If the Media Browser doesn't show your entire Photos library

Sometimes the Media Browser, which lets applications like Pages or iMovie use images from Photos, doesn't show all the available pictures from your Photos library.

This happens when you use iCloud Photos with the Optimize Mac Storage preference enabled.

The Media Browser shows only photos that have the original image or a full-size preview stored on your Mac. To make a photo temporarily available to the Media Browser, double-click it. This downloads the original to your Mac, where it's available in the Media Browser until Photos optimizes it again to save disk space.

If you want to make pictures in Photos permanently available in the Media Browser, follow these steps:

  1. Select File > New Album from the Photos menu bar. Give the new album a name.
  2. Control-click (or right-click) the pictures that you want to make available in the Media Browser. Choose "Add to [new album]." Or drag the pictures to the new album.
  3. Find the new album you created.
  4. Control-click (or right-click) the album and select Download Originals to this Mac.

This downloads the full-resolution version of the pictures you selected to your Mac and makes them permanently available in the Media Browser.

If you want to make all the pictures in your Photos library permanently available to the Media Browser, you can select Download Originals to this Mac in the iCloud tab in Photos preferences. When you do this, you'll lose the space-saving benefits of the Optimize Mac Storage preference.

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