Im­por­tant set­tings

Un­der­stand ex­actly what each of Photos’ pref­er­ences does

Mac Format - - FEATURE -

Ex­plore Photos’ pref­er­ences and you’ll dis­cover a bunch of use­ful op­tions, listed un­der General. With ‘Sum­marise photos’ switched on, col­lec­tions and years show thumb­nails for just some of their con­tents. Turn it off and you can scrub along them to see thumb­nails of ev­ery­thing in them.

There’s also an op­tion here to strip out lo­ca­tion info when you pub­lish photos, help­ing to pre­serve some pri­vacy. The ‘Re­duce mo­tion’ item is in­tended to make Live Photos eas­ier to view, though you can use it to speed up nav­i­ga­tion, as it gets rid of many of the app’s fussy an­i­ma­tions. The cur­rent li­brary’s lo­ca­tion is shown here, too. Even with one li­brary con­tain­ing all of your photos, you may want to move it off your startup disk to give your­self plenty of free space there and the li­brary more room to grow.

Un­ex­pected iCloud set­tings

De­spite the iCloud pref­er­ences tab, a cou­ple of items un­der General have a pro­found ef­fect on iCloud Photo Li­brary. The but­ton that sets the open li­brary as the Sys­tem Photo Li­brary re­vokes that spe­cial sta­tus from the ex­ist­ing one. Photos al­ready in iCloud then down­load to the newly des­ig­nated one, and its con­tents upload.

Also, the op­tion to copy im­ported items into Photos’ li­brary is of crit­i­cal im­por­tance. You may be tempted to turn it off if you use a stand­alone cam­era and like to or­gan­ise snaps taken with it in a folder hi­er­ar­chy you’ve de­vised, in­de­pen­dently of what­ever al­bums you cre­ate in Photos, and have the app’s lo­cal li­brary merely ref­er­ence their ex­ter­nal lo­ca­tion. Sadly, this sce­nario is in­com­pat­i­ble with iCloud Photo Li­brary; Photos will only upload items to iCloud if they’re stored in its mono­lithic li­brary file, which is where they are placed if this set­ting is on.

Copy­ing photos into the li­brary is vi­tal if you want to sync them with iCloud

De­spite be­ing lo­cated among General pref­er­ences, it’s im­por­tant that you don’t turn off the op­tion to copy items into the li­brary pack­age if you want to upload photos to iCloud.

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