I have moved my photo library into an external SD card and now that library is configured as the system photo library.

The problem is that my Macbook shows that the hard drive is still using an amount of space (22,2GB) used by photos:

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How could I solve that?

  • Did you delete the photo library from your HD after copying it to the SD Card?
    – user255044
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 11:30
  • Yes, and I even rebooted the Macbook. It seems that the Hard drive shows the space taken by photo library although its in another volume. My concern is that when I am going to use that space it will not let me do it because it will think that is already used. Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 11:35
  • Could it be that you have a second Photos library or another account on your Mac has a photo library?
    – jaume
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 12:34
  • 1
    @jaume the only photo library is that one Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 6:21

1 Answer 1


This is a bug and I can reproduce that on macOS 10.12 and macOS 10.13 and I have filed both feedback and a radar (developer bug with Apple) to remedy it.

My thought is that the process that reads the space occupied by photos libraries isn't smart enough to detect that the iCloud or system library isn't on the boot volume.

Until Apple fixes their code you could not store the photos off the disk or understand that the summary calculations are wrong. One might assume that if enough people report the same bug, it might get more weight when the list of bugs to fix gets reviewed - but I can't speak for how Apple in specific decides which engineers work on what tasks.

For me the 109 GB of green "photos" exists on the volume Data and not on fast - despite what the visual shows.

enter image description here

  • Thank you very much. I was trying to avoid thinking that the problem was a bug. The only solution is to eject the external drive/SD when you need that part of storage. Btw do you know if I can support you with the apple bug that you filed? Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 11:38

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