Are you a Mac user having problem with your iPhoto?

I have lots of images stored in iPhoto. Last I checked, over 70,000 pictures for just 2013 and 2014. Every time I launch iPhoto, the Faces app keeps turning and seems to slow down everything to snail speed, sucking up all the CPU processing power.

Not just that, it creates lots of useless thumbnails, many of which are not accurate facial recognitions; some are even just objects.

The Faces app may be something cute and fun to have for someone who takes less than 10 photos a year and with less than three or four friends or loved ones whom they regularly take photos with. For people like me who takes lot of pictures, it is just a stupid app that is draining my CPU every time I launch iPhoto.

I have been trying to turn off Faces for some time and it appears it cannot be done (surprise, surprise, it’s Apple after all).

Finally, I found a magical, simple solution to turn it off shared by someone called lopezio:

1. Quit iPhoto

2. Open Terminal Application (Applications/Utilities/

3. Type the following (exactly as is):

defaults write PKFaceDetectionEnabled 0

(then return)

4. – Start iPhoto – Faces stops getting on your nerves… 

If you ever need to re-enable faces, just do the same again and replace the 0 with 1.

And that’s it!

Simple, sweet and easy solution. All my pain is gone. Thank you lopezio! Pass this on to another iPhoto user if you found this tip useful. Together, we can save the world from the evil Faces.

Alternatively, you can just switch to another photo storage software that doesn’t force you to use features  you don’t want.

Additional notes from lopezio:

The prefs change does not remove the Faces tab on the left. It Just disables further face detection (the wheel stops turining in the Faces tab), thus saving battery life on laptops and reducing processor usage.

There is no special need for a backup  before this operation. It does not change anything in the Libraries and is revertible.

Only note of caution: I tested on iPhoto 9.5.1. It presumably works on  9.x.x too, but there is no warranty that it will work on older or newer versions.