Photos on my phone and my laptop both say this at the bottom of the People section of the app. There has been no noticeable progress made in the past few weeks. It looks like all the people it has "identified" were carried over from when I manually tagged them in iPhoto years ago.

Is there a way to jumpstart this process or restart it?

  • I also posted this on apple discussions: discussions.apple.com/thread/8660419 They have an earlier question asking about the same thing, but the answer was just "wait... it worked for me"
    – dwightk
    Dec 5, 2018 at 0:20

2 Answers 2


From this article:

Launch the Photos app on your Mac.

Select the picture that has the person's face you want to create a profile for.

Click on the Info button on the top right side of the Photos window. It looks like an i with a circle around it.


Click the Add button next to Add Faces.

Relocate the tag circle to the face of the person you want to create a profile for.

Click on Click to Name.


Name the person. If the name is in your contacts, it will appear in the suggested list.

Click the Close button in the info window when you're done.


Click on the People album in the sidebar under Library.

Select the new People profile.

Click on Confirm Additional Photos to see if the Photos app has automatically registered any additional pictures with that person in it.

select image

  • waiting about 5 hours after adding a new person and Photos just says "Updating [person]... People will finish updating when Photos is in the background."
    – dwightk
    Dec 7, 2018 at 21:53
  • This is helpful to know how to add someone (at least)
    – dwightk
    Dec 7, 2018 at 21:53
  • @dwightk Ok then. Leave the device plugged in and connected to WiFi and it should work
    – user310476
    Dec 7, 2018 at 21:59
  • 1
    This is a helpful answer, but it doesn't seem to do anything more than let me add people manually. I wish there was a button to say "hey, prioritize this and get it done for real."
    – dwightk
    Dec 10, 2018 at 15:36
  • @dwightk Yeah, unfortunately there isn't.
    – user310476
    Dec 10, 2018 at 15:39

Had exactly the same problem in macos Catalina v10.15.2 and Photos v5.0 (121.17.170).

I had tagged one photo with one new person and I waited days for more pictures of that person to be discovered.

Hopefully this might help:

After manually tagging a few more photos with that "new" person, came back to People and clicked on the person's face, then scrolled all the way down and this time the "Confirm Additional Photos" link was showing up.

I looks like maybe the face matching algorithm needs a few photos manually tagged before it can work?

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