Using Referenced Photos To Exclude Photos From iCloud

If you wish to have some of the photos on your Mac available in iCloud, but not others, a typical solution is to use two Photos libraries. But a more useful solution for some is to link some photos as referenced photos, keeping them separate from your Photos library while including them as linked photos. These items will not be synced to iCloud and will not be stored in your Mac's Photos library either. You can bring these photos into the library later on using the Consolidate command.

Comments: 4 Responses to “Using Referenced Photos To Exclude Photos From iCloud”

    6 years ago

    Great tip. But one caveat. Suppose I need to relocate my original photos that Photos refers to by reference. This might occur when I get a new Mac or my external hard disk is replaced by a larger one. Then what? How will Photos find them? Is the only solution alot of rework by me? So is this really a useful approach? Because I believe all files will be moved sooner or later.

    6 years ago

    Paul: Easy enough to test. I just tried it. I imported a file with that box unchecked and then I moved the file. Then I went to view the photo and got an alert: "Missing File: Photos with unavailable original files cannot be opened. The original photo “image.jpg” is either offline or cannot be found. Click “Find Original” to reconnect."
    So there is a way to reconnect the image. But it looks like it would be one at a time. Not sure if you simply moved to a new Mac and the path was relatively the same, if it would do this automatically. I would think an external drive would work without a problem, as the path would be the same.

    C Web
    6 years ago

    Great, but how to we take them out of icloud photo library without deleting altogether?

    6 years ago

    C: If you wanted to remove them from iCloud you need to copy them to a file on your drive. Then, delete the photo from iCloud (removing it from all devices). Then add the file you copied back into your Photos library using this technique.

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