15 Things You May Not Know You Can Do In Mac Photos

The Mac Photos app has some deep functionality and even regular users may not know some of these tips. Learn how to search by photo contents, convert Live Photos to long exposure pictures, export contact sheet PDFs, adjust and filter videos, create multiple libraries and much more.

Comments: 12 Responses to “15 Things You May Not Know You Can Do In Mac Photos”

    Joe
    3 weeks ago

    Gary,
    I’ve been enjoying your tutorials for 10 years now, but this will be my first comment/question for you. I have an M1 Mini -OS 11.2.3 -Photos ver 6.0. But I don’t have the editing tool for adjusting the background of portraits. I do have the lighting options at the bottom of edit mode. I often use the aperture control on my iPhone 11 to adjust the background. A web search didn’t offer any clues why my background editing function is not an option. Any thoughts on why it is missing? Thanks!

    3 weeks ago

    Joe: Have you tried it on a variety of portrait photos, taken with your iPhone 11 and perhaps older iPhones? I noticed editing options missing from photos taken with older iPhones. There are probably other factors as well.

    Joe
    3 weeks ago

    I checked portraits taken with the 7Plus, X, 11 and 11Pro. None of mine have the background adjustment or the other Portrait tweaks at the bottom either… perhaps that functionality is available with the 12 series? A reason to upgrade my 11 I suppose… I edit a lot in Photos so that feature is something I would really use, rather than adjusting the aperture while taking the photos on the fly, or using a Bokah app. Thanks again for all the insights you’ve provided. Keep up the great work!

    3 weeks ago

    Joe: Definitely not just an iPhone 12 thing as the images I’m showing here are from the iPhone 11.

    Russ Winkler
    3 weeks ago

    Hi Gary. If I create a new photos library, then how do I move some photos from the older library to the new library? Can this be done? Thanks.

    3 weeks ago

    Russ: You would export from one library to files, then import into the other library. It isn’t easy or clean, which is why you’d want to have a good reason to have multiple libraries. Also, only one library can be your iCloud one. So for the vast majority of people, they should have one library. But in some cases it makes sense. Like if you want a library to keep work photos separate, like if you are a real estate agent and take photos of houses for work, or you take an occasional gig photographing events that shouldn’t be part of your personal photo library.

    Georgette
    2 weeks ago

    Hi Gary,
    Is there a way to backup your photos directly to an external drive? Such as in the procedure using Google Photos. Once a photo appears in Photos it is automatically entered in Google photos.

    2 weeks ago

    Georgette: Time Machine will back up the Photos on your drive just like it backs up everything else. Not sure what you have set up with Google Photos though.

    Ellen
    2 weeks ago

    Thank you Gary from the bottom of my heart. That was the BEST ONE EVER (as far as I’m concerned). I have recently bought a new MacBook Air and you have answered so many of my questions. I am now floating on air.

    Daniel Gourdellier
    1 week ago

    5. Edit with external app
    I have the most recent version 6.0 of Photos.app
    Now the button on the right of the Information button is no longer the extension button, but a share button.
    With a right click on a photo, I have a “modify with…” item, and in the list of apps I see Preview.app and others, but I can’t find “Markup” which was very convenient.
    What’s wrong ?
    Thank you for your advice

    1 week ago

    Daniel: It sounds like you are just viewing the photo, not editing it. Click the Edit button, then you’ll see the … button.

    Daniel Gourdellier
    7 days ago

    Thank you Gary, I was wrong, no problem

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