Any Mac or iOS user will know and benefit from the fantastic Photo Stream service – it quickly and automatically syncs your photos across all of your Apple devices the instant the photos are taken or added to the stream. It’s a very useful tool, but it does have one or two drawbacks. The main one is that on Macs, you have to go into iPhoto in order to access your photo stream. Although I think it’s a good app, on older Macs, iPhoto isn’t exactly the fastest app to launch, and in my opinion the process of simply finding a photo in your Photo Stream and then copying it or moving it somewhere is overcomplicated.
Sadly, you cannot (by default) access your Photo Stream from Finder in OSX – but luckily there is a way around this, and it works just as nicely in Mavericks as with almost any version of OSX. Read on to find out how to do it!
Find the Folder
First of all, we need to locate the folders where our Photo Stream images are kept. It’s quite tricky to find if you go through Finder, so the quickest way is to use a shortcut. In
Finder, use the Go menu, and choose Go to Folder.
This will bring up a pop up box where you can type in a link to a file destination, which helps speed things up a bit! Paste in the address below, and click Go.
Now you see a bunch of randomly named folders within sub. It’s these mix of folders that contain your Photo Stream images – so it’s best to leave things alone incase you delete something you didn’t mean to.
Now, in the next step, we will set up a Smart Folder to sort out just the Photo Stream images from all of these folders.
Set up a Smart Folder
It’s all very well having found the folders that contain our image files, but you hardly want to rummage through all of them looking for your specific photo – so we need to create an easier way to find them. Finder’s Smart Folders can do all of this for us.
While the folder sub is still selected, press CMD + F to run a search, where we will create the Smart Folder. Make sure it only searches the folder sub and not This Mac. Next, change the Kind to image, and choose while image type you want to search for. If you want to be specific and only find PNG files (hence only shows screenshots from your devices), go ahead, but the recommended option is All.
Once done, it should look something like this:
Save the Smart Folder
Now, click Save. This will bring up a menu allowing you to name and choose where to save the Smart Folder, as well as allowing you to tick Add To Sidebar. Of course, this isn’t required, but it is one of the easiest ways to get to your photos in a hurry.
All that’s left to do is click Save. You’re done! As you can see below, you’ve successfully added your Photo Stream to your Finder sidebar. You can still order the photos by whatever you like, open them, copy them, move them, delete them – all without once opening iPhoto.