Apple's photo management software for the Mac, Photos, has grown to be a fairly competent all-purpose storage locker.But as your photo and video library grows — and especially if you've taken advantage of iCloud Photo Library — you may find that your Photos library strains to fit on your Mac's hard drive. IPhoto is still in your applications folder and your original iPhoto Library is intact. If you remove the new Photos Library file and then open iPhoto and select the old iPhoto Library, you can just use iPhoto for a while longer. Maybe Apple will eventually get a clue and fix this mess. Sharing photo libraries among multiple users - Apple Support. To share your photo library, you need to move the library to a volume where ownership is ignored. Connect an external USB, FireWire, or Thunderbolt drive which has enough free space to contain the library. Be sure to choose a locally mounted drive.

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When I got a Mac at work, and then again for my personal computer, and discovered they have an app that lets you change your backgroun photo like I do on Windows, I was sold. That said, I love photos of various landscapes much more than single flowers, or unusual buildings, etc. The only trouble with professional photo organizing software is that, much like any photo equipment, it’s painfully expensive. In this article we’ll suggest tools that tame your giant photo gallery without leaving a hole in your pocket. Best photo manager apps for Mac reviewed.

Back up your library

Before following any of these steps, it's a good idea to create a backup of your photo library, even if you use iCloud Photos. You can use Time Machine, use a third-party backup solution, or copy the library to an external drive. By default, your photo library is stored in the Pictures folder within your home folder.

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Make sure that your software is up to date

Photos is part of the Mac operating system. You can avoid or fix many issues by running the most up-to-date version of macOS. Learn more about updating the software on your Mac.

If you use RAW images in Photos, learn more about the digital camera RAW formats supported by iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

If you have trouble migrating an existing iPhoto or Aperture library to Photos

You might see an alert message when you first open Photos or migrate an existing iPhoto or Aperture library. Learn what to do if Photos can’t copy or create a library.

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If the Media Browser isn't showing your photos and videos

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Use the Media Browser to make images from your photo library available in other apps, like Pages and iMovie. The Media Browser shows only the contents of the Photos library designated as the System Photo Library. If you have more than one Photos library—and the one you're using isn't set as the System Photo Library—the Media Browser won't show its contents.

Follow these steps to designate the current library as the System Photo Library:

App
  1. Choose Photos > Preferences.
  2. Click the General button at the top of the Preferences window.
  3. Click Use as System Photo Library.
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If you're having other issues with Photos

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If you're experiencing other issues—like missing or blank photo thumbnails, unexpected behavior, or if Photos won’t open—try to see if it's an issue with your library by following these steps.

Create a new Photos library and see if your issues persist:

  1. Quit Photos.
  2. Press and hold the Option key while you open Photos.
  3. In the dialog that appears, click Create New.
  4. Give your new library a name, then click OK. Note whether Photos opens successfully with this new library.

To return to your main Photos library, quit Photos. Then open it again while holding the Option key, select your main library, and click Choose Library.

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Alternatively, you can open Photos in another user account on your Mac and note whether Photos opens successfully.

If Photos opens with the new library, or in a different user account, it might mean that there's an issue with your library. Follow the steps to use the Photos library repair tool on your main Photos library.

Learn more

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  • Learn how to create and order print products like books or calendars in Photos with Project Extensions.
  • Get help with iCloud Photos.