Photos trying to re upload entire iCloud photo library. Please help!


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 17, 2017
Hi all, I recently noticed that Photos (the macOS app) had been stuck on 'Uploading 499 Items' for a few days. Following advice I found on various forums, I unchecked and rechecked the 'iCloud Photos Library' box in Photos preferences. I thought it would resume uploading the same 499 items, but instead it has started to re-upload all 18,253 of my items. New photos won't be uploaded until this is finished.

My iCloud Photo Library is still available from other devices. From what I understand, Photos is uploading all my items again just in case they are different from what is in the iCloud already, and will delete duplicates once the upload is finished (which will be everything I suppose). I would usually let it do its thing, but with my upload speed, I can estimate it will take more than a month to finish uploading, assuming I don't turn off the computer.

Is there anything I can do? Any advice would be much appreciated.

If it helps, I have a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) running macOS Sierra version 10.12.5


macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2012
Destin, FL
Is there anything I can do? Any advice would be much appreciated.
  1. Get faster internet
  2. Understand that 18,000+ photos will not sync instantaneously
  3. Remove 17,000 photos manually from your devices
  4. Expect to purchase a larger plan than the 5G plan that come free
  5. Good luck


macrumors 68020
Sep 30, 2003
It always does this, but it usually isn't actually uploading all of them, just comparing them to the uploaded version.


macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2012
You can disconnect the device from iCloud Photo Library, THEN, delete all photos on the device, THEN, go to the recently deleted folder and select all and delete them permanently, THEN reconnect the device to iCloud Photo Library.

Just be sure the photos actually exist in your iCloud Photo Library
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