Need some Help with Storing Photos

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Labmom60
Labmom60 Contributing Member • Posts: 827
Need some Help with Storing Photos

I need help.  I have a MacBook Pro and thought I had my Western Digital My Passport set up to store all my photos on, well I guess not, they’re on my Harddrive and I’ve only got about 6GB of storage left.  I purchased more iCloud storage.  I thought I was transferring my photos to my WD and think I did some of them, but now I can’t find a bunch of photos.  But it’s showing iCloud storage when I look at how much storage I have.  Any help, advice or point me in the right direction?  Thank you

William Carson
William Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 6,205
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

Labmom60 wrote:

I need help. I have a MacBook Pro and thought I had my Western Digital My Passport set up to store all my photos on, well I guess not, they’re on my Harddrive and I’ve only got about 6GB of storage left. I purchased more iCloud storage. I thought I was transferring my photos to my WD and think I did some of them, but now I can’t find a bunch of photos. But it’s showing iCloud storage when I look at how much storage I have. Any help, advice or point me in the right direction? Thank you

This sounds similar to what I went through when I set up my new MBP and chose the iCloud option. After a confusing and frustrating time -many hours of time, I just canceled totally out of iCloud and now store only on a physical backup and my actual internal computer storage device. Like you, a lot of stuff disappeared into -where?  iCloud may be a great thing if you know the technique of using it, but to me, it was a royal pain. Advice is to just take what you have salvaged and put it on your external WD Maybe 2 external drives for redundancy and free up space on your internal computer drive.

Mike Boreham Senior Member • Posts: 1,486
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos
1

Labmom60 wrote:

I need help. I have a MacBook Pro and thought I had my Western Digital My Passport set up to store all my photos on, well I guess not, they’re on my Harddrive and I’ve only got about 6GB of storage left. I purchased more iCloud storage. I thought I was transferring my photos to my WD and think I did some of them, but now I can’t find a bunch of photos. But it’s showing iCloud storage when I look at how much storage I have. Any help, advice or point me in the right direction? Thank you

It is very difficult to advise remotely without seeing your computer or knowing your level of computer knowledge, but from what you say I think you have been importing your photos into your Photos Library. The default settings store your masters within the Photos Library, which by default is in your Pictures folder. You won't see them (easily) as separate files.

If you have iCloud Photos turned on then the photos are also being synced to your iCloud, and will be using up your iCloud Storage. If you had to buy more storage it sounds like that may be the situation.

Am I telling you things you already know? If not I recommend reading up about Apple Photos app. I would highly recommend Take Control of Photos.

Is there a Photos library in your pictures folder? How big is it? what happens if you double click the library?

If I am telling you things you did not know, I would not do anything without reading that TC book. If my hunch is right there are lots of things you can do, but you might start losing stuff if you don't understand what is happening.

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Labmom60
OP Labmom60 Contributing Member • Posts: 827
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

Thank you  I’ll check it out.  I Appreciate the help

Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 16,298
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

Mike Boreham wrote:

Is there a Photos library in your pictures folder? How big is it? what happens if you double click the library?

The Photos Library is a package associated with the Photos application.  Double-clicking it will open the Photos application.

If you right-click on the Photos Library and select Show Package Contents, the Finder will show you all of the folders and files "hidden" within the Photos Library package.  I would not advise modifying, moving, or deleting the original copies of any of these files.  When something is a package, it is usually to keep you from pulling the rug out from under the code that thinks it knows how all of the files play together.

Mike Boreham Senior Member • Posts: 1,486
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

Tom_N wrote:

Mike Boreham wrote:

Is there a Photos library in your pictures folder? How big is it? what happens if you double click the library?

The Photos Library is a package associated with the Photos application. Double-clicking it will open the Photos application.

If you right-click on the Photos Library and select Show Package Contents, the Finder will show you all of the folders and files "hidden" within the Photos Library package. I would not advise modifying, moving, or deleting the original copies of any of these files. When something is a package, it is usually to keep you from pulling the rug out from under the code that thinks it knows how all of the files play together.

Absolutely, which is why I didn't mention it! 

As you say, double clicking the Photos Library in ~/Pictures will launch the default Photos Library in Photos app and hopefully will reveal all their photos. The default Photos Library is the most likely place their photos are.

A next step would be to launch the Photos app holding the option key to see if any other Photos libraries exist.

EDIT If the solution is not something simple along the lines of what I am suggesting, it is impossible to help remotely without seeing the computer and without knowing anything about the user's knowledge. They are best getting some local help.

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William Carson
William Carson Veteran Member • Posts: 6,205
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

Mike Boreham wrote:

Tom_N wrote:

Mike Boreham wrote:

Is there a Photos library in your pictures folder? How big is it? what happens if you double click the library?

The Photos Library is a package associated with the Photos application. Double-clicking it will open the Photos application.

If you right-click on the Photos Library and select Show Package Contents, the Finder will show you all of the folders and files "hidden" within the Photos Library package. I would not advise modifying, moving, or deleting the original copies of any of these files. When something is a package, it is usually to keep you from pulling the rug out from under the code that thinks it knows how all of the files play together.

Absolutely, which is why I didn't mention it!

As you say, double clicking the Photos Library in ~/Pictures will launch the default Photos Library in Photos app and hopefully will reveal all their photos. The default Photos Library is the most likely place their photos are.

A next step would be to launch the Photos app holding the option key to see if any other Photos libraries exist.

EDIT If the solution is not something simple along the lines of what I am suggesting, it is impossible to help remotely without seeing the computer and without knowing anything about the user's knowledge. They are best getting some local help.

The OP however did not mention 'Photos' as the application where the images are originally stored. She did say the she thought she was backing up her images on an external drive and found it was 'iCloud' instead but then could not locate a number of these transferred images . Same thing happened to me. It was for me, not photo images but documents however. It took forever to sort it all out.

Mike Boreham Senior Member • Posts: 1,486
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

William Carson wrote:

Mike Boreham wrote:

Tom_N wrote:

Mike Boreham wrote:

Is there a Photos library in your pictures folder? How big is it? what happens if you double click the library?

The Photos Library is a package associated with the Photos application. Double-clicking it will open the Photos application.

If you right-click on the Photos Library and select Show Package Contents, the Finder will show you all of the folders and files "hidden" within the Photos Library package. I would not advise modifying, moving, or deleting the original copies of any of these files. When something is a package, it is usually to keep you from pulling the rug out from under the code that thinks it knows how all of the files play together.

Absolutely, which is why I didn't mention it!

As you say, double clicking the Photos Library in ~/Pictures will launch the default Photos Library in Photos app and hopefully will reveal all their photos. The default Photos Library is the most likely place their photos are.

A next step would be to launch the Photos app holding the option key to see if any other Photos libraries exist.

EDIT If the solution is not something simple along the lines of what I am suggesting, it is impossible to help remotely without seeing the computer and without knowing anything about the user's knowledge. They are best getting some local help.

The OP however did not mention 'Photos' as the application where the images are originally stored. She did say the she thought she was backing up her images on an external drive and found it was 'iCloud' instead but then could not locate a number of these transferred images . Same thing happened to me. It was for me, not photo images but documents however. It took forever to sort it all out.

You're right the OP didn't mention 'Photos' app. They thought they were storing their photo originals (not back ups, the OP doesn't mention back ups) on the external WD.

But it sounds like they were not going to the external, and meanwhile OP's internal drive filled up, so the most likely explanation is that they have been going into the Photos Library. This is reinforced by the fact that the OP had to buy more iCloud Storage, which would happen if iCloud Photos was turned on.

Without seeing the computer this is all supposition of course. Might be something completely different going on.

iCloud Photos and iCloud Drive are very powerful but not intuitive IMHO. Particularly the feature to store Documents and Desktop in iCloud which it sounds like you ran into.

Photos in iCloud Photos and Documents iCloud Drive are stored full size locally as well as in iCloud, unless the "optimise" option has been set. In which case it will store full size locally if enough space, otherwise will store thumbnails and pointers to iCloud to save space locally.

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IR1234 Senior Member • Posts: 1,546
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

Labmom60 wrote:

I need help. I have a MacBook Pro and thought I had my Western Digital My Passport

Ok, the words "Western Digital My Passport" should strike fear into any user.

These are cheap drives and they will fail.

I've read that these are the internal drives that are rejected in the quality check process, so they put them in a case and sell them cheap to get rid of them. In fact most external drives are in the same bracket of awfulness, but WD have excelled at it.

I have two dead ones here, and friend has two dead ones (all WD My Passports). These products have an incredibly bad reputation. The WD internal drives that are sourced as internals are wonderful, which is just strange, I'll happily buy WD Reds all day long.

And the internal drives are nearly impossible to resurrect when they die.

Have a read up on the internet about them.

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Labmom60
OP Labmom60 Contributing Member • Posts: 827
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

Thank you everyone. I think I’m getting it sorted out(kind of).

What External Harddrive do you recommend getting?

I think I should maybe start looking at getting a desktop(MAC).  Any recommendations?  I haven’t had a desktop since the days of AOL dial up.

IR1234 Senior Member • Posts: 1,546
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

Labmom60 wrote:

Thank you everyone. I think I’m getting it sorted out(kind of).

What External Harddrive do you recommend getting?

I think I should maybe start looking at getting a desktop(MAC). Any recommendations? I haven’t had a desktop since the days of AOL dial up.

Any cheap NAS will do, just put your own separately purchased drive in it. Personally, we use a couple of Terramaster d5-300c. We don't bother with its raid function, we just stuff 5 drives in and they each mount separately on the desktop. (Macs of course). We use WD Reds or Seagate IronWolfs as the drives. Reds for smaller drives (they only go to 10Tb), Ironwolfs for big drives.

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Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 16,298
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

Labmom60 wrote:

Thank you everyone. I think I’m getting it sorted out(kind of).

What External Harddrive do you recommend getting?

I think I should maybe start looking at getting a desktop(MAC). Any recommendations? I haven’t had a desktop since the days of AOL dial up.

Here's a rundown on current non-Pro desktop models.

Front runners:

1. A 27-inch iMac, custom-ordered with a SSD instead of a Fusion Drive.  Add a USB hard drive for bulk storage, and, optionally, third-party RAM (from Crucial or OWC).  Note that you can get a VESA mount version of the iMac – but only at purchase time.

2. A Mac Mini with a 6-core CPU.  Add a third-party monitor (2.5K, 4K, or 5K).  Add a USB hard drive for bulk storage, a keyboard, and a mouse or trackpad.

Close:

3. A 21.5-inch 4K Retina iMac. These iMacs share most of the good features of their 27-inch siblings.  However, the screens are smaller, the RAM slots are sealed in, and there are only half as many of them.

No cigar:

4. A base-model 21.5-inch iMac.  This iMac has dual cores (others have four to eight), no discrete GPU, and no Retina Display.  To "save" $200, you give up a LOT!

Dennis from Florida
Dennis from Florida Regular Member • Posts: 363
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

I've had 7 external WD hard drives running 24/7 for many years - no problems, no failures. One of the drives is a local cloud drive (WD My Drive ) which I use to backup my MacBook Pro.

The only hard drive failure I had was in my iMac desktop (3TB fusion).

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IR1234 Senior Member • Posts: 1,546
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

Dennis from Florida wrote:

I've had 7 external WD hard drives running 24/7 for many years - no problems, no failures. One of the drives is a local cloud drive (WD My Drive ) which I use to backup my MacBook Pro.

The only hard drive failure I had was in my iMac desktop (3TB fusion).

Good luck!

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Dennis from Florida
Dennis from Florida Regular Member • Posts: 363
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

I have two external drives doing time machine backups for each Mac drive I have -- so if a failure happens - I have another drive.

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lightandaprayer Senior Member • Posts: 3,173
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

Labmom60 wrote:

Thank you everyone. I think I’m getting it sorted out(kind of).

What External Harddrive do you recommend getting?

I think I should maybe start looking at getting a desktop(MAC). Any recommendations? I haven’t had a desktop since the days of AOL dial up.

It would be helpful to know what you mean by "getting it sorted out." Have you found the missing images? If so, where are they located?

This information won't just bring us up to date regarding your original problem, the info may be helpful to others who come upon this thread via the forum search function.

Your other questions have been covered many times on this forum. A forum search will turn up a bunch of recent and archived threads.

From what I have read here, you would benefit from reading a "Missing Manual" by David Pogue for the operating system you are currently running on your Mac. (Pogue's excellent books are available on Amazon in analog and Kindle editions.)

TakeControlBooks.com is another great resource for Mac owners. I've found their "Take Control of iCloud" to be very helpful in figuring out iCloud, which as you may have discovered is not as easy to understand as Apple makes it out to be. I am not a fan of how Apple has integrated iCloud with the Mac operating system; an inexperienced (new) Mac owner can get tripped-up if they don't understand how it really works. iCloud Drive in particular can be rather counterintuitive in how it stores data. If you aren't careful when deleting data stored on iCloud Drive it can disappear with no options for retrieving the lost data.

Labmom60
OP Labmom60 Contributing Member • Posts: 827
Re: Need some Help with Storing Photos

I found most of my images.  The missing ones are on my iPad.  I just need to figure out how to transfer images from my iPad to my MB.   I turned off the iCloud, but need to research this more.

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