View your photo stream in Finder on your Mac

Photo Stream let´s you automatically syncs your photos across all of your Apple devices, It’s a useful service, but it does have some drawbacks. The main one is that on Macs, you have to use iPhoto in order to access your photo stream. which is both cumbersome and should have been unnecessary.

In my opinion the process of simply finding a photo in iPhoto in your Photo Stream and then copying it or moving it somewhere is overcomplicated.

By default you cannot access your Photo Stream from Finder on a Mac, but luckily there is a way around this.

Here is how you can view your photo stream directly in Finder:

Find the Photo Stream images Folder

First of all, you need to locate the folders where your Photo Stream images are kept. Here is the quick way to find it.

Open Finder, click the Go menu, and choose Go to Folder.

This will bring up a pop up box where you can type in a link to a file destination.
Paste in the address below, and click Go.

~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub

Now you see a bunch of randomly named folders within sub. It’s these mix of folders that contain your Photo Stream images. it’s best to leave things alone, so you don’t delete anything you didn’t mean to.

The next step we will set up a Smart Folder to sort out just the Photo Stream images from all of these folders.

Here is how you set up a Smart Folder:

It’s all very well having found the folders that contain our image files, but you hardly want to rummage through all of them looking for your specific photo. So we need to create an easier way to find them. Finder’s Smart Folders can do all of this for you.

While the folder sub is still selected, press CMD + F to run a search, where you will create the Smart Folder. Make sure it only searches the folder sub (1.) and not This Mac.

Next, change the Kind to image (2.). Once done, it should look something like this:

Now, Click save (3.)


This will bring up a menu allowing you to name and choose where to save the Smart Folder, as well as allowing you to tick Add To Sidebar.

All that’s left to do is click Save. You’re done! As you can see below, you’ve successfully added your Photo Stream to your Finder sidebar. You can still order the photos by whatever you like, open them, copy them, move them, delete them, all from your Finder.


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