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Where Are Full Size Images Accessible When Using Optimize iCloud Photo Storage?

On my Mac, I turned on optimize iCloud photo storage, and the full size photos should still be on iCloud. How do I access the full size photos as needed?

I want to save space, but as a photographer I might need to access a full size image for printing (if a customer buys one). However, all of my personal photos should not be full size, as that is wasted space.
Jacob Miller

Comments: 3 Responses to “Where Are Full Size Images Accessible When Using Optimize iCloud Photo Storage?”

    2 years ago

    You just access them. There's no control other than just looking at or editing a photo. If only a lower-resolution thumbnail is available because the image was off-loaded to save space, then it is downloaded right there and then. Sometimes you noticed a little indicator saying it is downloading, but if your Internet connection is fast enough you may not even notice that.

    And remember that recent and frequently-accessed photos are kept around at full resolution as space allows. So sometimes you won't notice the download because the photo is already there. The Photos app is trying to predict what you need so if it is doing its job well, you'll never notice which photos are already there and which are downloaded on demand.

    Geoff Rainford
    2 years ago

    Gary my photo library file, approx 170GB, is now uploading as I have recently turned iCloud Photo “On” with Optimise Storage on my Mac selected. Will the original photo library file reduce in size or will it retain full resolution images until such time as it sees the need to conserve space ?

    2 years ago

    Geoff: It will reduce. But first the upload has to complete. Then it will take some time to figure out which photos it can offload. So give it a few days.

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