Deleting unused photos from Apple Photos (Mac)

Hi all,

I’ve started working on a much-needed cleanup of Mac Photos libraries. Deleting duplicates, similars, etc. In a few camp/event-specific libraries, I have Albums and Slideshow projects set up. And I want to keep those as-is. I don’t want to delete any of those photos.

The problem is I am unable to find a way to show me “photos which are unused.” I know I can create a Smart Album of photos not in any Album, but it seems like there is no way to do something similar for Slideshow projects. And I am not able to find anything in the interface which will help me identify, given any specific photo, what albums or slideshows it is a part of.

I welcome any help in my endeavor.

One thing that you could do is to select all photos in a slideshow (Cmd-A with the slideshow open), then type Cmd-I (or the menu option Window / Info), which will bring up the info window for all selected photos; it should show the count of photos at the top of the window. Then add a keyword (“slideshow”?) to each of them in the info window. Once you’ve done that for all of your slideshows, you can then create a smart album for all photos that include the keyword “slideshow” and then you’ll have an album with those photos in them.


Check out the Powerphotos app. It has many tools for managing a Photos library:

I use it to archive old photos to a separate library to keep the active library a reasonable size. I wish that the Photos app had this feature built in.
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I do use PowerPhotos. Unfortunately, it cannot copy Projects (slideshows).

Doug, Thank you! This suggestion to tag the photos in the slideshows has worked out great! I was able to use it on the first library to remove almost 700 pictures, about ½ of the library size.

Using this on the remaining libraries will allow me to clean them up prior to using PowerPhotos to merge the libraries together.

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