Organizing Your Photo Library: Tips and Tricks for Apple Devices

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Photos on Apple devices are organized into ‘Library’, ‘For You’, ‘Albums’, and ‘Search’. When you enable Apple’s iCloud Photo Library, you can easily sync, share, and transfer photos to other devices. Here are some tips and tricks you can use when organizing your photos.

The Library tab

Under the ‘Library tab,’ you can view all your photos and choose how to browse – by days, months, or years. In iOS 14 and later, you can filter the display. Select the Library tab>All Photos>More>Filters and then choose an option such as Favorites or Videos. 

  • For you’ contains photos and videos of moments that stand out. It shows them as Collections called Memories. 
  • Under the ‘Albums tab you will find the albums you’ve created. Some of them you will create using default albums with names like Selfies. Others are custom albums with names you give them. In the Recent Album, you will find all your photos in the order in which you added them to your library. 
  • ‘Search’ helps you to find photos of people, events, places, etc. You can use iCloud photos free on any iOS device and it imports media from your iPhone camera roll. It automatically groups photos by date and time taken and also uses facial recognition and geo-tags to group photos. 

If you transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac you can save space on your iPhone and improve its performance. As the iPhone and Mac are both parts of the Apple ecosystem, there are a number of ways to connect them and transfer content. You can transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac by connecting your devices with a USB cable. Using Finder allows you to sync your iPhone with your Mac if you have MacOS Catalina or later. Other handy methods include AirDropping photos or transferring them using iCloud. 

Create albums

In Photos, you can use default albums and create your own custom albums. 

Use default albums

Photos give you a set of default albums with names such as Favorites, Selfies, Places, People, Screenshots, etc. 

Create a custom album

You can also create your own custom albums in My Albums. 

  • In Photos, select the Albums tab on the bottom menu.
  • Select the plus sign on the top left and give your album a name. 
  • Add photos to your album by selecting photos from the Library.
  • Press done. 
  • Scroll down and you will see your new album in the My Albums section.

person using a smartphone

Make changes to albums

Change an album’s name

You can easily change the name of an album by going to it and selecting the More button. Tap to rename the album, change the name, and press Save. 

Re-arrange albums

You can re-arrange your albums by going to Albums>See All>Edit. Touch and hold an album. Drag it to anywhere you want it and press Done. 

Sort photos within an album

To sort photos within an album in iOS 14 and later, go to the album and select the More button. Choose Sort and a Sorting Option. You can choose:

  • Oldest to Newest
  • Newest to Oldest 
  • Custom Order

Delete duplicate photos

You need to be selective with your photos and not save everything. It’s hard to take a good shot on the first try and most of us forget to delete the copy or two of the same photo we don’t need. Deleting photos frees up space and makes organizing your photos more manageable.

In iOS 16 and later the Photos App will identify duplicate photos in the photo library and put them into a Duplicates album.

  • Open the Photos app. 
  • Tap Albums and you will find the Duplicates album under Utilities. 
  • Select Merge to combine duplicate photos and save space.

Another way to delete photos is to use the Search tool in Photos. You can search for people, locations, dates, etc., and quickly spot duplicates. In the top right, you can tap on Select and choose all the duplicates to delete them.

Remember that you can’t delete a photo on one device and expect it to stay on another. You must be sure about what you want to delete. If you make a mistake you can go to the Recently Deleted album to recover photos for up to 30 days.

Share an album

You can share photos, videos, and albums with specific people and allow them to add their photos and comments. Under the Albums tab, you will see Shared Albums you have created and joined. 


Clicking photos is one of the main things you do on your phone. Phone cameras make it possible to take multiple photos but it becomes a point of worry when the Library becomes full. As you keep adding media to your Library, it becomes essential to know how to organize your photos. By using the above tips and tricks you can streamline your photo management. This ensures you always have easy access to your memories.

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