OS X Yosemite Photos: Showing Your Recently Deleted Items

I’ve been using iPhoto since…well, let’s just say that it’s been a really long time, and thinking about it makes me feel old. I’m going to go sob quietly into my pillow now.

Where was I going with that? Oh, yeah. iPhoto.

So, since I’ve had iPhoto for what seems like forever, I’ve gotten used to its quirks. Among those is the fact that when you delete an image from its library, that item remains in the program’s separate trash folder until you empty it. THEN it goes to your Mac’s trash, where it stays until you empty THAT.

Not exactly intuitive!

In Yosemite’s new Photos application, things are different. You delete something, and it vanishes. Where does it go? Well, just like with the newer versions of iOS, you’ve got a “Recently Deleted” album, which is the place unwanted pictures go to die. They’ll stay there for enough time for you to change your mind (usually 30 days), and then they’ll go away forever.

With Photos on the Mac, however, that “Recently Deleted” album doesn’t seem to show up anywhere—unless you know the trick to accessing it, that is. It’s hidden under File> Show Recently Deleted.

Choose that, and you can either restore images you’ve removed or delete them permanently by selecting items and clicking the buttons in the upper right.

Now, while this may seem like a pretty weird way to have to get to the stuff you’ve removed, I like it. I like it a lot. I’m not a fan of the way it works on iOS—if you want a certain embarrassing item to not show up at all, you’ve gotta delete it twice (once from the library, and once from the totally-not-hidden “Recently Deleted” album). Because the Photos program on the Mac obscures your removed images in this way, it’s less likely that someone random will see something he shouldn’t. Not that I have any experience with that sort of thing, you understand.