Don't want to add all pictures to iCloud on Mac

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by Mjmar, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. Mjmar macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2008
    Hi everyone,

    I currently use an iPhone, iPad and Mac. The iPad and iPhone both have iCloud Photo Library turned on so they are in sync, but the Mac does not. The Photos app on my Mac has about 50GB of photos on it, so I don't want to turn on iCloud Photo Library because it is not necessary to upload my photos going back to 2001 to iCloud. However, I would like to get my Mac in sync with my other 2 devices. Are there any ways to prevent certain photos on my Mac from uploading to iCloud Photo Library? Ideally I would like to turn on iCloud Photo Library on my Mac and only have photos from today on upload to iCloud. I don't think photostream would work either because I'd like the ability to edit across all three devices. What can I do to achieve this?

  2. NazgulRR macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2010
    You can have multiple Photos Libraries on your Mac. Create a new, empty one, set it as a system library and turn on iCloud sync for it.
  3. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    That's basically what I did when I started using iCloud Photo Library. I created an empty library and turned it on, then just started taking photos and enjoying the instant sync between devices.

    Eventually I realized how cool it would be to have my entire library (of then 18,000 photos) on all my devices, so I switched my System Photo Library over to my original library, and iCloud merged them together. It's been working great since.

    Of course, it's up to you whether you want to pay for the extra storage or not. I've been finding it worth it (and I had no idea I would, back before I used it)
  4. wwchris macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Honestly, when they first introduced the iCloud service it was kinda crappy, but it has really matured and works very well now. I have a 900gb Library and it works. If you use iCloud, Make sure your iPhone and iPad are set not to store the full-size images and they won't even take up much space on those devices. Make sure your Mac is set to store full-size so you have quick access to editing. Unless you are trying to hide naughty photos of some kind, what's not to love about having access to all your pictures on all devices? Shared libraries also make awesome screen savers on an AppleTV. The extra storage is only .99 a month for 50GB.

    If you still want to keep them seperate, do as they suggested and make a new library and start fresh.

    However, leave the old library in place and then make the clean library on the Mac. You can do that by:
    1 - Holding option when you open photos on the Mac
    2 - Create a new library and decide where to save it. You should now have an empty library.
    3 - Go under photos preferences and select use as system library.
    4 - Turn on iCloud services.

    Be aware that it should now download any of the photos on your iPhone and iPad into this library.
    If you have any pics on the devices that were in your earlier Mac photo library you will end up with duplicates. From here on out any changes you make on your Mac (or vice versa) show up everywhere so be careful about what you delete.

    You can always access the old mac Photos library by double clicking it or holding option when you start photos, just don't ever make it your system library. Also, I can't say it enough, be sure you make backups. You'd hate to lose your 50gb of photos and handling it this way, you won't even have a version in the cloud to retrieve them.

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