I installed the new Photos app and imported my Aperture library (about 50.000 photos altogether. As I had a bad experience when my hdd with my pictures was stolen, I want to upload all of them to iCloud. (I am not a professional photographer)

So far so good: but in the last three days, only about 5000 photos were uploaded. In other words: 30 days to go...

Is this to be expected?

Does anybody has any experiences with uploading that many photos?

I am obviously uploading via ethernet (1000 baseT) and the internet connection is not nearly saturated.

  • I had the same experience. Consider that the Yosemite update is a few days old, millions of machines are uploading thousands of photos...its likely Apple is saturated.
    – cmason
    Apr 13, 2015 at 12:10
  • I guess it is then "wait and upload" - How long did it take you to upload how many photos?
    – Rainer
    Apr 13, 2015 at 12:12
  • It took 10+ hours to get 1000 or so uploaded, after which it failed due to exceeding the 5GB limit.
    – cmason
    Apr 13, 2015 at 12:15
  • For me it is three days = 75 hours = 5000 photos, so in the same order of magnitude for the upload.
    – Rainer
    Apr 13, 2015 at 12:20

3 Answers 3


Just realized, it is on my side and my upload is saturated since I installed Photos - so it is not Apple's fault:

enter image description here

If I am not mistaken, it should be done in about 12-15 days.

  • 1
    For me the uploads were going really fast at first then after 15000 or so it started to really slow down. It would go minutes not uploading anything between photos, then start back up for a few minutes, then not upload anything… Then at certain times everything would pick back up and upload everything in quick succession for hours at a time, then take frequent pauses again, etc. I think there might be a combination of factors including how many people are uploading photos at any given time, etc.
    – user11633
    May 31, 2015 at 21:45

Looking at my speeds it appears that Apple presently is limiting it. I have 1/2 a gig of upload speed but i'm showing about 200 gig going up and I have not limited by upload speed at all. When doing an icloud backup from an iOS device it uses ALL the bandwidth and that slows other devices on the network and often disrupts connections so I think this may be intentional to throttle the upload of photos. I have 50K pictures as well and I've been at it for several weeks with very little progress.


You can try using the Network Link Conditioner (NLC) system preference panel from the Apple Developer site to limit your network connection speed.


After you install NLC, open it and create a new profile. Limit the Uplink speed. I chose about 60% of my available uplink bandwidth and that seems to work OK. Set the Downlink limit to something at least close to your ISP's bandwidth or above.

You'll probably need to play around with the limits. Remember that it affects all of the network traffic in and out of the computer so something like a Time Capsule backup might go really, really slowly.

  • I actually would like to upload faster, not slower. And I can not change the upload limit from ISP.
    – Rainer
    Apr 24, 2015 at 11:25
  • This has worked for me with the initial Upload. After the whole upload I expect to be able to turn this off and operate normally
    – frandevel
    Jan 31, 2016 at 13:09

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