Organize and find your photos

Keep your growing photo and video library organized and accessible with the Photos app. Then use the Search bar to quickly find the person, place, or thing that you're looking for.

the Photos app on Mac, iPhone, and iPad

 

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, the Photos app is organized into Photos, For You, Albums, and Search. On your Mac, the main sections are Photos, Moments, Collections, and Years. Photos for macOS also lets you create and browse projects.

When you turn on iCloud Photos, your collection is kept up to date across your devices, so navigating your library always feels familiar. And thanks to the advanced search features in Photos, you can find pictures based on a person, place, object, or event.

First things first


a photo library shown on iPhone and Mac

Photos


Photos groups your library into Moments, Collections, and Years arranged by time and location.

Moments: See groups of your photos and videos taken around the same time and place, like an afternoon at the beach.

Collections: Find distinct Moments taken at the same place, like your vacation in San Diego.

Years: View your entire library in a mosaic of all the photos and videos that you've taken each year.

When you tap the Photos tab in iOS, you see your library grouped by moments. Tap the back arrow to view your library grouped by collections, and tap the back arrow again to view years. On your Mac, use the Moments, Collections, and Years tabs at the top of Photos.

Tap or click the location of any Moment, Collection, or Year to see a summary of its photos and videos, the people in them, a map showing where they were taken, and related memories for you to explore.

For You and Memories on iPhone and Mac

For You


In the For You section of Photos for iOS, you can see Shared Album activity, get ideas for adding effects to select photos, and find Sharing Suggestions — collections of photos perfect for sharing with friends.

For You also helps you relive your favorite moments with Memories. Photos searches your photos and videos to find events, trips, people, and more, then presents them in beautiful collections. That way you can rediscover a weekend hike or big events like a first birthday.

On your Mac, you can find Memories in the Photos sidebar.

albums shown on iPhone and Mac

Albums


In Albums, you find the photo albums that you’ve created, Shared Albums that you've created or joined, and automatic collections of different types of photos and videos, like Panoramas, Selfies, Slo-mo, and Time Lapse. You can even look at your photos arranged on a world map in the Places album, or browse your photos based on who’s in them in the People album.

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, the All Photos album shows your entire collection in the order you added them to your library. To get a similar view on your Mac, click Photos in the sidebar, then select the Photos tab at the top of the window.

Photos makes it easy to keep your collection organized just the way you want. And when you use iCloud Photos, the changes you make to your albums on one device appear on your other devices too.

Create a new album

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: Go to Albums and tap add icon. Enter an album name, then choose the photos and videos that you want to organize in the new album.

On your Mac: Choose File > New Album. Enter an album name, then click Photos in the sidebar. Drag photos and videos from the Photos view into the new album in the sidebar. Alternatively, you can select the photos that you’d like to add to an album, control-click, then choose Add to > New Album.

Photos on your Mac also lets you create Smart Albums that automatically update based on criteria that you choose. For example, you can create a Smart Album filled with photos taken in the last 30 days. Choose File > New Smart Album, enter an album name, and then choose the conditions that you want to use.

Add to an existing album

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: Tap Select and then tap the photos and videos that you want to add. Tap Add To and choose the album.

On your Mac: Drag photos and videos from the Photos view into the new album in the sidebar. Or select the photos you’d like to add to an album, control-click, then choose Add to > [Album Name].

Manage your albums

If you want to change the name of an album that you've created, go to Albums, then tap See All. Tap Edit, tap the name of the album, and then change the album name. On your Mac, select the album, then type a new name.

To rearrange albums on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, tap Albums, then tap See All next to My Albums. Tap Edit. Then tap and hold an album and drag it where you want it to go. Tap Done when you're finished.

To rearrange albums on your Mac, click My Albums, then drag an album where you want it to go. You can also Control-click My Albums, then choose Sort and choose to sort your albums alphabetically or by date.

Shared Albums

Looking for a place to gather and share everyone's photos from the family reunion? Shared Albums let you do just that.

When you have a photo, video, or album that you want to share, tap or click the share icon and choose Shared Albums. You can invite up to 100 of your friends and family to see your Shared Albums. Then they can like, comment, and even add their own photos.

In the Albums view, you can see all of the Shared Albums that you've created and others' Shared Albums that you've joined. On your Mac, Shared Albums appear in the Photos sidebar. You can also go to the For You tab (or the sidebar on your Mac) to view recent Shared Album activity. You'll see likes and comments on your shared photos, and new photos from other people's Shared Albums.

searching Photos on iPhone and Mac

Search your photos


The Photos app makes it easy to find photos of a person or thing. You can also search for places and events.

Tap the Search tab, then enter a term in the search bar. On your Mac, the search bar is in the upper-right corner of Photos.

People: Find photos in your library of a specific person or a group of people. Just keep names and faces organized in your People album.

Places: See all of your photos and videos on a map in Places. Or type a location name in the Search bar to see all of the photos and videos from that place.

Things: Photos recognizes scenes and objects. Search for a term like "lake" and then select a category result to see all of your photos that match.

Events: Search for an event — for example, a concert you attended a few months ago — and Photos for iOS can use the time and location of your photos along with online event listings to find matching photos.

The Search tab in Photos for iOS also suggests moments, people, places, categories, and groups for you to search. Tap a suggested search, such as One Year Ago or Cats, to explore and rediscover your photos.

When you search your photos, all of the face recognition and scene and object detection are done completely on your device. Learn more about photos and your privacy.

Projects on your Mac

creating a project in Photos for Mac

With Projects on your Mac, you can turn your photos into keepsakes using easy-to-use, powerful Project Extensions.

To create impressive websites, collages, photo albums, wall decor, and more, download extensions from the Mac App Store. Then go to File > Create and choose the extension that you’d like to use.

If you want to finish a project that you've already started or reorder something, go to the My Projects tab in the sidebar to see your full list.

Learn more

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