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How To Share a Photo Library Between 2 Users On a Single iMac?

On my new 2019 iMac with 2 user profiles I’d like to have just 1 photo library that each user could access, one user at a time of course. How can I do this without using iCloud?
Berny Veilleux

Comments: 3 Responses to “How To Share a Photo Library Between 2 Users On a Single iMac?”

    2 years ago

    This is very difficult to do. Photo libraries are really set up for one person. Allowing two accounts to access the same library could cause issues as changes are made.

    I don’t do this myself, but if I were to try it, without iCloud in the mix, I would simply save the Photos library to an external drive or to the Shared folder on the Mac. Then have the second account open that very same library. Theoretically, this should give you both access to the library, though permissions issues may arise. I would also be very very careful to quit Photos on the other account before opening the library.

    Even so, you may get permissions errors as different users write to that library.

    Of course if you add iCloud in there, which is the best feature of Photos in my opinion, then I’m not sure it would work at all. The two accounts would be competing for use of the same library and I wouldn’t trust it.

    Bottom line is I would not do this. Let each user have their own library. Use iCloud to share albums for the other to see if you like. Or just send individual photos to the other user if they want to have them in their library too.

    2 years ago

    For your bottom comment in this response, Gary, would that use the storage space of 2 complete Photos Libraries on this one hard drive, or would Photos just add a link to the original that is already there on the hard drive for the first photos library?

    2 years ago

    Ron: If it is one library shared across accounts it will only take up the space of one library.

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