How to Organize Photos as a Pro (Both Digital and Printed Photos)

Last Updated on June 28, 2023 by Peter Wood

You may find that there are too many photos in your life. Your phone, computer, digital camera, and even house are full of photos over the years. For instance, when you go out for a trip, you will take hundreds of photos to record the moment. Photos are always a part of a party, family reunion, travel, and many other activities in your daily life. That unorganized mess takes up a lot of storage space and room. Thus, you need to organize photos to delete duplicates and preserve important ones.

This article has two parts. You can turn a mess of digital pictures into an organized collection. Thus, your phone and computer can regain more storage space. Moreover, you can also group the overflowing printed images, photo albums, and other physical photo products with detailed steps. Read and learn how to sort through old photos as an expert photo organizer.

How to Organize Photos

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Part 1: How to Organize Thousands of Digital Photos

Photos and videos make your iPhone or Android run out of space, especially for those high-definition photos. To keep your phone clean, you had better move the images to your computer or cloud storage service for backup regularly. Then you can delete those photos to make your phone run fast. Moreover, you need to upload images to the SD memory card from your camera to the computer for further management.

To start with, you can move all photos to your computer for the digital photo organization from the cell phone, external hard drive, CD, DVD, SD memory card, tablet, USB drive, iCloud, Dropbox, Flickr, and more. Just download and put all your pictures into a new folder. You can organize photos from multiple sources on your computer.

How to Organize Albums on Mac

Photos is the iPhoto successor released by Apple. Considering it is a system utility, Photos may be one of the best photo organizers for Mac computers. Its basic features include:

1. This photo organizer could help you manage photos across multiple Apple devices, such as iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV.

2. You can switch between Photos, Memories, Shared, Albums, and Projects modes to browse photos.

3. Photos supports a variety of sources, including digital cameras, iCloud Photo Library, iPhone, iPad, hard drives, and more.

4. The built-in photo editor offers some photo editing tools.


1. The interface is clear to find what you want

2. It supports facial recognition technology.

3. Photos are free of charge for all Apple users.

4. You can expand its photo editing features with plugins.


1. The built-in photo editing tools are limited.

To organize photos on Mac, you can launch the Photos app on a Mac computer. Click the Albums button and choose All Photos to access all stored images. Select the photos to add to the album. And you can press the add button to create more albums to add photos. Choose a new album in the drop-down menu. Later, enter the name your album belongs to and hit OK to confirm. During this period, you can send your photo collections to new albums. And you can organize photos on Mac successfully.

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How to Sort Out Photos on Windows

Windows Live Photo Gallery is a picture toolkit included in Windows Essentials. Its key features include:

1. You can manage and organize all digital photos or search for a photo in the gallery mode.

2. It allows you to customize multiple tags to pictures like geotagging and people tagging.

3. You can edit, enhance, and correct photos. Or you can create a panoramic picture or photo collage.

4. This photo organizer supports most commonly used image formats, such as JPG, PNG, GIF, and more.

5. You can publish, print, or email the pictures within WLPG.


1. It is compatible with Windows 7, 8/8.1, and 10.

2. The well-designed interface makes this program easy to use.

3. WLPG is free for all Windows users.


1. Windows Live Photo Gallery runs slower than other best photo organizers.

2. It needs Windows Live to sign up.

3. This photo organizer cannot deal with pictures in batches.

For organizing photos on PC, choose Windows Live Photo Gallery from the taskbar of your Windows computer. Hold the Control key to drag and drop all images. You can rename all photos into the same name or different ones. Sort them into folders.

And you can connect your camera or smartphone to a laptop through a USB cable to organize photos on Windows as well. Type the descriptive name and add tags to photos you collect.

Windows Photos

Moreover, using Google Photos to organize photos is also acceptable. Create a Gmail account if you do not own one. Choose Photos from the drop-down menu, and hit the add icon to Create Album. Enter the name of your new photo album and hit Edit on the top right side of the screen if you want to modify the destination or photos.

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Part 2: Top 3 Best Photo Organizers You Can Organize Photos

Managing a huge amount of pictures is not a simple job. So you may need a powerful photo organizer for your computer. We spent a few days testing popular photo organizing software. In this part, we will share the best photo organizers in detail. You can learn about the top 3 best tools for organizing pictures on computers besides the default photo organizer within a few minutes.

Recommend: WidsMob Viewer Pro

Looking through all those photos is time-wasting, especially when you have some similar photos taken with your smartphone or generated with AI. What should be the best photo organizer to manage them on your computer? WidsMob Viewer Pro should be the all-in-one file viewer and organizer, which supports most photo formats, video formats, and PDFs. It enables you to compare two similar photos, sort the desired photos with multiple parameters, check the EXIF information, delete the unwanted photos, and group them into different folders.

1. Folder-based image viewing experience and check all files within the same folder in the thumbnail.

2. Preview photos in different folders, drag-n-drop the photos to another folder, and others.

3. Organize photos by comparing, deleting, copying, pasting, playing, checking EXIF, and more.

4. Support most RAW formats, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, WebP, APNG, AVIF, and other animated files.

5. Provide basic editing features, crop a photo, adjust photo effects, and provide batch process.

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Step 1: Download and install WidsMob Viewer Pro on your computer. If you have already set it up as the default media viewer, you can simply click any media file to open all the photos, videos, and PDFs within the same folder. Moreover, you can also view the subfolder within the folder to organize the photos.

View Canon RAW Viewer Pro

Step 2: In the Thumbnail mode, you can browse those photos in the thumbnail. When you need to decide which one to choose, you can choose two images and click the Compare button to decide the one you want. Just press the Ctrl + C keys to copy the photo you want to transfer or simply drag-n-drop the photos to a sub-folder.

Compare Photos Thumbnail Viewer Pror

Step 3: To enlarge a picture, double-click it to enter the full-screen mode. Switch to another file from the bottom bar, which also enables you to delete the photos, cut out the desired part, and check the EXIF for RAW files. It includes device type, Flash, Focal length, Exposure time, Model, F Number, and other parameters.

Open Sony RAW Full Screen Viewer Pro

Step 4: Right-click any media file, you can find the multiple editing features, like Rotate Left, Rotate Right, Flip H, Flip V, Crop, Move to Trash, Open, Show in Explorer, and Preference. As for Preference, you can set up the mouse wheel, zoom step, folder view, cache, and more to organize photos within the program.

Crop Image in Full Screen Viewer

Step 5: Besides the above features, you can also edit and organize the photos from the top menu, which enables you to batch rename, convert, or resize photos if necessary. It provides a slideshow mode to play the photos automatically. You can click the Save As button to convert some RAW files into JPG, PNG, and other file formats.

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Top free photo organizer

XnView MP is a popular photo organizer available to Windows, Mac, and Linux. According to the developer, it is free of charge for personal or educational use. Its principal features include:

1. XnView MP could read and import more than 500 photo formats. And the output format supported by this photo organizer is about 70.

2. You can view the pictures in various modes, such as thumbnail, filmstrip, slideshow, and so on.

3. The built-in converter could help you to convert multiple pictures at once.

4. This photo organizer also offers many photo editing tools for editing and enhancing pictures.


1. XnView MP has extensive features, but it is small and runs fast.

2. It is compatible with a wide array of platforms.


1. It lacks advanced features, such as auto-correction and facial recognition.

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Top high-end photo organizer

Adobe is famous in a visual ecosystem, especially among professionals. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is the image organizer developed by Adobe Systems. Its key features include:

1. You can browse and switch pictures quickly by scrolling the screen at the bottom.

2. The quickly developing feature allows you to batch process and apply presets to multiple pictures at once.

3. This photo organizer could remember your presets and use them on one and image.

4. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom integrates photo editing features from Photoshop.

5. It has extensive templates for publishing.


1. The interface is well designed and user-friendly.

2. It could correct pictures based on EXIF data.

3. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has extensive features.


1. It is expensive.

2. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom runs slower.


Tips: Backup Photos Online or Use External Hard Drive

After organizing digital photos on Mac, you had better move those large files into another storage space. Because too many files will make your computer run slowly. Every time you use Mac, those digital photos will produce a high CPU load. What’s more, you can access those organized digital photos on other computers and devices easily.

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Part 3: How to Organize Printed Photos

You may have dozens of boxes filled with old photos, albums, and other printed products. Those photos can be found anywhere in your house, like closets, drawers, refrigerators, bookshelf, etc. But it disappeared when you want to find a picture. Furthermore, before you move into a new place, you need to organize luggage. You can take the chance to organize photos chronologically or in other ways you like.

There is no fixed way to put your printed photos in order. You can organize photos by color, date, theme, character, and more. Thus, this section will show you the general process of images into albums. You can make adjustments based on your need.

Step 1: Decide Your Final Goal for Organized Photos

You need to figure out why you want to organize photos. What are these organized pictures used? For instance, if you make a company slideshow, you can pick out the needed one before organizing the other photos. Whatever, it is a good idea to make a plan before taking actions blindingly. Thus, you can prioritize your steps in the whole photo organization process.

Step 2: Gather All Your Photos Together

You can look for photos in photo boxes, albums, books, scrapbooks, jewelry boxes, wallets, file folders, safety deposit box and more. If you clean up your house thoroughly, you may be surprised to know that there are so many printed photos and albums under your bed or other strange corners.

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Step 3: Prepare Photo Organization Tools

It is different from organizing photos on iPhone, Android, PC, or Mac. You have to manage pictures manually. You had better prepare the following tools to protect old images and write on the back of the picture.

  • To organize loose photos, you need to use a photo-safe photo storage box to avoid physical damages.
  • A photo-safe pencil, photo-safe sticky notes, and index cards.
  • Dental floss, clean, soft clothing, and cotton gloves. (To handle photos carefully.)
  • Rubber cement pickup and other cleaning tools for images.

Step 4: Sort Out Photos

Sorting photos is the top choice for many people. If you have no idea how to organize loose images by date, you can check the images' back. You may find the printer codecs, receipts, and many other clues to know the approximate date of the photograph. Or you can organize photos as a photographer by theme, person, whether, location, and more. By the way, you had better throw away magnetic albums. This kind of album is harmful to your previous memories day by day.

Sort Photos

Step 5: Scan Photos to Make a Copy (Optional)

If you have some beloved photos, you can use a scanner to digitize images to make a copy. It is better if you get the negatives and slides. You can get the better color of the scanned pictures. If you don’t want to destroy your album, you can use a portable scanner to scan pages directly. Your photo album will still be intact.

Scan Photos

That’s all to organize photos easily, including the digital and printed images. By the way, you can make some small gifts with those well-organized photos. For example, you can send a digital frame as a gift to someone with the same memory. Or you can make a photo or video slideshow with those pictures. It is nice to create a digital photo book with your favorite photos. In addition, you can print family photos on a canvas to decorate your house at a low cost. If you have any other good ideas about taking advantage of the grouped photos, you can feel free to share them with us.

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