Photos Library Too Large?

style

macrumors member
Sep 27, 2005
52
2
I experience this problem too, with 105K photos.
However, I found that only occur after iOS 11.3 Beta 3 or 4... which I think this more than a bug instead..

Reported through Feedback app at that time, however, I gave up any thought that think Apple will fix it.
You nailed it!
This happened to a friend and myself. The phones were on 11.3 and 11.3.1. We Brought it into Apple store and were swapped out with a replacement that has 11.2.x.

That’s how we fixed it, we’re not upgrading out of curiously anymore.
[doublepost=1526345125][/doublepost]For anyone who suspects having the same issue, go take a screenshot of your home screen then tap the thumbnail on the lower left corner and try to send it to another app right away. It would get stuck there for so long.

Yet it’s right after the screenshot was made. This has to be a serious bug
 

driftylew

macrumors newbie
Jul 5, 2008
2
1
I am like your wife. I have 191,007 photos 4.189 videos and about 800 GB on the cloud. I can't manage my photos anymore. I used to be able to open apps and use them right after the new phone came out. In December or so I started struggling being able to open them in apps. In last 2 months FB crashes when i try to upload and I am lucky to get 1-2 picture uploaded. I struggle to up load 1 photo at a time.
For the last 2 years my photos needing to reupload the entire freaking library every time there is an update or if I travel more than 1 hour from my home. It is very stressful with vacation photos when they don't sync to the cloud until all photos reupload. This happens on both my ipad and iphone. I have asked about it at the Apple store a few times and no one knows why. If i want to upload or edit a photo it won't let me. It hangs on downloading the photo because it is too busy trying to reupload 172,000.
It took me 6 months to download my entire library onto an external hardrive, have Backblaze back everything up and then upload it all to Google photos as well. I recently bought a new Ipad and set it up on another account. I put an old photo library with only 49,000 picture on it so I can actually work with the photos. I put the photos physically on it so I don't need to deal with the cloud. Unfortunately they are read only and I have to duplicate every photo I want to edit and work with. the I can't even delete the original. I am so frustrated with this whole thing right now. You would think they would have actually tried to work with libraries this large if they are going to sell me 2 TB worth of data and 256 GB phone! Now I need to figure out how to break up my gargantuan library into smaller workable libraries. I am glad I am not alone! I have tried to trim it down but every time I delete photos from the computer they end up back in there. So much for delete from everywhere! My favorites don't sync or faces. I also even lost 5 years of facial recognition at some point in the last 3-4 months :(
 
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1711.tony

macrumors newbie
Nov 21, 2017
4
0
You nailed it!
This happened to a friend and myself. The phones were on 11.3 and 11.3.1. We Brought it into Apple store and were swapped out with a replacement that has 11.2.x.

That’s how we fixed it, we’re not upgrading out of curiously anymore.
[doublepost=1526345125][/doublepost]For anyone who suspects having the same issue, go take a screenshot of your home screen then tap the thumbnail on the lower left corner and try to send it to another app right away. It would get stuck there for so long.

Yet it’s right after the screenshot was made. This has to be a serious bug
Somehow "fixed" at iOS 11.4 Beta for me.The problem hasn't completely gone, but most of time is usable. You may try after official release.

Hard to believe Apple failed the entire series of iOS 11, GOOD JOB!!!
[doublepost=1526658898][/doublepost]
Just wanted to throw in my $0.02, seeing the same problem with a library of only about 85k photos. Most evident in Instagram, when trying to post a same photo I just captured from the library.

Admittedly, the Instagram developers should not be trying to load the metadata for the entire library, but rather focus in batches of say, the first couple hundred. But this is definitely a problem exacerbated by a recent iOS update which seems to be causing a delay in the Photos api as it needs to grab info from the cloud instead of just locally. Anecdotally, I have found that the delay grows in areas of weak or slow network connectivity.
I never experience such problem back to iOS 10. I would say whole problem started from iOS 11, when Apple decided to immediately upload photos to iCloud (It won't help even turn off Mobile Upload). This generated an issue when network speed is slow or weak. More than that, the upload speed is very slow too! (I am using 4G which usually got ~40-50Mbps upload speed)

When Apple released iOS 11.3, this issue became even worse, photo newly taken going nowhere around 10 minutes, camera no response, cannot download original from iCloud.... etc.. I can say it is worse than a beta ! My iPhone X took 3 months only scanned 46K / 105K photos for Peoples Library. I wish I can finish scanned it once iOS 13(?) released. Oh wait! iOS 12 definitely will restart this endless process again!

Come on, if Apple spent the time to identify tree, house, beach, why don't you try to fix some basic elements first?
 
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style

macrumors member
Sep 27, 2005
52
2
Somehow "fixed" at iOS 11.4 Beta for me.The problem hasn't completely gone, but most of time is usable. You may try after official release.

Hard to believe Apple failed the entire series of iOS 11, GOOD JOB!!!
[doublepost=1526658898][/doublepost]

I never experience such problem back to iOS 10. I would say whole problem started from iOS 11, when Apple decided to immediately upload photos to iCloud (It won't help even turn off Mobile Upload). This generated an issue when network speed is slow or weak. More than that, the upload speed is very slow too! (I am using 4G which usually got ~40-50Mbps upload speed)

When Apple released iOS 11.3, this issue became even worse, photo newly taken going nowhere around 10 minutes, camera no response, cannot download original from iCloud.... etc.. I can say it is worse than a beta ! My iPhone X took 3 months only scanned 46K / 105K photos for Peoples Library. I wish I can finish scanned it once iOS 13(?) released. Oh wait! iOS 12 definitely will restart this endless process again!

Come on, if Apple spent the time to identify tree, house, beach, why don't you try to fix some basic elements first?
Great to hear that 11.4 might fix the problem but after all the hassle I’m not gonna risk my device anymore.

Trust is something that’s difficult to gain yet easy to lose. I’d rather have a working phone than a new phone.

On a side note for Apple Watch users, if you updated to the latest iOS and watchOS version then downgrade iOS like me, your Apple Watch won’t pair to
iOS anymore as it would refuse to work with watchOS version that’s ahead of its time
 

ToddJ

macrumors 6502
May 23, 2008
446
13
Have any of you with large photo libraries had problems with the Photos app making duplicates of your photos? I have lately...if it is a Live Photo, the duplicate will be a non-live photo.....it seems to occur when I try to restore my iPhone from a backup to try fix these problems
 
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Razeus

macrumors 603
Jul 11, 2008
5,234
1,877
I tell people that choose to go the iCloud Photo Library route to BACKUP your photos in at least 2 other places in a folder based system.

I simply don't trust Apple's cloud implementation. When Apple makes a new service like this, it's like they do just enough to make it work, then no further investments in development is done. It's the same BS with iTunes Match, Apple Maps, Siri. You name it.

For the love of Pete, I don't know why Apple doesn't release new updates to apps consistently instead of waiting for the next version of iOS. This is why I think people are always saying Apple is behind.

Your library is better off in Google Photos.
 

David Parke

macrumors newbie
Sep 10, 2015
6
4
I’m so glad I found your post. 122k photos/ videos. It’s OKAY on my Mac, perfect on iCloud.com, unusable on my iPhone X. This definitely started in February on whatever beta that was and has gone away and returned. I restored to factory last night because it was so annoying. Was working perfectly all day but now it’s hit 55k indexed and has seemingly returned to the slow state. So bummed. Luckily I have everything on google photos as well but this was so convenient for SO LONG and now all of a sudden something changed and it’s broken. I’ve reported it maybe 10 times via the feedback app and even called apple but no one seems to even consider pointing to the large library so I was hopeful that wasn’t it. This thread, however, seems to confirm it. Since everything is up on google photos, maybe I’ll take the plunge and wipe everything back to 2011 and see what happens. I’ll keep an eye on this thread to see if anyone else comes up with anything.
 

denisg

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2004
10
3
Newton, MA
130K+ photos. MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, iPhone all set to Optimize Storage. Tons of free storage space on all devices. That is the only thing that works well however. I had to wipe iPad Pro and create from scratch without iCloud Photo Library enabled just so i could quickly markup screenshots and add to Slack and Jira. This was the primary reason I got the iPad and I'm close to returning it. The Library is essentially unusable. Photos taken on iPhone are unavailable to edit immediately because image is sent to cloud and then must be redownloaded to iPhone for editing. New images take forever to become available on other devices. Any app trying to access the last photo added hangs - MacOS or IOS.

Seems like there is a deep dependency on the overall library - maybe for indexing purposes, etc... that cripples functionality related to a single image or a handful of images. What this ultimately does is ruin the user experience of using any of the photo functionality on any device. It has me looking at alternatives while hoping that the performance improvement focus of IOS 12 and Mojave might save the day. Come on Craig Federighi - fix this!
 

apple.pseudofan

macrumors regular
Apr 13, 2010
117
4
I’m in the same boat. 150K images/videos and essentially cannot do anything with photos anymore.
Issues I have:
photos I take are not immediately available for use
videos I shoot will not play without restarting my phone
I cannot markup screenshots
sharesheet functions don’t work at all
photos taken on some devices don’t appear on all devices
and more...

I’m beginning to think it would be better to keep iCloud library turned off and just simply offload photos to my Mac ever so often and maybe keep library enabled on my iPad only, which seems to perform best. Just so tired for paying 9.99/month for a feature that used to “just work” and now virtually never works.

I have restarted my phone, hard reset it, got a new phone (because initially the issue was only with my phone, but now affects my wife’s), restored that phone from a backup, wiped it and set it up fresh, cycled iCloud photo library off/on, and I’m sure I did more.

Anyone else encounter this and actually able to correct the issue? ANY help would be appreciated.
 
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aLPav

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2018
2
0
I believe you nailed it. Library is simply too large.
I have same issues with 20k of photos and 1,8k of movies. The main problem with iCloud Photo Library is simple: everything is happening on the devices. It’s good for privacy and only for it. I’m going to switch off IPL on my MacBook. I don’t use it anymore on my iPhone.
 

skydivertak

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2007
6
0
Have any of you with large photo libraries had problems with the Photos app making duplicates of your photos? I have lately...if it is a Live Photo, the duplicate will be a non-live photo.....it seems to occur when I try to restore my iPhone from a backup to try fix these problems
I found that having BOTH iCloud Photo Library and PhotoStream would cause this problem. However it still happens with photo stream turned off.
I think there is a time period when the photos are uploaded to the cloud, and the phone is optimizing a copy of the photo and they both show up. I say this because, after a while, the duplicates vanish.
What really annoys me is that it doesn’t seem too long to commit the full-resolution photo to the cloud, but takes forever (sometimes not at all) to download again if you want to share or edit the photo. I have a 110,000 photo library and my work iPhone 7. But my wife’s is even less usable with her 5S.
 

j_in_tx

macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2018
6
4
i have 226k items in a 4 TB library and 32k items in a 1 TB library. I closed the first one it off thinking I needed to a couple years ago since i kept running into problems. however, in the past year or 2, something changed. somehow apple did something that improved the reliability and support for my large 4TB library such that now i wish i never did branch off into a 2nd photos library. I want all of it combined especially because the shared albums only show up in the system library. I don't want to bother with trying to merge, etc... The whole thing had become a big ball of mess. But now, both the 4TB and 1TB libraries are working just fine. all along the over the past 10 years, i've upgraded to faster interfaces and faster hard drives, enclosures, nas vs das, etc... so i definitely attempted to overcome the problems with a large library by throwing more tech at it. i've posted my issues and asked people at the apple store on occasion how people manage a large library, but never got anything other than you got too much junk. i'm guessing over the course of reporting my errors via their automated button on a crash, apple fixed it???

Anyway, I'm running:
15 macbook pro - skylake
thunderbolt 3 to Drobo 5D3 where my 5TB and 1TB photos libraries reside
Drobo 5D3 has (5) 10TB Seagate iron wolf 7200rpm drives running with (2) drives reserved for failure
Time machine to a Drobo 5D2 - thunderbolt2
both libraries have mix of photos/videos (sd, hd, 4k avchd, 4k60fps from iPhone 8/X)

Forgot to mention I have 2 other photos libraries, that I keep strictly camcorder stuff within:
Camcorder library1 - 5TB
Camcorder library2 - 1TB

no overlap on all 4 libraries
 
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snakefunbirdy

macrumors newbie
Jul 3, 2018
3
1
I have the same problems. 100K photos plus videos around 900GB, I have a 2TB iCloud storage plan. The iCloud library has been working fine on my iMac and iPad but it suddenly didn't work on iPhone 8 from April 2018. The video or pictures was kept buffering when I wanted to see the video or picture even the video is just taken. Now, my iPad cannot work also. However, uploading new photos and videos to iCloud run normally. At least, I can use it as a back up but cannot view any video or see only thumbnail photos in my iPhone.

I have tried below but still failed to work properly.
  • Hard Rest iphone
  • Changed from "Optimize iPhone Storage" to "Download Original Photos" and changed back to "Optimize iPhone Storage"
  • Reset Network Settings
  • Reset All Settings
  • Erase All Content and Settings, used iCloud back up to recover
  • Erase All Content and Settings, set up as a new iPhone and activated iCloud photo library
Called Apple several times but they told me that they can only helped to repair the iCloud photo library and instructed me to "Download Original Photos" to iPhone. So weird that I have a 900GB library, how can I download it to my iPhone which just have 256GB storage.

Apple do not help in this issue. Now I am thinking to move it to Google Photos.
 

snakefunbirdy

macrumors newbie
Jul 3, 2018
3
1
I’m in the same boat. 150K images/videos and essentially cannot do anything with photos anymore.
Issues I have:
photos I take are not immediately available for use
videos I shoot will not play without restarting my phone
I cannot markup screenshots
sharesheet functions don’t work at all
photos taken on some devices don’t appear on all devices
and more...

I’m beginning to think it would be better to keep iCloud library turned off and just simply offload photos to my Mac ever so often and maybe keep library enabled on my iPad only, which seems to perform best. Just so tired for paying 9.99/month for a feature that used to “just work” and now virtually never works.

I have restarted my phone, hard reset it, got a new phone (because initially the issue was only with my phone, but now affects my wife’s), restored that phone from a backup, wiped it and set it up fresh, cycled iCloud photo library off/on, and I’m sure I did more.

Anyone else encounter this and actually able to correct the issue? ANY help would be appreciated.
Same to me. I just change it to Google Photos, it works much better than iCloud.
 

denisg

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2004
10
3
Newton, MA
I was on the beta for most of the summer and initially there was no obvious improvement. There was a stretch where pictures I just took on the phone would not open for edit and i'd wait with a "downloading photo" message. That isn't happening anymore, so they were likely tweaking the flows during the beta.

I would say the behavior is better now - lag from selecting library>pic in Instagram is much shorter. There is still a multi-second dead zone but the last photo comes up selected after a few seconds. While not ideal, it is night and day from previous behavior. The library syncing is better between devices, but there is still a noticeable difference between MacOS and iOS. MacOS syncs instantly in both directions, iOS is still iffy. Sometimes it syncs immediately and sometimes it just doesn't.

So definitely better. But there is room for more improvement.
 

David Parke

macrumors newbie
Sep 10, 2015
6
4
Now that iOS 12 is out, it would be great for those who did go ahead let us know whether this issue was fixed?
I also was on the beta all summer and stopped seeing this issue in maybe July? Should be good to go. I also did a lot of work to get my library down to like 88k-ish photos from 120k-ish
 
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cezar.cretzu

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2018
101
36
Thanks everyone! Great to hear that this is finally solved! One more reason to upgrade ha
I wouldn’t say it’s solved. At least not for me. iOS 12.0.1 public. Two weeks ago decided to take the plunge and get the 2TB plan as my 200GB surely was not enough for my 130k pics and videos from old trusty WD external drive. So moved everything on my MBP (no storage optimization), imported and the the wait (I have a 300 Mb up and down but still the speed are modem like). Around half way it got stuck with uploading. iCloud on and off did the job but it wanted more space than needed to be available on my local drive. Anyway got to almost 4K to upload and now increases for whatever reason (it’s back to 30k to upload).

Anyway the issues is as the OP: my phone is complete crap now (iphone X 64GB optimize storage for photos). All phone overall it’s sluggish. Taking photos can’t see them at least half hour. Than they appear in the library. Screenshots unusable. Sharing screenshots not working. Sharing photos through messaging is a nightmare (no IG nor FB to share the experience). So this is so big BS.

Seeing this post at least made me realize I’m not the only one and in the same time that this is big and still not fixed. If you give me 2TB of paid cloud storage and a library to sync all my devices than I expect for all these to work.

So, now that the frustrated speech is done, is there anything to do about that?
 

style

macrumors member
Sep 27, 2005
52
2
I updated to iOS 12 right after that and while not perfect, it usually take less than 10sec before I could send out a newly taken photo to WhatsApp someone.

It’ll take some time for iOS to index and stuff, except its much longer than after a new iOS version update coz of the amount of data involved.

Try plugging in your phone as much as you can so it triggers the indexing process. Then hopefully it’ll be ok after few days to a week, depending on the size of photo library.
 

cezar.cretzu

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2018
101
36
My phone is plugged in and on WiFi every single night. I’ll put this on the fact that library is still updating, especially seeing that there are still differences with my Mac as well.

One other thing I don’t get still is the total number of indexed and uploaded photos which is different depending on where I check it as seen in below screenshots. Any ideas?

le: missed text and typos
 

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cezar.cretzu

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2018
101
36
it looks like uploading is done. now things look like back to normal. so for me it might have been the indexing of freshly new imported photos.

still, total file on phone and icloud.com are matching, BUT total files on mac is lower. basically it looks like all photos starting three weeks ago or so (le: last one on 30th SEP) are not downloaded to mac. 1. how can i fix this?
  • should i just delete the photo library file and open again the photo app will just remake the file and re download all photos?
  • repair (option+command)? i have a feeling it'll take forever and it's not very clear to me what it does
other thing is that in the total it show total photos, total videos and "1 item". it shows on both phone and mac. what is that? i searched not uploaded, not referenced etc, always non results
 

style

macrumors member
Sep 27, 2005
52
2
Your best bet would be to just let it do it’s thing. You can check whether it’s working or not by opening activity monitor.app

Sometimes it gets stuck, in that case just restart your Mac.