macOS Big Sur: What’s new in the Photos app

More editing tools to make your photos look their best.

Credit: Apple

Photos might be the most important app on the Mac. After all, it is used to manage your precious, invaluable photos. It is the app we get the most questions about for our Mac 911 column. So when a new version is in the works, you probably want to be aware of any new features, and there are a few coming to Photos in macOS 11 Big Sur.

Let’s take a look at the new features in Photos 6.

Photo editing tools

When tweaking a photo’s colors, Photos now offers a Vibrance adjustment. It’s found under Color in the Adjust tools. Apple has also adjusted the Retouch tool with “advanced machine learning” so it does a better job when you use it to remove blemishes.

big sur photos vibrance IDG

There's a new Vibrance adjustment under Color.

Video editing tools

In previous versions of Photos, you could import videos, but all you could do is watch them. Now, Apple provides editing tools. They’re the same tools you use when editing photos—that also includes the ability to apply filters, crop, and trim a video’s length.

big sur photos video editing IDG

The new editing tools for videos are great for doing basic edits. You need to use iMovie or another video editor if you want to do more production, like string different clips together, add titles, etc.


When you are looking at your photos and videos, Photos now shows the file name under each item. You can edit this label to if you want. Just click on the name, and it will highlight, then you can type in what you want. You can also get info on an item (right-click it and select Get Info, or select the item and them clock on the Info button at the top of the app, or selec an item and press Command-I), and then in the window that appear, add a caption by typing it in the Add a Caption section.

big sur photos captions IDG

Captions give your photos more context.


Apple says that the Memories section has been improved to include a “more relevant selection of photos and videos.” There’s also more music tracks, and Memory movies are now enhanced with video stabilization.

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Roman Loyola

Roman Loyola
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