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 helps you keep your growing library organised 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 organise images in the Photos app, your changes are kept up to date and visible everywhere.

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 organised

On your Mac, your photo collection is separated into four main categories: Years, Months, Days and All Photos. The All Photos tab shows all your photos and videos in chronological order. In Years, Months and Days, 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, Favourites, 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.

Learn more about organising and finding your photos.


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.

Play a slideshow or movie

You can prepare a slideshow directly in Photos with a few clicks. Open any album and click Slideshow. Customise the theme and music, then click Play Slideshow.

To play a movie, go to the Months or Days view, click the more button  on any collection, then click Play Movie.

You can also view movies in the Memories section. Open a memory, then click the play button . As the movie plays, click the gear button  to adjust the movie's mood and length.

Share with friends

Click the share button 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.

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.


Delete photos and videos from your library

If there are photos and videos that you don't want any more, 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 straight 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 again, 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 in the top right-hand 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 again? 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.


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 button the information icon in the top right-hand 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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