One of the joys of taking photos in the digital future we already live in is that we have something close to infinite depth: huge online storage in the form of SSDs (expensive, but fast) and hard drives (very cheap, but slow). . It’s a natural fit to want some of the millions of photos you take to be available on an Apple TV, whether it’s for browsing, as a slideshow, or as a screen saver.
Apple makes it easy and hard. Setup is easy, but finding the options is not! And with the arrival of macOS 13 Ventura later this year, there are three different places to find the right settings in the latest versions of macOS:
On macOS 10.14 Mojave and earlier: Mojave and earlier versions of macOS rely on iTunes to share photos from Apple TV. Open iTunes, go to File > Home Sharing > Choose photos to share with Apple TV.
On macOS 10.15 Catalina through 12 Monterey: To go System preferences > Exchangecheck media sharing. Select media sharingcheck the share the home (if not already checked), authenticate when prompted and check the “Share photos with Apple TV” box. Click To choose.
On macOS 13 Ventura (beta): To go System settings > General > Exchange. Enable media sharing. Click the information icon i to the right of Media Sharing and select Home Sharing and “Share photos with Apple TV.” Click To choose.
Fortunately, the dialog box that appears in each of the above cases is nearly identical. From it, you can make a number of choices:
App or folder: The “Share photos from” menu shows iPhoto (on supported versions of macOS) and Photos. You can also choose Choose Folder.
What items: With an app, you can select “All photos and albums” or “Selected albums” and then check the smart and manually created albums and People albums below. With a folder selected, you can select “All Folders” or “Selected Folders” and then make your choices below.
Videos or not: You can choose whether to show movies by checking Include videos.
While you can select a folder, you can’t choose an alternate Photos library: you can choose items only from the one marked as your system library in Photos.
(To set up a system library, exit Photos, then hold down the Option key when you launch it again. Select a library other than your system library. Go to Photos > Preferences > General and click Use as system library. This resets iCloud Photos, so consider that carefully before proceeding.)
On your Apple TV:
Open the computers app
Select the shared media library.
Select the Photos tab. (It may take a bit of time between sharing photos from your Mac and items appearing in the Photos tab for large libraries.)
A slideshow of recent images appears on the main screen. Select Photos either albums.
You can then choose in Photos view or any Albums view to play a slideshow or set the view as your Apple TV screen saver.
If you want to set up your Apple TV to view images stored in iCloud Photos, it’s noticeably easier: Check out this support note from Apple for steps to set up the Photos app on Apple TV.
This Mac 911 article answers a question submitted by Macworld reader Yahya.
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