Choosing Or Creating A New Photos Library

I think most Mac people use the Photos App for their image editing and storage needs. It works quite well, and you can use third-party photo editing Apps with it for enhanced capabilities. If you use the Photos App, your images are stored in the “Photos Library” which is usually stored on your main Mac hard drive. Some folks may have the need to have more than one “Photos Library”. If you need more than one library, or you need to access different Photos libraries, read on for how to do that.

Photos Libraries

You access a different Photos Library or create a new library by holding down the Option ⌥ Key and clicking on the Photos App icon to start the App. This opens the “ Choose Library” window.

From this window you can do three things.

  1. You can choose a different Photos library from the list in the window. This assumes you have more than one photos library on your Mac.
  2. You can create a new Photos library to add to the list above.
  3. You can click the “Other Library” button to navigate to a library on another hard drive attached to your Mac.

If you choose the “Other Library”, your will need to navigate in the Finder to the drive which contains the library and select it.

Some people like me place their main Photos Library on an external drive. This is what you would do to set that up. My Photos Library is too large for my main Mac SSD.


You may think you have no need for more than one Photos Library, but over time you may see the value of a specialty library or two.