Most people these days sync their Photos Library across all of their devices through iCloud. I do it that way and I know many of you do also. But, what if you want to add a Photo to your library on your Mac and not have it dispersed to all your other devices through iCloud. You might want to keep a photo more private, or maybe you are just going to discard it at a later time. This is called “Referenced” photos and here is how you do that.
Most people have their photos synced to all their devices.
It really is nice to be able to access your photos from any device no matter where you are.
To place an image in the Photos App and keep it exclusive to the Mac, you have to change some settings in Photos preferences. If you are in the General Tab in Photos Preferences, your window should look something like this.
The Photos App comes with this “Importing” setting turned on which means photos placed in the Photos App on your Mac will be copied to iCloud and to other devices.
If you want to use some photos as referenced to your Mac only, then you have to turn this setting off.
Just uncheck the box, and you will get this warning.
When you click OK the copy setting is turned off, and you can retain referenced photos in your Mac Photos App that cannot be viewed anywhere else.
I am sure some folks will not bother with this, but if you needed a little more privacy with some photos it might be handy, especially if you are using Family Photos Sharing.