Organise and find your photos on your Mac

Keep your photo and video library organised 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 you’re looking for.

Photos is organised 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 find photos based on a person, place, object or event easily.

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 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 display a map of where the photos were taken or play a Memory film created from your favourite moments.

  • Days: browse your best photos of the day and watch some of your videos play automatically 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 you only see 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. Find out more about Memories in the Photos app.

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In the Albums section, you can browse your photo albums, Shared Albums and automatic collections of different types of photo and video, such as 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 update automatically based on criteria you’ve chosen. 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, then choose the conditions 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 to anywhere you want in the list. To sort the photos in an album, Control-click on the album, then choose a sorting option, such as Keep Sorted By Oldest First or Keep Sorted By Newest First.

Shared Albums

With Shared Albums, you can share photos and videos with selected people. You can choose whether people can add their own photos, videos and comments. Find out 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 top right-hand corner, then type what you’re looking for.

  • Moments: search for an event, such as 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. Find out how to locate 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 recognises scenes, objects and types of location. Search for a term, such as "lake", and select a result to see matching photos.

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

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

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