iPhoto confusion - icloud and other questions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by djrobsd, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. djrobsd macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008

    I'm a bit confused about how iPhoto works with iCloud. I am still on OSX Mavericks, using iPhoto, not the new "Photos" app in El Capitan. I am NOT using the new iCloud photos feature yet, I am still using photo stream.

    What I notice is that when I plug my phone into iPhoto these days, most of the photos are already downloaded, so it's not manually downloading them via USB/Lightning cable. This is great, but I want to insure that I don't loose any of my precious photos, and I'm a little nervous about the fact that they are synced up from the Photo Stream.

    So, my questions have to do with how the whole thing works. As I understand it, the Photo Stream has a specific limit, i.e. 1000 photos. Once you go over that limit, the older photos "disappear" to automatically make room for the new ones you take. So, my question there is, although they no longer appear in the photo stream, will they still appear in iPhoto as part of my photo library? Whenever I plug my phone back in, it's not asking me to download the photos that may have "expired" from my photo stream, so I'm guessing the answer might be yes. (and yes, I always choose NO - do not delete photos already downloaded because I am having a trust issue with believing I'm not going to loose all my photos if the photo stream goes away).

    Note: I have both automatic import and automatic upload turned on. As I understand it from reading the documentation, automatic import will automatically import my photo stream into my iPhoto library. So In essence I have answered my own question, but just want to confirm.

    Another question I had (which I did not see in the documentation), if I ever turn photo stream off, will it delete all the photos it imported, or will they remain in my library? Also, if I delete a photo from my iphone that is still in my 1000 photo stream, will it go back to my Mac and delete it?

    Last, but certainly not least, I have multiple iphoto libraries, does photo stream know which library its actually attached to, so when I switch to a different library it won't try to re-download the pictures again to that other library?

    Thank you in advance for helping me sort all this out. I know all bets are out the window when I upgrade to El Capitan and install the new photos app and use icloud photo storage. I don't even want to think of what a mess that's going to be, but that's why I'm holding out with my lovely Mavericks for as long as I can. :)
  2. MacGizmo macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2003
    You're right. You answered your own question. ;)

    No, turning off photo stream will not remove anything from your iPhoto Library on your Mac.

    No, it won't delete anything from you Mac or iPhoto Library.

    Photostream works with one (the default) Library only at a time. In other words, don't try to get cute with it, because it's smarter/dumber than you are (depending on you look at the situation).

    To be honest, Photostream was great because it was simple and you really couldn't mess anything up. Photostream was sort of the equivalent of a browser bookmark — deleting the bookmark doesn't delete the website.

    With iCloud Photo Library (iCPL) under El Capitan using Photos app, you have more options to play with. You can continue to use Photostream as you do now and nothing will change.

    But if you turn on iCPL – all you connected device get thumbnails of your photos, while the full resolution photo lives on an iCloud server... unless you designate one device (usually people choose their desktop Mac) as the main storage device (download photos to this Mac setting in Photos/iCloud prefs). That means that the full resolution images will be stored on that particular Mac, as well as the iCPL. Every other Mac and iOS device will simply get a thumbnail of each image until the image is opened on that device (at which time a full res version is downloaded on the fly).

    The tricky part for most people to understand is that these are not COPIES of photos on all these devices. If you delete a photo from ANY device, it gets delete from ALL the devices including the iCPL. (There are failsafe options here, but to keep it simple, just assume it's gone).

    The only problem with iCPL is that you'll need plenty of iCloud storage, your free 5GB account probably isn't going to last long with an entire photo library being uploaded.
  3. bcave098 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2015
    Northern British Columbia
    Photo Stream stores photos for 30 days only, unless you take more than 1,000 photos on that period then it removes the oldest ones. Photo Stream doesn't keep anything in iCloud past the 30-day cut off.


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