Anyone have their Photos library on external USB-C SSD

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MrMister111, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. MrMister111 macrumors 68030

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    #1
    I'm thinking of upgrading my 2012 iMac with 1Tb fusion, that my Photos library fits on, about 700Gb, I like to have the full resolution on the Hard Disk.

    So my upgrade may be a MacBook Air, and so with only 128Gb SSD, I'm wondering if Photos library can be run from an external SSD, and what speeds, general access etc it does?

    I know that I could use Photos library as not to download all, only ones I edit, not sure how this would work on a 128Gb SSD, with not much room really left.

    thanks
     
  2. HDFan macrumors 65816

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    Jun 30, 2007
    #2
    You can keep your Photos library on an external drive. Set it in Photos/Preferences/Library Location.

    Keeping static files such as Photos on an SSD is normally a waste of money. The speed is not needed.
     
  3. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #3
    So just a normal external USB3 HDD would do then and just be as fast? I was just thinking to get as fast as could that's all.

    Thanks
     
  4. Aiwi macrumors member

    Aiwi

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    #4
    Just a head's up: I was unable to set my Photos library to an external drive when using iCloud Library! It had to be in my system drive
     
  5. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #5
    Really....wow that doesn't seem right, how many Mac's have enough space on internal drives?

    I use iCloud photo library, but have full downloads to my Mac.

    What error do you get if any? Have you asked Apple as can't see anything that says it can't.
     
  6. chrfr macrumors 604

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    Jul 11, 2009
    #6
    You can set the iCloud photo library to an external drive, at least in Mojave. I tried it, but ultimately decided it was too inconvenient to use my MacBook Pro that way.
     
  7. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #7
    I presumed you could. Sure I did on my iMac a long time ago.

    What's inconvenient? Just the fact you have to plug it in to use? Yours must fit on internal drive though? Or you don't download full resolution?

    Thanks
     
  8. chrfr macrumors 604

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    Jul 11, 2009
    #8
    I didn't want to be unable to use Photos if I was traveling and didn't have the external drive connected, so I moved it back to the internal drive and turned on the optimize storage option.
     
  9. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #9
    Ah ok good point! How big is your library, and how much space with optimise on does it use please?

    Thanks
     
  10. chrfr macrumors 604

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    Jul 11, 2009
    #10
    The amount of space the optimized library uses varies by the size of the disk it's on. The library is only about 40GB at this point. One one computer it's actually using about 48GB, but on another computer it's using less than 3GB.
     
  11. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #11
    Ah ok, mine is much bigger at around 700Gb, so even with optimise on would still take a lot.
     
  12. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #12
    What would happen in this circumstance? Say I have iCloud photo library on an external disk at home.

    If I'm out with my iPhone, would pics still be uploaded to iCloud photo library and then when the external disk is plugged back in, it would then download from iCloud to the disk?
     
  13. drmeatball macrumors member

    drmeatball

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    Ellicott City, MD
    #13
    You can use an external drive for a library just fine. Just hold down option key when starting Photos.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 15, 2019 at 8:04 PM ---
    Not sure if I’m following you, but as an example... I’ve been traveling off and on for the last few weeks. Everything I shoot on the phone syncs automatically with iCloud when on WiFi. When I get home and turn on the Mini, everything automatically syncs (from iCloud) to the Photos library. My library is on an external drive, works fine.
     
  14. ApplesandOranges macrumors regular

    ApplesandOranges

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    Jul 27, 2019
    #14
    Just keep in mind if the external drive is not plugged in or turned on and you open Photos it will default to a Photos folder on your internal drive.

    I too have a large photo library, and tried to use iCloud to store 20,000 plus photos. Was a mess for me. Really slow to load, update libraries, and just not easy to work with.
     
  15. drmeatball macrumors member

    drmeatball

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    Location:
    Ellicott City, MD
    #15
    That’s a good point, don’t unplug the drives. My external drives are never unplugged so they never get out of sync, and the initial sync can take quite a while (mine is over 20k as well - took about a day to really sort itself), but I’ve never had an issue where Photos ‘got confused’.

    Good luck!
     

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14 July 13, 2019