I have rather large Photos.app library consisting of >50 years of family photos and videos. With Catalina I've been really unhappy with some bugs that have lost a couple months of recent photos and video and Apple has remained mum on the issue. I've decided that my data will be more safely stored in a filesystem hierarchical data system that I can use with other apps and can manually manage going forward.

How can I export an entire Photos.app .photoslibrary contents to such an organization (YYYY -> MM -> DD) while retaining timestamps and any other pertinent metadata?

1 Answer 1


Photos Takeout app can export Year-wise, Album-wise and Date-wise folders from Photos for all versions of macOS from Sierra onwards, even for terabyte-size libraries, while preserving folder hierarchy and metadata. It's not meant for iPhoto. [Disclosure: I do customer service at AIL, developer of this app.]

  • Interesting, I have closer to 4 TB of images and video... Will is go up to this much data?
    – ylluminate
    Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 19:46
  • 1
    It's been tested with a 2TB library. Theoretically it's library size-agnostic. For large libraries it takes long to load the assets (~40 min for a 1.4Tb library, if I remember correctly), but then exports are quite fast.
    – MacEater
    Commented Dec 19, 2020 at 13:37

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