How to Create and Use Smart Albums in iPhoto and Photos for Mac

How to Create and Use Smart Albums in iPhoto and Photos for Mac

Besides the regular photo albums, the iPhoto and the Photos apps for Mac allows you to create the so-called Smart Albums that help you organize your photos in a much smarter way. By using these kinds of albums, you can categorize your photos using various filters, such as where the photos were taken and if they contain a specific person’s face.

There are so many cool things you can do with the Smart Albums on your Mac, and the only things you need to have are some photos and either the iPhoto or the Photos app installed on your machine to get started.

Creating and Using a Smart Album in the iPhoto or Photos App

The procedure for creating a smart album in the iPhoto and Photos app is identical. I will be using the Photos app in the following steps.

1. Launch the Photos app by clicking on Launchpad in your dock and searching for and clicking on Photos.


2. When the Photos app launches, click on the “File” menu and select “New Smart Album…”


3. On the following screen you can enter a name for your smart album and enter the criteria that will be used to filter the photos for the album.

Here are some ideas for using the Smart Albums on your machine.

Finding the Photos that Do Not Have Location Data

By using this criteria you can find all of the photos in the app that do not have the location data. Once you have found these photos, you can then manually add a location to them using the guide given on this site.


To do that, select “Photo”, “is not”, and “tagged with GPS” from the drop-down menus, and you should instantly be able to see the photos that meet this criteria. Click on “OK” to create this smart album.

Finding the Photos that Are Captured with a Specific Camera

If you would like to create an album with all the photos that have been captured using a specific camera, you can also do that using the Smart Album feature.


To do that select “Camera Model,” “includes,” and the camera model from the drop-down menu, and you should get all of the photos captured using that particular camera in your smart album.

Finding the Photos that Have Specific Faces

If you are looking to collect the photos of a specific person, you can use their face to gather all of their photos.


To do that, select “Face,” “includes,” and the person’s name.

You can add multiple criteria for these photos by clicking on the plus icon on the new smart album panel.

Once you are done with the criteria for the smart album photos, you can click on “OK” to create the album.

You can add as many filters as you want to the albums, and imagination is the limit here!


If you would like to organize your photos in a certain way, such as keeping the untagged GPS photos separate from the others, the guide above should help you do that using the Smart Album feature found in the iPhoto and Photos apps for Mac.

Mahesh Makvana
Mahesh Makvana

Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who's written thousands of posts about various tech topics on various sites. He specializes in writing about Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android tech posts. He's been into the field for last eight years and hasn't spent a single day without tinkering around his devices.

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