Ok I've just converted to a Mac from Windows and I am totally stumped by Apple iCloud and Apple Photos (Running Mojave 10.14.2) In Windows I had all my photos organised by date (eg filename 2018-12-20, y/m/d)then a description (ex: a photo of my 9 month old would be 2018-12-20 - Wallace 8 Months - Australia Zoo) but I can't figure out how to organise or change filenames on Mac. Changing the title doesn't change the file name and I NEED it to!! I want to back up to an external hard drive but everything recent will all be jumble when I do with not being able to change the file names. Help please!!!

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    Do you have your pictures still stored in the file system or did you import them into Apple Photos?
    – nohillside
    Dec 19, 2018 at 5:59
  • changing File name on Mac is simple. Right click on file and use Rename. Apple Finder app allows you many ways to organize your files. Just look at the top menu bar and try some.
    – Ruskes
    Dec 19, 2018 at 6:03
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    Well, do you need to start Apple Photos to look at them? If yes you‘ve imported them. Apple Photos manages its own version of all pictures by default, you can‘t and don‘t need to rename them.
    – nohillside
    Dec 19, 2018 at 6:39
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    Now that we have found out that you are using Apple Photos already there is no need for screenshots :-)
    – nohillside
    Dec 19, 2018 at 7:15
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    Not sure how to proceed with the question though. One way forward could be about changing it to ask about how you can use Apple Photos to organize your pictures along the structure you prefer.
    – nohillside
    Dec 19, 2018 at 7:17

1 Answer 1


Photos imported into Photos.app go into a large .photolibrary resource. You should consider it to be a black hole. You can't (and shouldn't) organize the the photos there in the Finder or rename them.

However, Photos.app will automatically show you photos by date (among other sorting styles). Also by geolocation (e.g. Australia Zoo), Faces (e.g. Wallace), and more. Separate metadata for each of these is much more organized and useful than one filename which happens to include all the data.

You state in the comments that you have a 'control-freak' nature. Well, fighting Photos is only going to make things worse. Either use Photos as it is, or don't use it, and organize your Photos manually, or by using some other app.

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