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I have a MacBook and and Mac mini with same Apple ID. My photo library size is 55,109 photos, 3,670 videos, 68 items. photoanalysisd has been running for 7 days on my MacBook. It doesn't appear to be running on the Mac mini. On the Mac Mini, Photos.app is not running (and thus should not be pausing photoanalysisd).

  • Do both computers share the analysis results, or does each computer repeat the analysis?

  • If the information is shared, is there a way I can coerce photoanalysisd to only process on the Mac mini, to make processing faster using the two computers?

  • Firstly, welcome to Ask Different! :) Just a tip, whenever you have the Photos app running this will pause the photoanalysisd daemon - so that could also be adding to the fact it's been running for days. Also, if you do have a large Photos library, taking days is not uncommon. – Monomeeth Aug 17 at 22:45
  • Adding more details: same Apple ID on both devices; photo library size is 55,109 Photos, 3,670 Videos, 68 Items; runtime so far 7 days on my MacBook; on the Mac Mini, Photos is not running (and thus should not be pausing photoanalysisd). Questions remain - can I make processing faster using the two computers? do two computers share the results, or do they each need to do the analysis? – userG Aug 18 at 2:02
  • I would expect many weeks to churn through all 55k photos, so you might just need to let it grind for another week... – bmike Aug 18 at 13:39
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No. In general, all photo library generated metadata is not strictly shared from iCloud to iCloud on macOS Mojave 10.14 and iOS 12 but some of the overall categories / extracted data does sync. (So it’s pretty confusing / grey area at the moment)

Most of the AI training models to identify photos by subject, finding faces, making memories run locally on each device and only after you name a face, save or customize a memory or make an album does that higher level data sync.

You might need to erase the long running library and let it redownload or better, engage apple support for iCloud and give the engineers permission to look at the sync logs server side and submit some local diagnostics if the process can’t catch up.

I’ve don’t that in the past to get excellent support and a precise fix. Sometimes the algorithm gets stuck and you need an assist rather than just restarting the OS or downloading a clean copy from iCloud to one Mac (assuming that Mac isn’t your “source of truth” or master copy of photos for you).

  • Thanks for the answer! I agree it is fuzzy (pun intended on multiple levels). The face recognition results across the two computers (and an iPhone) all seem to be different. I think the only way to stop the calculation on my MacBook is to stop confirming new face results ... maybe I should only do this on the Mac Mini. Anyway, if we had a little more descriptive messages from our Apple Photos, we could better understand what is going on! I do agree that when I've called Apple they have the ability to dig into an issue. – userG Aug 19 at 14:20
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    The advice I now follow for all my photos is to keep the originals in a folder structure on my desktop (with a Time Machine backup) and use cloud services like Apple Photos (and Google, Amazon, Microsoft) to store the albums (pared down from the mass of originals). Thanks to all that responded. – userG Aug 19 at 14:21

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