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If I Move My Photos To iCloud, How Can I Include Them In My Automatic Backups?

Gary, I just finished watching your video suggesting, among other strategies to deal with internal disk space, moving my extensive photo collection covering many years up and over to iCloud, but what worries me most is backup. I am a dedicated belt-and-suspenders kind of long-time Mac user. I have Time Machine set to run onsite continuously, SuperDuper onsite weekly and Backblaze offsite continuously and have followed this routine for years and years.
If I move my large photo collection to iCloud, how can I integrate the photo collection into my automated backup routines?
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Nate S

Comments: 8 Responses to “If I Move My Photos To iCloud, How Can I Include Them In My Automatic Backups?”

    7 months ago

    You'd need to set your Photos app preference for iCloud to NOT "optimize." It is Photos, Preferences, iCloud, Optimize Mac Storage. Make sure that is OFF.

    This would mean that everything exists on your local drive and would be backed up. The downside is it will use the full amount of drive space for the library. But hopefully you have room for that.

    Nate S
    7 months ago

    Thanks, Gary but maybe I didn't explain myself well. What I wondering was whether there is a way to get the photos off my internal drive but still included in the automatic backups.

    7 months ago

    Nate: No, they would need to be present on your internal drive to be backed up.

    Ron
    7 months ago

    I'm wondering ... I have my Photos Library on an external hard drive, so it is off my internal (iMac) one, but I do believe it is included in my TimeMachine backups.

    7 months ago

    Ron: If you have your Photos Library on an external, then it can't be your "system library" so that means you aren't using iCloud Photos. So your situation is fundamentally different than Nate. Make sure that external drive is included in Time Machine, yes, but if it is then all of your photos are always there (no iCloud involvement) and you are fine.

    Scott
    7 months ago

    Just to follow up on your response to Ron's comment...I too have my photos library on a dedicated, always-connected external SSD so as to save space on the internal drive. It is, I believe, my system library as it's the only library Photos looks for when open, and I am definitely using iCloud Photos as well (plus backing up with TM). Based on your comments, am I missing something about this either not being my "system library" or the ability to use iCloud Photos? Thanks.

    7 months ago

    Scott: So you are saying you have your system library on an external drive and are using iCloud Photos? Interesting. I thought that wasn't possible, but maybe it was a restriction early on and no longer. Good to hear.

    Scott
    7 months ago

    Yep, I created a new library by option-clicking the Photos app and saved it on the external SSD. I then deleted the default photo library from the home folder. As long as the SSD is connected, the correct library opens. And in preferences I just selected it as the system library, and this allows iCloud to use it for syncing purposes. Thanks!

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