Dumb Question – How to Figure Out What Photos Aren’t in Any Album

Smart album not in any albumLately I’ve been getting questions from people who don’t listen to the podcast and don’t read the blog but were simply searching for answers online and found podfeet.com. This week Melissa asked me a perfect “dumb question”. She explained that she recently switched from iPhoto to Photos, and wanted to know how to identify photos that haven’t been moved into Albums.

If she’d asked me that question a week earlier, I wouldn’t have known the answer.

One of the best ways to learn is to teach. I know that sounds counterintuitive but if you have to be good enough at something to teach it, you’re going to learn. There’s another way you learn, and that’s from your audience.

Last weekend I was asked to speak at the Orange Apple Computer Club about Apple Photos. Many people have tried Photos and have given up because it seemed too limited for them. I love giving this talk because I can usually help at least a few people see how Photos can work for them. It’s not for everyone but I like people to understand its full capability before making the decision.

During my demo I was explaining Smart Albums in Photos. With Smart Albums you can filter by Album, Date, Description, Face, Filename, Keyword, Photo, Text and Title. On top of that you can filter by information about the camera that took the photo, such as Aperture, Camera Model, Flash, Focal Length, ISO, Lens and Shutter Speed. After I demonstrated how to use the filters to create a Smart Album, a member of the audience hollered out, “You can even make a Smart Album to show you what photos aren’t in ANY album!”

I applauded him for adding to the general knowledge, and told him how I excited I was to learn this. And of course now you know how I knew the answer to Melissa’s dumb question! You create a Smart Album by going to File, New Smart Album, then set the first pulldown to Album, the second to “is not” and the third to “Any”. Boom, you can see every photo not in any album. I experimented with this and started dragging photos from this Smart Album into real albums and they disappeared from my Smart Album.

I really like having my photos in Albums and I thought this would help me clean up…until I saw that I have 3,606 photos not in any album. Maybe I’ll just leave them be…

3 thoughts on “Dumb Question – How to Figure Out What Photos Aren’t in Any Album

  1. Gregory Locke - September 9, 2016

    Thanks for posting this solution Allison. By the way, the club’s name is OACC (Orange Apple Computer Club).

  2. Steve - September 9, 2016

    Thanks for catching that Greg. Correction has been made.

  3. Steve Davidson - September 10, 2016

    Great “Dumb Question.” I’ve been wondering this myself.

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