As my macbook doesn't have enough storage for my family photos and videos, every 1-2 years I'd start a new iPhoto library, and will place the old one on an external USB disk. I have 4-5 iPhoto libraries on an external disk now, altogether it's around 180gb.

Is there any way to upload everything into the new icloud storage? I want to be able to access photos repo from any idevice I have.

1 Answer 1


Merge them into one library (iPhoto Library Manager will do this job), then upload them to iCloud by designating the combined library as System Photo Library in Photos' preferences, after opening and converting it with Photos.
Another way to merge two or more libraries is described on the Apple site: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204414

If you designate a new library as the System Photo Library and then turn on iCloud Photo Library, the photos and videos in the new library will merge with those already in your iCloud Photo Library. If you want to keep the contents of your photo libraries separate, don’t turn on iCloud Photo Library for more than one library in Photos.

Depending on upload speed, prepare for a very long wait.

And if you then/afterwards want it on your MacBook make a new empty Photos library on your internal hard drive and select it as "System Photo Library", enable iCloud Photo library and set it to optimized. It will then download either originals, or optimised versions, depending on space available.

  • I've recently switched to Photos app on my mac- is it different? Also, is there a tool that makes it simple to upload a 180gb photo library?
    – azv
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 10:01
  • While Fat Cat Software also recently made an application for Photos, called "PowerPhotos" - (fatcatsoftware.com/powerphotos), it does not seem to offer the 'merge' functionality of iPhoto Library Manager. It would be good if you still had the old iPhoto libraries to use. I don't know of a tool that would make the upload any simpler than the Photos.app itself.
    – Redarm
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 11:39
  • If you don't have the original iPhoto libraries any more, you could always use 'Export' and 'Import' to combine the Photos libraries, but it will lose albums, events and some metadata.
    – Redarm
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 12:24
  • Tnx @RedArm, And is there a tool that makes it simple to upload a 180gb photo library?
    – azv
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 6:28
  • To be used with Photos.app, or outside? Photos.app will upload everything, once iCloud Photo Library is selected and is a very simple way to upload it all (while maybe not the best, or fastest). You will also then be able to achieve what you'd mentioned in your original post - access to them on your iDevices.
    – Redarm
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 10:20

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