Image Count Disrepancy

hey MPU,

I am wondering if anyone has a solution to go with for this situation. Last night for lack of a better word, I did an audit on my Photos on my iPhone and Mac. Today, I started to do the same for iPad Pro, iPad Mini, and matching them to iPhone/Mac.

I can’t figure out how all these devices are not in sync and differ so greatly.
There is a 1,000 count difference between the iPad Mini and my phone in one of the album categories. However, all the devices. in the house say that they are all ‘updated’.

The situation seems to increase even more when some of these photos are sent by other people via iMessage/Messages. Example.

My friend and I have a thread in iMessage. Friend shares photo with me via iMessage. Photo pops up in all devices. However, photo only gets to the “Photos Library” on the iPad Mini, but doesn’t get referenced on any other device. Thus, the iPad Mini ‘photo count’ goes up, but everything else stays the same.

Anyone go through this at all?

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We had someone else ask about this a couple of weeks ago and I mentioned this in the photo library discussion thread. All of my devices show a different amount of photos. Over a thousand difference from my master library on my Mac and my iPhone. Every device shows a different amount.

I did some research and could not find an answer. Shared photos has something to do with it supposedly, but in my case I couldn’t get that to account for more than a few pictures. Also, I think if you shoot RAW+JPG it can mess up the count, but that it me guessing. I have too many pictures to do a one by one comparison, and Photos doesn’t make it easy to do so.

Hopefully someone has an answer, but I just wanted to chime in that I have researched it and couldn’t find anything to explain that big of a difference.

(My solution was to only use Photos for phone pictures. I moved big camera stuff out of there and that that did solve a lot of my problems.)

The strange thing is that this is just strictly phone and stuff shared with me. I never use Photos to organize my SLR stuff. My photo workflow…

  1. File Organization for SLR
  2. File Organization for Phone (mine and my wife)

Every few weeks, I export all my Photos from my iPhone or Mac to the Synology, so that I have a separate copy that I could use and share in my own manner.

The trouble began when iOS 15 came out, I haven’t had the chance to move stuff to the Synology, and all the photos that got shared with me and were added also messed up how I categorize. Going through all of this is a nightmare.

Yes. I’ve found sometimes the number of files is actually different, and sometimes the displayed count is incorrect.

I do something similar and also sync to Google Photos.

This is funky. Personally, I would try turning off showing photos from Messages (it’s clunky anyway and it doesn’t work a lot of the time, at least for me). Firstly, I would check if the actual numbers of items add up. Maybe it’s just the counter that’s wrong and it’s nothing serious.

Super easy on Mac (⌘A, then ⌘I to bring up the Inspector). On the iPadOS (and potentially iOS, though I haven’t tried it there) it’s a bit more tricky but it can still be done quite easily using any keyboard. Scroll to the bottom, tap select, tap the last photo, tap the status bar, hold shift and tap the first photo.

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On my Mac the Info window shows about 150 pictures more than the bottom of the Photos’ window for “all photos”. That could be JPG+RAW shots though.

Do you need to upgrade any of your devices? My photos were acting squirrelly and making sure everything was upgraded did the trick.

So, I finally made some progress in the discrepancy…pretty much it comes down to the following issues I found for my cases.

Caveats - I don’t depend on iPad Pro or iPad Mini (the numbers were too off and I didn’t feel like triple checking it) A part of me almost wants to turn off the Photos completely from those 2 devices.

My big thing was keeping the Mac and iPhone in sync with image count. Where is the discrepancy??

iOS 15. When Apple released that feature of having photos that were in your messages, well that doesn’t transfer/sync very well over multiple devices. This is was big core difference of image count. I noticed for example that some message threads contained images that existed on the iPhone, but those same message/threads/photos didn’t exist on the Mac. Because I am a bit OCD, I started digging deeper into my own set of records.

  • iCloud signing on and off to fix a sync issue a few times in the past few years - this causes an issue
  • Multiple devices being used for iMessage doesn’t always work in syncing when it comes to media
  • A few months ago, I had to ‘optimize photo storage’, I did that, cleaned my phone so I had room to work, and then disabled that and downloaded the originals again. This is a big problem.

Why a problem??? Because I have several photos in my library that are hung up on ‘preparing to download’ and nothing happens. These photos don’t show up anywhere else for me, so I have several photos that ‘are stuck’ on my phone, I can see a preview on my phone, but can’t download to the phone, they also don’t exist on the mac or in iCloud. A few of these are also claiming to be from iMessage, however, when I go there, it’s either a question mark or it’s says ‘waiting for download’. I let my phone attempt to download a 2MB file, after 20 minutes nothing happened.

Lesson learned.

  • I will be turning off that feature of ‘photos and iMessage’, it causes more headache.
  • Go back to my original workflow, the past few years I became heavily dependent on iCloud because life got busy. My original workflow consisted of an Omnifocus Task where I dedicate a weekly or monthly task to moving all photos to my Synology.

If anyone else is wondering…

  • I made sure all devices were up to date
  • I also restarted several times

For peace of mind…another helpful feature I should have checked way earlier and saved so much time…

On Mac, go to Photos, go to Library, top right corner, 3 dots, display ‘your photos only’
On iOS, go to Photos, go to Library, top right corner, 3 dots, display ‘your photos only’

voila! Numbers Match up.

As long as you don’t go to ‘yours & shared’, this is where discrepancy comes up across devices! :rofl: :rofl:

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Mine still has discrepancies without shared photos, but glad it worked for you.