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Easily delete albums in Photos

Last fall, I finally made the move from iPhoto to Photos…months later, I still find myself frustrated by many things in the Photos' user interface.

Today's aggravation dealt with cleaning up a bunch of older photo albums—some I just wanted to delete, others I wanted to convert from Smart Albums into normal albums (because I wouldn't be adding any more photos that used the keywords in the Smart Album). That meant I wanted to delete a bunch of albums—well over 100.

Deleting an album in Photos can only be done from either the My Albums overview, where you can select more than one (though not across folders), or via the contextual menu in the sidebar.

The My Albums view wasn't going to work for me, as I needed to look at and work with many of the albums, across many folders. But after the sixth time of doing the "right click, select Delete Album, tab to Delete in the confirmation dialog, press Return" dance, I was sick of it. Time for another Keyboard Maestro macro.

This one is very simple—it just replicates the actions required to delete an album. With it in place, I click on the album I wish to delete, then press Control-D. It's still more mouse interaction than I'd prefer—why can't I select albums via the keyboard?—but it's oh so much faster than using the contextual menu.

I started by creating a new macro Group that's only active in Photos, so I could use a simple keyboard shortcut—as the group is only active in Photos, there are no worries about conflicts with other apps' shortcuts.

The macro itself sends a right-click to the current screen location—you need to have the mouse over the album to be deleted—then selects the Delete Album item, presses Return, and finally, takes care of the confirmation dialog required to actually delete the album. Here's how it looks:

I'm not sure the pause is needed, but it lets me see the confirmation dialog flash onscreen, which gives me assurance that the macro did its job. You can download the macro for your own use. There should be no risk of photo loss, as it only deletes albums, but as always: Proceed at your own risk, and make sure you have a good backup.

2 thoughts on “Easily delete albums in Photos”

    1. I'm far from an AppleScript wizard, so I'm not sure. I took a screenshot of the AppleScript libraries for Photos and iPhoto, though—looks like there's some support, but maybe not as much as was in Photos?


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