ICloud Shared Photo Library - Backups

I’m really excited for iCloud Shared Photo Library, but I have one questions which my internet search fu can’t unearth.

If I move photos from my personal library to the shared library. Can I download those photos to my Mac so I can back them up?

I take regular and multiple backups of my Photo Library as they’re precious, but if I cannot backup shared photos in the same manner, this is a hard pass for me.

I know some will sync photos to Google photos as a backup, or other half measures, but I want the original photos (Even if that’s part of a package). This means that CCC, Time Machine and also Backblaze all have a copy, so I can extract them myself in the event of a disaster.

Shared library seems to be downloaded - my photo library size hasn’t changed on disk and the pictures show as part of the full Library.

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Thanks @aardy

I’ve read that the transferred photos remain within your personal library for at least 6 months, so that may be why your library size hasn’t changed, or it may be that there’s a separate container with the shared library in the package.

I want to know definitively, unfortunately that may take 6 months.

Is there a Reveal in Finder command when you right click on a shared photo?

I’ve not jumped yet. Currently undecided, but Jason Snell has said that all photos are downloaded

I don’t see that option for either my library or the shared library

I have similar backup concerns. Right now I have a server with all photos downloaded. Full Time Machine backup and Backblaze running. Machine cannot update to Ventura. Is currently on Monterey. My desktop machine and all devices are current with Ventura and IOS16. If I were to create a shared photo library I suspect those would disappear from the server and not get backed up. My main desktop has a smaller SSD. It could hold the library but it would be tight and is not on my current backup setup. I was hoping to continue using the server for the purpose it was designed. To hold and store large amounts of data. It appears that Shared Photo library ruins that plan. Am I thinking correctly about this?

Hi @Scout, I can reassure you that all photos both in your personal library and in the shared library remain in your Photo Library.

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But I suspect they will not get backed up if set up to save space vs download originals. They will be stored in iCloud with thumbnails on the computer. My confusion is what happens to the originals in my library get moved to the shared library. I have read that the computer needs to support Ventura or they will not be visible on the Monterey computer. Last night I was able to put all originals to my new Ventura machine and still have half my drive available. So maybe that is the best route forward. Shared library backup only works that way, it appears.

Save space will be the same behaviour, no change.

I’m guessing that if you run an older OS, it won’t download the shared iCloud library at all.