Get the Google Photos app to back up and view photos on your Android and iOS devices. Automatically back up photos from your Mac or PC, connected cameras and SD cards. Apple used to offer their own in-house photo printing service with its Photos app, but that was discontinued sometime in 2018. While Photos for Mac still has the option to get photo prints, it must be done through a third-party extension that you can get in the Mac App Store. How to set up and start using Photos on your Mac. There are a few different ways to view and edit metadata on your Mac (Hint: Do it with Photos app or Preview, NOT Finder. How/why explained below): Photos app: Open Photos app on Mac. Photo: Shutterstock. As you install more and more software on your Mac, your menu bar might start to get cluttered with extraneous icons. This not only looks messy, but it can make it a bit of a. In macOS Mojave, the app lets you organize content just by dragging-and-dropping it, and with Smart Albums, you can instantly group photos by date, camera, and even the person in them. At this point, it’s just a really good piece of photo management software. Mylio: A free photo manager app.

Managing a huge gallery and organizing photos is a tricky business, even if you’re generally tidy, so it’s always a good idea to use some help. Especially when there’s software out there designed specifically to deal with an overload of pictures.

The only trouble with professional photo organizing software is that, much like any photo equipment, it’s painfully expensive. In this article we’ll suggest tools that tame your giant photo gallery without leaving a hole in your pocket.

Best photo manager apps for Mac reviewed

RatingNameFeaturesInfo
1Gemini 2 Best at keeping your photos cleaned up where they live.Link
2PhotosOrganize your photos by album, people or places.Link
3MylioSyncs and organizes your photo library across all devices: Apple, Android, or Windows.Link

1. Gemini 2: The duplicate photo finder

The first step to getting your photos organized is to remove all of the duplicate or similar-looking images. Chances are when you take a picture, you don’t take just one; you take 15. All from different angles, maybe even with different poses. But rarely do you need or want all of them, so now they’re just taking up space on your Mac.

The easiest way to get rid of those files is to get a duplicate photo finder, Gemini 2. It scans your whole gallery and locates the duplicate or similar photos. Gemini 2 lets you quickly review and choose which pictures you want to delete. But the app also uses AI to select the best version of each image, and it will get rid of all of the copies with just one click of the Smart Cleanup button.

2. Photos: Best photo organizer on Mac

Here’s the biggest secret to good photo organization: master Photos. You might be thinking: seriously, is a native Apple app really any good? And you’d be surprised how much it is.

Since macOS Sierra, Photos has been getting makeovers and new features. In macOS Mojave, the app lets you organize content just by dragging-and-dropping it, and with Smart Albums, you can instantly group photos by date, camera, and even the person in them. At this point, it’s just a really good piece of photo management software.

3. Mylio: A free photo manager app

If you’ve been meaning to consolidate your photos in one place for years, Mylio will help you do just that. When you first start using the app, it offers to look for your photos on the current device, on an external drive, and even on your Facebook.

Once all the photos you’ve taken in your lifetime are imported, Mylio organizes into a variety of views. The coolest one is Calendar, showing you photo collections on an actual calendar. That way, you’ll quickly find the photos from your son’s first birthday, even if you forgot how you named the folder. Plus, Mylio offers a free mobile app, so you can access your photo library wherever you are.

4. Adobe Lightroom: Cloud-based photo editor and organizer

While Adobe Lightroom is probably best known as a powerful picture editor, it’s also loaded with tons of tools to help keep your photos organized. It stores your pics in the Adobe Cloud so you can access all of your albums and folders on another computer, phone, or even an internet browser.

One of the great things about Lightroom is that it makes non-destructive edits to your photos. So, you can revert back to the original image at any time, and you don’t need to create a duplicate just to preserve your picture.

5. Luminar: Organize and view pictures without importing them

If you have your pictures saved in various folders across your computer, then Luminar is the app you’ll want to check out. It shows you all of your photos without having to import any of them into a library. So you can start using Luminar in almost no time.

6. Adobe Bridge: Free photo library manager

You might be wondering why Adobe would make two separate photo managers. Aside from Adobe Bridge being free for everyone, it serves an entirely different purpose. Bridge is solely an image and asset manager. Unlike Lightroom, it doesn’t have any editing functionality.

So, what’s the point then? Where Bridge really shines is if you’re using other Adobe products, such as Photoshop or Illustrator. You can store and organize all of your pictures in Bridge and then open them in any Adobe program without creating a duplicate or searching through the thousands of files on your computer. Plus, Bridge offers a robust search tool making it a breeze to find the exact image you’re looking for.

Final word on photo management on Mac

There are basically two things you need to remember to bring order into your photographing life:

  1. Before you get to organization and management, be sure to unclutter your photo library. The easiest way to do it is with a duplicate finder, such as Gemini 2. Otherwise you'll be rummaging around in thousands of photos you don't even need.
  2. Photos, the native photo manager on a Mac, can accomplish everything you need to make organizing photos into groups and categories easy.
  3. Third-party tools can provide you with added functionality that’s missing in native macOS tools, like calendar view or managing photos right in the Finder.

Now that you know all the secrets to photo organization, Mac photography shouldn’t be that hard or that expensive. Not when you’ve got the right tricks up your sleeve.

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Whether you’ve just taken a weekend trip up North or the European vacation of your dreams, you’re guaranteed to return home with a massive amount of photos, probably a handful of videos, and, if you were feeling particularly artsy, half a dozen time-lapses.

But now that you’re home, what are you going to do with all those pictures? Where are you going to keep them? How are you going to share them?

Enter the Photos app for Mac.

What is Photos on Mac?

The Photos app is a convenient home for all of your pictures and videos. Anything you shoot, Photos will store it and — better yet — organize it, so you can actually find said pictures when you feel like reliving the memories.

In this post, we’ll go over the basics of using Apple’s Photos app. We’ll talk about where to find photos on your Mac and how you can manage your ever-growing photo library. And of course, we’ll cover all the features Apple has built into this underrated app.

iPhoto vs Photos: What’s the difference?

Those of you familiar with iPhoto for Mac are probably wondering what makes its successor so special. And to oversimplify it, Photos is the next step in photo management — and a giant step at that.

Prior to Photos, Apple made two apps for managing pictures and videos. iPhoto, for those of us less experienced in photography, and Aperture, for the ones looking to do some heavier editing. Photos perfectly blurs the line between those two apps, combining the best of both while adding new features like iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Photo Sharing.

If you used iPhoto before, Photos will feel instantly recognizable. You’ll have your pictures, albums, and collections in the main window, a navigation sidebar to the left, and different viewing options at the top. However, a significant point of difference between iPhoto and Photos is the app’s performance. When working with larger libraries, iPhoto had the tendency to lag or choke up and had arbitrary limits that would restrict album and collection sizes. Photos gets rid of those limitations entirely and is able to handle much larger libraries than its predecessor. While the look of Photos may be the same, it feels like a faster and more powerful app.

Where are the photos stored on Mac?

The Photos app maintains pictures and videos in its own library, making it easy to view the content, but confusing to access the actual files. To find the photos on your Mac, you’ll need to find that Photos Library first:

  1. With the Photos app open, click on Photos in the menu bar
  2. Then go to Preferences > General
  3. At the top of the window, you’ll see Library Location. Click the Show in Finder button.

The first thing you’ll notice after you find the Photos Library file is you can’t do much with it. You can double-click it, but that opens Photos again. If you want to find the original files of your pictures and videos, you’ll need to:

  1. Right-click on Photos Library to open the alternate menu
  2. Select Show Package Contents from that menu
  3. Open the Masters folder
  4. All of your pictures and videos live in this folder, organized by year, month, and date
TIP:
If you only need master files for a few pictures, you can drag them out of the Photos app directly onto your desktop. Doing this will create copies of the pictures and won’t move or delete the original files. Just don’t forget to find and delete all the copies later, so they don't turn your Mac into a mess. A duplicate finder like Gemini 2 can help with that.

How to use Apple’s Photos app

When you open Photos for the first time, the app offers you a glimpse of what your library will look like with all your pictures and videos imported. You get a quick intro to some of the features and tools, and learn how you can make these memories tangible through printed objects like calendars, photo books, and more.

Once you’ve finished the tour of the app and gone through the initial setup, you’re all set to start importing your pictures and videos!

How to import photos to Mac

Photo

There are several ways you can import your media content to Photos, depending on where you’ve been storing it.

From your iPhone or a digital camera

Free Photo Apps For Mac

  1. Connect your iPhone or camera to your Mac with a USB cable. You might need to unlock your iPhone with your passcode, and then tap Trust when prompted to Trust This Computer.
  2. On your Mac, if the Photos app doesn’t open automatically, go ahead and open it.
  3. The Photos app will show you an Import screen that has all the photos and videos on your iPhone or camera. If you don’t see the Import screen, click on your iPhone or camera in the Photos sidebar under Devices.
  4. From here you can either choose to Import All New Items or select a batch and click Import Selected.

From a folder or an external hard drive in Finder

You have a couple of options here. If your pictures and videos live on an external hard drive, you’ll want to make sure it’s connected first. Then, you’ll want to do one of the following:

  • Drag the files from your drive into the Photos window
  • Drag the files from your drive onto the Photos icon in the Dock
  • In Photos, go to File > Import from the menu bar. Choose the photos or videos you want to import and click Review for Import.

An important thing to know about Photos is that the app copies the pictures and videos into the Photos Library we talked about earlier, leaving the original file either on your device or in its folder.

TIP:
Because Photos doesn’t remove the original picture after you import, you may end up with duplicate pics taking up precious space on your Mac. And if you’ve taken multiple photos of the same thing from slightly different angles, those will waste even more storage. To keep your photo collection lean, scan your Mac for duplicates from time to time. Gemini 2 can help you find and delete duplicate and even similar photos, so you don’t have to go through hundreds of photos manually. Download it for free and try it out.

Tabs in Photos: Library, Albums, Projects

Have you ever been unable to find a specific picture because you couldn’t remember when you took it? You can remember everything else about the photo, things like where it was taken and who was in it, but not the one thing you need to navigate your files.

The Photos app helps you with this predicament by organizing your pictures not only by date, but also by event, location, and even by people’s faces. In the sidebar, you’ll find a number of tabs designed to make sorting through your pictures easier.

Memories. Photos creates “memories” based on who is in a series of images as well as when and where those pictures were taken.

Favorites. These are the pictures you’ve gone through and clicked the heart icon on, marking them as your favorites.

People. This is where you’ll be able to see all the pictures of you have of specific people.

Places. This is where you can see all the pictures you’ve taken in specific locations.

Shared. This section is where you’ll find all the albums you’ve shared with other people and the albums that have been shared with you. (Check out our guide to iCloud Photo Sharing for more info on Shared Albums.)

Albums. If you want to group certain pictures for easy navigation, you’ll want to create a new album. This section is where you can access those albums.

How to tag people in photos

If you want to tag someone in a specific picture:

  1. Open the photo in the Photos app
  2. Click the info button in the top right corner.
  3. At the bottom of the info window, you’ll see circles with faces at the bottom. Tap on one of those.
  4. The face will now be circled on the photo. Underneath the circle will be a text box labeled “unnamed.” Click on the text box and type the person’s name.

If the person you’re tagging has already been tagged in your Library, their name should appear under the circle on the photo.

Photo Apps For Mac Computer

How to share pictures from the Photos app

The Photos app on Mac has made it easier than before to share your pictures. Just select the photos you want to share and click on the Share button in the top right-hand corner. You’ll see a list of options:

  • Shared Albums
  • AirDrop
  • Messages
  • Notes
  • and more, depending on what apps and accounts you set up on your Mac

Tap on your preferred option and proceed to send the pic or create a Shared Album.

Mac App Photo Strips

This might be helpful: How to edit photos with Mac's native image editors

Now that you’ve gotten a feel for how to use Photos on Mac, it’s time to give it a spin. Once you’ve got your library set up and organized, you’ll see how easy it is to relive and share your memories with Photos.

Amazon Photo App For Mac

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