How to use Photos for OS X with multiple Macs

“Photos for OS X is great for pictures and videos on the Mac, but how does it work with multiple Macs?” Serenity Caldwell reports for iMore.

“I’ve had a multi-Mac household pretty much since college, rocking a laptop and desktop in addition to miscellaneous iOS devices throughout the years,” Caldwell reports. “Thankfully, Photos for OS X — paired with iCloud Photo Library’s Optimize Storage feature — makes working with and syncing multiple Macs a breeze.”

Caldwell reports, “Here’s a quick, simple breakdown on setting up your Macs to support Photos and iCloud Photo Library.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How are you liking Apple’s new Photos app vs. iPhoto?


    1. It was released yesterday. I got it on Macs and devices. Works great and they did incorporate Faces from iPhoto as I was hoping they would. I’m going to test those categorizations across multiMacs this weekend.

    2. I think its about time for Apple to match Amazon and Google on space! I’m tired of hearing the complaints from people. Apple has the money they look greedy compared to the others.

  1. Apple gets it half right.

    I’ve been using this in beta for sometime. What still stinks is that my wife and I have been using Aperature. We really need to be able to access our library using our own icloud accounts. With all the hoopla pushing their Family features, it appears they’ve left Photos completely out, where this is one of the biggest needs.

  2. In general, I like it, but I only got it last night. Still exploring. The first thing I noticed is that the algorithms for sharpening are much better. Many fewer artifacts and they might only appear with a greater amount of sharpening than in iPhoto. This seems in line with the high-end applications. Work flow…have to get used to it but it seems as if it will work well once it becomes more intuitive (with use).

  3. What the HECK just sent me a notification about ‘Checking out Photos’ on my MacBook? I’ve never started it, and probably never will. I’m NOT cool with Apple sending me marketing notifications from out of nowhere. Did anybody else just get that? I don’t think it happened on my iMac. Both got 10.10.3 yesterday.

  4. A few major OSX versions back (I can’t remember, Lion, ML or Mavericks), it became impossible to effectively use the same iPhoto library by two users on the same Mac. Since the introduction of iPhoto on OS X, my iPhoto library was in the ‘Shared’ user directory and has always been used by all the users on my home iMac; that way, regardless of which user is logged in, (s)he can access all family iPhotos, and the iCloud shared album was tied to my own (main) iCloud account, so wherever I take photos with my own mobile devices, they would automatically update the iPhoto library on my home Mac.

    Then, a few years back, it became impossible to do this; as soon as you try opening the library on another user profile, it asks for permission repair and changes all the permissions to that user, revoking access from the user who previously opened it. Worse, even with the permission change, any images that were imported from the other user’s profile cannot be seen unless the permission repair on the entire iPhoto library is manually invoked (Cmd+Option+launch iPhoto), which sometimes takes ten minutes.

    I don’t want every user on my Mac to have their own iPhoto library. Family sharing feature is too complicated when all I want is for EVERYONE using the same family Mac to access the same iPhoto library from their own profiles.

    I haven’t updated my Macs yet, but surely hope that Photo app allows the library to be accessed from other users without requiring onerous permission change and repairs.

      1. The problem is that I now have to copy all of my photos into a ‘shared stream’ in order to everything to show up on every profile. More importantly, the images are shared across the profiles only if they are brought into iPhoto from my profile; if other users bring images into iPhoto under their profiles, they don’t show up in this one shared stream automatically.

        The concept is built around every user having personal data and then sharing it with others. This is simply way to complicated for what I want: every user uses SAME iPhoto data. They import into the same library, and that library is connected to this one iCloud account (mine), which automatically syncs images with all other devices under my name.

        I know this may not be the most common use-case scenario, but I can’t image I’m alone in this.

        1. You are not alone. This is exactly what I want as well. I’ve also gone through the “Shared” library, permissions hell trying to twist Aperature into working this way as well, similar to what you’ve done.

          My wife and I have 30,000+ images. They are “ours”. We don’t want to use streams – it doesn’t make sense the way it is implemented.

          We simply want to use our own Mac profiles/AppleIDs and see the same library. I hoped Apple would be able to achieve this simple/straightforward use case. I know of many others that feel the same way on this, and are still very disappointed with the latest offering. So promising on many fronts, but this is a deal breaker for me. For now, we’re stuck sharing a profile/icloud account just for pictures, and thats just dumb.

        2. This is frustrating for me as well. My wife and I each have our own Apple account and we both take a lot of photos, half of which are of our shared family and life. It’s complicated in our household because she has her iMac and I have mine, with two physical and separate libraries, and now, iCloud libraries. I have yet made the switch to Photos so I haven’t investigated any work arounds. Love to hear about it if someone else does.

  5. Don’t like it at all. The white background hurts my eyes, though I will probably get used to it. But HUGE issues with hidden photos not being hidden. They show up everywhere. And no way to change the sort order. No way to edit geotags. No global info pane for photos.

    It seems a little faster though not by much. But it’s really buggy and missing some critical features. I’m sticking with iPhoto until they get Photos fixed.

    1. I totally disagree. Photos is MUCH faster than iPhoto, and the editing tools are certainly faster and easier to be more precise when using. Still trying it out, but the unbearable lag of iPhoto seems to be gone.

  6. What??? I can’t launch an external photo editor from inside Photos??? I’ve got to either stand on my head to go between this and Photoshop or I’ve got to use their dinky little toolset??
    Won’t be launching this too often.

  7. I really HATE that Apple didn’t include Places in the new Photos app. Grrrrrrrr!!!! Everything else is great. I have multiple libraries and by holding down the Option key at startup of the app I can choose the one I want to get into. 🙂

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.