Overview of importing photos and videos into Photos on Mac
Import your photos and videos into your photo library so you can organize and edit them with Photos. You can import photos and videos in a variety of ways:
Share your photos automatically across your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV using iCloud: Turn on iCloud Photos on your Mac and other devices to give access to your entire library on all your Apple devices. See Use iCloud Photos to store photos.
Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac and transfer photos into the Photos app on your Mac: If you don’t use iCloud Photos on your Mac, you can sync an iPhone or iPad to your Mac to transfer photos. See Sync photos between your Mac and iPhone or iPad.
Import photos by connecting a variety of cameras and mobile devices to your Mac: Connect a camera or other mobile device and import photos and videos from the device. See Import photos from a camera or phone.
Import photos stored on a storage device: Import photos and videos saved on a hard disk or other storage device. See Import photos from hard disks, DVDs, and other devices.
Import photos sent to you with other apps: Import photos and videos sent to you in an email or text message, or downloaded from Safari. See Import photos from Mail, Safari, and other apps.
By default, imported photos and videos are copied into the Photos library. If you prefer, you can store photos and videos outside the Photos library—for example, in a folder on your Mac or on an external hard drive—and still view them in Photos. If you ever need to move content stored outside the library into your Photos library, you can do that, too. See Change where Photos stores your files.
Note: iCloud Photos doesn’t manage photos and videos stored outside the Photos library.