When PhotoStructure is importing files, it automatically excludes all hidden files, as well as operating system and application support directories.

Additionally, across all platforms, the following rules are also applied:


The contents of a directory that has a .nomedia entry is ignored.

PhotoStructure extends this standard to make it easier to work with:

  1. Case doesn't matter. NOMEDIA, NoMedia, and nomedia will all work.
  2. The NoMedia directory entry can be a file or a directory.
  3. The file or directory can start with a period, but it doesn't have to. nomedia and .nomedia will both work.
  4. NoMedia is applied recursively to all children.
    For example, if you add a NoMedia file to an external hard drive's root directory, no files from that entire drive will be imported.

To create a NoMedia file, navigate to the folder (or hierarchy of folders) that you want to exclude from PhotoStructure, right-click and pick "New Folder"), and rename it to NoMedia.


If a directory or file starts with a period, or "dot," its contents will be ignored. On Mac and Linux, this will hide the file or directory from the Finder or Files browser (unless you enable "show hidden files").

⚠️ Note that the Windows 10 Explorer can't create dotfiles, as it interprets them as an invalid "nameless extension," but you can create them via the terminal.

Hidden files via attrib or SetFile

Mac and Windows both support hiding files via file attributes, but this requires the use of a the command line tool SetFile on a Mac, or attrib on Windows.

⚠️ Note that some backup software and copying files or directories with these attributes from your NAS and back may strip these attributes, depending on what software you're using.

TL;DR: What should I use to hide a directory?

We recommend using NoMedia:

  • it works on Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • it works on all network file systems
  • its supported by all backup software, and
  • it's easy to work with using GUI tools like the Mac Finder or Windows Explorer.

Please note

Marking directories as hidden or with .nomedia is not retroactive. If a folder's images and videos have already been copied into your library, those assets will remain in your library.

Photo by Annie Spratt