Browse and view photos in Photos on Mac
Photos uses Moments, Collections and Years views to automatically organise your photos and videos by time and location and make it easy to find just the photos you’re looking for. A moment is a group of photos and videos taken around the same time and in the same place — for example, an afternoon at the beach. A collection is a group of related moments — for example, your entire beach holiday. The Years view groups all of your photos taken in the same year together. You can also view your photos individually to see more detail and view them in a larger full-screen window.
Ask Siri. Say something like: “Open Photos.” Learn more about Siri.
Browse photos by moment, collection or year
In the Photos app on your Mac, click Photos in the sidebar, then click Moments, Collections or Years in the toolbar.
Click a moment, collection or year to see the photos in it.
On a trackpad, you can pinch open or closed on the moment, collection or year to change views.
Do any of the following:
Scroll up or down in a moment: Press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow key. On a trackpad, swipe up or down with two fingers.
Change the size of thumbnails: Drag the Zoom slider or pinch in or out on the trackpad.
View individual photos
In the Photos app on your Mac, double-click a photo thumbnail.
Tip: To quickly open or close a selected thumbnail, press Return.
Do any of the following:
Zoom in or out on a photo: Drag the Zoom slider, or pinch open or closed on the trackpad. You can drag the zoomed image to reposition it.
View information associated with a photo: Click the Info button in the toolbar. See Add titles, descriptions and more to photos.
Make a photo a favourite: Click the Favourite button in the toolbar. The photo appears in the Favourites album.
View a photo’s location on a map: Scroll down to Places. Click Show Nearby Photos to see other photos from nearby locations. See View photos by location.
View more photos of people in the photo: Scroll down to People to see the people identified in the photo. Double-click a person’s face to see other photos of that person. See View photos by who’s in them.
View related photos: Scroll down to Related to see similar photos from different times at that location. Double-click the group of related photos to see them.
Show thumbnails of other photos in a collection or album: Choose View > Show Thumbnails. Swipe left or right to scroll through thumbnails or press the arrow keys. Drag the edge of the thumbnail bar up or down to change the size of thumbnails.
Play Live Photos
With some models of iPhone, you can shoot Live Photos, which capture a still image and the moments just before and after the image.
In the Photos app on your Mac, double-click a Live Photo thumbnail.
To play the Live Photo, press Space bar, or position the pointer over the Live Photo badge.
Tip: You can also position the pointer over a Live Photo thumbnail to play it.
For information about editing a Live Photo or converting it to a still image, see Edit a Live Photo.
View photos full screen
In the Photos app on your Mac, choose View > Enter Full Screen.
To view a photo full screen, double-click its thumbnail.
To scroll through photos in a moment or collection in full-screen view, press the arrow keys.
To leave full-screen view, press the Escape key. You can also position the pointer at the top of the screen until the menu bar appears, and then choose View > Exit Full Screen.
Tip: By default, elements of the Photos window are hidden in full-screen view so you can view your photos without visual distractions. To show the toolbar and the sidebar in full-screen view, choose View > Always Show Toolbar and Sidebar in Full Screen, so there’s a tick next to it.
Hide photos from view
You can hide selected photos and show them only when you want to work with them.
In the Photos app on your Mac, click Photos in the sidebar.
Select the photo or photos, choose Image > Hide [number] Photos, then click Hide Photos.
The selected photos disappear from your moments but are not deleted.
To show hidden photos, choose View > Show Hidden Photo Album. The Hidden album appears among your other albums. To unhide photos in it, select them, then choose Image > Unhide [number] Photos.
Tip: You can use keyboard shortcuts to quickly do many common tasks in Photos. For a list of all the shortcuts you can use, see Photos keyboard shortcuts. If your Mac has a Touch Bar, you can use it to view photos, make edits and more. See Use the Touch Bar.