Where Are Photos Stored on Mac – Locate Easily!

Did you just think of looking at the pictures on your Mac and unable to locate it made you angry ? But aren’t all the pictures supposed to store in a default location on your devices? Well, it is set to save on a set location and you can simply look at them on Mac as well. But if you are still finding it hard to locate, this article will let you know where are photos stored on Mac.

Be it the default folder for the downloaded photos or the photos you imported from the external storage device. If you’ve been wondering where your Apple Photos are, we would like to shed light on the different methods to find the photos on your Mac. 

Where Are Photos Stored on Mac

1. How to Find The Photos Library on Mac

The photographs are stored on the Mac in the specific location. But if you are still asking yourself this question, where are photos stored on Mac, let us help you out. You can find it under ~/Pictures/Photos Library.photoslibrary/originals/.

You can find the pictures in the home directory of the user. The “Go To Folder” command help you reach the photos quickly. And that’s why this is one of the quickest and easiest ways to locate the photos on Mac. 

Just remember to enter the complete command also with the tilde i.e.the sign ~ as a prefix.

As it will allow you to move through the directory easily. It is where all the images saved locally on Mac. It can easily be accessed by any Mac user.

Find The Photos Library on Mac
Photos app is the inbuilt application by Apple for the Mac, iPhone and iPad users. It keeps all of your photographs organised in one place. You can also carry your pictures everywhere with iCloud Photos by turning it on to sync the pictures with your iCloud account.

Photos app is organised into a Library to make it a user-friendly place to keep the collection of all of the pictures on Mac. 

Photos app
You can always browse through the pictures present on Photos quickly. It can help you locate a certain picture from a time frame with the year, month or day. It also works in the direction with the different tags, keywords or date. So, it is true that your photos are stored in the Photos app but also not all of them might be present here if you have chosen otherwise.

If you have recently imported photos from your iPhone or iPad or any other external storage device, you need to move to the next section.

2. How to Find Imported Photos on Mac

When you download or import a picture, it might not end up in the Photos app. But after the import, if you want to know ‘where are photos stored on Mac’, you need to search for them.

It can get hard for some of the users to get a hold of the pictures for viewing instantly. What if it’s not available in a location you were thinking of, it might end up. Therefore, you need to check, so first let us take a look at another method to check the Photos app. Now, to see the Photos store on your Mac, you need to follow these simple steps –

  1. Open Finder from the dock.
  2. Look for the Home Directory and tap on the Pictures folder.
  3. Now go to the Photos.library.photoslibrary and right click on it.
  4. Under the options, tap on the “Show Package Contents”
  5. Here look for the folder and go to the Photos app and view images on it. 

Find Imported Photos on Mac

Note that if you remove any picture from the Masters folder, it will no longer appear in your Photos app.

3. To find specific image on Mac – 

When we are looking for a specific photo on your Mac, time plays a crucial role.  If we tell you a faster way to locate a specific photo among the thousands stored on Mac, it can save your time. The use of filters in the photo albums such as the Recents, Shared, Imports and Favourites will make your search easier. 

Step 1: Go to the Photos application and select the album from the Sidebar.

Photos application

Step 2: Now use a related keyword to search for your image, it has to be related to the photo. All the keywords are visible in the Showing pop-up menu.

Step 3: Select a keyword which is displaying the specific images for your search.

Step 4: Find your image from the small collection easily now. 

4. To find Backup photos –

If you wish to find out where the photos are backing up all this time, follow this method. Usually the regular way, you will find the photos in the iCloud account. It is a cloud storage which does not require any external application to be added on your Mac, therefore the best for syncing and sharing data. 

The built-in iCloud on Mac stores all your backup photos. You can go to iCloud to look for your stored backup photos with your Apple ID from anywhere. 

Note: Make sure you have turned on your iCloud backup on your device to avail best services. 

5. If Pictures folder is missing

If you are unable to trace your pictures with any of these methods and are still wondering where are photos stored on Mac, it is possible the photos are lost.

It is also possible that you have accidentally deleted them. In that case, you can always use a disk recovery application for Mac to get back the lost photos.

1. You can go to the Photos app and then click on the Recently deleted in the sidecar.

2. This is where you can view the deleted items and select them to restore.

3. Click on Recover once you have made the selection.

Frequently Asked Questions – 

Q1. Where are Apple Photos stored?

Are you wondering where are photos stored on Mac? Well, Mac saves all of the photos in its storage disk and it can be viewed on the Photos app.

Q2. How to find photo files on Mac?

To find photo files on Mac, you can open the Pictures folder under your Home user folder. Here look for Photos Library.photoslibrary and right click on it.

You can find the photos under its Show Package Contents option.

Q3. Where is the Pictures folder on the MacBook? 

Follow this to find the Picture folder on your MacBook : Open Finder, click on the Go To > Home and in the newly opened tab, you can locate Pictures folder in the list. 


Understanding the storage location of photos on your Mac is essential for effective file management. Whether they are in the Photos app library or scattered across various folders, knowing where to find and organize your images streamlines access.

By leveraging this knowledge, you can efficiently manage your photo collection, create backups, and optimize storage space. Now that you’re equipped with insights into the storage nuances, navigating your Mac’s photo repository becomes a seamless process.

Also Read

Leave a Comment