Photos Library Too Large?

cezar.cretzu

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2018
101
36
Am I he only one left with this library issue? The one from the OP?

Everything related to photo manipulation is sluggish and sloooooow. Wanted to check some old videos from couple of years ago, guess what: buffering buffering until I don’t wanna see the video anymore. Opening photos takes forever to download original. If it ever downloads it. Basically everything reported here still happens.

Happened on iPhone X 64GB iOS 12, happens now on a iPhone 6s 32GB iOS 12. Internet speed is no issue. Storage is no issue. But using the photo app becomes a HUGE frustration.

So, to conclude, is there any fix existing or planned, or I just switch to google photos?

P.S. 125k+ photos and 500GB+ storage. And like some were saying: you give me the option to pay for 2 TB of cloud storage and a 256/512 GB iPhone than I would expect to be able to use them

P.S.2 is there any chance to get some traction on YouTube or else to make some fuss about it? Maybe this way Apple can react as well. Apple Support is useless for this topic.
 
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BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,878
6,072
California
I got my 172gb library in iCloud. Almost 70,000 photos and 1600 videos. Took about a week and a half of uploading from my MacBook and downloading to my phone. No slowness on my laptop or phone. Took a lot of waiting and days of nothing visually happening.

2017 MBP 13’ tb.
512 iPhone XS Max.

Been using Google Photos until now. I wanted a backup of my photos so I downloaded them last year to a Mac OS photos library. Finally put it into iCloud last week.
 

cezar.cretzu

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2018
101
36
It start to be really annoying. Especially cause I shoot and share/edit a lot. Basically pictures are not available (please read visible) in the photo app. You can see them in camera last photo but not in the app. And even when they are you can’t do anything.

But today I just realized something and I think the idea was already mentioned here already. So when you take a picture the “iOS” instantly sends it to iCloud.
Questions/Comments

1. Why it does that? It sees maybe not enough space in phone and it tries to already optimize the space for hat particular photo? It would make sense. It could explain the waiting time: upload and download which we know interns of speed it sucks with apple (still wonder why)

2. When optimize storage for photo library is on it still keeps some small images for browsing purposes. Can anyone tell what would be a formal to estimate the needed space vs the total size of library?

3. Why is the minimum free space on the phone at which iOS triggers the optimization?


Hear are just on top of my mind. To dig even further, could someone with big libraries and lots of free space (I imagine at least a 128/256 version iPhone) tell us if they face these kind of issues?

Looking forward to your feedback guys.
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,878
6,072
California
I'm having this issue! I take photos and they don't appear in the photos app for some time. I'm not sure why. I have download originals on in the photo settings. This didn't happen to me until I put my 172GB library onto my phone and iCloud. It can take many minutes sometimes for photos I just took to appear in the photos app, but if I look at recent photos in the camera, I can see them there.

512 GB Xs MAX. Download Original Photos turned on.
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,878
6,072
California
Can’t believe there’s no solution to this
I went to the California Science Center a few days ago and yeah, was surprised how many times it took 3-5 mins for photos to appear that I had just taken. They all appeared eventually and not every time they failed to appear, but of course the time my wife asked me to send her a pic I had just taken, I couldn't at least not right away. lol.
 
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cezar.cretzu

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2018
101
36
Looking at this page https://support.apple.com/en-il/HT202299 I would say that Apple shouldn’t be surprised about large libraries. I mean look what daily numbers they see as reasonable upload limits. This files should come from a library so... I really think the issue is not library size but some other thing (storage, corrupted files or a bloody bug)

Curios if there are any old threads on similar topics? I mean people had big libraries (number of photos if not GB) in previous years as well I guess. Were there any issues back than? Could it be due to new photo API or new iOS “features”.

Anyway. Is so f$&@ing annoying. The good part is at least the photos ARE there.

Another thing I noticed is that my phone still works on library setup (phone activated 2 weeks ago). I see lots of background activity and battery drain due to this. Also my optimizes local storage for photos went from 11GB to 14 GB in several days. Didn’t even take so many photos in original size. So clearly work still in progress. This could explain some things.
 

snakefunbirdy

macrumors newbie
Jul 3, 2018
3
1
Looking at this page https://support.apple.com/en-il/HT202299 I would say that Apple shouldn’t be surprised about large libraries. I mean look what daily numbers they see as reasonable upload limits. This files should come from a library so... I really think the issue is not library size but some other thing (storage, corrupted files or a bloody bug)

Curios if there are any old threads on similar topics? I mean people had big libraries (number of photos if not GB) in previous years as well I guess. Were there any issues back than? Could it be due to new photo API or new iOS “features”.

Anyway. Is so f$&@ing annoying. The good part is at least the photos ARE there.

Another thing I noticed is that my phone still works on library setup (phone activated 2 weeks ago). I see lots of background activity and battery drain due to this. Also my optimizes local storage for photos went from 11GB to 14 GB in several days. Didn’t even take so many photos in original size. So clearly work still in progress. This could explain some things.
[doublepost=1546610343][/doublepost]I was the same to you before.

The last solution from Apple was that they repaired my iCloud library and after that, my library became normal. I am not sure this is the root causes or not but worth to try.

If you have Mac, you can also tried repair the library in Photos.

Now, I've got 110K pic and 4000 videos on iCloud and runs smoothly on iPhone 8.
 
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cezar.cretzu

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2018
101
36
[doublepost=1546610343][/doublepost]I was the same to you before.

The last solution from Apple was that they repaired my iCloud library and after that, my library became normal. I am not sure this is the root causes or not but worth to try.

If you have Mac, you can also tried repair the library in Photos.

Now, I've got 110K pic and 4000 videos on iCloud and runs smoothly on iPhone 8.
my only concern with repairing library is to not have any surprises and lose stuff. anyway i'll give it a try.
 

cezar.cretzu

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2018
101
36
my only concern with repairing library is to not have any surprises and lose stuff. anyway i'll give it a try.
launched the repair. got back to my computer and and now it looks like it's uploading all photos again this will take forever
 

cezar.cretzu

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2018
101
36
I see no one replied anymore. Let me come back with a short update.

Did the library update on my Mac. After that it seemed it works better.

But still I get random issues. Generally speaking now is a lottery. There are times when my pictures are available instantly to share and or edit. And there are moments in which the phone literally refuses to save the pictures. Or at least it looks like. Here I was yesterday took like 20-30 pics. At a certain point tried to look back and I see none was saved. So I start taking pictures again. Camera shows them but with all the edit share and other buttones greyed out. Restart the phone. Nothing. Restart again. Pictures appear but in random order. I was just happy to not loose them. On the other side, like I said, most of the times all just works as it should. I really don’t know. I’m roaming now and even with the data connection off, one time it told me “downloading” on a fresh picture. So obviously there is a bug somewhere. Just to mention I got a new phone. One with 256 GB of space. My pictures space on the phone is over 20 GB for an almost 500GB library.

If anyone has inputs please share.
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,878
6,072
California
I see no one replied anymore. Let me come back with a short update.

Did the library update on my Mac. After that it seemed it works better.

But still I get random issues. Generally speaking now is a lottery. There are times when my pictures are available instantly to share and or edit. And there are moments in which the phone literally refuses to save the pictures. Or at least it looks like. Here I was yesterday took like 20-30 pics. At a certain point tried to look back and I see none was saved. So I start taking pictures again. Camera shows them but with all the edit share and other buttones greyed out. Restart the phone. Nothing. Restart again. Pictures appear but in random order. I was just happy to not loose them. On the other side, like I said, most of the times all just works as it should. I really don’t know. I’m roaming now and even with the data connection off, one time it told me “downloading” on a fresh picture. So obviously there is a bug somewhere. Just to mention I got a new phone. One with 256 GB of space. My pictures space on the phone is over 20 GB for an almost 500GB library.

If anyone has inputs please share.
I would love an answer to this as well. I'm only at 172GB and I see symptoms of what you're saying. Sometimes photos are not in order, sometimes photos I take don't appear right away (though usually they show within a few minutes), sometimes the photo app on my iPad and iPhone will burn through my battery doing who knows what - randomly.

I would gladly pay for a service or app that could handle these photos. Everyone I talk to says I should be using Adobe Lightroom. I'm not a fan of monthly subscriptions but...

Like you say - most of the time it works like it should for me too.
 
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1711.tony

macrumors newbie
Nov 21, 2017
4
0
Also give my update..

Upgraded to iOS12, I wouldn't say the problem is completely solve, but way better than iOS 11. Only outstanding problem for me is iCloud still aggressively uploading most recent photos. Once network is unstable, it will take forever and just hang apps accessing Photos. Apple should re-consider how they handle and balance local and cloud storage....


Anyway, I already give up hope on Apple to listen and change.
 

cezar.cretzu

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2018
101
36
Like someone was saying earlier. It would be nice to see an option how long back to sync on the phone the optimized library and for the non-synced ones to just be on demand. Or even further to see a selective syncing in iCloud overall. THAT would make sense in these days with 2TB payed cloud plans.
 

cezar.cretzu

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2018
101
36
Guys I need some help I feel like my battery is draining way to fast and I suspect it is because of this bloody library.

Last ten days I have in battery page showing 40 hours of photos app out of which 35 is background activity.

I am without WiFi since more than 10 days just had it sporadic. Mobile data is stopped in settings completely so it shouldn’t try to upload/download anything. So what/why is this happening

Even now trying to upload a screenshot. Guess what it’s not working.

Today in flight mode, mobile data cut off anyway, I take a picture and next second I hit edit. And bum: it shows downloading. I mean WTF?

Anyone has any suggestions?

P. S. It looks like finally I managed to upload the screenshot.
 

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BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,878
6,072
California
It will eventually process all the photos. My 172GB took a week? Give your phone a hard reboot (home + power for 8+ and below or volume up then volume down then hold power for X and XS). Mine saved most of the photo processing for when I was plugged in. But I’m plugged in most of the day. :/. After the first week Photos doesn’t take any battery.

Lots of processing on photos. Faces, locations, etc.

Would be nice to have more control over what it does.
 

cezar.cretzu

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2018
101
36
TBH I’m starting to get tired with this. Don’t get me wrong but I was expecting this to just work like all apple products do. Don’t want it to be the best, to have tons of features or to be cooler than photoshop. I just want a basic photo library. It’s annoying really. I’ll give it still some time and if it doesn’t work just gonna move the pictures to a different service (no matter how much I don’t want this).
 
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BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,878
6,072
California
TBH I’m starting to get tired with this. Don’t get me wrong but I was expecting this to just work like all apple products do. Don’t want it to be the best, to have tons of features or to be cooler than photoshop. I just want a basic photo library. It’s annoying really. I’ll give it still some time and if it doesn’t work just gonna move the pictures to a different service (no matter how much I don’t want this).
Lemme know what you end up doing. I’m very interested. Google has all my photos and has worked well for me. Apple was not smooth and took weeks to get working right.

What helped with iCloud photos is to just let it do its thing. When I tried to intervene and make it do what I wanted I ended up screwing it up. Found just letting it do its thing was best. Now it’s working fairly well.

What I like best is that I have a physical copy on my Mac.
 
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jagolden

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2002
1,055
715
Store everything in the cloud they said. It’ll be fun they said.

You want real photos, use a dedicated camera.
Want sure. back-ups, use multiple hard media.
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,878
6,072
California
My Story - sorry for wall of text:


I found the whole iCloud Photo process very distasteful because the indicator at the bottom was wrong and never relayed what was really happening. It is working now for me, but setting it up was a nightmare.


I primarily used Google Photos for my photo storage. My iPhone had some 6,000 photos/videos from 1.5 years and iCloud Photos was turned on with those 6,000 photos. I wanted to copy all my Google Photos to iCloud Photos.


I decided to download my 98,000+ videos and photos from Google Photos a few months ago because I wanted an offline backup of all my photos (photos/videos from 1997-present).

I put them into a massive photo database on Mac OS - this took awhile (utilized my MBP's hd speed very well) - once this was done, I turned on iCloud Photos. It took a week for everything to upload (172+GB) and the indicator telling me what was uploading and being worked on was wrong. The way I could tell this was, the number of photos uploaded wouldn't move for hours and hours at a time, while my iCloud storage showed increased usage.

Same for my phone, when I tried to figure out how I'd get the rest of my photos to my phone, I didn't want to have to download 150gb again so I synced the albums via iTunes. Well, dumb idea because you can't do anything with synced photos (read only) and it crashed a LOT - took days to get to my iPhone. So I turned that off, and just decided I'd let all my photos download via iCloud Photos to my iPhone.

It did... but it took FOREVER and phone would show no indication of doing anything but storage was being used up on my Xs MAX --- but it would say downloading XXXX photo of XXXXX photos and not move for half a day making me think it wasn't doing anything. After another week of letting my phone download, all was well.

And yes, 3-4 days after - Photos app was using tons of battery so I left it on the charger for half a week then it settled down.

Mac OS --- the 172GB+ photos database chugged away at high CPU for days, doing faces, location, and who knows what else... that finally settled down too.

All in all, took 2 weeks to get my 98,000 photos into iCloud Photos and synced between my devices (iPhone and MacBook Pro).

My iPad 2018 (128GB) -- I have set to optimize photos and that went nuts for a few days - sometimes downloading GIGS to the OTHER partition, then wiping it... now it has settled down as well.


Most people are going to go nuts not seeing progress or not knowing what their phone is doing - I found every time I did anything, it would reset everything and start from 0 again. So letting it sit there worked, but was not intuitive at all AND ... what pisses me off the most?

I can upload 170GB to Backblaze B2 or Onedrive in a matter of hours - I can download at 40mb/sec (FIOS). It should NOT have taken me 2 weeks to get 98,000 photos into iCloud and back down to my phone. If I was rushed or on a time table, I'd have been screwed.
[doublepost=1548428879][/doublepost]--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Just a conclusion --- iCloud photos, now, is working fairly well. My Mac (all photos), iPad (optimized only), and my iPhone (all photos) all have access to my original sized photos. I take a photo and instantly (usually) have access to it on my iPad and MacBook Pro, and vis versa - I save a photo on my MacBook and it is instantly available on my phone. This is a huge plus over google Photos for me.

No abnormal CPU or battery usage on either MacBook or iPhone. My 2 TB on iCloud has 196GB being used between my wife, her mom, and I all for $9.99/mo. (172GB Photos Database only shows 105GB in iCloud but all photos are visible in iCloud).

I like where I am now and will stay this way for now. Definitely wasn't easy getting here tho.
 
Last edited:

cezar.cretzu

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2018
101
36
Being without iCloud photo backup for two weeks now. Mobile data to photos is cut off. It looks like photos just works now. Of course I’m not talking about opening an optimized one, but taking photos and accessing them immediately works. Sometimes it looks it takes a few seconds to have them in the library view, but still there’s immediately accessible after taking the shot. Sometimes when I take a shot I open the photo and it shows blurry for one second or two. Funny part is sometime I’m like waiting to hear a HDD cracking sound from the phone because it looks exactly like it spins the HDD in order to read the file
 

silvertech

macrumors member
May 30, 2016
41
19
140 k photos and 2.3 k videos. Woah.

I mean I don’t think even Apple would have tested this case scenario in their stress testing of the iOS. This is a big exception.
Sorry but I don't buy that, Apple sells 2tb's worth of Cloud storage, its been tested in exactly these kind of conditions- filling up all that data that's sold to customers.

I think we have a more obvious answer here- there's a lot of files and they take time to all load and show up. With that many files to load, its gonna take a while for it to actually load. 321 backups are also implemented with iCloud. Apple, along with any other company that has large cloud platforms takes this thing very seriously, as lost photo can lead to a lost customer. They have at least three copies of data. two are stored locally while one is stored offsite.
[doublepost=1551166725][/doublepost]
It start to be really annoying. Especially cause I shoot and share/edit a lot. Basically pictures are not available (please read visible) in the photo app. You can see them in camera last photo but not in the app. And even when they are you can’t do anything.

But today I just realized something and I think the idea was already mentioned here already. So when you take a picture the “iOS” instantly sends it to iCloud.
Questions/Comments

1. Why it does that? It sees maybe not enough space in phone and it tries to already optimize the space for hat particular photo? It would make sense. It could explain the waiting time: upload and download which we know interns of speed it sucks with apple (still wonder why)

2. When optimize storage for photo library is on it still keeps some small images for browsing purposes. Can anyone tell what would be a formal to estimate the needed space vs the total size of library?

3. Why is the minimum free space on the phone at which iOS triggers the optimization?


Hear are just on top of my mind. To dig even further, could someone with big libraries and lots of free space (I imagine at least a 128/256 version iPhone) tell us if they face these kind of issues?

Looking forward to your feedback guys.
Optimized Storage keeps a smaller version of ALL your photos located locally, the original files are then sent to Apple's data centers which are then backed up again. Even if your phone and Apple's building randomly explodes- your photos are still in another data center of theirs. Same with a Mac with iCloud Photos turned on as well. Make sure to have local storage on if your drive is big enough. Again, all original files are downloaded to your Mac, while another copy is sent to Apple datacenters. Their data is then backed up yet again with their other centers offisite.

Regardless here is the problem- with ANY mass amount of data in the cloud, or even locally. Its going to take a long time to load them all. Especially when working with photos or videos. Loading the original file can take a long time. There are many factors here- your connection, their connection, size of library, etc
 
Last edited:

garsf

macrumors newbie
Feb 26, 2019
1
0
My Story - sorry for wall of text:


I found the whole iCloud Photo process very distasteful because the indicator at the bottom was wrong and never relayed what was really happening. It is working now for me, but setting it up was a nightmare.


I primarily used Google Photos for my photo storage. My iPhone had some 6,000 photos/videos from 1.5 years and iCloud Photos was turned on with those 6,000 photos. I wanted to copy all my Google Photos to iCloud Photos.


I decided to download my 98,000+ videos and photos from Google Photos a few months ago because I wanted an offline backup of all my photos (photos/videos from 1997-present).

I put them into a massive photo database on Mac OS - this took awhile (utilized my MBP's hd speed very well) - once this was done, I turned on iCloud Photos. It took a week for everything to upload (172+GB) and the indicator telling me what was uploading and being worked on was wrong. The way I could tell this was, the number of photos uploaded wouldn't move for hours and hours at a time, while my iCloud storage showed increased usage.

Same for my phone, when I tried to figure out how I'd get the rest of my photos to my phone, I didn't want to have to download 150gb again so I synced the albums via iTunes. Well, dumb idea because you can't do anything with synced photos (read only) and it crashed a LOT - took days to get to my iPhone. So I turned that off, and just decided I'd let all my photos download via iCloud Photos to my iPhone.

It did... but it took FOREVER and phone would show no indication of doing anything but storage was being used up on my Xs MAX --- but it would say downloading XXXX photo of XXXXX photos and not move for half a day making me think it wasn't doing anything. After another week of letting my phone download, all was well.

And yes, 3-4 days after - Photos app was using tons of battery so I left it on the charger for half a week then it settled down.

Mac OS --- the 172GB+ photos database chugged away at high CPU for days, doing faces, location, and who knows what else... that finally settled down too.

All in all, took 2 weeks to get my 98,000 photos into iCloud Photos and synced between my devices (iPhone and MacBook Pro).

My iPad 2018 (128GB) -- I have set to optimize photos and that went nuts for a few days - sometimes downloading GIGS to the OTHER partition, then wiping it... now it has settled down as well.


Most people are going to go nuts not seeing progress or not knowing what their phone is doing - I found every time I did anything, it would reset everything and start from 0 again. So letting it sit there worked, but was not intuitive at all AND ... what pisses me off the most?

I can upload 170GB to Backblaze B2 or Onedrive in a matter of hours - I can download at 40mb/sec (FIOS). It should NOT have taken me 2 weeks to get 98,000 photos into iCloud and back down to my phone. If I was rushed or on a time table, I'd have been screwed.
[doublepost=1548428879][/doublepost]--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Just a conclusion --- iCloud photos, now, is working fairly well. My Mac (all photos), iPad (optimized only), and my iPhone (all photos) all have access to my original sized photos. I take a photo and instantly (usually) have access to it on my iPad and MacBook Pro, and vis versa - I save a photo on my MacBook and it is instantly available on my phone. This is a huge plus over google Photos for me.

No abnormal CPU or battery usage on either MacBook or iPhone. My 2 TB on iCloud has 196GB being used between my wife, her mom, and I all for $9.99/mo. (172GB Photos Database only shows 105GB in iCloud but all photos are visible in iCloud).

I like where I am now and will stay this way for now. Definitely wasn't easy getting here tho.
***
Thank for sharing your experience here. May I ask what iCloud photo settings are you using for OSX computer and iOS iPhone? For example, My Photo Stream yes/no, iCloud photos yes/no. Thanks!
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,878
6,072
California
***
Thank for sharing your experience here. May I ask what iCloud photo settings are you using for OSX computer and iOS iPhone? For example, My Photo Stream yes/no, iCloud photos yes/no. Thanks!
For my MacBook Pro - I have:

iCloud Photos checked. --> Download Originals to this Mac
Unchecked Photo Stream
Shared Albums checked

My iPhone XS MAX 512 GB --> Download and Keep Originals
Unchecked Upload to My Photo Stream
Shared Albums checked.

iPad 6th Gen 128GB --> Optimize iPad Storage
Unchecked Upload to My Photo Stream
Shared Albums checked.

-----

When I initially uploaded my massive library to iCloud from my MacBook - it definitely caused some battery usage on the iPad and iPhone - plan on keeping those plugged in when on WiFi for a week or so while they calm down. Once everything gets set, it is perfect. I've had 0 problems since it has calmed down. Pictures I take are near instantly shown unlike before - I think Apple is putting some serious effort into their services (cloud).
 
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