Creating Smart Albums In Photos

Learn how to create smart albums in the new Photos app for Mac. Smart albums allow you to specify criteria like title, camera model, date and other things to build an album automatically. Smart Albums will automatically update as you add new photos to your library that match the criteria. You can combine Smart Albums and keywords to organize your photos.

Comments: 21 Responses to “Creating Smart Albums In Photos”

    Richard Fuhr
    4 years ago

    Can a photo ever be automatically removed from a smart album? For instance, suppose you have created a smart album with the criterion to include all photos created within the past 30 days. When you first create the album, there may be photos that match this criterion, but as time goes on, some of the photos will be more than 30 days old. Will these photos be automatically removed from the smart album?

      4 years ago

      Yes. Think of a Smart Album as a “search” that is automatically performed each time you go to look at the smart album.

    Jimmy
    4 years ago

    I have just upgraded to Photos and I found this most helpful. Thank you

    Melyssa
    4 years ago

    Just about to switch to Photos. My current iPhoto library is automatically on my external HD. When I convert to Photos, will the pictures automatically go to the external drive, or do I need to direct them to go there? Also, do I need to reset any settings on my other ext HD that I use as TimeMacine backup? Thanks.

      4 years ago

      I don’t know if it will happen automatically, but you can move the library file just as you did with iPhoto.
      I don’t know if I get your second question, though. This has nothing to do with Time Machine settings.

        Shazar Robinson
        4 years ago

        Be aware – I had iphoto libraries on my external HD. Photos took over on my Mac – iphoto app deleted, and then I went to access the external library and it would not open. After an extended call to the Apple support team – the following worked: Go to the app store and download the Iphoto app. Then you should be able to open your external HD library. It may not open in Photos automatically. Hope this is useful and not off topic for you.

          4 years ago

          I don’t know why everyone is in such a rush to delete iPhoto after upgrading to Photos. I keep advising people to keep it around for a while. It doesn’t hurt.

    Bill (William)
    4 years ago

    I cannot add a location to my photos as I could in iPhotos and therefore cannot create an album based on a place. Is there something I should be doing?

      4 years ago

      Right. You can’t add or edit GPS info. Request that as a feature so Apple add it.

        Bill (William)
        4 years ago

        Thanks, Gary. Will do.

    Robyn
    4 years ago

    Love your dog Gary

      4 years ago

      Jack is very friendly and loves everyone. So I can say that even though he hasn’t met you, he loves you too. :)

    Dirk
    4 years ago

    Thanks for the great info Gary (as always). Since tagging/adding keywords gives you so much opportunities with regards to creating smart albums, I wonder if it’s possible to bring up the photo’s that are NOT tagged yet. Didn’t find this option.

      Dirk
      4 years ago

      P.S.: I consider adding each and every keyword as an “is not” condition in a smart album, not as a serious solution …

        4 years ago

        No, but it is the only one I could think of. If you come up with a better one, let us know. You could always create a Smart Album for each keyword you use (maybe you already have?) and then select all in each one of those Smart Albums, add a keyword “tagged” or something to all of those photos. Then do an “is not” for that “tagged” keyword. That’s an other idea.
        Or, you could suggest a “has no keyword assigned” condition as a new feature to Apple, then wait for that feature to appear in a future version of Photos.

      4 years ago

      You could make a smart album for “keyword” and “is not” and then the first keyword. Then add more lines to that smart album definition until you include them all. Then choose “all” instead of “any” at the top.

    Corinna
    4 years ago

    Great video, Gary- thanks so much. A couple questions:
    1) Are the pics in the smart album stored TWICE? (Once in the smart album, and once in the photo library as well?) If so, that would be a waste of storage space.
    2) Is there any way to group pics in the photo library? In the new Photos, all the pics are organized by single date, whereas in the old iPhotos, I would arrange my pics to say for example, “June 2015” and drag all my June pics into there. This takes up way less screen space.

      4 years ago

      1) No. Not al all. All photos are stored once. You can add them to as many albums and smart albums as you wish, but your “library” only has one copy. Think of it like playlists in iTunes.
      2) No. The Photos list is a complete list of all of your photos. Use Albums if you want to store them in groups like “June 2015.” If you put each photo in an album, you can not use the Photos list at all, just albums. This way the Photos app can cater to all sorts of people who organize things differently.

        Corinna
        4 years ago

        Okay, that makes sense. Good suggestion. Thanks again, Gary.
        ~Corinna

    Michael Atkins
    4 years ago

    The smart albums I create do not appear on my iPad but Favorites and Recently Deleted do. Can get my own smart albums to show on IOS?

      4 years ago

      The iOS version of Photos doesn’t have Smart Albums. Request it as a feature from Apple if it is something you want.

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