Consolidating Several Photo Libraries of Different Family Members on Different Devices

First of all, I do not want to use a cloud solution.

So as the subject states I would like to consolidate our family photos while preserving the meta data information. These Photos are on different devices Computers, iPhones and iPads owned by different family members.

I will use my laptop and an external drive to manage this whole thing and what I want to do is create a library for each individual device on the external drive to import from each devices.

Q1. Can I import libraries from iPhones and iPads that are not synced/linked to my laptop, if I physically connect the device to a new library on my laptop?

Q2. For photo libraries that are on other computers, I can make a copy of those libraries on the external storage using those computers, but will I be able to access them from my computer? If not how can I work around that?

Q3. Photo libraries that have been created on the external storage I would like other family members in future to be able to access them from their laptops, will those libraries be locked into to my laptop in order to open them?

Q4. Any recommended software that will make this process easier?

Thank you for your help :slight_smile:

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Welcome @Khaled. If you have copies of all the photo libraries you should be able to merge them with software like https://www.fatcatsoftware.com/powerphotos/.

Q1. Your Mac has a program named Image Capture. It will allow you to download the photos from your IOS devices to a location of your choosing on your Mac using a lightning to USB cable.

Q2. Once you connect a drive containing the library/libraries from other computers, hold down the Option key while opening Photos. You will then be able to select the Photos.library you wish to open.

Q3. After you finish the merge if, for example, the consolidated library is on an external drive, then anyone with the same version of Photos.app should be able to access the photos. If this isn’t possible, one alternative would be to export the photos to a folder for them.

Here’s some threads and links you might find useful.

This is how I would approach the problem. “Stay tuned”, others on the forum may have other/better ways to accomplish the task.

@WayneG @SpivR. Thank you much appreciated.