How Photos removes media from albums

Deleting a photo from an album and deleting a photo from your collection are two different things.

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Doug Dean writes:

I can’t find recently deleted photos in Photos. I have the Recently Deleted trash can icon in my Photos sidebar, but the photos I have recently been deleting are nowhere to be seen. In the edit menu, I am able to select Undo Remove Photo from Album and have the image reappear.

Photos doesn’t make the distinction as clear as it could between deleting from an album and deleting the media file. When you’re viewing an album, selecting one or more items and pressing the Delete button corresponds to Remove [X Photos/Videos] from Album. The media remains present in Photos, but it’s no longer part of that album. That’s why the Undo option works and displays Undo Remove Photo from Album. You can find the images by searching or browsing in your library.

Apple makes it harder to delete a photo or video. You have to select one or more items, and then right-click and select Delete [X Photos or Videos]. Pressing the Delete button on the keyboard doesn’t make anything happen. And, if you have iCloud Photo Library enabled, you’ll be prompted after choosing the Delete item to make sure you understand it will be deleted on all your linked devices and from At that point, the deleted images wind up in the Recently Deleted album.

mac911 deleted photos album

The Recently Deleted album only contains images that you went through hoops to get rid of.

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