Is it hard for you to keep track of your photos? If you use the app Photos built into macOS Monterey, you have the tools to solve the problem.

One of the essential tools that the Photos app offers is the ability to create smart albums. When you create a Smart Album, Photos will automatically place photos that match your criteria in it.

As new photos are created or stored on your Mac, macOS will automatically move them to different Smart Albums. If you want to know how to create Smart Albums on macOS, This is what you have to do.

How to create smart albums on Mac

To create and maintain Smart Albums on Mac:

  1. Open the app Photos on your computer.
  2. Please select File.
  3. Please select New Smart Album.
  4. Add a name in the box Smart album name to indicate the types of images that reside here. For example, “Vacation 2021”.

Set the conditions for smart albums

You will then create a condition (or conditions) used in the smart album. Apple has included a ton of options here, including the ones mentioned below. These include:

  • Categories:: When creating a Smart Album, you must first set a category to search by. There are different built-in categories to choose from, including Photo, Keyword, Title, and Text.
  • Define the relationshipNext, take the categories further by adding a modifier, sometimes called a defining relationship. The available options are based on the category you initially selected. For example, if you have chosen the category to be Person, you may want to include (or not include) photos with certain people. In another example, if the category is Photo, the defining relationship could be Selfie, Video, Favorite, or RAW.
  • Set a criteria for the condition: In the third drop-down menu or field, you can continue to build the Smart Album. Maybe, for example, you only want images taken in 2021.
  • Add and remove conditions: There are “+” and “-” buttons next to each condition. Add and remove according to your preferences.
  • All or some? Finally, with your Smart Album, note if all the conditions must be met for the inclusion of a photo or only one of them. This is called “all” or “all”. For example, a Vacation Photo Smart Album featuring Jennifer taken in 2021 has three conditions. If all three conditions are a requirement, Smart Album will be much more selective. However, if only one condition is acceptable, your results will be much broader.
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When you’re done, click To accept to save your choice.

An example

In the example below, we have created a smart album for photos from 2021 that include the keyword “dog”.

In another, we have gathered all the images captured in Portrait mode on a compatible iPhone:

Edit smart albums

You can adjust the smart album conditions in the Photos app at any time. For it:

  1. Open the app Photos on your computer.
  2. Right-click on the Smart Album on the left side of the application.
  3. Please select Edit Smart Album.
  4. Adjust the terms based on your preferences.
  5. Click on To accept.

In the example below, we continue to collect images captured in Portrait mode. However, now the Smart Album only includes images taken in 2021:

Other smart album solutions

Over time, you may want to further adjust other settings for your Smart Albums. For example, you might want to duplicate one, add new conditions, or rename or delete it.

Rename a smart album

To rename an existing album in the Photos app on Mac:

  1. Open the app Photos on your computer.
  2. Right-click on the Smart Album on the left side of the application.
  3. Please select Rename Smart Album.
  4. Adjust the Name and then press Return on your keyboard.

Double

To copy an album:

  1. Open the app Photos on your computer.
  2. Right-click on the Smart Album on the left side of the application.
  3. Please select Duplicate Smart Album.
  4. Then rename the album copied and adjusts the conditions as necessary.

Remove

To delete albums in the Photos app:

  1. Open the app Photos on your computer.
  2. Right-click on the Smart Album on the left side of the application.
  3. Please select Delete Smart Album.
  4. Confirm by clicking Remove In the box.
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Note: Deleting a smart album does not delete images from the Photos application.

What about the iPhone and iPad?

If you use iCloud Photos, all your pictures and videos are synced to your Apple devices. But unfortunately, when you create Smart Albums on your Mac, they don’t carry over to your other devices.

Smart Albums are a great way to have a lively set of photos that changes based on the conditions you set. In future articles we will talk about other features of the Photos app. Stay tuned.

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