How to only backup photos to iCloud (not a Mac)

Hog Milanese

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 19, 2012
191
199
Pacific Northwest
I'm curious if there's a way to only have iCloud backup your photos (from an iPhone) to the Cloud—and not also download them to your Mac?

I don't want my Mac storage filling up with photos, when they could be kept in iCloud (or on the iPhone itself).

Is this possible?
 

PsyOpWarlord

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2010
334
25
Colorado Springs, CO
You can try:
System Preference -> iCloud .. Then uncheck the Photos.

Personally I would keep then on the Mac also. It's a new service and no telling how reliable it will be yet. At least on the Mac all your photos could also be backed up to Time Machine. Multiple backups are a great thing when dealing with digital photos (especially when there is no hard copies).

Just think if something whacky happened to the iCloud Photos and all the photos got deleted, then your device thinks you deleted them and removes all the photos from your devices also. Everything would have been lost. If they were on your Mac and thus Time Machine, you could use the Time Machine backup to retrieve them all.
 

Hog Milanese

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 19, 2012
191
199
Pacific Northwest
Well, the problem is ultimately one of storage space.

I guess I should think of only using a desktop with a larger storage space for this purpose, or perhaps move my Photos library to an external drive (assuming that's possible?).
 

simon lefisch

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2014
963
225
I guess I should think of only using a desktop with a larger storage space for this purpose, or perhaps move my Photos library to an external drive (assuming that's possible?).
Yes it is possible. I have all my photos/videos on a 64GB sd card atm (I like it on the sd card cuz then I don't have a cable leading to an HD). As I add more photos, I'll upgrade the sd card or switch to a larger thumb drive (I have a 128GB thumb drive).
 

Hog Milanese

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 19, 2012
191
199
Pacific Northwest
Yes it is possible. I have all my photos/videos on a 64GB sd card atm (I like it on the sd card cuz then I don't have a cable leading to an HD). As I add more photos, I'll upgrade the sd card or switch to a larger thumb drive (I have a 128GB thumb drive).
Is there a simple way to have the Photos app point your library to a new location?
 

simon lefisch

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2014
963
225
Is there a simple way to have the Photos app point your library to a new location?
Yes. Once you move you library to whatever external storage medium you're using, hold down the Shift key (I believe it's Shift or Option) and find your library. Once open, go to preferences in Photos app and click "use as default library" or something to that affect.

Just make sure your storage device is connected when opening Photos after doing the above.
 
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