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A Complete Guide on Managing Photo Library on Your Mac: Deleting Photos and Freeing Up Space

Step-by-Step Guide to Manage Your Mac's Photo Library

In this guide, we’re going to explore the often overlooked functionality of your Mac’s Photos app 🖥️. We’ll learn how to manage your photo library effectively — specifically, how to delete unwanted photos to free up space on your Mac’s hard drive. Always remember that you should have a solid backup of your photos before performing any deletion tasks!


Open Your Photos App

Start by opening your Photos app, which is usually located on the dock of your Mac. 🔍 Once you open it, you’ll see various options like Library, Memories, and more. For this tutorial, we’re interested in the Library option. Navigate to it — it could be at the top or bottom, depending on how your interface is set up.


Delete Individual or All Photos

If you want to delete a specific photo, simply click on it and press Command + Delete ⌨️. Alternatively, you can do a secondary click (or right-click) on the photo and choose the Delete Photo option. 🗑️ But what if you want to delete all the photos at once? Just press Command + A to select all photos and then press Command + Delete to get rid of them all at once. Just remember that this will empty your library entirely.


Use Edit Menu for Deletion

Another way to delete all photos is through the Edit menu found at the top of your screen. 🖱️From this menu, select Select All and then press Command + Delete. This will clean your library and start to save space on your hard drive. Make sure you’re ready to commit, as this action cannot be undone!


Backing Up Your Photos

If you’re deleting photos because your Mac’s hard drive is running out of space, you might want to consider using cloud-based platforms such as Google Photos ⛅. It’s a free app where you can store all your photos and access them anytime and from anywhere. Remember, your photos are private in Google Photos unless you decide to share them.


Clear Recently Deleted

After deleting your photos, don’t forget to clear the Recently Deleted folder as well. Doing so will permanently delete your photos and free up the corresponding space on your Mac. To access this folder, find it on the left panel of your Photos app and then select Delete All from the top-right corner of the screen. 💻 This will remove all photos forever, so be sure you’re ready for this step!

Conclusion: 🏁

After following these steps, your Photos app will be completely cleared out and your Mac’s storage should be significantly freed up. 💾 Finally, check your Trash Can to ensure it’s empty, too. This guide should help you manage your photo library on your Mac effectively, deleting unwanted photos and freeing up much-needed space. Be aware though that all deletions are permanent – so back up those precious moments if needed! 📸


You can manage your Photo Library on Mac using built-in features such as Photos app, along with various other measures such as controlling location data, and deleting duplicate or unwanted photos.

When in the Photos app, you can select and delete individual photos using the delete key, or delete grouped images from an album or a moment. Remember, deleted photos go to the Recently Deleted album and stay there for 30 days.

Yes, you can permanently delete photos by deleting them and then emptying the Recently Deleted album in the Photos app.

Deleted photos stay in the Recently Deleted album for 30 days where they can be recovered. After 30 days, or if you empty the Recently Deleted album, recovery may be impossible.

There are several third-party apps such as Gemini 2 that can help you identify and delete duplicate photos.

You can free up space on your Mac by deleting unwanted photos, movies, music and apps. Also consider storing files in iCloud or external storage.

The Recently Deleted album is where deleted photos go. They stay there for 30 days before being permanently deleted.

Yes, you can control the location data of your photos in the Photos app by going to Image > Location > Hide Location.

You need OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 or later to use the Photos app on a Mac.

Yes, you can create albums and organize your photos in them in the Photos app.

You can sync your photos across devices using iCloud Photos. You need to have iCloud set up on all your devices for this to work.

Deleting photos removes them completely after 30 days or immediately if you empty the Recently Deleted album afterwards. Hiding photos just removes them from the main library view but they remain in hidden album.

Smart Albums are album types in the Photos app that automatically organize your photos based on certain criteria like date, location etc.

You can delete photos from iCloud by deleting them from the Photos app if you’re using iCloud Photos. Consider turning off iCloud Photos if you don’t want your photos stored in iCloud.

You can ensure safety of your photos by regularly backing them up on iCloud or an external hard drive.

Yes, you can move your Photo Library to a different location in your Mac or an externally connected storage device.

Yes, properly managing your Photo Library can free up storage space, which in turn can enhance your Mac’s performance.

In the Photos app, you can set any frame of the Live Photo as the key photo by choosing ‘Make Key Photo’ after selecting a frame.

Yes, you can adjust the date and time of your photos in the Photos app by going to Image > Adjust Date and Time.

iCloud Photos is a service that keeps your photos and videos automatically stored in iCloud so you can access them from any of your devices, share them with friends, and save space on your devices.

Yes, you can revert back to the original version of an edited photo by choosing ‘Revert to Original’ in the Photos app.

Yes, you can edit Live Photos just like any other photo using the editing tools in the Photos app.

In the Photos app, you can add captions to your photos by selecting a photo and clicking the ‘Add a Caption’ field in the Info window.

Photo Stream allows you to access recent photos across your devices. Photos stay in Photo Stream for 30 days or until you delete them.

You can transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac using Airdrop, iCloud Photos, or direct connection with a USB cable.

Photo Stream only syncs the most recent 1000 photos and doesn’t use your iCloud storage. iCloud Photos syncs all your photos and uses iCloud storage.

You can manage privacy of your photos on Mac through Settings> Security & Privacy. Also, you can hide personal photos within the Photos app.

Yes, you can print your photos directly from the Photos app. Select the photos, then go to File > Print.

In the Photos app, you can select photos and then click on the ‘Slideshow’ option in the toolbar to create a slide show.

You can find help in managing your Photo Library in Mac user forums, Apple support, or help from Mac experts or related books.