Photos on Mac

The People album in macOS High Sierra has changed a lot from Sierra. It's much smarter, but needs a bit of retraining.

The People album in the Photos app on Mac used to require a bit of work — tagging, adding, naming, and the like. Let's not even talk about how we used to have to sync people between iOS and macOS. In High Sierra, Apple made some big changes to the Photos app, which basically means your faces all sync automatically across all of your devices. There are still a few things you'll need to do manually to get your pictures in order, though. Here's how.

Note: This guide is for Photos on Mac in High Sierra. Looking for how to use the People album in Sierra? We've got you covered right here!

How to create a new People profile

The People album now syncs between Mac, iPhone and iPad when you're running iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. If you don't see a profile that you want to add, you can do so manually on Mac.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Select the picture that has the person's face you want to create a profile for.
  3. Click on the Info button at the top left side of the Photos window. It looks like an i with a circle around it.

    Click on a photo, then click on the info button for the photo

  4. Click the Add button next to Add Faces.
  5. Relocate the tag circle to the face of the person you want to create a profile for.
  6. Click on Click to Name.

    Click on Add Faces, then move the tag circle to the face

  7. Name the person. If the name is in your contacts, it will appear in the suggested list.
  8. Click the Close button in the info window when you're done.

    Reame the face, then close the info window

  9. Click on the People album in the sidebar under Library.
  10. Select the new People profile.
  11. Click on Confirm Additional Photos to see if the Photos app has automatically registered any additional pictures with that person in it.

    Click on People, then click on a profile, then click on confirm additional photos

You may have to wait a bit for the Photos app to update before you can confirm additional photos. If, after updating, the Photos app still doesn't recognize a person's face to add to their profile, you can manually add a picture to a People profile.

How to merge People into one profile

You might have already noticed that there are multiple profiles for the same person in your People album. This is likely due to the new syncing feature in iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. If you created a profile on Mac and on your iPhone, they may not properly merge when you sync both devices. You can manually merge profiles.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Click on the People album in the sidebar under Library.
  3. Click on one profile to select it.

    Click on People, then click on two profiles,

  4. Command-click on another profile so you've selected both.
  5. Right or Control-click to open the option menu.
  6. Click on Merge [number] People.
  7. Click Yes to confirm that these are the same person and you want to merge the profiles into one.

    Right-click on two photos and select merge

How to manually add a picture to a People profile

The Photos app may not have been able to identify pictures with the same person in them that are in your People album, especially early on, before High Sierra has had time to work out the kinks. You don't have to wait for the Photos app to identify and add a picture to a People profile. You can do that manually.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Select the picture that has the person's face you want to add to a People profile.
  3. Click on the Info button at the top left side of the Photos window. It looks like an i with a circle around it.

    Click on a photo, then click on the info button for the photo

  4. Click the Add button next to Add Faces.
  5. Relocate the tag circle to the face of the person you want to create a profile for.
  6. Click on Click to Name.

    Click on Add Faces, then move the tag circle to the face

  7. Name the person. If the name is in your contacts, it will appear in the suggested list.
  8. Click the Close button in the info window when you're done.

    Reame the face, then close the info window

Once named, the photo will be added to the person's profile in the People album.

How to name or rename a People profile

If a profile is unnamed, or has a name, but it's the wrong one, you can manually name or rename it.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Click on the People album in the sidebar under Library.
  3. Double-click on the profile you want to name or rename.

    Click on People, then click on a profile

  4. Click the name or Unnamed at the top right corner of the profile window.
  5. Type in the name you want to use. If the person is in your contacts, it will appear as a suggested name.

    Click on the name, then type in a new name

  6. Click on Next.
  7. Click on Done to confirm that this is the new name you want associated with that person.

    Click on Next, then click on done

How to favorite a People profile

Got a favorite person you want to see pictures of all the time? You can put them at the top of the People album section so you can find them super easily.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Click on the People album in the sidebar under Library.
  3. Click on the heart on the profile you want to favorite.

    Click on People, then click the heart next to a profile

The favorited profile will move to the favorites section at the top of the page.

How to view a slideshow of a People profile

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Click on the People album in the sidebar under Library.
  3. Double-click on the profile you want view the slideshow for.

    Click on People, then click on a profile

  4. Click on the Play button at the top left of the Photos window.

    Double-click on a profile, then click on the Play button

  5. Select the style of slideshow you want.
  6. Click Play Slideshow.

    Selet a style of slideshow, then click on Play Slideshow

How to select a specific key photo for a People profile

Apple automatically selects a photo as the key image for a person's profile, but you can always pick a better one.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Click on the People album in the sidebar under Library.
  3. Double-click on the profile you want to change the key photo for.
  4. Select the photo you want to use as the key photo (don't double-click it). Remember, it will only show the face of the person, not the entire picture.
  5. Right or Control-click on the photo.
  6. Click on Make Key Photo from the drop down menu.

    Click on People, then select a profile, then right or control click on a photo, then select  Make Key Photo

The face tagged as the person in the profile will now be the key photo in the People album.

How to remove a picture from a profile

Sometimes, Apple gets it wrong, and will assign a photo to a person's profile when the person is not actually in the photo. These steps are also good for pictures when a person is not the focus of a photo, so you don't want it in the profile.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Click on the People album in the sidebar under Library.
  3. Double-click on the profile you want to remove a photo from.
  4. Select the photo you want to remove (don't double-click on it).
  5. Right or Control-click on the photo.
  6. Click on [name] is not in this photo.

    Click on People, then click on a profile, then right or control click on a photo, then select [Name] is not in this photo

Unfortunately, you can't remove all of the names from a photo at once, you'll have to follow the steps above in each profile a photo is associated with.

How to un-favorite a People profile

So, your BFF is no longer your BFF, and therefore no longer your favorite. No problem.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Click on the People album in the sidebar under Library.
  3. Click on the heart on the profile you want to un-favorite.

    Click on People, then click on the heart on a photo

The person's profile will move back down with the rest of the not-so-special People profiles.

How to remove a People profile entirely

So, not only is your BFF not your BFF, but you really don't want to look at their face anymore. You can get rid of a profile you or the Photos app has created.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Click on the People album in the sidebar under Library.
  3. Select the profile you want to remove (don't double-click on it).
  4. Right or Control-click on the profile.
  5. Click on Remove this Person.

    Click on the people album, then right or control click on a profile, then click on Remove this person

That profile will ... poof ... disappear from the People album. The photos won't be deleted from your Photos app, though. You'll have to delete the photos from your library.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about how to use the People album in Photos for Mac in High Sierra? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out.