I have iOS 10 installed on my iPhone and macOS Sierra installed on my iMac. I'm using the iCloud Photo library on both.

On my Mac, I've spent a lot of time tagging faces and have done so on many of my ~35,000 photos. However, they do not seem to sync onto the iPhone Photos app. There, I'm supposed to do the whole tagging again, which I certainly don't want to do, given all the effort.

From what I've read so far, it seems that Apple has somehow not included this feature yet. Is that correct? Is there anything I can do about it?


1 Answer 1


With their focus on privacy Apple have deliberately made the decision not to sync certain information between devices.

They have documented this in a Knowledge base article called Use Photos and iCloud Photo Library on multiple Mac computers.

After you sign in, these items appear in the Photos app on all of your Mac computers:

  • All original photos and videos
  • All folders and albums
  • Smart Albums
  • Keywords
  • Memories
  • Key photo selections

These items are available only on the Mac where you created them:

  • Books, cards, and calendars
  • Slideshows
  • Keyword shortcuts
  • Unused keywords
  • Last imported album (this album contains photos you most recently imported on a specific Mac)
  • Names and faces in the People album
  • oh ... well that's a shame, do you know if there's any chance they'll change this? thanks a lot for the answer, tough! Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 20:21
  • @AlexWaldenmaier There is code written and fields in the photos database on macOS pointing towards eventual support. Who knows if or when that will happen or if that code will get removed. Hard to know what Apple is planning since they're well known to not ship until it's ready and also known to experiment with code shipping before it's enabled and then not go forward with an idea.
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 21:14
  • The worst part of it is that everytime you do a iCloud restore for whatever reason like upgrading or swapping phones these people will have to be redone which is an extreme shame in my opinion
    – Pinchus G.
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 21:26
  • @PinchusG. Are you sure? Wouldn't this be stored in an iCloud backup? I thought the point was just that Apple aren't looking at the data so they can't sync it between devices. Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 21:29
  • @AlistairMcMillan I'm 100% positive at this point as originally I thought that it's an issue with beta but after upgrading to the iPhone 7 where I lost them and then I did another restore because of s troubleshooting step and I lost them again and now I just finished another iCloud restore after Apple has swapped my phone out and they're again lost
    – Pinchus G.
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 21:33

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