Mac Photos Places not showing thumbnails on the map

Mac Photos Places does not show thumbnails on the map

I use Apple’s Mac Photos App to view and do minor edits for my collection of photos. For serious photo editing tasks and for managing my photos, I use Skylum’s Luminar software. Luminar is a great photo editing software. It is very useful to import photos from the camera and organize them into individual folders. You may wonder why I still use Photos if I already have excellent photo editing software. Even though Luminar is an excellent photo editor, Photos still has a few functions that are quite useful and handy. It is faster, includes intelligent search functions, face recognition, and geotagging. Face recognition and geotagging (in Mac Photos Places) are the two reasons I am still using Photos.

The Issue with Mac Photos Places

Photos has a feature where it reads the location metadata from your photos and shows thumbnails on the world map. It makes it easier to find your photos on the map. However, since the Mojave update, some users complained thumbnails stopped showing up on the map. This does not occur to all users and only to some users. On further digging, I found that this issue occurs only to those who use the referenced library instead of the managed library. By default, photos copy all your photos into a managed library where all your photos are stored in a single file. By contrast, referenced library store you photos outside the Photos app and only reference them. Apple, and most experts, recommend using managed library. However, I have changed to using referenced library since my Photos Library corrupted a few years ago.

Why and when you should use referenced files in Photos for macOS


Thumbnails still show up under the People tab

Before Mojave update, even with referenced library, photo thumbnails still show up in Places. However, after the Mojave update, all my thumbnails disappeared in Places tab. At first, I thought Photos stopped reading geotag data from files stored outside the library. However, their thumbnails still appear on the map under People tab, under the individual profile. It means Photos still read location data, and show them in other places except under Places tab, which is weird. Subsequent OS X updates still do not solve this issue. The only solution to solve this issue at this moment is to use managed library instead of referenced library. I Hope Apple will resolve this issue in next OS update.

1 thought on “Mac Photos Places not showing thumbnails on the map”

  1. Pingback: Use referenced library in Photos for macOS - Tiny Tech Notes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *