How to Select Photos on MacBook: A Comprehensive Guide

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Selecting photos on a MacBook is an essential skill for anyone who uses their Apple device for managing and organizing their images. Knowing how to efficiently select photos enables you to optimize your photo management process, ensuring you can find specific images quickly and easily. In this article, we will provide tips and tricks for selecting photos on a MacBook, covering various methods for selection, organizing your images, and streamlining your workflow.

Understanding How to Select Photos on a MacBook

1. Using the Trackpad or Mouse

Selecting photos on your MacBook using the trackpad or mouse is an intuitive process. To select a single photo, simply click once on the image thumbnail. If you want to open a photo, double-click on the image, and it will be displayed in full screen or default photo viewer app. To select multiple images simultaneously, hold the ‘Command’ key as you click each photo. Alternatively, you can right-click (or Control-click) on a photo for contextual options such as Open With or Share.

2. Using the Keyboard

You can also use the keyboard to conveniently select photos on a MacBook. Holding down the ‘Shift’ key while clicking on an image allows you to select a range of photos. This is particularly useful when you want to select a block of consecutive photos rapidly. Additionally, using the ‘Command’ key with ‘Click’ enables you to choose non-consecutive photos individually. Finally, you can use Option-click and drag to select a rectangular area of multiple images.

Organizing Photos on a MacBook

3. Creating Albums

Creating albums is an excellent way to organize photos on your MacBook. Open the Photos app (which comes pre-installed on all MacBooks) and click on the ‘+’ icon in the top-left corner to create a new album. Give your album a descriptive name, then add your selected photos by dragging them into the album or pressing the ‘Add photos’ button. Albums help categorize your photos, making it easier to find specific images later.

4. Sorting Photos

Sorting photos is a simple yet powerful feature that helps you organize your images by specific criteria. On a MacBook, you can sort photos by date, name, size, type, and more. To access the sorting feature, open the Photos app, click on the ‘View’ menu at the top of the screen, and choose the desired sorting option. Sorting enables you to manage large collections of photos more efficiently.

Additional Tips for Selecting Photos on a MacBook

5. Using the Preview Feature

The Preview feature on a MacBook allows you to quickly view photos without opening them in a separate photo viewer app. To use the Preview feature, select a photo, and press the Spacebar. This opens a preview window, showing a larger version of the image. Preview not only speeds up the selection process but also helps you decide whether a particular photo is worth keeping or deleting based on its contents.

6. Using the Search Function

The search function in the Photos app on a MacBook is a powerful and convenient way to find specific photos. Whether you are looking for a particular event, place, or person, the search function can help you locate the image in seconds. Click on the search icon (magnifying glass) in the top-right corner of the Photos app and enter your search terms, such as a date, keyword, or name. The search function saves time and simplifies the process of selecting photos.


Selecting photos on a MacBook is an essential skill for effectively managing your image library. Understanding how to select and organize photos using the trackpad, mouse, and keyboard can save you time and effort in the long run. It is important to have the right photos selected to immortalize life’s milestones and events. Now equipped with these tips and tricks, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge into practice and start selecting and organizing your photos on your MacBook.

FAQ – How to Select Photos on a MacBook

1. How can I quickly select all photos in an album or folder?

To quickly select all photos in an album or folder, click on the first photo thumbnail, then press ‘Command + A’ on your keyboard.

2. Can I import photos directly from an iPhone?

Yes, you can import photos directly from your iPhone using the Photos app on your MacBook. Connect your iPhone to your MacBook via USB or using iCloud, then follow the on-screen instructions to import the desired images.

3. Can I add keywords to photos to improve search functionality?

You can add keywords to your images by selecting the photo, then clicking on the ‘Info’ button in the Photos app. In the ‘Info’ panel, enter your desired keywords in the ‘Add a Keyword’ box.

4. Can I change the default photo viewer application on my MacBook?

Yes, you can change the default photo viewer app on your MacBook by right-clicking on a photo, selecting ‘Get Info,’ and changing the ‘Open With’ option to your preferred application.

5. How can I delete or remove a photo from an album without deleting it from my library?

To remove a photo from an album without deleting it from your library, select the photo in the album, then press ‘Delete’ or ‘Backspace’ on your keyboard. This will remove the photo from the album but not delete it permanently from your library.

6. How can I select and delete multiple photos without selecting them individually?

You can use the Shift-click or Command-click method to select multiple photos and press ‘Delete’ or ‘Backspace’ on your keyboard to remove them.

7. Can I select and move photos to folders outside the Photos app?

Yes, you can drag and drop selected photos into folders outside the Photos app on your MacBook. This will move the images from the Photos app to the desired folder, keeping your overall organization intact.