I'm trying to show all photos with unnamed faces so that I can annotate them with the correct name.

unnamed face


I found an an online solution but it requires you to mark all the pictures with no faces at all.

How can I create a smart album containing all photos with unnamed faces, or otherwise collect all of the unnamed people photos?


3 Answers 3


For Catalina, this method works (at least from what I can tell):

  • Person is not %
  • Person is blank (i.e., the field is literally blank)

It's possible that just the second condition is all that is needed.

Here is what it looks like:

enter image description here

  • I'm using Mojave. Your second condition didn't change anything :(
    – Code42
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 14:01
  • Thank you. This works on macOS Catalina 10.15.7
    – mcotton
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 16:11
  • This does show photos with "Unnamed" people, and the Album's count goes down as soon as you assign a name. But it also shows some photos with named faces (no Unnamed). Strange.
    – pkamb
    Commented Jan 31, 2021 at 22:10
  • 5
    This method was working in Big Sur, but unfortunately seems broken again in Monterey/Photos 7.0.
    – stephbu
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 14:51

Edit: After re-reading your question and the provided link I see that my answer is similar but does not entirely solve your problem. From my experience with Photos.app and Lightroom this is probably the best way to approach it if the desired album (i.e. unnamed people) and features don't exist natively.

One option is to create a Smart Album via File > New Smart Album and apply the necessary criteria to filter out existing people.

Specific exclusions

If you have a small number of people you can choose [Person] | [does not include] and add full or partial names to exclude from the Album.

Note that you may need multiple "conditions" (i.e. lines of criteria) to filter out everyone as you can't use wildcards, comma separated names, etc. This also may not be practical if you have large numbers of people in Photos.

Bulk exclusions (this is what you want)

As a catch all approach you can exclude a set of letters that would cover most names such as a,e,i,o,u as at least one of those letters is present in most names. Make sure to select "All" in the "Match [___] of the following conditions" line. This works because it will do partial matches to including the letter o will match (and exclude) names like John, Bob, Thomas, etc.

If / when you find photos containing people that were not caught by this catch all you can determine which letter(s) are missing and add them to the rule.

enter image description here

  • 1
    But what if I want to exclude the photos with no faces at all? There are so many photos that don't have anyone in and I don't want to annotate those photos.
    – Code42
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 13:38
  • If there is a built-in tag in Photos.app that represents found but unnamed people such as “unnamed” or “unknown” (whether its visible in the UI or not) you may be able to add that to the exclusion rules. Currently I don’t have any unidentified people in my Photos.app library. I will attempt to run some test when I can and report back.
    – bVer
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 19:28
  • As of today in Catalina, this solution noted above is no longer working (nor is the linked one in the OP). I'm hoping it gets fixed because I put a lot of effort into working with this.
    – user209859
    Commented Nov 23, 2019 at 18:06
  • 1
    This sort of works in Monterey/Photos 7.0, but fails when you have multiple people in the photo and one or more of the people’s names are matched to an existing face. Unfortunately they also broke the %/blank match method in Photos 7.0 too.
    – stephbu
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 14:52
  • 1
    I can confirm that the blank match is no more working on Monterey ...
    – Matteo
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 20:41

On MacOS Big Sur, create a smart album with the condition:

Person IS [blank]

person is blank

  • This solution works for me, thanks
    – Dan
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 2:09
  • 2
    This album does show photos with "unnamed" faces, and when I name them that photo is removed from the album and the album's count does go down. But the album also shows tons of photos with only named faces; no "unnamed" faces at all...
    – pkamb
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 0:17
  • @pkamb This solution was working in the past (I used it for years) but is no more working with newer versions.
    – Matteo
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 20:44
  • On Monterey 12.6 this method brings up a lot of photos without faces or with already marked faces. Further, sometimes there is a ring around a face with "unnamed", and sometimes there is no ring at all and I have to add them manually.
    – Ian
    Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 13:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .