Photos storage and second copy

My photos library is getting large and I think the 200gb iCloud plan will fall short in a few days. I don’t want to go in for the 2tb plan, instead I want to store libraries on to external storage and also create a second copy somewhere online.

Any recommendations as to what’s the best possible way.

It’s easy to tell Photos to use a library on external storage. What kind of external storage would depend on your machine’s capabilities and your budget. If you’re already using BackBlaze or something similar it would be backed up to the cloud automatically.

  1. Create a 2nd library on an external drive (or migrate Photos library to external). I suggest looking at PowerPhotos.

  2. Download originals to new library, (or login into iCloud Photos with Safari and drag/drop images to somewhere on your Mac and import them later into Photos).

  3. Turn off iCloud Photos, and instead periodically connect your iDevices to your Mac and directly import them into Photos.


• be sure to to regular backups
• if you want photos in the cloud consider the free option of Google Photos

Since iPhone is is a 12mp camera I am assuming there will be no quality loss of photos while storing in google photos as the free unlimited storage allows up to 16mp photos correct ?

Shouldn’t be a problem.

Your files won’t be backed up if they are:
Photos larger than 200 MB or 150 MP
Videos larger than 10 GB.
Items smaller than 256 x 256.

Keep in mind that photos in Google are not necessarily at full resolution so are not particularly good as archival copies.

Nice to see the limits. Most of my personal photos are in the 50-60MB range but all of our historical photos scanned from negatives are in the 375MB or larger size.

If you want to save images that big you’ll have to pay for it - Google storage costs are equivalent to iCloud storage, but the search is better and it doesn’t use Apple’s cloud concept where all thumbnails must reside on all devices and a local deletion deletes the original item in the cloud

For the OP’s needs it should be perfectly fine.

We’re using Amazon AWS Glacier as a backup for these images

Yes, so you are paying for it. :heavy_check_mark: And by using Glacier you are not accessing them much so your needs seem pretty distinct from the OP’s query.