What in God's Name is the Point of iCloud Storage?

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by sheetrock321, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. sheetrock321 macrumors member

    sheetrock321

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    #1
    To further explain, with a 200GB storage plan (5 bucks? pretty good deal) I have uploaded my entire Photos Library to iCloud.

    My intention was to save space on my internal hard drive.

    My thinking: "Ok, upload all my photos to iCloud, cool. Now boom, delete my Photos Library off my computer and free up around 70GBs!! yay!!"

    But I don't THINK it works that way.

    Or does it? Please tell me it does.




    Now I understand, even if I can't delete my local library, one big point of iCloud storage is the ability to access those photos from my iphone, or other Mac (mini).

    But still, Rarely do I have a need for this, and to sound like a broken record, is iCloud storage a substitute for my hard drive?
     
  2. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #2
    Yes, once you have uploaded your library you can delete it from your devices, but do be careful. At this point iCloud is great at keeping your content in sync across multiple devices, and allowing you access to them even from devices where you don't have space to keep the full collection locally, but it isn't a backup system. Ideally you'd still have at least one system where you kept full copies downloaded, and were backed up to another location.
     
  3. akash.nu macrumors 68020

    akash.nu

    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    #3
    iCloud works as an extension of your picture collection. So consider your local storage and iCloud storage as one. iOS will intelligently keep some pictures on your device & the rest on iCloud, providing you access to the whole collection by optimising storage depending on available space on your device.
     
  4. sheetrock321 thread starter macrumors member

    sheetrock321

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    Aug 1, 2008
    #4

    Feel like I just got 2 different answers.

    to zhenya, my photos library is backed up on 2 external hard drives so I'm thinking I WILL go ahead and delete my local library, but I'm wondering, how do I access my photos then? I did go to icloud.com and saw them all there, but is that the only way?

    Did a lot of research, and it SEEMS that is true, but who knows.....(hoping you do :)
     
  5. akash.nu macrumors 68020

    akash.nu

    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    #5
    Yes, that's how. Or download the google photos app and you can unlimited storage online from google for free as long as the image file size is less than 16 MB
     
  6. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #6
    You don't need to delete your library - if you change the library settings in photos to optimise storage macOS will remove local copies if you need the space, but still give you access to all your photos.
    It won't remove them straight away, but the space they are taking up will be released if you need it for something else
     
  7. Beavix macrumors 6502a

    Beavix

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    Dec 1, 2010
    Location:
    Romania
    #7
    @sheetrock321 if your photo library is stored inside the Photos app on macOS, once you delete a photo from Photos it will also be deleted from iCloud and all other devices sync'ed with iCloud. That's how it works.
     
  8. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #8
    It's good that you have your library backed up now, but what about in the future as it grows? You really need to keep a complete copy locally somewhere so it can continue to be backed up as your library grows and changes. And the clarification above is correct - don't actually delete your library manually. Wait for the iCloud sync to fully complete, then on the device you want to save space on, change the settings to Optimize Storage. That will keep a thumbnail locally, but only download photos and videos on the fly as you wish to view them. Anything you delete from any device will be deleted in the iCloud library, and gone forever (after 30 days). This is why you need to keep a local copy somewhere so you can make your own backups.
     
  9. Paco II macrumors 65816

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    Sep 13, 2009
    #9
    It's important for the OP to be sure they know what they want. iCloud photo library is more of a sync solution. In fact, Apple's website description never even includes the words 'back up', whereas Google Photos website says "Back up unlimited photos and videos ... Access them from any phone, tablet, or computer on photos.google.com – your photos will be safe, secure, and always with you." The two work differently. I use to use ICL but quickly realized that GP's approach was more in line with what I was wanting.
     
  10. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #10
    Two points:

    1. Apple doesn't call iCloud Photo Library a "backup" because it's interactive. If you edit or delete a photo on your iPhone, that change propagates to all your other devices, and to iCloud. It has nothing to do with the security or safety of the storage itself, both of which are as safe or safer than any other cloud service.

    2. Google photos does NOT offer 'free unlimited photo storage', at original resolution. https://support.google.com/photos/answer/6220791?hl=en

    OP: load all your photos into iCloud Photo Library, and set all your devices to "Optimize Storage", and be done with it.
    "iCloud Drive" is for files/data. "iCloud Photo Library" (app) is for photos.
     
  11. Paco II macrumors 65816

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    Sep 13, 2009
    #11
    Did my post imply otherwise? As Apple charges for iCloud space, so too does Google charge for their storage. Does one need to put in all caps that Apple also does not offer free storage?

    My point is that Google Photos service differs from Apple's, and the OP should understand both offerings when considering which is best for them. Choice is a wonderful thing.

     
  12. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    #12
    It wasn't specifically directed at you, more at "akash.nu", although I can see how you thought that because I quoted you.

    Google Photos gets suggested a lot in these forums as "free" and "unlimited", without any qualifications. I was just trying to clarify, sorry for the CAPS.
     
  13. Paco II macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    #13
    It's all good. Their free offering is interesting, but since it mucks with the photo, not really a backup option. I pay for space to use unlimited. Been very happy. As mentioned, Google Photos works like I want from a photo service, while ICL does not. Choice is definitely good.

     
  14. akash.nu macrumors 68020

    akash.nu

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    May 26, 2016
    #14
    Really?! I always thought that the storage was unlimited on google photos as long as the picture size is below 16Mb. Apologies.
     
  15. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    Shropshire, UK
    #15
    The free option always tries to reduce the file size of photos irrespective of the resolution and will slightly reduce the quality. In addition, photos bigger than 16Megapixels (is the resolution in megapixels, not the size in megabytes that's used as a cutoff) will be reduced to 16Megapixels in addition to the quality reduction

    As a test, I uploaded a 5184 × 3456 photo from my SLR to Google Photos and the resolution was reduced to 4898 × 3265 and the file size to 1.5mb from 6mb (which is a pretty big reduction!), with a noticeable reduction in quality

    I also repeated the experiment with a photo from my iPhone and while the resolution stayed the same at 3024 × 4032, the file size reduced from 1.7mb to 946kb (again, a big reduction)

    Google photos is great for many things and can be useful for sharing photos out to social media, etc, but unless you pay for the storage it definitely shouldn't be considered a backup solution due to the quality reduction
     
  16. akash.nu macrumors 68020

    akash.nu

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    May 26, 2016
    #16
    Completely agree if it's compressing the images. Thanks for clarifying that. Much appreciated.
     
  17. sheetrock321 thread starter macrumors member

    sheetrock321

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    #17
    ok, optimize storage, leave my Time Machine Drive as is on my other Mac, and probably do a manual full back up on another drive once or twice a month.

    Geez. But doable.

    10 years agoish, I had my laptop stolen (first and hopefully last time, wood knock). I lost ALL my precious photos/memories, and realized that ALMOST everything on a computer can be replaced, music, docs, software, (projects of any kind...meh not really, but they CAN be redone, reconstructed) but photos, life's memories cannot.
     
  18. Tech198 macrumors G4

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    Mar 21, 2011
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    Australia, Perth
    #18

    Can't u prevent that from happening by signing out of icloud before u delete it locally ?
     
  19. cfs macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #19
    I so much appreciate these Threads on iCloud. You all know way more than the Apple store reps. This quote yet again brings up another question when I though I had this figured out. If one where to have "optimization on" on their Mac AND used Time Machine to back it up, wouldn't Time Machine only be backing up a thumbnail? I am curious about this for my iMac

    If this is the case, what I am thinking is this set up for my iMac:
    • "optomize on" and make sure I have my pics backed up on an external first
    • from here each month I will log in iCloud.com and pull my months photos onto the external.
    For my wife who is all iPad and a separate iCloud account I will take Gustave's advice from another thread and use a wifi SD card to store. I have to figure this out still because it leaves me with the same question which is, if optomize is on, is the back up on the SD card only a thumbnail.
     
  20. akash.nu macrumors 68020

    akash.nu

    Joined:
    May 26, 2016
    #20
    I think the best option for you to be 100% sure that the manual backup of your pictures are high quality, just login to iCloud and download them manually to the external storage.
     

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