Photos App Icon

As you might imagine, I take tons of screenshots on a weekly basis for work. Instead of connecting my iPhone to my Mac and importing screenshots manually, or instead of using AirDrop, I simply use Photo Stream to do the grunt work.

Photo Stream allows me to access any photo taken with my iPhone, including screenshots, directly from the Photos app on my Mac. Just a few seconds after taking a picture with my iPhone, the photo appears on my Mac. This is great for quickly grabbing iPhone screenshots, and it even allows you to easily access screenshots taken on the Apple Watch.

In this post, I’ll show you how I set up a simple Smart Album to separate screenshots—Apple Watch screenshots included—from regular photos.

Note: You will need Photo Stream enabled in the Photos app on your iPhone and your Mac for this to work.

How to filter iPhone and Apple Watch screenshots on Mac

Step 1: Launch the Photos app

Step 2: Click the Photos section in the left sidebar

Step 3: Click File → New Smart Album

Smart Album Screenshot Filter Photos App FIle Menu

Step 4: Type Screenshots in the Smart Album Name field

Step 5: In the first drop-down box, select Filename

Step 6: In the second drop-down box, select ends with

Step 7: In the text entry field, type PNG

Smart Album Screenshot Filter Photos App

Step 8: Ensure that you have items matched in the bottom left-hand corner

Step 9: Click OK

Step 10: Click the Screenshots Smart Album under the Albums section in the left sidebar

Smart Album Screenshot Filter Photos App Mac

Now you should see all of the screenshots that you’ve taken on your iPhone and your Apple Watch.

It’s possible that other photos, outside of screenshots, may appear in your Smart Album. This is because we simply filtered on the PNG file extension, which will cause all PNG files to display there. But since the majority of photos taken with the iPhone’s camera are JPG files, most, if not all of files in this Smart Album should be screenshots, which are always PNG files.

Sadly, the Photos app is fairly limited when it comes to Smart Album filters. On apps like Aperture, you could filter on a much broader range of assets, including file size, dimensions, etc. Hopefully, Apple will flesh out the Smart Album filters in the Photos app to allow us to hone in on other key assets. This could make it possible, for instance, to only display Apple Watch screenshots, since they are of a specific dimension.

Do you use Smart Albums with the Photos app on your Mac? Drop us a line down below and share your thoughts on the matter.

  • Truc

    I have an iPhone 6 with only 16Gb, I thought first that iCloud photo would reduce the internal storage by having the thumbnails insteads. At the early I was quite happy with the service and abandoned Dropbox backup which I used everyday. However, as there are more and more photos taken from my trips, iCloud Photo has showed weaknesses.  With only thumbnails, the photo app takes more than 2Gb of storage in my device. I couldnt download more apps.
    I tried to find a way to remove the storage space that Photo app takes but I could not. 
    I felt so pissed off.  I searched solutions on Google for hours but there is still no solutions.
    The only way I could do is to reset the whole iPhone again, no the way.
    After such an experience, I moved back to Dropbox. Woolaaa, I now have 2Gb more to experience new applications.  Some may argue that why didn’t I buy a 64Gb phone instead, I prefer 16Gb because I could save 100€ which is enough for 1 year of Dropbox which I can do a lot of other things.
    I have not found the value of iCloud Photo app yet with the fact that it neither help to save my phone ‘s storage or cheap. The images arrangement is still rather a mess compared to Carousel. I wasted 4€ to test out photo app with my bulky photo library and what it brought to me were just an disappointment together with time wasting to migrate back to another storage app.

    Maybe it’s just me who find it like that.