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How to set up an external drive as a Time Machine destination for multiple Macs
Why you should and shouldn't use an external drive with Photos for Mac Best external drives for storing photos How to move your current Photos library to an external drive How to create a new Photos library on your external drive Why you should and shouldn't use an external drive with Photos for Mac There are a number of reasons why an external drive might make sense when you're working with Photos for Mac: You have a giant Photos library and, if you use iCloud Photo Library, you want to ensure you have a secondary backup of everything in that library You frequently swap computers and want to work on your images from any Mac Your library isn't huge, but you'd prefer to save space on your Mac for other files You share a computer with other users and you have limited drive space If you're working with space constraints on your primary computer, it's one of the easiest ways to back up your full iCloud Photo Library That said, there are some downsides, too.
Here are some reasons you might not want to use an external drive: You don't have a big enough library to warrant moving it off your Mac You don't want to have to worry about always having your external drive connected to view and edit your images You use a laptop frequently and can't afford an SSD, and you don't want to risk breaking your disc-based hard drive by constantly moving it You don't want to accidentally create duplicate libraries that can't be connected to iCloud Photo Library because your offsite library is connected Unless you purchase a speedy drive, working externally is almost always slower than working on your default hard drive You don't want to spend the money on an external drive If you use an automated backup service for your computer, you'll have to set up a second set of rules for backing up your hard drive Best external drives for storing photos Okay, so you've decided to move your Photos library over to an external drive.
But if you're considering getting a new drive for this endeavor, here's what I suggest: Get a drive that's at least TB in space, preferably 4TB. With the iPhone able to save 4K video, our space needs aren't shrinking anytime soon: The bigger hard drive you can afford, the better. It's rarely worth the HDD failure. Hard drive speeds are important, too: The faster a drive's write speed, the quicker your images will copy; the faster a drive's read speed, the easier it will be for you to view images or video and edit them, too.
Want some recommendations for specific external hard drives? We've got those, too. Open your external drive in that window. Click the Go menu and navigate to your Home folder. Select the Pictures folder. Select your old library. Drag it to your external drive in the other Finder window. Step 2 if you use iCloud : Turn off iCloud sync on your old library Before you open your copied Photos library on the external drive, you have to disassociate the library on your Mac from iCloud.
Open Photos on your Mac. Go to the Photos menu. Select Preferences.
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Click on the iCloud tab. Uncheck iCloud Photo Library. Press Remove from Mac to remove any undownloaded low-resolution items from this library.
Adding an external hard drive to your network
Quit Photos. Step 3: Make your new library your system default Now, it's time to make your newly-copied Photos library your system default.
Click Use as System Photo Library. Step 4 if you use iCloud : Connect your new library to iCloud Your external library is now set up to be your system default, but it's not currently connected to iCloud. Check iCloud Photo Library. Click Download Originals to this Mac. Wait for your Mac to download your images from iCloud. Depending on the size of your iCloud library and your internet connection, this may take up to 24 hours; don't disconnect your external drive or turn off your Mac during this time.
Drag it to the Trash or press Command-Delete on your keyboard. Empty the Trash. Don't close your previous window open to the Pictures folder , as you'll need it later. Select your external drive. Right-click or control-click on your copied Photos library on your external drive. Select Make Alias.
Drag the alias to the Pictures folder. Rename the alias to remove the "alias" part of its name. How to create a new Photos library on your external drive and use it as your primary library Creating a new library on your external drive is a multi-step process. Step 1 if you use iCloud : Turn off iCloud sync on your old library Before you create a new Photos library, you have to disassociate your current library as your system default.
Press Remove from Mac to remove all low-resolution items from this library. Press Remove from Mac once more to confirm. Step 2: Create your new Photos library Once you've done this, it's time to create a new library. Option-click and continue holding down option when launching the Photos app on your Mac. When it asks you to choose a library, click on Create New…. Name your library. Press the Down arrow to expand the File picker and choose your external drive as the new location.
It also has a built-in USB hub with two ports which is very handy for front facing ports. Do note that this drive generates some noise, so if you cannot stand noise, I would suggest placing it behind or under your iMac using a Twelve South Backpack or Twelve South HiRise stand.
I also have a 2. Its x DCI-P3 screen is an absolute joy to use, and the latest models allow you to hook up an additional x LG Display , giving you 2 5K displays! This setup works best if you have the Hub Mac connected your network via Ethernet or a separate 5GHz network. I use a Netgear X6 router that has two separate 5GHz networks, one for my Hub Mac and another for my Satellite Macs for maximum wireless backup speeds. If you've found this guide useful, please consider using my links below if you'd like to purchase the gear mentioned in this article.
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Worth a read. Blog Experience-led writing on Technology and Photography. How to set up a shared Time Machine backup drive in macOS High Sierra One of the first things you should invest in as a photographer is a robust backup solution. Select the correct volume that you want to erase. Click Erase. You can name it whatever you want.
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Your Hub Mac will now use the disk as a Time Machine backup volume. Make sure that File Sharing is checked. Enter a limit if you want, this will be a total limit for all the Satellite Macs that you will be connecting.
Choosing an External Drive: Solid-State Drive (SSD) or Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
Click OK. Select the disk. You can have a mixture of Satellite Macs that have encrypted and unencrypted backups. Click Use Disk.