Bulk photo download from iCloud to external drive?
May 7, 2022 1:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm not an Apple user, but have been asked to help an relative with this - is it possible? If so, what's the simplest way to do it?
posted by ryanshepard to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Best answer: If on a modern macOS / Photos.app, it's super easy:

* open Photos.app
* Click Libary if it's not selected.
* select all (Command-A)
* go to the File menu / choose Export / then choose if you want to export originals vs. edited photos.
* navigate to the external drive and save there
posted by soylent00FF00 at 4:00 PM on May 7, 2022 [4 favorites]

Best answer: You can also
  • plug in a new drive
  • option-click photos to choose/create a new library
  • create new library on external drive
  • go to settings to download the whole library (including albums and other meta data):
    • photos in the menu bar -> Preferences
    • check iCloud Photos
    • Choose "Download Originals to Mac
  • wait some undetermined amount of time for this to finish. If the library is large (relative to internet connection) you may want to ensure that the Mac stays awake over night for several days
This method has to benefit of being an offline copy of the library; plugging the drive into another Mac and using the same "chose library" should let you move your library between said Macs.
posted by mce at 5:59 PM on May 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

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