Apple Photos - Library Size

DPH

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 3, 2009
113
32
Sarpsborg, Norway
Hello, Just started to use Apple`s Photos, and i have now a library that is 39,79 GB big, this is both photos and videos.

What is the maximum size i should not exceed? If there is not any answer to this, what are people here doing?:)
 

DPH

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 3, 2009
113
32
Sarpsborg, Norway
Pretty sure there is no maximum size. Why should there be? Mine is 48 GB.
Last time i used something like Photos was iPhoto in 2009. And the library was terrible to use when it was a high amount of GB.

When do you feel you should create a new library?:)
 

imac275

macrumors member
Mar 24, 2013
75
2
Mine is currently sitting at 655GB ans was all working fine until I got a new iMac.

The old iMac had a 3TB Fusion Drive and the new one has got a 512GB SSD. I tried to restore the Photos Library from a Time Machine backup, but it didn't work.

Migration Assistant won't address the external drive that I wanted to copy the libarary to, and manually copying it from the TM disc to the external left a library that needed repairing, but Photos was unable to do that.

In the end, I just copied the Master Data and it worked ok, but I obviously have to organise all of the albums again.

I don't think that there is a limit to the size of Photos Library, but it is definitely worth being careful when it gets to big to sit (even temporarily) on your internal drive.
 

Significant1

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2014
787
249
I don't use Photos, but from a technical perspektive, it is just a folder, not a single file (right click on it in finder and show content of package). So besides som database files with metadata, it is very much like asking how big a folder can be, which will depend on the filesystem. Of course there can be programatic limitation, inside the Photos app, but being a 64bit application I doubt it.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,503
2,147
Between the coasts
My Photos library is over 300 GB, and there are no performance issues. There is no published maximum library size.

As already noted, the library is made up of individual files. It's the size of those files that matters to performance, not the size of the library as a whole.
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,339
254
Depends on whether you sync that with iCloud Library Photos. First 5GB free, then like $.99/month for 20GB, then up to like $5/month for I think like 200GB. Unless it's changed. Otherwise, not a worry if you've got space on your machine. And/or your mobile device if you're synching.
 

DPH

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 3, 2009
113
32
Sarpsborg, Norway
Thanks for the post guys! I may have had some bad memories from my old MacBook late 2009 model and iPhoto. It seems that Photos run much better, and i should not worry about it:)

How is the speed performance when using extern drive with Thunderbolt/USB 3.0? Same as with an internal SSD?
 

yellow8

macrumors regular
Mar 14, 2017
140
55
Performance will be better with an internal SSD --> more speed.
USB 3 will be the slowest. Thunderbolt comes in-between.
 

400

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2015
375
95
Wales
I use an external 4tb HD for my library and on USB 3. Unless it is asleep, I do not notice any issues. On around 560gb for the library size. Some delays if I really spin back to 2000 when my library started but it soon catches up. Thunderbolt was just too much loot for this use.
 
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Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,223
570
Cascadia
47,370 photos, 3,036 videos, 325 GB, no problems. Which is a nice change from the old iPhoto versions. I believe it was iPhoto 3 Apple proudly announced "now supports up to 10,000 photos!" and I already had far more than that in my older version. (I have been a little pickier with my photo organization since.)
 

400

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2015
375
95
Wales
I am still trimming my library of 40000+. Started back into photos a few years go now and its a process where you have to be ruthless apart for the ones with sentimental attachments. e.g. a few scenery shots taken with a far inferior camera I can easily re visit the area and re capture, delete! Some far away place, I keep.

I would love the cost of SSD in the sizes I want to come down inn price to make them a viable external option. That would be faster.
 
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