When it comes to moving, editing or deleting pictures on Windows, many will find it way easier to do. Not to mention that the user is manipulating the actual data, that being the photo files, whenever he is performing a function such as copy and paste. In the case of Mac OS, all of this is achievable by the user with the help of the Photos application. The Photos app allows you to manage all of the images that are present on your machine but within the influence of the application itself.

Sure you can perform all of the functions by transferring data from your iPhone or memory card into the Photos application on your Mac but all of this limited to the Photos app, if you are not making use of the application then the pictures will not be stored in the package library. For methods other than Photos app, you will have to make use of the Finder in the usual Pictures folder or any other place where you have stored your pictures. As for pictures stored on your iCloud, you can only access them via your iCloud Photo Library or the Photos app as the method we will be discussing will only be focusing on the pictures stored on your Mac exclusively.

Photos File Location in Mac OS

In this section, we will be taking a look at how you can access the pictures stored on your Mac OS. First and foremost, you need to know the exact location where the Photos app stores your images. The path where it is present on the Mac OS is given by:

~/Pictures/Photos Library.photoslibrary/Masters/

The tilde (~) here shows your home directory. Make sure that you don’t skip this like most people do when you are using the Go To Folder command to navigate to this directory.

How to Access Where the Photos Files Are Stored on Mac OS

To manually navigate to the folder that has your photos files, do the following steps:

1.    First, open the Finder on your Mac OS and navigate to your home directory. The location is present above and makes sure you verify it, not forgetting the tilde (~).

2.    Then go to Pictures and look for the file named Photos Library.photoslibrary.

3.    Right-click or Control+Click the Photos Library.photoslibrary file and select Show Package Contents.

4.    Click and open the folder named Masters and there you will find the image files that are present within the Photos app package.

The Masters folder here contains the directories of your photos and they are organized by the date they were saved in subfolders for day, month and year. If you want to delete a picture from the Masters directory then you can do so but as a consequence, it will no longer be available in Photos app, so make sure you have a backup ready.

Another quick alternative is to use the Show Reference function. It will open a Finder window to the directory of the file that was manipulated in some way by the Photos application.


My name is Paul, I am a professional writer and I write on various topics about everything that surrounds me, especially I like to write about modern technologies and IT, because I think that the future lies with them)

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