Photos library backup

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by TyWahn, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. TyWahn macrumors 6502

    TyWahn

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    #1
    I have my entire Photos Library on a 10-year-old hard drive and I'd like to transfer it to an SSD or External drive in case something should happen.
    They're also in the cloud but the big files like I said are on said drive.
    What would be the best way to get them to the External? Go in Photos and Export Originals?
    There must be a better way.
    Thanks
     
  2. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816

    ProwlingTiger

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #2
    Dude I'm following this because I have the same question. Apple hasn't made it easy to figure this out. I have 50,000 photos and videos, full versions in the cloud but only optimized on my device. I'm thinking there really is no suitable solution.
     
  3. Christoffee macrumors 6502

    Christoffee

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    If your question is “How do I leave Photos?”, the answer is with great difficulty. I left iPhoto a few years ago.

    There is no way to intelligently leave the Photos ecosystem. If I were you I would export all photos in original quality, then organise into folders for years, then perhaps quarters.

    If I remember, when I did it I didn’t get the metadata right straight away. So have a play about to make sure that all the metadata is preserved properly.
     
  4. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816

    ProwlingTiger

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #4
    It didn't sound like that to me. Sounded like he wants to keep them in the cloud but just make a backup as well.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Just open your ~/Pictures folder in Finder and drag and drop the Photos Library folder to the external drive. Make sure the external drive is formatted to macOS Extended (Journaled) first.
     
  6. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816

    ProwlingTiger

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #6
    That won't work because it's highly likely that the originals aren't downloaded. I suppose the solution here would be to deselect 'optimize storage' and wait for them all to download, then yes, this method would work.
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Yes, that would be true if you have optimize storage checked, but I saw nothing from OP that even mentioned that or using iCloud Photos at all. It sounds like OP just has a stand alone Photos Library.
     
  8. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816

    ProwlingTiger

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #8
    "They're also in the cloud but the big files like I said are on said drive."

    This part I think it what I interpreted as optimized storage. The big files he is talking about are the originals? Or is this a weird way of him explaining his optimal scenario, maybe? I'm not sure. But this line didn't make sense to me and I initially interpreted perhaps incorrectly.
     
  9. TyWahn thread starter macrumors 6502

    TyWahn

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    #9
    I use iCloud. All my photos are in there — about 9K. But the originals are also on my 10-year-old hard drive in Photos. SO i was wondering the easiest way to get them to an external. Go to iCloud.com and download them from there? Or go to Photos on my hard drive and Export Originals to the External.
    I am sorry if I am not clear. I just want hard copies (that are not on the 10-year-old drive) or in the iCloud.
     
  10. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816

    ProwlingTiger

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #10
    Oh well then that's significantly easier. Just drag and drop whatever files/folders you want from the old hard drive to the new hard drive. It'd be ridiculous to redownload them all.

    Just double check and make sure they're the originals or you'll be in for a headache. This is easily done by checking the file sizes and the resolutions. File sizes will vary quite a bit, but they should be at least 2-4MB (iPhone) on the low end. Of course both are dependent on what camera produced the file in the first place. Some iPhones produce very small photos from the front camera.

    Most likely, however, based on what you've told me, you can just do what Weaselboy said:

     
  11. zorinlynx macrumors 603

    zorinlynx

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #11
    As part of a personal requirement to using iCloud Photos, I have to have at least one Mac that has optimize library turned off, then I do time machine backups of that Mac.

    It sucks if your only machine has a disk too small for the entire library, but as a workaround, you can do this:

    - Turn OFF iCloud Photo Library.
    - Create a new Photos library on an external drive large enough for your entire library.
    - Set the new library as your system photo library
    - Turn on iCloud Photo Library and turn off optimize storage

    Sit back and wait. If your library is big, it will take a while to download the entire thing.

    Once the entire library has downloaded, you now have a local archive of your Photo library. You can turn off iCloud photo library and go back to using the optimized one on your internal drive if you like, or you can just only use Photos when the external drive is connected.

    It's going to be a mess, though; it really is a good idea to make sure at least one Mac you own can hold the entire library.
     

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10 February 23, 2018