes are measured diagonally, so take this into consideration when cropping and resizing your photos for display. For example, a digital photo that measures 7 inches corresponds to the standard photo print size of 4 inches x 6 inches, while a photo that measures 9 inches diagonally can display photos measuring 5 inches x 7 inches.

Find Out If Your Frame Has Stereo Speakers And Audio Options

Check if your frame for digital pictures has options for audio files. Some models allow you to play music as the slide show progresses and the pictures scroll. Take care to check which audio files are accepted by your digital photo frame’s memory card or USB reader. You may be dismayed upon realizing that things can’t be played because the product can’t read the file extension!

When in doubt, a universal file extension like MPEG, WMA, and AVI are best for audio files on your memory card. These can be placed in your USB flash drives or SD card along with your chosen images. No need for separate folders!

Take Care When Cleaning Your Digital Photo Frame

When cleaning your digital photo frame LCD screen, you’ll need specific cleaning tools. Check your digital picture frame care instructions before choosing a cleaning material.

If there are no materials specified, a good rule of thumb for any customer is to use products that you would use for a laptop screen or LCD monitor. This way, you ensure that your digital picture frame remains in tiptop shape! In most cases, a dry cotton cloth or a partially dampened electrostatic wipe will do.

Bothered by a pesky thumbprint on your images? Most people who want to view your photo and video files will end up touching the screen, but thankfully, fingerprints are an easy issue to remedy. Your picture frame fingerprints can be removed using just a damp cloth. When you’re cleaning, make sure that you apply the water directly to the cloth instead of the device screen.

Resize And Restore Photos For Digital Picture Frames!

A digital picture frame is a perfect gift for those who love to reminisce. Help your friends and family cherish special moments with the right digital photo frame. With so many options for display, music, and photo transition, it’s sure to please many relatives who care about preserving these treasured memories.

You can restore and resize photos for digital frames at Image Restoration Center. We can enhance, crop, and recolor your photos to look their best in digital photo frames of every size. With our help, you’ll learn how to put pictures on digital photo frame gifts and make all your loved ones smile!

share this post