Use Photos on your Mac

Learn how to get your photos on all of your devices, manage your collection, and edit and share your photos.

Photos on MacBook and iMac

 

Photos helps you keep your growing library organized and accessible. Powerful and intuitive editing tools help you perfect your images. Memories displays the best images from your photo library in beautiful collections. And with iCloud Photos, you can keep a lifetime’s worth of photos and videos stored in iCloud and up to date on all of your devices.

Before you begin

Access all of your photos from anywhere

iCloud Photos automatically keeps all your photos in iCloud, so you can access them on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac, iCloud.com, or on a PC. When you edit and organize images in the Photos app, your changes are kept up to date and visible everywhere.

Photos on iPhone, Mac, and iPad

Manage your iCloud storage

The photos and videos that you keep in iCloud Photos use your iCloud storage. Before you turn on iCloud Photos, make sure that you have enough space to store your entire collection. You can see how much space you need and then upgrade your storage plan if necessary.

Turn on iCloud Photos

It's easy to get started. Just turn on iCloud Photos in your Settings and make sure that you're signed in with the same Apple ID on all of your devices. On your Mac, go to System Preferences > iCloud and click the Options button next to Photos. Then select iCloud Photos.
 

Keep your photo library organized

the Photos app on Mac

On your Mac, your photo collection is separated into four main categories: Photos, Moments, Collections, and Years. The Photos tab shows all your photos and videos in chronological order. In Moments, Collections, and Years, you'll find your photos and videos grouped together based on the time and place they were taken.

The Photos app sorts your photos into Memories, Favorites, People, and Places in the sidebar under Library. The sidebar also shows what you and your friends have shared, your photo albums, and projects that you've created.

 

Do more with the Photos app

Your Mac is the place that you go to get things done. That’s why the Photos app makes it easier than ever to create a stunning slideshow, share with anyone you like, and quickly find the moment you’re looking for. All with a few clicks.

playing a slideshow in Photos

Play a slideshow

Instantly prepare a slideshow directly in Photos. Open any album and click Slideshow. Customize the theme and music, and you're ready to go.

Or you can click the title of a Moment, Collection, or Year. Then click the play icon.

sharing a photo with friends

Share with friends

Use the share icon to share photos in Shared Albums, Mail, and more. Or send photos to your social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter.

selecting multiple photos

Select multiple photos

The Photos app makes working with multiple photos and videos from your library quick and efficient. Just select more than one photo or video, and immediately see how many you've selected in the upper-right corner of the Photos app. Then you can move them into an album, hide, delete, get info, and more.

searching for birthday photos

Search your photos

Find the photo or video you're looking for in no time. Just use the search bar that's built directly into the Photos toolbar. You can search for photos using names of family and friends, locations, or what appears in the photos, like cake or balloons.

Or try the filter in the upper-right corner of the Photos app. Next to Showing, click All Items. Then choose to show only Favorites, Edited, Photos, or Videos.

Delete photos and videos from your library

If there are photos and videos that you don't want anymore, you can delete one at a time, or several.

Delete one photo

  1. Select the photo that you want to delete.
  2. Press the Delete key.
  3. Confirm that you want to delete the photo.

Delete multiple photos

  1. Press and hold the Command key.
  2. Select the photos that you want to delete.
  3. Press the Delete key.
  4. Confirm that you want to delete the photos.
     

When you delete a photo, it goes into your Recently Deleted album, where it stays for 30 days. If you use iCloud Photos, the photos that you delete are moved into the Recently Deleted album on your other devices too. After 30 days, Photos deletes the photos permanently. You can permanently delete photos right away when you click Delete All in the Recently Deleted album.

When you delete photos directly from an album by pressing the Delete key, you only remove them from the album and not your entire photo collection. If you want to delete photos from both the album and your collection, press Command-Delete.

Edit your photos

Photos includes powerful, easy-to-use editing tools. You can apply adjustments to your photos and make them look exactly the way you like. Then if you want to start over, you can always revert to the original photo. Here's how to get started: 

  1. From the Photos view, or from within an album, double-click the photo you want to edit.
  2. Click Edit or the edit icon in the upper-right corner of Photos.
  3. The editing tools appear along the right side of the window. Click the tool you'd like to use.

After you edit your photo, click Done. Want to start over? Click Revert to Original. If you use iCloud Photos, you'll see the changes on all of your devices.

With Photos for macOS High Sierra and later, you can also send a photo to most third-party photo apps for editing, then save the changes right back into your library. Learn more about editing your photos with third-party apps and extensions.

viewing a photo's information

See and add information about a photo

You can also add details to your photos, like a description, keywords, or a specific location. You can even Add Faces to name your friends and family in each photo.

To view the Info window, double-click a photo to open it and then click the information icon in the upper-right corner, or select a photo and use the keyboard shortcut Command-I. Once you add information, you can use the Search bar to find photos by keyword, title, description, faces, or location.

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