Importing Photos to Libraries
Photos supports importing your pictures from a range of devices, including card readers, iPhones, digital cameras, or even your Mac’s hard drive. For many of the import sources there are even multiple ways you can import your images. But know there is no one “right way.” Rather, choose the way that works best for you.
Import from iOS Devices, Digital Cameras, or Card Readers
Photos works with virtually any card reader or digital camera on the market, including all of Apple’s iOS devices that offer camera functionality.
- Plug in your digital camera, mobile device, or card reader to your Mac’s USB port, or put the digital camera’s SD card into the Mac’s SD card reader. The device you have plugged in will then appear in the Devices list in Photos’ Source List under a new Import header.
- (optional) Click the Show All button to expand the Already Imported list to see all the photos you’ve already imported that are still on the device.
- (optional) Mark photos to be deleted from your device after you import them (thus freeing up space on your device) by checking the Delete Items After Import checkbox.
- Import only specific photos from your device (rather than importing all of them) by clicking each photo you want to import (a blue check mark appears on selected photos). You can select photos from both the Already Imported and New Photos sections.
- Click the Import Selected button. The Last Import album opens so you can see the newly imported photos.
Alternatively, import all of the photos on your device by clicking the Import All New Photos button. The Last Import album opens so you can see the newly imported photos.
Import from a Folder on Your Mac or from an External Device
Another way you can import photos to Photos is directly from your Mac or an external device such as an external hard drive. There are two ways to import photos that are already on your Mac and on external drives: dragging and dropping files or using the File menu.
Use Drag and Drop
Select the photo or folder of photos on your Mac or external device.
Drag the selected item into the body of the Photos window or onto the Photos header in the Source List. The pictures are automatically imported and are added to your Photos Library.
Use the File Menu
With Photos open, select File, Import.
- Navigate to the photograph or folder of photos you want to import.
Select the photos you want to import, and click the Review for Import button.
The folder or pictures you selected show up in the Source List under the Import header. Here you see if any of the photos have already been imported and which ones haven’t been.
Just as with importing from a device, you can choose to import only selected items or import everything by clicking the respective buttons. When importing from the File menu you also have the option to cancel the import by clicking the Cancel button.