Viewing and Organizing Photos In the New Photos App

Learn how to view your photos by Years, Collections and Moments in the new Photos app. Find out how to organize your photos into your own albums. You can create albums, add to them, remove photos from them and arrange the order of the photos in an album.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with On today's episode let's take a look at viewing and organizing photos in the new Photos app.

In the new Photos app there are two main ways to view your photos. The first is in Photos mode which allows you to view everything in chronological order, grouped together by either the date or location. The second way is to view albums that you create yourself.

So, let's first start with the Photos mode. There are three different levels to Photos. The top level here is called Years and things are arranged by years and grouped together. So here you can see that 2014-2015 are grouped together because I don't have very many photos yet for 2015.

You can see I have forward and backward arrows just like you do in a web browser. I'm at the top level here so I can't go up any further from years but I can go down into what are called Collections. You can see it zooms in there and now the years are broken up into smaller groups by date range and area.

I can go even deeper here into Moments. Moments breaks it up into individual days, pretty much, and gives you locations here as well. So I can go back and forth fluidly between these. Now in any one of these views I can tap and hold, or click and hold on my Mac, and I get this larger preview. I can kind of go back and forth between them. It makes a lot more sense here in Years where you can barely see the photos. So you can quickly go there.

Now if I release my finger off of the track pad it will jump right to editing that photo. Also you can see here I've got the location. If I wanted to I can tap or click on the location there and you can see it brings up a map and shows me groups of photos by location. Now what will be left out here are photos taken with my larger camera, not my iPhone, because there is no location information there.

I can go to Satellite and Hybrid view here just as you can in the Maps app. I can even do 3D and I can zoom in and out. So a lot of things you can do there with the maps. You can also get a map view here down at this view as well. So you can see even closer. If you take all your pictures with your iPhone or if you've got a camera that has a GPS in it this is even more useful because every location of every photo is shown on the different maps.

Now there is really no customization here to the photos view. It is just one long list of every photo you have in your collection and it allows you to quickly zoom in to find a photo based on the date or the location.

So if you are an organizer and want to put your photos together in different collections of your own devising then you really want Albums. Albums, if you click on that, will take here and show you some albums it already has set up. Like, for instance, it will put all the panoramas in a single album. It also has Faces functionality. Once you have identified some faces in your photos you can quickly look at a collection of photos that has a certain person in them.

Then you've got your albums. Albums you've created. You can create regular albums or smart albums. Once you've done that then you can go into these. These don't have to have all your photos in them. They can have a small collection of say your favorite photos or photos that have to do with one thing or the other.

Keep in mind that your photos are only there once. They are in this one big collection of photos. Albums are kind of like playlists in iTunes where they are just basically another way of viewing the photos you have. So because you see a photo in an album here and it's also here doesn't mean you have it twice. You only have it once. This is just kind of a playlist of them.

You can also have one photo in multiple albums. So, for instance, you can have an album of your favorite photos and an album of photos of a trip that you took and have the same photo in both albums. Just like playlists and how you handle songs in iTunes.

Now let's create a new album. There are a couple ways to do this. You go to the File menu and choose New Album. Now if you have some pictures selected, let's say you are looking in photos view here and you select some photos and you do New Album it will start up with these photos in there.

So let's go ahead and do that. We'll give it a name. Now it doesn't look like anything has happened but if we go over to the albums collection here we can see there is our Test Album. We can go into it and find those photos there.

So now the question is how do you add to this? Well there are a lot of different ways to add to an album. One way is to return to the photos view and select some more photos. So let's select these two right here. I can hit the plus button here and add them to an album and I can select the album I want to add them to. So I will add this to Test Album. Now I look here and I can see Test Album has those extra photos in there.

You can also bring up the sidebar. The sidebar starts to make the Photos app look a little bit more like the old iPhoto app. You can see the Test Album there. This is the way I like to do it because I can go and go to Photos, notice those buttons are gone at the top here, and I can actually switch to things on the left. So I go to Photos and select another image, say this one here, and simply drag and drop it into Test Album. So this is kind of how I like to do it. I can switch to Test Album very easily and switch back to Photos very easily.

So how about deleting photos. You can select photos in an album here non-consecutively holding the Command key down or arrange holding the Shift key down. This is only in the album. You are not looking in Photos. So when I delete here it is going to delete it from the album but the original will still remain there.

The way to do a lot of things here is to use the Control click, or two finger click on the track pad, whatever your alternate click is and then you get a lot of Commands here. For instance, Remove from Album. I like how it is very clear here saying it is going to remove these from the album and not delete them from our collection. So let's select one here and Remove from Album and it is gone from the album.

You can also reorder the photos in an album by just dragging and dropping them around.

So Photos caters to a lot of different types of people in terms of how you want to organize things. There may be people that don't use albums at all and just like all their photos in chronological order here. There may be people that create an album for everything that they do and basically never look at the photos view and only look at their photos in albums. There are other people like me that kind of do a mix of both.

Comments: 73 Responses to “Viewing and Organizing Photos In the New Photos App”

    Andrew Phair
    4/13/15 @ 8:10 am

    Such a helpful video. We need lots on the new photos app please!

      Pat s
      4/19/15 @ 6:15 pm

      Photo…made a slideshow….how can I post it to the web or you tube?

        4/19/15 @ 6:33 pm

        Select the slideshow from the Projects list, then choose File, Export, and export it as a video. Then upload to YouTube through the YouTube web interface. You could also share the video elsewhere on the web through whatever mechanism you usually use to share videos.

    Linda DesGroseilliers
    4/13/15 @ 11:07 am

    Great video! You always keep things clear and as simple as possible. Now if I could just figure out how to use iCloud so that my iPhone would sync with my Mac!

    4/13/15 @ 12:38 pm

    I saw your helpful Video today but do you have an idea to edit the geo tag data?

      4/13/15 @ 12:42 pm

      I don’t believe there is any way to do that in Photos currently. You’ll have to do it with another app before bringing it into Photos. Request that as a new feature to Apple.

    4/13/15 @ 1:55 pm

    Gary, good info in this video, But … what is the difference between Album and Smart Album? Why would I need a smart album? (recent Mac convert)

      4/13/15 @ 1:58 pm

      I’ll be covering Smart Albums in the near future. This video was already running too long. Smart Albums are the same as Smart Playlists in iTunes or Smart Folders in the Finder — they are the results of a search and update automatically.

    J Tierney
    4/13/15 @ 3:20 pm

    I really enjoyed this tutorial. I watched it several times and it will be a great reference tool

    Cyrus Dubash
    4/14/15 @ 12:14 am

    Thanks Gary for this.

    I have under Albums “iPhoto Events.” I believe events no longer exist here in the new photos app. I dragged a few photos event into a a new album. On deleting the photos from.the event, they were deleted from the album too.

    What is the event equivalent in this new photos app. Suppose I import photos in this new app, where and how are they saved if not in an event like it used to in iPhoto?

    Thank you!

      4/14/15 @ 5:17 am

      When you converted to using Photos, an album was automatically created for each event you had in iPhoto just in case you wanted to keep your old arrangement of pictures.
      Photos doesn’t use events. It uses just albums. There is no equivalent to Events in Photos. You just view your entire collection in Years/Collections/Moments view, like I show. Or, you create albums. Or, any combination of both that you wish.

        Cyrus Dubash
        4/14/15 @ 5:55 am

        Thank U I understand that but when I delete a photo from that event which is now an album under the folder iPhoto events; it gets deleted from other albums that have that photo.

          4/14/15 @ 6:05 am

          Are you actually choosing “Delete?” If so, you are deleting that photo from your library. It even gives you a warning that it will be deleted from all of your devices. Choose “Remove from Album” instead.

            Cyrus Dubash
            4/14/15 @ 8:53 am

            There’s no warning. If deleted from a previous iPhoto event, it deleltes from the other albums as well.

              4/14/15 @ 8:56 am

              I’m not seeing the same behavior. If I take a photo that is in an album inside my iPhoto Events album folder, add that photo to a new album, and then delete the photo from the album in the iPhoto Events folder, I still see it in the new album.

    Phyllis Steele
    4/15/15 @ 10:58 am

    Is there any way to have the labels I put on photos show beneath the photo like they did in iPhoto? I can find them in the Info section, but I miss having them directly viewable.

      4/15/15 @ 10:59 am

      View, Metadata, Titles.

        Phyllis Steele
        4/15/15 @ 8:18 pm

        Thanks, Gary.

    Russ Winkler
    4/15/15 @ 6:22 pm

    I still have iPhoto on my 2014 MacBook Pro. The library is on a removable drive. I imported the library into Photos. Can I uninstall iPhoto? I also have Aperture. Can I uninstall that as well?

    Jon Norris
    4/16/15 @ 9:33 am

    Will I be able to see smart albums on iOS? It is taking a week to upload only a few hundred photos, so difficult for me to test!

      4/16/15 @ 9:56 am

      I don’t think so. Smart albums are like “saved searches” and I don’t think iOS Photos has the same level of search capability. Maybe you can “sync” those via iTunes, but I haven’t tested.

      4/16/15 @ 9:56 am

      I don’t think so. Smart albums are like “saved searches” and I don’t think iOS Photos has the same level of search capability. Maybe you can “sync” those via iTunes, but I haven’t tested.

    Philip Lewis
    4/16/15 @ 9:52 am

    Hi Gary. Great video as usual. Love Photos but Is there any way photo titles can appear on IOS apps?

      4/16/15 @ 10:02 am

      I don’t think so. Request that as a feature if you want it.

    Matthew Famolare
    4/16/15 @ 10:02 am

    Great video, as always, I would love it if you could go a bit deeper into the new Photo App, I’m sure there are some features that are amazing, but not readily known. Thank you again for all you videos

      4/16/15 @ 10:04 am

      I will be doing more tutorials on Photos in the coming weeks, yes.

    Bob Rondeau
    4/16/15 @ 10:20 am

    It seems that “Photos” uploads all your photos to Icloud. Is this avoidable? It will put a lot of people over their “Free” limit.

      4/16/15 @ 10:22 am

      It CAN do that, yes. That is its most powerful feature. But you don’t need to do that. You can just not use that iCloud feature and have all of your photos stored locally, just like iPhoto would do.

        Bob Rondeau
        4/16/15 @ 10:28 am

        I have lots of photos and not much memory on my divices – will this feature cut into my storage memory on my Phone/pad?

          4/16/15 @ 10:30 am

          It will use your storage space intelligently. For instance, it will not store full-res versions of the photos on your iOS devices. And it may not store some of them at all, instead only getting them as you need.

      Jim Goddard
      4/16/15 @ 10:27 am

      This may be helpful
      In system preferences go to iCloud
      Open the Photos section
      Check only my photo stream and ICloud photo sharing.
      Do not click on ICloud photo library. This will prevent you from uploading your entire Mac Photo library to iCloud.
      This will allow you to synchronize your iPad and iPhone with your Mac.
      Hope this is helpful.

        Linda DesGroseilliers
        4/16/15 @ 12:09 pm

        Thans, Jim. I’ll try this because I definitely do not want my library uploaded ——-waaaaay too big!

          4/16/15 @ 12:15 pm

          You’ll be asked when you convert the library. You’ll see.

    Jim Goddard
    4/16/15 @ 10:21 am

    Thanks so much – and very helpful!

    4/16/15 @ 10:36 am

    I loved this tutorial. Thank you for making using my Mac even easier with your tutorials. I was so frustrated when the change to Photos instead of iPhoto began as I had already set up albums in iPhoto in preparation of the DVD’s I make for my grandchildren each year. I thought I had lost my previous work but now I can see I have not lost a thing. Thank you!

    4/16/15 @ 11:36 am

    Gary, this video was both helpful and beautifully done. Thank you!
    1. As I ponder this transition from iPhoto w/35,000 photos, on each one of them I have changed the title to ( etc) and all camera movies to (15.04.16.mov01 etc). Will this no longer be necessary as Photos will simply place them in chron. order anyway? 2. What will we do with scans of old photos – taken in 1974, say, but digitized today? How can they find 1974? TY

      4/16/15 @ 12:14 pm

      It wasn’t necessary in iPhoto either, since the events view put them in chronological order. With old photos that don’t have metadata, you can set the date manually in Photos.

    4/16/15 @ 12:00 pm

    Photos in the video looks much different than the Photos on my iPad Air2.
    The features on the iPad must be very limited compared to what is possible on a computer, is that correct?

      4/16/15 @ 12:15 pm

      Not really. The features are comparable.

    4/16/15 @ 3:41 pm

    Great video, glad to have the sidebar back–thought it was gone! I have always had albums, but now that they are transferred, the photos in them seem to be out of chronological order, or maybe I have fiddled with them. Is there an easy fix for that?

      4/16/15 @ 3:44 pm

      Oops, never mind. I fixed it.

    4/16/15 @ 4:31 pm

    Gary, is there a way to sort photos (ascending/descending)? For example, I would like to select “Photos” or “All Photos” in the Albums area and be able to have the most recent photos at the top. I currently have to scroll through 8,000 photos to see my most recent at the bottom. That can’t be right.

      4/16/15 @ 4:57 pm

      I don’t know of a way to reverse the order. But you don’t have to “scroll through” anything to get to the bottom. Just use the scroll bar, or the “end” key (fn+Command+right arrow is “end” if you don’t have an extended keyboard).

    Lenny Gemski
    4/16/15 @ 4:48 pm

    I have 26,000 photos collected over 15 years, titled and assigned to folders and albums. What will happen to these folders and albums if I migrate to Photos? I am thinking that Photos is not going to work for me. I can’t loose this organization as it is essential to the work that I do. 26K is far too many to start from scratch. Is Lightroom a better choice for me?

      4/16/15 @ 4:54 pm

      The albums will remain intact. Why not just try it and see. It doesn’t delete your iPhoto library, it just copies it.
      Lightroom is a good choice if you are a professional photographer, I’d imagine.
      Photos lets you create albums and folders just like iPhoto did, so if that worked for you in iPhoto why would Photos not work for you?

        Lenny Gemski
        4/16/15 @ 6:41 pm

        If I download the new Photo program, will both Photo and IPhoto remain on my computer? I thought that Photo would replace IPhoto. Not so??

          4/16/15 @ 7:25 pm

          It won’t replace iPhoto. You’ll end up with both apps, and an old (iPhoto) and new (Photos) library. The old iPhoto app could come in handy for some people who have created old iPhoto libraries as archives and need to access them later on.

    Gary Schultz
    4/16/15 @ 7:42 pm

    how can I delete delete a folder ?

      4/16/15 @ 7:59 pm

      Do you want to delete an album or a folder of albums? Either way, just select it and press the delete key on the keyboard.

    Troy Muller
    4/17/15 @ 12:21 am

    Excellent video. The sidebar is the takeaway for me and will help no end to help easily remove some of the unwanted albums migrated from iPhotos. Cheers!

    4/18/15 @ 7:24 pm

    Thanks so much, now Photos is helpful.
    However, how do I transfer my iPhoto albums to Photos?

      4/18/15 @ 7:25 pm

      When you first run Photos, it asks. If you have additional iPhoto libraries, you can use the Import command.

    John Stires
    4/18/15 @ 7:45 pm

    I’m a Photoshop & Adobe Bridge user and never got into iPhoto; it was more of a nuisance trying to use both. I have a few thousand shots on my MBP. Should I consider Photos? Thanks G

      4/18/15 @ 7:54 pm

      You can try it. But if you are already using Adobe, then why not try Lightroom too?

        John Stires
        4/19/15 @ 12:10 pm

        I have Lightroom, will give it a try. I assume I can back out of Photos if it’s too burdensome? Where do the photos live; will I ‘fill up’ my phone’s memory? I’m still a little confused about IOS, OSX storage, iCloud Drive, iCloud and how they share. Thanks again.

          4/19/15 @ 12:37 pm

          Photos creates a library in your Pictures folder just like iPhoto did. I’ve got a video coming up this week that talks about iCloud and how it works with Photos.
          Not sure what you mean by back out — back out to Adobe Bridge? You can just try Photos and see if you like it. Try Lightroom too. Then decide.

    Rob Mayer
    4/20/15 @ 7:12 pm

    Unless I am missing something, there is one disappointing inconsistency between Photos on all devices, and Photos on the folder structure that you can create on the Mac, and that you see on your iPhones/iPads is unsupported when you view through the website. It’s as if someone took all of your albums out of all of your folders and just scattered them in one big pile. I find the Folder option to be very powerful. Please tell me this is an oversight and not a permanent “feature”!

      4/20/15 @ 7:37 pm

      If you want that feature on, why not suggest it to Apple?

        Rob Mayer
        4/20/15 @ 10:36 pm

        Already did..thanks!

    Betty K
    4/25/15 @ 5:47 pm

    Is the ‘batch’ function gone? I like to change the titles on my photos.

      4/25/15 @ 8:15 pm

      There’s no batch title change function in Photos. Titles are much more for descriptions now and for use in projects. You can’t sort by them, so they don’t matter as much. Unless you have a use for them I haven’t thought of.

    Jeffrey Wilson
    4/28/15 @ 6:12 am

    Great video. I’m new to a Mac but have had IOS devices a long time. My questions are: If I edit in Photo’s, does it change the original file in Finder? I didn’t really use iPhoto, so do I need to keep the iPhoto library and the Photo library?

      4/28/15 @ 6:24 am

      When you edit, you can always revert to the original, even after you are “Done” editing. Photos are stored in the Photos library, not in the Finder. But you can get to them if you really want. Better to export from Photos instead if you need a file for some reason. You can get rid of the old iPhoto library after you are all settled in and using Photos. I’d back it up/archive it though.

    Paul Thompson
    4/28/15 @ 1:30 pm

    Very good tutorial; I have one problem: all my pix in Photos View are labelled with General Margia Zapeto, Zacatecas Mexico. How do I change this?
    These are pix I’ve transferred from my iPhoto library.

      4/28/15 @ 1:43 pm

      Were they set that way in iPhoto? Since you can’t yet edit GPS data in Photos, maybe consider fixing it in iPhoto and starting fresh with a new Photos import.

    Lee Gavel
    4/29/15 @ 11:58 am

    How do I move a photo from one of the new Photo albums to another album. In iPhoto it was just drag and drop, but that doesn’t seem to work in Photo

      4/29/15 @ 1:05 pm

      You can definitely drag and drop photos in an album. Remember photos are not “in” an album. They are in your Photos library. Albums are just links to photos, like playlists in iTunes. So all pictures are in Photos. But each photo can be in one or more albums, or none. But I just tried dragging a photo from one album to another and as expected the photo is now in both albums.

      Lee Gavel
      4/29/15 @ 1:46 pm

      Oops reviewed your video and can now see how to move a photo.

    Ruth Rosensky
    5/3/15 @ 7:47 am

    My albums are now grouped in something called iphoto events. how do i get them listed as separate albums?

      5/3/15 @ 8:02 am

      They are separate albums. iPhoto Events isn’t an album, it is a folder of albums. Go inside it to see the individual albums.

        Ruth Rosensky
        5/3/15 @ 8:29 am

        OK. Thanks I see that now.

    5/9/15 @ 11:32 pm

    A brilliant video – you shone a light in a dark tunnel! Thanks so much.

Comments Closed.