iCloud wants to du­pli­cate 300GB of photos!

Mac Format - - APPLE TALK -

Q When the new Photos app ar­rived, I was happy to move from Aper­ture be­cause I wanted to make use of the op­tions to store all my photos in iCloud – both to have an off-site backup, and also to have ac­cess to all my pic­tures across all my iOS de­vices. It took around a week to upload all 300GB of photos and videos, but the con­ve­nience and se­cu­rity were worth it.

I had an an­noy­ing prob­lem with the HDD and de­cided to clone and erase the disk then copy across the files and fold­ers back onto it. I named it the same as be­fore, and dragged the files and media back. The Photos li­brary opened just fine, but now the app thought it was a brand new set of photos and of­fered to upload them all to iCloud – again.

In the end, I had to delete the li­brary on my HDD, open Photos with no li­brary se­lected, and then down­load the photos from iCloud within the app – all for a set of photos I al­ready had a copy of! Tim van Someren

A I haven’t been able to ab­so­lutely con­firm this, but it looks like Photos might be sav­ing the full path to each im­age when it up­loads them to iCloud, in­clud­ing the UUID la­bel of the disk vol­ume. This could be nec­es­sary to al­low you to back up the photo li­braries from mul­ti­ple Macs to the same iCloud ac­count. The li­braries on two Macs would have the same path name by de­fault, but the UUID would dif­fer so the back­ups wouldn’t over­write. But eras­ing your disk and re­for­mat­ting it means it gets as­signed a new UUID, so iCloud treats the re­stored files as new copies in a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion.

Cloning the drive back again, in­stead of just drag­ging the fold­ers across, would re­store the orig­i­nal UUID but might con­ceiv­ably mean you’d recre­ate what­ever prob­lem you had. The Su­perDuper! backup util­ity (www.shirt-pocket.com) has a se­cret com­mand-line tool that will let you force the UUID of a vol­ume to what­ever you like, so you could use this to re­store the UUID to the pre­vi­ous value. But this is pretty tech­ni­cal and only works if you have made a note of the pre­vi­ous UUID name of the vol­ume. I think cloning the drive back is the only prac­ti­cal way to avoid iCloud up­load­ing ev­ery­thing again.

iCloud can end up du­pli­cat­ing your photos if you erase your li­brary and copy ev­ery­thing back.

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