Moved System Photo Library to different computer, iCloud thinks it's new content

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Ubele, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. Ubele macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    I have a late 2102 Mac mini with a 2.12 TB Fusion drive, and a 2015 MBP with a 256 GB SSD. My Photos Library, which was on the mini, is 110 GB. I have Apple's 200 GB iCloud storage plan, and my photos are backed up there. I've decided to sell my mini, so I copied my Photos Library to an external drive, signed out of iCloud on my mini, attached the external drive to my MBP, and designated my 110 GB Photo Library as my System Photo Library. I got a message saying I need to sync it to iCloud, so I went to my iCloud Preferences and selected the "Automatically upload your entire library to iCloud ..." option. It tells me that I don't have enough free storage and that I need to upgrade to the 2 TB plan. Apparently, iCloud thinks that I'm adding 110 GB worth of photos to the 110 GB that's in iCloud, when in fact it's the same library. I'm running High Sierra and the latest version of Photos.

    I'm guessing I need to unsync my iPad and iPhone from iCloud, delete my entire Photos library from iCloud, sync iCloud with my System Photo Library on my MBP's external drive (thereby uploading all my photos again), and re-sync my iPad and iPhone. Is that correct, or am I missing something? I've moved my System Photo Library before, and this never happened.
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I don't know if that's correct, but I just went through the same situation. Ended up upgrading to the higher plan just to get it done, figured I could downgrade at the end.
  3. jmcrutch macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2010
    Something similar happened to me. Overnight one morning I noticed that my Mac Mini had obviously received an OS update because I was forced to sign in. I noticed iCloud was saying I didn't have enough storage and it was because it thought my photos library was something different than the one that was synced.

    To get around it I upgraded my iCloud storage, let it sync, then tried to downgrade my storage. Well, it wouldn't let me. I had to call iTunes Support and it was rather difficult for even them to fix the issue, although they were able to eventually.
  4. Ubele, Nov 5, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017

    Ubele thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    Hmm, sounds like a bug. I backed up my Photos Library to a second drive, so I’ll try the method I suggested. I was afraid to try it with the only copy of my library, in case something weird happens. I didn’t know that Apple upgraded their larger plan from 1 TB to 2 TB.

    IOS Photos has been buggy for me over the past month. A handful of recent photos didn’t sync properly on my iPad and iPhone, and were just white rectangles with the ! symbol. I had to disconnect the devices from iCloud and re-sync. And a handful of other photos that I took with my iPhone don’t appear in the All Photos album, but do appear in the all Photos view that breaks them out by date.
  5. Ubele thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2008
    I ended up renaming my Photos Library, creating a new one, syncing it with iCloud, and downloading all my photos from iCloud. I then deleted my original (renamed) Photo Library. All is well now, and I didn't need to upgrade to the 2 TB plan.

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4 November 5, 2017