I started cleaning up my Mac and I've noticed that the Photos App's Library was using roughly 72,5GB (info I see in ~/Photos). Long story short, I had around 8.000 items in there from the last 2,5 years; and, in there, there were duplicates, failed photos and videos, junk received via messages, etc.

Anyway, spent about 4h cleaning and checking everything up and I ended up deleting around 3.000 items. After this, the Photos' Library shows that is using 70GB which seems a bit absurd to me (3.000 * ~5MB = 15.000MB).

As a result, it seems I've managed to clear only 2,5GB of space, which seems far too little for 3.000 items. I made sure that I've deleted all the items from "Recently Deleted" as well.

Is there any way to free some space? Maybe Photos has a 'clean space' trick that I am not aware of, or it has some kind of mechanism to even recover permanently deleted items.

  • As no-one's put forward any alternative yet - I threw in a quick Plan B. It's reversible if you don't like it.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 7:59

1 Answer 1


A late thought… which might depend on how much 'organisation' you'd be willing to lose.

If you right-click the Photos Library & select Show Package Contents, then inside there, the Masters folder contains just the photos. All of them, but nothing else.
Everything else inside the library package is 'organisation'.

You could test creating an entire new Library by

  • copying the Masters out for safety
  • Launch Photos whilst holding Opt ⌥
  • choose a new Library
  • Importing the Masters folder you just moved out.
  • Like I've said in the question, I have already done that :D Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 7:06
  • Or just right-click on the Masters folder and see how much space it's using.
    – tubedogg
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 2:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .