Mac Photos App Tips and Tricks

The Mac Photos app has lots of different functions that make viewing and editing your photos easier. Learn about some of the hidden tricks in Photos such as the sidebar, viewing photo titles, editing dates, adding keywords, copying editing adjustments, exporting the original file and much more.

Comments: 51 Responses to “Mac Photos App Tips and Tricks”

    KVigs
    5 years ago

    I have been watching many videos on the new photo app. I haven’t yet moved my photos from aperture. What if I decide I want to keep using Aperture rather than the photos app. I do not use icloud to back up any of my info. I also do not use photo streaming because of the way it organizes my photos on my Mac. Am I going to have a problem later on if I continue to manually import my photos and continue using Aperture? Thanks for all the great videos. K

      5 years ago

      You can always give it a try. Converting to Photos doesn’t destroy your old library, so you can convert and then play around with it for a few hours to see what it is like.
      Aperture is no longer supported, so eventually you’ll run into trouble.

        Kvigs
        5 years ago

        Thank you for getting back to me so quick. If I do switch to the Photos App do I need to use iCloud to back up my photos (3000+) or do I just need to turn photo streaming on. K

          5 years ago

          You don’t need to use iCloud. You can just store your photos on your drive like you do with iPhoto or Aperture. Of course, that’s the best feature of Photos, but you don’t need to use it. Photo Stream is a different thing, however. That’s been around for a while — it is just your most recent photos. iCloud Photo Library is ALL of your photos.

    Michel McNinch
    5 years ago

    Thank you for these tips. Very helpful. I use your video iPhoto Independent Web Galleries (MacMost Now 711) all the time to update my website. Will I still be able to use it?

      5 years ago

      That’s not in Photos, of course, but Photos has new iCloud photo galleries that may work for you. Otherwise, I would look for a new solution, probably server-side.

    Al
    5 years ago

    Thanks Gary – some great tips. It would have taken me ages to find some of the features you show here. Much appreciated.

    Mary
    5 years ago

    Thanks so much (once again) Gary for such a helpful video. I haven’t emigrated out of iPhoto yet as I’ve been waiting for something like this to guide me first – so I’m almost ready :-) My question is do you happen to know if the photos that I have edited in iPhoto over the years would still be able to revert to the original photos when they are in the Photo app? Thanks.

      5 years ago

      I’m not sure. I think so. But it will be easy to test when you move to Photos. If it doesn’t, then you can always access them in your old iPhoto library (it doesn’t destroy it).

        Mary
        5 years ago

        Thanks Gary – much appreciated – will soon find out! :-)

    nick
    5 years ago

    Gary
    wish they had a Maps menu on the sidebar to show an overview of where photos where taken, I have a first-generation iPad (that still has a great battery life) and it does show photos on a map. I know you can click on the location and show where the photo was taken for each photo, but I think would be nice to have the Map option. Thanks for all your tutorials

      5 years ago

      But there is a Map view. When viewing Photos (not an album), in Years, Collections or Moments view, just click on the location about each year/collection/moment and it takes you to a map.

        Jo
        4 years ago

        I agreed with Nick. iPhoto used to have a map that shows all pin where all photos were taken as an overview. Not map for individual photo/ collection / moment

    Philip Lewis
    5 years ago

    Hi Gary. Great video as usual, thanks! I love Photos but one thing iPhoto had which Photos doesn’t is Batch Change where you could title a bunch of photos with one action……..or have I missed it?

      5 years ago

      No batch change in Photos. But the whole idea of “Titles” isn’t used as much in Photos anyway.

    michael
    5 years ago

    thanks gary for great videos.i have now nervously migrated to photos.just cant find “events” tab.is it there somewhere?
    or do i have to somehow move them to the albums tab.
    slightly confused here.
    yhanks

      5 years ago

      There are no “Events” in Photos. Events was just a way of breaking up your photos list. In the new app you have Years/Collections/Moments to break up your photos list. If you want something else, then you need to use albums.
      If you have carefully organized events in iPhoto, you should see them appear now as albums in a folder named “iPhoto Events.”

        Mary
        5 years ago

        Gary in iPhoto I have my 25,000 pics carefully organised into 193 Events. The photos in those Events are not in date order – I organise my photos in those Events folders by category not the date they were taken. When I move over to the Photos app will I simply find a folder named “iPhoto Events” and it will contain my 193 events, all with the same event title that I gave them in iPhoto?
        Thanks again.

    Linda Taylor
    5 years ago

    One feature that seems to be missing is Faces. Is it hanging around in the background somewhere or has it been eliminated? Thanks for all you do!

      5 years ago

      Faces is there. You can access it many ways. Choose View, Show Face Names to get started.

        Gordon Stallings
        4 years ago

        Gary, I always find your videos interesting and useful.
        Faces seems to be missing features that were present in iPhoto. For one thing, the display of faces is sorted by frequency! Is there any way to sort alphabetically? Also, the facial recognition is apparently gone. Am I correct or is there some way to get Photos to guess faces like iPhoto used to?

          4 years ago

          I haven’t really played with Faces in Photos much yet. But it seems you can easily re-arrange the face icons by dragging and dropping. You also get a “X may be in additional photos” followed by an “Add” button when viewing photos of a person from the Faces interface, assuming that there are more photos it can suggest.

    Linda DesGroseilliers
    5 years ago

    Another wonderful video tutorial! I’m going to have to watch several times, but I’d never have found these things on my own!

    William Taylor
    5 years ago

    In Photos, I don’t like that they took away the option to mix up the order in the slideshow feature. Also the music option is changed. Can’t turn it off or use your own music.

      5 years ago

      You can do both of those things: set the order to whatever you want, and use your own music. Or, use no music. Play around with it a little more and you’ll see.

        William Taylor
        5 years ago

        I just checked and in my albums there are up to 10,000 pics, so I can’t rearrange the order in each album to make a random slideshow. It always starts at the first one. The old slideshow allowed a random feature. I did figure the music. Thanks.

          5 years ago

          Ah, random. In the original question you just said “mix up” and I assumed you wanted to set the order.

    Praveen S Battepati
    5 years ago

    Dear Mr Gary, I am big follower of your macmost ! How to change titles of photos in batches .. I am unable to find batch change in new Mac photo app! Kindly guide ..
    Warm Regards
    Dr Praveen

      5 years ago

      There is no batch title change function in Photos. What do you need it for? The titles are just a way for you to label the photos. A “batch” suggests giving them similar titles. What are you trying to do, exactly?

    waltz
    5 years ago

    Good video as usual. Thanks.
    I have migrated my iphoto library into photo library but now have several libraries available when accessing photo with option key. These albums all contain lots of data and appear to be duplicates. How can I delete these duplicate albums without losing any photos?
    I also am using an external drive to store photos. How can I get the new photo app to default to an external drive?

      5 years ago

      Sounds like you have a lot going on there and need to proceed with caution. You can put your Photos libraries anywhere you want by just moving them in the Finder (with Photos closed, of course). But if you are using multiple libraries you need to figure out what is in which one and how you want to handle things. There can be only one “system library” that syncs with iCloud, BTW.
      If they are really duplicates, then of course you can get rid of them. But first I would carefully figure that out. Hard to advise further without being there to examine them.

    Mark
    5 years ago

    Looks like it doesn’t have the e-mail themes feature that iPhoto had?

      5 years ago

      No. Photos just hooks into Mail for email, it doesn’t do it independently anymore.

    Richard24
    5 years ago

    Do you if the app can do sharpening?

      5 years ago

      Yes. Edit a Photo. Click on the Adjustments icon. Next to the title “Adjustments” click Add. Then choose Sharpen.

    Rick
    5 years ago

    Can we delete the iPhotos app now that we have the Photos app on the Mac? When I plug my phone into the Mac, iPhotos still opens and tries to import photos, but they are already on the iCloud. I figured out how to stop automatically opening iPhotos in Image Capture, but is there a reason to keep the iPhotos app at all? It is taking 1.4 GB on my hard drive I am fine keeping all my photos in the cloud.

      5 years ago

      You can delete it, but for most people I wouldn’t rush it. Many people have archives old iPhoto libraries and backups. iPhoto could come in handy in those cases.

    Jeff M.
    5 years ago

    I am using the new Photos app on my Mac. I am not using iCloud Photos, instead , I am using an external hard drive to store my photos and using the Photo’s app to access them.

    The question I have is about the Photo Stream. Previously, in iPhoto, it would download all the photo’s in my stream to the hard drive and create an Event with the Month/PhotoStream label on it.

    Does the new Photo’s app download the pictures from my Photo Stream to the external hard drive automatically?

      5 years ago

      Not sure, as I’m using iCloud Photo library, not Photo Stream. But look and see what it does. Test it. You’ll be able to see what is happening soon enough. My guess is that you have to do it manually like before.

    K. N. Ghiglione
    5 years ago

    Thanks for this. I was a little stumped with finding my way through this. One thing I am still trying to figure out is how do I add a title? On your video in both collections and moments… I can see the date AND – in a lighter grey – I can see a description. I know we can add titles to an individual picture… underneath the picture. BUT, how do I add that short description beside the the date. Thanks for your help.

      5 years ago

      Beside the date? Do you mean the location? That’s just the location taken from the GPS data in the photos.

    Adele Miller
    5 years ago

    Will I need to transfer my IPhotos to the new photos program? I have two albums-the old and the new.
    I am not using Icloud or photo stream, because I take many pictures and keep needing more storage space.

      5 years ago

      Well, iPhoto is no longer supported by Apple and will continue to grow old and outdated. Eventually, it will cease to work on some version of OS X and some new Macs. Meanwhile, Photos will get new features and continue to evolve. So my recommendation is to upgrade when you get a chance. Trying new and exciting software is part of the fun of owning a computer! And although you may not use iCloud for your photos now, the future is clearly to go this way and have your photos available to you everywhere.

    Michael Bernstein
    5 years ago

    Hello Mr. Macmost!!! Dear Gary, you are a great help to all of us. Thank you!!!
    I use imovie a lot to creat slide shows using my photos that I organize by albums in iphoto. When I updated to photo, most of my movies stoped working. I am not sure if this is related or not. Imovie retained all settings for the slide shows but all photos are gone. I made sure I am pointing to the correct photo library which is on the external drive. You think the upgrade to photo might be related? Thank you.

      5 years ago

      So you are talking about older iMovie project that link to photos stored in your old iPhoto library? As long as you did not delete the old iPhoto library you should be OK.

    Michael Bernstein
    5 years ago

    Yes, all photos are there (in new photo under albums) however, when i open older iMovie projects (slide shows created in iMovie or trailers ), projects are all there with titales and transitions but they don’t have photos or clips attached. Just black screan with “missing file” message.

      5 years ago

      But are they there in iPhoto? If you created the iMovie projects using photos from your iPhoto library (not the new Photos library) then iMovie will look for them in the iPhoto library and it won’t have anything to do with the Photos library.

    Michael Bernstein
    5 years ago

    Thank you Gary!
    I don’t have iPhoto app after update. I was thinking to download it again from App Store but it’s not there.

      5 years ago

      Are you sure? The only way that you could be missing iPhoto after the update is if you deleted it yourself. Make sure you are looking in the right place.
      If you did delete it yourself, you can get it back by going to the Purchases page in the Mac App Store and you’ll find it there as a previous purchase that you can download.

    Michael Bernstein
    5 years ago

    Purchases I have not tried. Will do.
    I think overall this update/upgrade was not very friendly.
    I loved all apple because it “just worked”. A little frustrated.
    We are all blessed That you are here to talk to us and to guide us! :)

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