Is there a way to bypass the automatic updating of faces in iPhoto (OS X Lion 10.7.5.) My iPhoto is full of "faces" of people it has picked up from the backgrounds of my photos, making it so slow and having to delete so many photos afterwards that I stopped using it.

If not, can you suggest any other similar software I can use to index and sort my photos?

  • The first question (how can I turn off faces) is fine, the second (other similar software to index and sort photos) is too broad and should be a question on its own with specified requirements. Chance is that the latter question is already answered on this stack exchange or on photo.stackexchange.com. Commented Feb 11, 2013 at 0:25

2 Answers 2


No. There is no way to turn off Faces in iPhoto. The best way is to use Aperture. I use Aperture, but a common alternative is Adobe Lightroom.

  • 2 years and countless revs later... is it still impossible to disable Faces? My best workaround is to "pause" the Faces processing every time I start iPhoto... this makes me crazy. One is forced to use (expensive!) pay-ware Aperture or alternative software?
    – hoc_age
    Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 17:46

Afraid not, but you should not see these face thumbnails. Are they actually in the iPhoto Window ? An alternative, that will also allow an upgrade path is to use Aperture which has the option to turn off face scanning.

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