Photos iCloud Library on internal drive (optimized) & external drive (originals) at the same time?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by NazgulRR, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. NazgulRR macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2010

    I was just thinking if the following set up was possible with the OSX Photos:

    Have the OSX Photos iCloud Library on your internal/system drive set to optimized quality to have a lower res version of your photos everywhere you go, while also having the same iCloud Library on an external drive set to download originals for when you want to plug in and see full res albums.
  2. jammy2049 macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2010
    I haven't tried this, but I can't see why it wouldn't work.

    By default, the Photo Library inside of your /Users/Pictures/ is set to be the 'System Photos Library' (You can see this by choosing 'Photos-Preferences-iCloud' (This will be important)

    First of all, make sure the Photo Library on your system is complete, and set to Optimise Storage.

    Close Photos, reopen while holding the Option key and choose to 'Create New Library'. Save this to your External Drive.

    When this new Photo Library opens it will be empty. Go into 'Photos-Preferences-' and choose 'Use as System Photo Library' (This step may require a relaunch to complete). You should then be able to go to the 'iCloud' tab and choose to enable the iCloud Photo Library and choose 'Download Originals'

    The 'System Photo Library' is the one that will automatically update with new Photos from your iCloud Photo Library, so you will need to switch this setting when you want to use the other Photo Library (while holding Option on opening Photos).

    This means that you will have to switch the 'System Photo Library' back and forth, and generally I'd leave it set for the Optimised Photo Library (even after you've just downloaded and set the Originals one), just to that it will be nice and up to date.

    I'm hoping the setting for 'Download Originals/Optimised' is a setting within the Library, as opposed to a Photo setting, or else it will be a headache. The only other option would be to have the Originals/Optimised Libraries in different logins, but then that would get a little messy!

    Hope this is something to try :)
  3. NazgulRR thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2010
    Thanks! I'll give this a try - hopefully tonight.

    I hope so too! I do know, for a fact, that "Copy items to the Photos library" is a setting, not a setting within a library....
  4. NazgulRR thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2010
    Doesn't work :(. Switching 'System Photo Library' back and forth empties the other library when that one is connected to iCloud too.

    So another user (or another Mac) would be the way to go...

    I'll try the following set up and report back:
    user1 - 'optimised' library (=library1) on the internal drive for low-res viewing/browsing
    user2 - 'originals' library (=library2) on an external drive
    then connect the external drive with library2 within the user1 session and see if I can browse it that way
  5. ricosuave macrumors 6502


    Mar 27, 2007
    In front of my mac
    The only way to have two identical ICP libraries is to run it on a separate mac at full resolution. That's what I do to my daughters library in her Macbook Air. Hers is optimized and I back it up at full res in my Mac Pro.

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