iCloud Photo Library Photos Mac 16-9

Apple’s Photos app on macOS Sierra and iOS 10 lets you view photos on a map and search for images based on location, but your images won’t be included if they don’t have location data assigned. iPhones assign this data when shooting, but most standalone cameras can’t collect location by default. Fortunately, Photos lets you easily discover images in your library with missing location data so you can map out all your shots.

I recently ran into this issue myself after taking more photos with my Sony A6500 mirrorless camera. I definitely take the majority of shots with my iPhone 7 Plus, but some occasions are worthy of a dedicated camera. I typically use a standalone camera on vacations and work trips when location data is especially useful to have later since it’s not just my home.

Mirrorless and dSLR cameras aside, even the iPhone will miss out on capturing location data if you’re in Airplane Mode or you have Location Services disabled for Camera in the Privacy section of the Settings app. These steps are also useful for scanned or downloaded images that you import.


Launch Photos to start


Click File from the menu bar, then select New Smart Album


Set these rules: Photois nottagged with GPS and give your album a name like No Location (this collects videos as well)


Find your new smart album from the Albums section, then double click it


Select the image you want to assign location to (you can drag and drop your cursor over multiple images to select in bulk, or shift+click the first and last image in a series)


After you select your image or images, click Window from the menu bar, then select Info (optionally, you can select your image or images then type Command+I to bring up the Info pane; it’s also an option when secondary clicking a photo)


Click Assign Location from the Info pane then type in the correct location and click Return to input the data (it can be as specific as a street or as general as a city)


Done! As you assign location data to your photos and videos, they will disappear from this new smart album and appear in search and the Places map, and iCloud Photo Library syncs this data to all your devices

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About the Author

Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created SpaceExplored.com.