I just found out that almost the entire space on my Mac has been taken by photoslibrary.photoslibrary, I have 250Gb entire space where 210Gb is taken by photos .photoslibrary.

NOTE: I don't need to store the photos on my Mac at all, and I believe they weren't there, maybe it started to sync after some updates or so.

So, the first idea was just to remove the entire file photoslibrary.photoslibrary, however, my concern is wouldn't it affect the photos on iCloud and on my iPhone?

The question is - how safely to remove this file from my Mac in order to free up space and not affect my iCloud photos and photos on my iPhone?

P.S. My OS - Ventura 13.6.1


I want these photos to remain on my iPhone only and completely remove them from Mac in order to free up space

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3 Answers 3


In Photos → Preferences → iCloud, switch to ‘Optimise Mac Storage’. This will allow macOS to remove the full resolution local copies of photos and videos from your device to free space.


You can't store your photos in iCloud forever. Nor can you store them on your iPhone forever. You will eventually want (and need) to get them archived on local storage. Go buy an external hard drive, and move your .photoslibrary onto it.

It would be a good idea to create a new Photos Library periodically (maybe every couple hundred Gb), as you will eventually hit a limit, even with external storage. You've got to split your ever-growing collection at some point. If your .photoslibrary file(s) fill out the external drive's capacity, moving to a smaller drive won't be possible if you ever need to.

Then, routinely back up any active .photoslibrary files to another external drive just for safekeeping in case the first photo drive ever fails.

You can choose which Photos Library to use (or create a new one by holding the Opt key as you lauch Photos - then the application will prompt you.

(I won't go into detail about managing iClous Photos settings, as others have already.)


Do not delete your library (yet)

Open system settings and navigate to iCloud.

Turn off iCloud for photos. It will ask you what to do with the photos and all choices leave the ones in the cloud still in the cloud. (The link below goes to 14 - select Ventura and then scroll down…)

Click the Manage button, click Photos, then click “Turn Off and Delete.”
WARNING: If you turn off iCloud Photos on all your devices, your photos and videos will be deleted from iCloud in 30 days, and you won’t be able to recover them, unless you click Undo Delete before that time.

You might get away with optimizing storage which frees up space very well. Once you’re sure the iCloud is off , restart and double check. Then you can delete photos using the select all and delete in the app or delete the library out from under the app.

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