I have a few pictures where the photo app has detected no faces at all.

Is there a way to force the app to rescan those picture for faces?

  • Are you on the beta? I think there is an issue with face detection in the El Capitan betas. Sep 15, 2015 at 0:08
  • @willWorkForCookies I don't use Photos on the beta yet.
    – Coyote
    Sep 16, 2015 at 9:51

3 Answers 3


I have noticed on El Capitan and newer (Catalina, Big Sur, Monterey) Photos that manually adding faces on individual photos (cmd+i, click circle with + , position manually and resize circle, type person name) then skipping forward one by one (right arrow or slide) will rescan sequential photos.

Then going directly to Faces and clicking person face which you were working on will suggest that more photos could be added.

This made Photos to gain additional 10-20% face recognition for me.


You can manually add a face by clicking the the "I" info button and then click "add faces" in the floating palette


It seems, that if Photos didn't found any faces, then ... well ... it won't find anymore no matter how many times you will scan it. Photos does not try to find a face similar to those you already have in your library, but just searches for something that looks in shape like face and then asks you if they are in fact faces.

Some more info: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7056659

  • 1
    iPhoto was regularly updated and from time to time re-scaning pictures for faces would bring more faces. I'm looking for a way to rescan all older pictures from time to time to detect more faces when Photos is updated.
    – Coyote
    Sep 16, 2015 at 9:49

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