Photos won't work on external hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by rochow, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. rochow macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2013
    I have 120GB or so of family photos on an external hard drive.

    I haven't used Photos before, so I've made a new library on the same external drive.

    Now when I try and import the photos, it fails because Photos keeps trying to copy everything onto the local hard drive which doesn't have enough space. Despite the library being on the external drive, and "Copy items to the photo library" being unticked.

    I can't see any other relevant settings... is there something I'm missing? Why won't Photos just save the paths or something?

    Unless it wants more space on the external drive and the error message is just vague? It says something like "You need 40GB more disk space to import the photos". So is it trying to duplicate them? Why? I do notice the library went from 8MB to 800MB or so, is it actually cloning 120GB of photos rather than making an "index" of them? (Surely not???)

    I wouldn't bother using it as it's being a pain however it has "face detection" which works okay, I want to use that to compile albums of various people to send them their photos. Going through this many photos manually is too long :)
  2. HDFan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
    When you click on the "Show in Finder" option under Library Location in Preferences/General, what is the pathname and file that shows in Finder? What is it's size?
  3. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    Have you pointed Photos to the new external Library, by holding down the Option key when opening Photos, and then choosing the external Library?
  4. thingstoponder macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2014
    It's not trying to duplicate them, it's making previews.

    Did you make a new album that's located on the external drive and isn't the iCloud Photo Library?

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