How to Display the Sidebar in Apple’s Photos App for OS X

When Apple released iTunes 12, they got rid of the useful sidebar that displays media libraries, devices, playlists, and more. I explained how to restore it, sort of.

The Photos app, recently released as part of the OS X 10.10.3 update, hides the sidebar by default. If you used iPhotos, the sidebar was a practical way of viewing a lot of top-level information about your photo library. For example, it displays entries for All Photos, Last Import, and your photo albums.

To display the sidebar in Photos, choose View > Show Sidebar, or press Command-Option-S. Your sidebar will display like this:

Photos sidebar

You can hide it again using the same menu item (now Hide Sidebar) or keyboard shortcut if you wish.

12 thoughts on “How to Display the Sidebar in Apple’s Photos App for OS X

  1. uh, ? They certainly “didn’t get rid of it”, or even hide it. They simply don’t show it by default, preferring to give priority to some “collections” display (I think… with the grand total of 10 photos in my library, it is hard to say). I’m not even sure that sidebar is all that useful for the way Photos works.

  2. uh, ? They certainly “didn’t get rid of it”, or even hide it. They simply don’t show it by default, preferring to give priority to some “collections” display (I think… with the grand total of 10 photos in my library, it is hard to say). I’m not even sure that sidebar is all that useful for the way Photos works.

  3. I miss the inclusion of the photo number in the menu bar where it now displays location, date and X of Y. I know I can keep the get info window open but that is less useful. I also miss a quick way to scroll through years of photos with the date showing and continuously updating for the thumbnails showing, an iPhoto preference.

  4. I miss the inclusion of the photo number in the menu bar where it now displays location, date and X of Y. I know I can keep the get info window open but that is less useful. I also miss a quick way to scroll through years of photos with the date showing and continuously updating for the thumbnails showing, an iPhoto preference.

  5. The sidebar is still there! It appears only after you click on the green button at the top left of the screen to maximize the Photo window.

    There’s a hidden menu at the top of the Photo screen that you have to point your cursor to the screen top to see. (Presume that Apple did that to maximize viewing area, but it is not intuitive and is difficult to fine; I found an Apple tech who shared my screen and showed me how to find it.)

    • That means you have it in full screen mode. Choose View > Exit Full Screen to see the menu bar normally.

  6. The sidebar is still there! It appears only after you click on the green button at the top left of the screen to maximize the Photo window.

    There’s a hidden menu at the top of the Photo screen that you have to point your cursor to the screen top to see. (Presume that Apple did that to maximize viewing area, but it is not intuitive and is difficult to fine; I found an Apple tech who shared my screen and showed me how to find it.)

    • That means you have it in full screen mode. Choose View > Exit Full Screen to see the menu bar normally.

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