How to import to Photos on Mac from Mail, Messages, and other apps

When you receive an image or photo in an email or see one on the web that you want to save to the Photos app, it can be a little difficult if you’re new to Mac or simply aren’t sure how. By importing to Photos, you can then add the image to an album, share it, or simply save with the rest of your pictures for safe keeping.

Here, we’ll show you how to import images directly to Photos on your Mac from places like Mail, Messages, and other apps.

Import to Photos on Mac

Import to Photos from Mail

There’s more than one way to save a picture to the Photos app on your Mac from Mail. So, do whichever is easiest or quickest for you.

  • Right-click or hold your Control key and click the image. Select Export to Photos or Share > Add to Photos.
  • Drag the photo from the email to the Photos app window or to the Photos app icon in your Dock.

Export to Photos from Mail on Mac

Import to Photos from Messages

Like with Mail, there’s more than one way to save an image from Messages to the Photos app. And you can send the image to Photos from the conversation itself or the Photos area within the details for that contact. We’ll show you both.

From the conversation

Open the conversation in Messages and do one of the following:

  • Right-click or hold your Control key and click the image. Select Add to Photos Library.
  • Drag the photo from the Messages window to the Photos app window or to the Photos app icon in your Dock.

Add to Photos Library from Conversations in Messages on Mac

From the contact details

For a photo you received some time ago, you don’t have to scroll through the conversation to find it. With the conversation open, click the Info icon on the top right of Messages. At the bottom of the window that pops open, you’ll see Photos with an option to Show More if needed.

Once you select the photo you want, do one of the following:

  • Right-click or hold your Control key and click the image. Select Add to Photos Library or select Share > Add to Photos.
  • Drag the photo from the Messages window to the Photos app window or to the Photos app icon in your Dock.

Add to Photos Library from Messages on Mac

Import to Photos from Safari

If you find an image on the web using Safari, you have similar options as above for sending it right to the Photos app on Mac.

  • Right-click or hold your Control key and click the image. Select Add Image to Photos.
  • Drag the photo from Safari to the Photos app window or to the Photos app icon in your Dock.

Add Image to Photos in Safari on Mac

Check out our how-to for more ways to save an image from a webpage in Safari on Mac if you want to use it as wallpaper or save it to a folder.

Import to Photos from other apps

It gets a bit trickier to import images to Photos from other apps, especially those from third parties. You may or may not see an option when you right-click to send the image to Photos or be able to drag the image to the Photos window.

Give one of those options a try first and if they don’t work, you can always save the image and then open Photos to import it. Here’s how.

1) Save the image from the other app by right-clicking, selecting Save As or Save Image As, as picking a location.

2) Open the Photos app and click File > Import from the menu bar.

3) Locate and select the photo and click Import.

Save Image and Import to Photos on Mac

This method works with other email apps, web browsers, and communications app. Plus, you can do this with other photos you’ve save to various locations on your Mac or if you want to import multiple photos at once.

View your imports

To see all photos you’ve imported, open the Photos app and select Imports in the sidebar. You’ll see all photos you’ve pulled in to do with what you wish.

Photos Imports on Mac

Wrapping it up

When you want to import an image from another spot to the Photos app on your Mac, you certainly have options. And remember, the last resort if you run into any problems is to simply save the photo and use the Photos app import feature.

What tips can you share for importing images to Photos on Mac? Have you found another way to do it that works best for you? Let us know below or message us on Twitter!