How to turn photos into “memories” on macos

How to turn photos into “memories” on macos

Apple Photos will automatically scan your memorable events, places, and people, gathering them into curated collections called Memories. You can also create your own Memories, turning any Memory into a slideshow, which you can share with friends and family.

Memories are different from albums. Albums are just folders you put photos into. But you can create Memories from any album or group of photos in your collection. Photos will also create Memories automatically from photos you take, based on a time period or location, turning them into “best of” collections.

You might think of Memories as a sort of day-by-day scrapbook collection. For example, if you go to a party and take a bunch of snaps of you and your friends, they’ll appear the next day as a Memory. It’s then up to you what you want to do with it, by saving it, creating a slideshow, sharing it, or just letting it fade away.

To use Memories on your Mac, you must first at least be running macOS Sierra.

In order to make sure Memories works across all your Apple devices, you will need to set up iCloud, sign in with the same Apple ID, and turn on iCloud Photo LIbrary for each device on which you want to view your Memories. If you want to see your memories on a 4th generation Apple TV, then you need to make sure it is updated to tvOS 10 or later.

Viewing Memories in the Photos App

You can view Memories on your Mac by opening the Photos app and then clicking Memories in the sidebar and double-clicking on any Memory.

How to turn photos into “memories” on macos

When you view a Memory in Photos, it will slowly cycle through the contents, allowing you to preview it before you save it, convert it to a slideshow, or share it. In the example below, we how Memories created a “Best of Last Month” collection.

Creating Your Own Memories

The Photos app will automatically create Memories based on photos you’ve recently taken. You can create your own Memories, however, from any album. Simply open the album and click “Show as Memory” in the top-right corner.

How to turn photos into “memories” on macos

Alternatively, if you’re browsing from the All Photos tab, you can click the group title and it will automatically be converted to a Memory.

How to turn photos into “memories” on macos

Save Memories for Access Later

The Photos application is always creating new Memories based on new photos you add. In order to preserve Memories so that they’re not overwritten by new ones, scroll all the way to the bottom and click “Add to Memories”.

How to turn photos into “memories” on macos

When you want to look at your Memories more closely, simply double-click to open one and then scroll down to check out a summary of photos contained within a particular Memory. Clicking “Show All” will display all the photos in a Memory.

How to turn photos into “memories” on macos

Scroll all the way to the bottom of a Memory and you can select a person or group to see more photos like it, click on a place to view more photos taken nearby, or discover other related Memories, which are sorted by events, scenes, places, and people.

How to turn photos into “memories” on macos

Turning Any Memory into a Slideshow for Sharing

As we mentioned at the beginning, you can turn your Memories into slideshows, which you can share with your friends and family. Once you’re happy with the photos you’ve gathered into your Memory, click the slideshow arrow in the Photos’ toolbar. From there you can choose a theme and accompanying music (the iOS version has a few more options and calls them Movies).

How to turn photos into “memories” on macos How to turn photos into “memories” on macos

If you want to share a Memory you or the app has created, click the Share button in the top toolbar. As you can see, you can share your Memories through iCloud Photo Sharing, Facebook, Messages, and more.

How to turn photos into “memories” on macos

The Memories feature is a great way to distill your photos into something accessible and meaningful. Whether it’s a day at the beach, a vacation to Europe, or just a barbeque with friends, it lets you rediscover photos that might have otherwise gotten lost in the crush of new photos.

With Memories, you can rediscover moments from within your photo library. Photos recognizes significant people, places, and events in your library, then presents them in curated collections called Memories. You can also create your own Memories, view them as movies, and share them with friends and family.

Before you begin

  • Make sure that your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch has the latest version of iOS or iPadOS.
  • If you want your Memories to stay updated across your Apple devices, make sure that you’re signed into iCloud with the same Apple ID across your devices, then turn on iCloud Photos.

How to turn photos into “memories” on macos

Explore your Memories

To see your Memories, open Photos and go to the For You tab. You can tap a Memory thumbnail to open it and see all the photos and videos in that particular Memory, or you can tap See All to scroll through all of your Memories.

When you open a Memory, you can scroll down to see the people included in the memory, a map showing where the photos and videos were taken, and a list of related Memories. To create Memories, Photos uses machine learning to analyze your library on your device. Your data isn’t sent to Apple, so your memories stay private and only you can see them.


Tap the thumbnail of a person or a group of people to see more photos of them.


Tap the map to see more photos taken nearby. Then select a badge on the map to see the collection of photos at that location.

Related Memories

Discover other Memories related to the one you’re currently viewing. Memories are organized by people, places, scenes, events, pets, holidays, activities, and more.

Watch a Memory movie

Photos automatically creates a short movie for each Memory, complete with transitions, music, and featured photos and videos from your library. To watch a memory movie, just tap the Memory.

Create your own Memories

Photos automatically creates Memories for you, but you can create your own Memories, and even add someone from your People album to your Memories.

To create your own Memories from an album, or a specific month or day:

  1. Go to the Albums tab and select the album. Or go to the Library tab and tap Months or Days.
  2. Tap the More button , then tap Play Memory Movie.
  3. While the movie plays, tap the screen, then tap Edit.
  4. Tap OK, then make edits to the movie if you want.
  5. Tap Done.

To add someone in your People album to your Memories:

  1. Go to the Albums tab, then tap the People album.
  2. Tap the thumbnail of the person, then tap the More button .
  3. Tap Add to Memories.

Save and share your favorite memories

Want to save a memory for later? Go to the For You tab, then select a Memory. Tap the More button , then tap Add to Favorite Memories. To see your Favorite Memories, go to the For You tab, tap See All next to Memories, then tap Favorites. If you decide that you don’t want to save a Memory anymore, tap the More button , then tap Remove from Favorite Memories.

  1. Play a Memory movie, then tap it to show the editing and sharing options.
  2. Tap the Share button and choose to share the movie through Messages, Mail, Shared Albums, or your favorite social media sites.