Multiple users' iCloud Photo Library update in a single Mac

Maybe this is trivial but I’m really not sure about this one:

Can a single Mac with multiple users keep all iCloud photo libraries updated if all users are logged in?

I’m thinking about setting up a Mac mini server with 2 accounts logged in at all times, so it can be the central hub to all iCloud Photos from both accounts (“Download originals to this Mac” option enabled).

This way I can free up the MacBooks, by selecting “Optimize Mac Storage” and backup everything from the Mac mini server.

I found the thread below. It’s not clear if it works or not, and It’s been 4 years since it was posted. A lot has changed since then.

In theory, yes it can.

In practice…

I’ve thought about doing this; I’d love to hear more if anyone has experience.

I have been trying to do this for a couple of years.

In practice, it is not super reliable. Only the account that is “active” the last time I used the mac is actively being updated. I basically set myself a task to log into my husband’s user account every month or so to let Photos catch up. YMMV though, this is all purely experiential.

Edit to add: both users are always technically “logged in” but I use the active user switch to force Photos to sync for a particular user.


I did some more digging and found this at Michael Tsai’s blog:

In the comments section 3 links were posted about the subject, including a tutorial.