How to use the Photo Booth app on your Mac

Whether you’re getting together with friends or simply bored at home alone, here’s how to use Photo Booth on Mac for fun with photos and videos.

Mac's Photo Booth app icon

Photo Booth isn’t a new way to have fun with your photos. But if you’re new to Mac and haven’t used the app on iPad, then it is new to you, right?

This nifty app lets you add cool effects to photos and videos that you capture with your Mac’s camera. It’s really easy to use and can be a lot of fun to play around with, especially if you’re hanging out with family or friends.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to capture a photo or video, make a couple of edits, and entertain yourself or others with Photo Booth on Mac.

Open Photo Booth

You can open the Photo Booth app from the Applications folder on your Mac or use Spotlight for a quick search.

As soon as you open Photo Booth, it’s ready to go. You don’t have to do anything special to start using it.

Related: All the ways you can open apps on your Mac

Get ready and capture

The capture button at the bottom of the window should be red, indicating it’s ready to capture. But before you do, let’s look at the options.

Select your shot

On the bottom left, you’ll see three buttons. Click to snap four quick photos, take a still-shot, or shoot a video.

Photo Booth controls on Mac

Choose an effect

On the bottom right, you have the Effects button. This is where the real fun begins with Photo Booth. Go ahead and click that button, and you’ll see all of the neat filters you can pick from for your photo or video.

Turn yourself into a space alien, chipmunk, or frog. Use a comic book look, thermal camera, or X-ray filter. Make your face bulge, your head twirl, or create a light tunnel. Use the arrows at the bottom to move through these types of effects. Then click to see a preview of one with the view that’s in the camera.

Photo Booth Effects on Mac

Capture your photo or video

Once you have the type of shot you want and an effect you like, click the capture button. The app will count down from three to one so you can prepare for the shot.

If you’re shooting a video, at the bottom, it shows the duration as it records. Just click the red square button to stop recording.

Photo Booth Video on Mac

Tip: If you want to disable the countdown, hold the Option key while you click the capture button.

Photo Booth settings and options

Photo Booth offers a couple of settings you’ll want to know about, as well as options for editing and sharing your photos and videos.

Enable or disable the screen flash

Just like a handheld camera, your Mac camera can use flash. To turn the flash off or on, click Camera > Enable Screen Flash from the menu bar. A checkmark next to it indicates it’s turned on.

Share photos or videos

Photo Booth uses your Mac’s Share Menu options. So if you’d like to share a photo or video via Mail, Messages, or another app, select it and then click the Share button on the bottom right of the window.

Export photos or videos

Along with the Share Menu options, you can export a photo or video from Photo Booth. Click File > Export or Export Original from the top menu bar.

Edit photos or videos

It’s important to keep in mind that Photo Booth is not an image editing app. It’s there for you to capture photos & videos, and you can use your preferred editing tool to make changes by exporting your photo or video. However, there are two quick editing tools you can use.

You can flip a photo horizontally. Select it and click Edit > Flip Photo from the menu bar.

And, you can trim a video. Select it and click Edit > Trim Movie from the menu bar. Slide the yellow bar to capture the part of the video you want to keep. Then click Trim, and the rest of the video will be removed.

Photo Booth Trim Video on Mac

Delete pictures and videos from Photo Booth

1) Select a photo or video thumbnail and hit the X icon to delete that media.

Delete image from Photo Booth on Mac

2) You can also hold the Command key to select multiple items and then click Edit > Delete from the top menu bar.

3) To get rid of all media taken from Photo Booth, click Edit > Delete All from the menu bar.

Click Edit and Delete in Photo Booth on Mac

Recover deleted media

You can recover deleted images and videos from Photo Booth by clicking Edit > Undo Delete. You can repeat this several times to recover multiple recently deleted images.


  • The Undo Delete button (after you click Edit) may be grayed out if you exit the Photo Booth app and go inside it again.
  • You can’t recover deleted images if you choose Edit > Delete All.
Undo Delete in Photo Booth on Mac

Photo Booth is one of those built-in apps that many people take for granted. But for gatherings with friends or family, snapping a goofy photo of yourself for your spouse, or just killing time when you’re bored, Photo Booth can be a lot of fun.

What are your thoughts on Photo Booth? Are you going to give it a try on your Mac? Let us know!

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