How to Import Pictures Into Photos on Mac

If you want to import pictures into Photos on your Mac, here’s how to do it.

OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 was released just recently, and with it came an all-new Photos app that replaces iPhoto and Aperture on Mac. It’s a simpler photo management tool, but it comes with a handful of features. It isn’t just an updated version of iPhoto either. Instead, it’s a whole new app with a plethora of new features, including the ability to access your iCloud Photo Library, which means that when you take a photo on your iPhone or iPad, that photo will automatically be viewable on your Mac through the Photos app, thanks to iCloud.

Perhaps one of the coolest features is that edits made to a photo on your iPhone or iPad in the Photos app can be automatically synced to all devices instantly, and the process can be done the other way around as well.

The design of Photos on Mac looks nearly identical to how it looks on iOS 8, with a few obvious design differences since it’s on a Mac rather than your iPhone or iPad. In the app, you can do things like sort your photos and videos and even only view special files like panoramics, burst shots, slow motion, and timelapse video, separating all other photos and videos.


However, before you can really use it, you have to import all of your pictures into Photos first. Luckily, this is really easy to do, and after you import all of your pictures into the Photos app, you can begin to organize them and even edit them using the basic editing tools provided in the app.

How to Import Your Photos

One thing to keep in mind before you import your pictures into Photos is that if you have iCloud Photo Library enabled, any photos that you import into the Photos app on your Mac will automatically show up on your iPhone or iPad as well. This won’t use up iPhone storage space (but rather iCloud storage space), so if you only want your photos to show up in the Photos app on your Mac, be sure to disable iCloud Photo Library.

To do this, open up Photos and click on Photos up in the menu bar in the upper-left corner. Select Preferences and then uncheck Copy items to the Photos library next to Importing. Any photos you import into Photos will not be copied into your iCloud Photos library.


So finally, to import your pictures into the Photos app, follow these simple steps:

  • Go up to the menu bar and click on File, then Import.
  • Finder will pop up and from here you’ll navigate to where all of your photos are stored. You can simply just select the folder that your photos are in and then click Review for Import.


  • All of your photos will appear in a grid layout, and you can either then select specific photos to import or import all of them. To import a selection, simply just click on the ones you want and then click on Import Selected in the upper-right corner of the Photos window. To import all of them, just click on Import All New Items.

If you enabled iCloud Photos Library, it will take some time to sync all of your photos with iCloud and have them viewable on your other Apple devices. Otherwise, all of your photos will now be in the Photos app and you can begin to organize, edit, etc.