I am using the Photos app to organize my pictures on my mac. I had imported them a month ago and then decided to go through the Finder and Pictures directory and actually delete pictures I didn't want. So when I go into the new Photos application the pictures are still there. Do I need to go through the app now too and delete them out of there or can I reimport from that same directory. I just didn't understand why it couldn't sync with what I had deleted out of there.

2 Answers 2


As stated, Photos keeps its own copies in its library.

Photos Library

Provided the photos you have edited and weeded out in Finder are the only photos you want in your library, try this:

  • Quit Photos if open
  • Move the Photo Library.photoslibrary file to a new location. (Desktop for instance) This make take a few minutes depending on how large the library is.
  • Open Photos app. It will ask you for a Library.
  • Create a new Library
  • Import your cleaned up photos to the new Library
  • If you have what you want you can delete the old Library.

This should save you lots of time. Just be sure you have backups of your photos!

In case you are curious how Photos stores your photos, +Click or right click and Show Package Contents

Photos Show Package Contents

  • Well what about Iphotos thought because there are photos that are in there. Jun 7, 2015 at 20:18
  • Do you mean "What about iPhotos though?" Do you want to extract photos from there and place in Photos app as well?
    – bjbk
    Jun 7, 2015 at 20:20
  • Better question is how can I import photos from my iphone straight into the Pictures directory in Finder and NOT into the Photos app. Jun 7, 2015 at 20:45
  • Understandable. Many people prefer to keep photos in a Folder hierarchy and use Finder to manage them. A search on this forum may reveal an answer as to how to do that. If not, start a new question so others who may have the same challenge can find an answer too. Cheers!
    – bjbk
    Jun 7, 2015 at 20:50
  • The answers above are directly related to your original question. This question may prove helpful to you.
    – bjbk
    Jun 7, 2015 at 20:51

Photos copies anything you import into its own folder structure. Deleting the original isn't going to remove it from Photos. The simplest way to remove the photos from Photos is to do it from the app.

  • So to clarify I would have to go through and deleted hundreds of photos as well in that app after spending countless hours going through the actual files themselves? Jun 7, 2015 at 19:04
  • Ouch... Sorry, but yes. :( Jun 7, 2015 at 19:05
  • 2
    You could delete the Photos library and then re-import your photos from Finder. That would save some time. Just be sure you have a decent backup somewhere just in case.
    – bjbk
    Jun 7, 2015 at 19:07

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