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huffy15

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 6, 2009
244
73
Dubai, UAE
Hello,

What is the most effective way to back up all my icloud photos (raw) to an external drive. I tried to download them from Photos app (export -> unmodified) and it's very long and I get very often an internet error message (I tried 5 different internet providers). That's also the reason why I want to move my pictures from icloud. Raw images are pretty hard to download. It takes more than 4 minutes in some cases with a .CR2

The other way to go to icloud.com -> icloud photos -> photos -> share a moment (which select all) -> download unmodified. It's the best solution so far but there's a limit from my browser. I can't download more than ~50+ photos in http.

I tried to transfer my Photos library to an external drive and enable keep original from the settings, but the library has to be rebuilt completely and I'm scared of losing everything and having redownload them from the cloud.

Is there any services out there to generate a backup file. I have 800 GB of pictures. I'd love to transfer everything to google photos and on an external drive.

Thank you
 

akash.nu

macrumors G4
May 26, 2016
10,826
16,948
800GB is too huge of a load to go through with a constant connection. You have to manually download them in batches.
 

huffy15

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 6, 2009
244
73
Dubai, UAE
Yes, that's what I'm doing through icloud.com. I don't have download limit in my current airbnb so I'm trying to download all I can.
 

tizeye

macrumors 68040
Jul 17, 2013
3,126
34,369
Orlando, FL
The easiest way to back up RAW files from iCloud is not to put them there in the first place. As a photographer, my workflow is designed to place RAW files on a working hard drive where they are processed, and selectively, some of the jpg output MAY be shared cross platform via iCloud. The working hard drive is simple to back up for protection. Likewise, the working hard drive's life is expanded by organizing client jobs under a year master folder, keeping previous 1 or 2 plus current. As 2019 folder is created, 2016 and all it's subfolder (client jobs) will first be delinked from Lightroom, then moved to join 2015 and earlier a special "Archival" hard drive. Now, as you are manually removing RAW files from iCloud, may want to critically review your workflow.
 
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am2am

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2011
223
103
Easiest way imo - allocate mac with enough HDD available, select in photos keep originals locally and leave it to sync with your icloud.
All your raws will be in your photos library on this mac.
You can then export it further or just use originals folder in your photos library.

If you have just one mac - create a new user account on it and link it with your icloud, create new photos library on external HDD for this account and leave it to sync

I use this method without a problem. Have mac server always on with photos keeping all my originals locally synced
 

huffy15

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 6, 2009
244
73
Dubai, UAE
Oh that's a good idea thank you. I'll try the secondary session and sync them overnight. I only have 256gb hard drive so I'll try on an external drive.
 

am2am

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2011
223
103
sync will take more than one night I'm afraid.
I have 1T worth of raws and it took more than a week to sync all
 

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 603
Sep 26, 2017
5,343
46,770
Tanagra (not really)
I just have iCloud sync to my iMac and then use Time Machine to back up my Mac. Granted, I’m dealing with a much smaller library.

I do tend to agree that 800gb of RAW is quite a strain on Photos. It would probably be better to just store them to iCloud but not Photos. I would only use Photos to handle your jpg exports. The RAW files should probably just be archived once you are done with your edits.
 
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