Photos App Interference


Today’s Question: When I import photos to Lightroom, Apple’s Photos application opens. I cannot find an option in preferences for Photos to have it not open when I import photos. Your help will be appreciated.

PLEASE NOTE: The original answer posted below wasn’t entirely correct. Details of the correction can be found in a follow-up post here:

Photos App Redux

Tim’s Quick Answer: The only truly effective solution here is to remove the Photos app from your computer. Otherwise you will continue to experience this frustration in certain circumstances.

More Detail: The Photos application included with newer versions of the Macintosh operating system actually includes a setting that can be used to disable the import. The problem is that this setting doesn’t work properly for many scenarios.

When importing from an actual device (such as an iPhone) you can turn off the “Open Photos for this device” checkbox toward the top-left of the Photos interface to prevent the Photos app from launching when you connect that device.

However, for media cards inserted into a card reader, this option doesn’t actually work in most cases, because reformatting the card in your camera will cause the card to appear as a different device.

Therefore, the only true fix for this issue is to remove the Photos application altogether. As long as you aren’t using Photos to manage any images outside of your normal workflow, this is a perfectly good solution. Simply go to the Applications folder and move the Photos application to the trash. You will then no longer see the Photos application when importing photos to Lightroom.