Desk top photos/thumb drive

Hi all, Apple user here however this generic question:
Dh uses iMac (old). Current project moving all photos on to thumb drive.

Photos organized on desk top according to date/event etc… but copying them to thumb drive they’re all over the place. Haphazard, not organized at all the way they’re on his desk top.

Giving thumb drives to g’kids but no way are they in any consistent categories according to date etc….

Is there a way to edit/move re-organize on a thumb drive, or….???
Thx for any assistance/advice

Is there a way to edit/move re-organize on a thumb drive, or….???
Thx for any assistance/advice

Further to this question, I have been looking for a photo album kind of place (Thumb drive?) Something like Flickr, but local on my computer. Any suggestions?


Hi Tuni,

I believe when you a copying them to the thumb, they are “out” of whatever application you are using. At that point, they will be sorted by the filename.

When I pull photos from my camera, phone or drone, I rename all of them with a standard name, YYYYMMDD_nn.ext where:

    YYYY 4 digit year
    MM   2 digit month
    DD   2 digit day
    _    underbar character
    nn   2 digit serial (I sometimes promote it to 3 digits
         if I take a lot of photos in a single day)
    .    Period
    ext  File extension for the type like jpg, png, etc.

I wrote a perl script to look at the mtime of each file, sort them by that date/time and rename them as above. If I have multiple days, it resets the serial to 01 as the date changes.

I have been using Google Photos for sharing. Here is a link to look at:

I have about 600 photos there in different albums and am using 1.3GB of 15GB free storage.

If you click on a photo, it goes to “full window.” If the browser is full screen, it enlarges the photo if it has sufficient size. I can use my mouse wheel to enlarge the photo farther.

I added comments to the photos using the Info icon (circled i). If you click that you should see the comment and camera info. The location is there for drone and phone photos.

Does that help you?

All holdings and some statistics on my Fool profile page

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Wow - unfortunately he didn’t re-name or re-label them. There’s about 1k now copied to the 32gb thumb drive. Your method would be great but… it looks like he’s d have to rename each of the 1k - DH has run out of patient- don’t know if he can/will go back and redo… sigh… will present your method to him and see what he can do… many thx

I have family photos going back to the 1920s (the clothing gives an idea of the decade). I scanned them all (pictures, negatives, slides, you name it–but not movies).

One master directory and multiple sub-directories (one for each family name, etc).

I just copy (or send) the master directory name to another drive–and walk away or drink coffee while waiting/watching. I use 4TB drives as they are relatively cheap and (IMO) quite reliable. I use Seagate and HGST (now part of WD). HGST are all 7200rpm, but Seagate 5400rmp pr 5900rpm drives are just fine.

May need to see if each new directory is sorted the way you want. Moving to a different drive/device may change the sort, but sort-by-date in the new directories should still work to give the desired results.

Are these all separate folders on the desktop? If so, you’d want to copy the folder rather than individual photos. That should preserve the folder structure on the thumb drive.


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Hi tuni -

Maybe simpler to sort them on the computer by making new Folders, each with the name of the place, person, family, hobby, whatever, then dropping pics into each, then just a matter of dragging the folders to the thumb drive.

Within each folder any number can be renamed, in Finder/File/Rename to whatever the topic might be… They can always be sorted by creation date in the folders…

The Pictures Folder, in Finder, is the normal place to keep photos, in that folder I must have over 1,000 folders, some with sub-folders, plus a lot of un-foldered photos, trying to find ways to find the particular photo od the nearly 600Gb of photos in there… Many may be duplicates, but that’s OK, they may be duplicated to be with similar topics, events…

Anyway, many, many ways to organize, each of us may have their own methods, in the old days iPhoto Libraries were useful, and multiple Libraries could be created… Today, Photos handles it, but isn’t as user friendly to me… So I’ve not put all my photos in it, so far…

Terminology between Win/Mac isn’t the same, we really need out Apple User board back… Or maybe all on Facebook…


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Apparently he did not set them up in separate folders - this is new for him and even me …I didn’t know what he was doing or how he did it, until I looked at the thumb drive and thought, uh oh!!!

sigh…I’ll try some of the suggestions here to see if I can fix or at least help him.

more sighs…and thx

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