iPhoto Library.photolibrary file is 311GB (yes I still use and love iPhoto). Size shows on Disk but where shows iCloud, yet it is not visible on iCloud via other devices and shows cloud with slash so I know it hasn't copied to iCloud. iPhoto does pull up just fine, finds the library under documents folder.

Side note, it did show ineligible for a long time (after I moved it out of pictures folder to documents folder on iCloud). Now shows the 311GB (yeah) which is how I discovered I needed more iCloud storage so did that today (2TB) and expected to see the up arrow to show it moving to iCloud but it still sits with cloud with slash. I tried to drag and drop but nothing.

My hard drive is failing and my backup is old (shame on me) so this is critical for me. I can't seem to make a copy of it where it is at to another physical hard drive either. It is almost as if it is in limbo between cloud and hard disk.

Help, I don't want to lose this file!

  • 3
    RE: "My hard drive is failing ... Help, I don't want to lose this file!!" -- Then you should immediately copy it to an external USB drive. Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 16:18
  • If you can only use the cloud, and/or if time is of the essence, try DropBox or Google Drive instead of iCloud to store this important file. Making a temporary new account as a stopgap is trivial against losing all those photos.
    – IconDaemon
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 16:30
  • First backup to local disk - however for photos to cloud you do not copy the file but use the Photos app - select iCloud Photos in Preferences
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 18:39

2 Answers 2


To save a copy of your photos in iCloud, try this approach:

  • Open Disk Utility and choose File > New Image > Blank Image
    • Name it appropriately and size it at least 311 GB (350 or 400 GB is probably better)
    • Choose APFS format
    • Choose "read/write disk image" format
    • Save it to a non-iCloud location
  • In Finder, open the dmg file you've just created and copy your iPhoto Library into it
  • "Eject" the Disk Image then move it into iCloud.

Prequel: If your drive is failing, immediately grab some type of local storage (SD card, thumb drive, external HDD/SSD) and back up the files that matter to you. If they really, really matter to you (and you are willing to spend money) turn off the machine and go to a professional ASAP.

iCloud Drive has a 50GB file size limit (see: https://support.apple.com/en-in/HT201104 and Which file types are "ineligible" for iCloud drive?)

A workaround would be to split the file into multiple parts (using dmgparts for example: What are "dmgpart" files and what tools can create, merge, or manage them?).

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