How to avoid losing media when working with iCloud Photo Library

“I may have noted before that we receive more questions about Photos for macOS than any other topic at Mac 911,” Glenn Fleishman writes for Macworld. “A recent set of questions from Macworld reader Pedro bring up an interesting intersection of potential pitfalls, some of which I’ve answered individually before, but which are useful to look at together.”

“Pedro has a small disk drive on his MacBook Air, just 128GB, and thus is wrestling like many people with keeping his entire Photos library on the internal drive,” Fleishman writes. “He has iCloud Photo Library active, and wants to rely on it, but is already running out of space.”

“Pedro wonders about how to use an external drive for his Photos library, and how that will work with syncing to iCloud Photo Library,” Fleishman writes. “It’s very easy to copy the library, and then set it as your System Photo Library, as explained in this older column. iCloud Photo Library can only sync from the library you’ve anointed as your System Photo Library, but that library can be resident on any drive you pick.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Photo storage is confusing for some users and difficult to explain in spots, but Fleishman’s column does a good job. Pass it on to those with questions about Photos, iCloud Photo Library, etc.


  1. With only 128GB, they should just upgrade the NVME drive in the laptop and call it a day…

    It’d certainly be cheaper in the end than paying a monthly fee for iCloud storage.

  2. Why should it be so convoluted anyway..
    It Is a simple ‘save” ‘copy ‘ function..
    Yet music and photos disapear at their own whim .

    Despise icloud and overall ios file/asset management.

    Restriictive and dicatorial , messy and unreliable.

    And its just a ‘ save file function ‘

    Like their Ai, starting with spell check, contextual understanding to siri, Apple Stupid tv os ….. and etc…
    Apple is dismal in some of the most fundamental functionality areas.

    Very frustrating and idiosyncratic..

    Simple stuff made difficult and convoluted in the name of ‘Simplicity’!? Lol
    I say BS !

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