Organize and find your photos on your Mac

Keep your photo and video library organized and accessible with the Photos app. Browse curated views in the Library tab, then use the Search bar to quickly find the person, place, or thing that you're looking for.

Photos is organized into Library, Memories, People, Places, and Recents. The Library tab makes it easy to find and share your photos and videos by Years, Months, and Days.

When you turn on iCloud Photos, your collection is kept up to date across your devices, so navigating your library is seamless. And with the advanced search features, you can easily find photos based on a person, place, object, or event.

Before you begin



In the Library tab, you can see a curated view of your best moments and browse by Years, Months, Days, or All Photos for your complete library.

  • Years: View your entire library of photos and videos that you've taken each year.

  • Months: See groups of photos and videos taken during each month by memorable events and locations. Click the More button to show a map of where the photos were taken or play a Memory movie created from your favorite moments.

  • Days: Browse your best photos of the day and watch some of your videos automatically play as you scroll. Double-click a photo and scroll down to see its location on a map, and the people in it.

  • All Photos: See your complete photo library including screenshots and duplicate photos in the order they were taken.

You can also use the Showing menu in the Photos library so that you see only what you want. For example, you can choose to show only photos or only videos. To filter what you see, go to the Photos tab, click the Showing pop-up menu, then choose an option. To undo the filter, click the Showing pop-up menu, then click All Items.



In the Memories tab, you can view curated collections of your photos and videos. Learn more about Memories in the Photos app.



In the Albums section, you can browse your photo albums, Shared Albums, 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.


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

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Choose File > New Album.

  3. Enter an album name, then click Library in the sidebar.

  4. Drag photos and videos from the Photos view into the new album in the sidebar.

You can also 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 photos to an existing album

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Drag photos and videos from the Photos view into the new album in the sidebar.

You can also select a photo you’d like to add to an album, Control-click the photo, then choose Add to > [Album Name].

Manage your albums

If you want to change the name of an album, Control-click the album, then select Rename Album. Change the name, then press the Return key.

To rearrange your albums, drag an album in the sidebar anywhere you want in the list. To sort the photos in an album, Control-click on the album, then choose a sorting option, like Keep Sorted By Oldest First or Keep Sorted By Newest First.

Shared Albums

With Shared Albums, you can share photos and videos with select people. You can choose whether people can add their own photos, videos, and comments. Learn how to create a shared album.

On your Mac, Shared Albums appear in the Photos sidebar. To view recent activity such as likes and comments on your shared photos, select the Activity album.



Photos makes it easy to find photos of a specific person, place, thing, or event. Click the Search bar in the upper-right corner, then type what you're looking for.

  • Moments: Search for an event, like a concert you attended or a trip you took. Photos uses the time and location of your photos along with online event listings to find matching photos.

  • People: Find photos in your library of a specific person or a group of people. Learn how to find and identify photos of people.

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

  • Categories: Photos recognizes scenes, objects, and types of locations. Search for a term like "lake" and select a result to see photos that match.

You can also search by title, caption, and keyword. Learn how to add titles, captions, and more to your photos.

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

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