How does Photos Library work?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Wirenut, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. Wirenut macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    #1
    Currently I have the Photos Library ("Photos Library.photoslibrary") in a directory that I back up. The library is about 14.5 gigs large. I use the iCloud Photo Library so that all my pictures are available across all my devices.

    As far as I know that library is dynamic, meaning it changes in size depending on how much space is available on my computer. So is there any point in backing up the "Photos Library.photoslibrary" file?

    How does that file work if it changes in size depending on the computer managing it?
     
  2. mrnorwegian macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Location:
    Oslo
    #2
    If you want a secure backup you should check "download originals to this Mac" in the iCloud settings of the Photos app on your Mac. This will ensure all originals are downloaded and thus part of your backup.
     
  3. Wirenut thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    #3
    Thanks!

    I do have that setting made. But I am just curious how the Photos library works if it is a dynamic file in which the full size version of a given photo may or may not be saved in the file.
     
  4. mrnorwegian, Sep 30, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017

    mrnorwegian macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Location:
    Oslo
    #4
    The photos library is actually a folder. Inside it are subfolders with all your images, thumbnails and database stuff. My understanding is if you are running low on space and using the dynamic option Photos would delete originals of your least used photos and download them from the cloud again when needed.
     

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3 September 28, 2017