iPhoto window at a glance

Main iPhoto window

The iPhoto window lets you find and quickly access any photo in your iPhoto library, which includes all the photos you’ve imported into iPhoto.

Along the left side of the iPhoto window is the Source list, showing the different ways you have grouped your photos: by Events, Faces, or Places. The Source list also shows all your albums, folders, projects (such as books, cards, and calendars), slideshows, and published albums (albums you send to Facebook, for example).

When you select an item in the Source list, you’ll see your photos in the window’s main viewing area. The photos are usually grouped by whatever item is selected in the Source list.

Image of full iPhoto window

You can find and organize your photos by Events, Faces, or Places; delete individual photos; group photos into albums and place those albums within larger folders; and more. You can also view or edit slideshows and websites or projects such as books, cards, and calendars.

Source list, albums, and projects

When you click an item in the Source list, the photos the item contains appear in the main viewing area of the iPhoto window.

Image of Source list


View sets of photos grouped by date.


Scroll through all the photos in your iPhoto library all at once.


View sets of photos grouped by the subject’s name.


See all the locations where your photos were shot, or find all the photos taken at a given location.


Quickly find photos that you recently worked with.


View all the photos in any album you create. Albums are useful for grouping photos around a particular theme.


View or edit any projects you create, such as books, cards, and calendars, or slideshows.

iPhoto automatically groups photos into Events, based on the date they were taken. To see your photos organized by Faces or Places, you may need to provide iPhoto some information.

You can drag photos from the main viewing area of the window into albums or projects.

Whenever you add a photo to a project, a slideshow, or an album, that photo is not duplicated and stored separately for each one. Instead, each project, slideshow, or album refers to the image file stored in the iPhoto library. This allows you to add the same photo to several different albums, slideshows, projects such as books, cards, and calendars, or websites without actually duplicating the image file.

If you move or delete a photo from where it appears in any album, slideshow, book, card, or website, only that specific project or photo grouping is affected. The actual photo always remains in your iPhoto library until you expressly delete it from the library itself. If you delete a photo from the library, however, it will be deleted from all the other places (projects, albums, etc.) where it appears, but it remains in the Trash, until you empty the Trash in iPhoto.

You can create additional folders within the iPhoto library to better organize your albums. You can also create multiple libraries if you need to.

Grouped photos

When you see sets of photos organized into groups, such as in Events or Faces view, a single thumbnail image represents the entire group; this is called the key photo. Double-click the key photo to view the full set of photos. You can set any photo in the group as the key photo.

Image of Faces corkboard

To learn more about Events, Faces, Places, albums, and all the ways you can organize your iPhoto library and find your photos, see the topics in the “View and organize” section of iPhoto Help, listed on the left.

To learn about creating books, cards, slideshows, and other projects, see the topics in the “Share photos in print” and “Share photos digitally” sections of iPhoto Help, listed on the left.