I got a new phone the other day and have set it up on my Mac ecosystem at home. At this point, I can't remember which settings I have changed in Photos on the iPhone, possibly I turned off "iCloud Photos" on my phone. I did this because, when I opened photos for the first time on my phone, I saw my entire library on my phone, which I don't want. I only want my photos on my Mac and also backed up in the cloud.

Since whatever I changed, I rebooted my Mac, only to see my photo library on my Mac deleting before my eyes, from 67 GB down to 200 MB.

I have Time Machine back ups of my library, so proceeded to turn off "iCloud Photos". I then deleted the current now 200 MB library. I then copied in a copy of my library from the previous day (so back to 67 GB) and re-enabled "iCloud Photos" on my mac. This time, the library instantly jumped, to 134 GB (twice the size) and nsurlsessiond ran for about 8 hours, slowly deleting the library.

I assumed this was some duplication error (as it was exactly twice the size) and so thought once it go to the actual 67 GB library it would stop. However, once it finally reached the 67 GB, it then swiftly deleted the actual library on my hard drive again down to 200 MB, so now i have no library again.

What have i done to make it behave like this? Please help!!

I just want my originals on my Mac, and backed up in iCloud, with no photos on my phone (I can see shared albums, which is fine).

I'm sure it's some configuration of iCloud settings somewhere, but I'm totally stumped.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • 3
    iCloud is a sync system and not a backup. It's purpose is to give you access to your photos/files on every device signed in with the same Apple ID. When you removed it from your iPhone it started to remove the photos from your Mac, that's as designed.
    – fsb
    Nov 30, 2020 at 15:25
  • 5
    Does this answer your question? How do I delete photos from JUST my iPhone 6s when using iCloud Photo Library?
    – fsb
    Nov 30, 2020 at 15:26
  • iCloud Photos not only backs up your photos to iCloud, it also makes them available to all devices on which you have signed in with your Apple ID. You can't have the former without the latter, but you can turn off iCloud Photos on one device, see "How do I turn off iCloud Photos on only one device?" at support.apple.com/HT204570.
    – jaume
    Dec 6, 2020 at 12:29


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