A note about Photos and hard drive space

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by Khedron, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. Khedron macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2013
    Since installing the Yosemite beta and trying out the new Photos application I've noticed my hard drive space decreasing and thought to make a note in case anyone else wondered about this.

    When moving to Photos the original library is hard linked meaning you get a second copy of the original library for no extra space taken up.

    But as you use the new application to edit photos, new files must be created to accommodate the differences.

    Since my library is large and I can't fit 2 copies on my SSD I will soon have to delete my old (backed up) library. With the hard links this will not delete all the photos but instead the old versions of photos I have since modified.
  2. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    Is it possibly because it's beta and the shipping product will not create the second copy?
  3. HawaiiMacAddict macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2006
    On one of my Macs of course
    When i fired up Photos, I assumed that my existing iPhotos library would have to be converted, but what I didn't expect was to have two photo libraries, one for each app. As hallux pointed out, as Photos is still in beta, perhaps the need for the original, migrated, iPhoto library will no longer exist once Photos is fully mature. As it stands now, I have two copies of the same pictures, taking up twice the disk space. When I checked my hard drive, I found these two icons.


  4. Mikel30 macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2004
    Yes, both those libraries exist. And yes, both will show roughly the same file size. But it does not actually duplicate anything. I believe it's achieving this through some file linking trickeration. I say this because I have a Macbook Air with just 20 GB of free space, and a 50 GB iPhoto Library. After creating the Photos library, it stated that was also 50 GB, but my overall free space was still at 19 GB. It wouldn't have been physically possible to duplicate it.
  5. joedec macrumors 6502


    Jul 25, 2014
    I deleted the old Aperture library. As far as I can tell you don't need to keep it hanging around.

    Of course I'm running a test case, not my "real" photos.
  6. Khedron thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2013
    With the hard linking I had a 108 GB Photos library and a 101 GB iPhoto Library

    They are not actual duplicates, only the modified photos had to be duplicated

    I deleted my original library, which as expected got me back about 6 GB in free space rather than 101 GB (6 GB worth of photos edited since upgrading)
  7. RDH macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2008
    I'm having real issues with this. I migrated an iPhoto library of 87.9Gb an now I have two libraries – iPhoto Library.migratedphotolibrary which is 70.15Gb and Photos Library.photoslibrary which is 68.75Gb and contrary to some of the posts on here I have lost a helluva lot of disc space.

    I threw away the iPhoto Library.migratedphotolibrary and it made no difference so I restored it from time machine and this cost me another 70.15Gb

    I find this all very confusing – I have limited space as it is without paying a Photos tax just to have the same photos on my Mac.

    Any further thoughts on this? Yes I know it's beta so no need to preach and it really isn't the end of the world, just a small annoyance but would like to get to the bottom of it.
  8. Planey28 macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Manchester, UK
    Just throw the original iPhoto library in the trash and delete it. There's no need keep both libraries around - you only need the new Photos library.
  9. RDH macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2008
    I did that. Didn't make any difference. None of the space was regained. I ran Cocktail and cleared all the caches, empty the trash securely, restarted several times and repaired permissions but nothing changed. I ran DaisyDisk but no sign of a rouge 70GB+ file. Bizarre.
  10. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Do you happen to have Time Machine turned on? If you do, when you delete files they don't really get deleted, rather they get moved to a hidden local snapshots folder. Try turning Time Machine off, then back on and that will erase the local snapshots space.
  11. RDH macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2008
    Okay – this seems to have worked. I backed up both the library files and deleted them from my Mac. I then deleted Photos preferences and repaired permissions, emptied caches etc. I then restarted and copied the Photos Library.photoslibrary file back to my hard drive. I launched Photos and it proceeded to 'repair' the library.

    Now it is opening fine and only taking up the disc space it should. Jumping through hoops but thats what happens when you mess with Beta software. Still have a couple of good backups of my original iPhoto library and my iMac is still ruining iPhoto so will see what happens when Photos is officially released.


    On hindsite that could be the answer. All sorted now but potential that could have been the route of it. Thanks for the input ;-)

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