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Archive photos from the Photos app on MAC

Last Modified: 2018-03-06

We have a graphics designer who is using Macbook pro laptop.

She stores all her photos from her iPhone (because she takes a ton) in the Photos app.

The photos app currently has photos going back 5 years and it is filling up space on her hard drive of the laptop.

Can someone recommend a solid solution to archive her photos from the Photos app?

Here are the requirements in the order of priority.

1. Easiest way to export/archive so a normal user can do it.
2. Preferably cloud destination but export to external HDD should be fine.
3. The exported/archived data should be readable from anywhere i.e. even from a PC.
4. Import back at a later date should work properly in the sense that the imported photos should appear as they did before they were exported/archived.

Ask any questions if you need more information on the environment.
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Hi Eoin

Thanks for the response.

I had guessed as much about the export but thought there might be a better way.

Backup before export - yes, that's just a common sense.

Can I ask you to explain a bit more about the "unmodified originals"? From what you are saying, it looks like, Photos app store the file when it is imported in the Photos app for the first time (from iPhone etc), as unmodified original. Then when a photo is edited, the Photos app stores another version?

If so, we are basically looking at multiple versions of the same file (original i.e. unmodified and then later versions which as basically modifications made to the file).

If this is true, is it possible to like mark one of the version as Final so that all previous versions are deleted?

This will make life much easier because for older files, we can mark one of the versions to be final and then export.

My primary concern is to delete the photos once it they are exported to create free space. If we were to export unmodified originals, does the process delete the exported photos or do we have to manually delete it?
Eoin OSullivanConsultant
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Thanks Eoin for your help.

The user haven't been around for me to do this but can't keep this open for too long.

I am sure this will be fine because I tried it on a test mac and it worked fine.


Thanks for your help !!

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