Using Multiple Photos Libraries On Your Mac

multiple photos librariesI'm regularly seeing Photos libraries of 10,000, 20,000, even up to 55,000 images (current record)! There's nothing wrong with that, though it can cause an organizational nightmare, and also bog down the computer due to the large number of image thumbnails it must load. You can create and use multiple smaller Photos libraries, organized by year or by topic of your choice. To do so, launch Photos while holding down the Option key, you'll be given a dialogue to either choose one of your existing libraries, or create a new one. Give it a name, import photos, and use it as normal. To switch back and forth from one library to another, you can either Option boot into the Photos program, or simply double-click on the Photos Library name in your Finder. 

Screen Shot 2018 02 28 at 12.46.23 PMAnother benefit to this, is you can create and designate a particular library as your iCloud System Photo library, the one that will sync and store your pictures in the Cloud, taking advantage of the convenience of the iCloud syncing feature without storing each and every photo you possess on the Cloud.  Simply designate that library as your System Photo Library in your Photots Preferences, and if you want to use iCloud to sync those photos between devices turn the feature on in your iCloud settings.


  • Whoa .....fabulous ...wonderful ...fantastic ...beautiful......OMG ...thank you so much. I will look into the photos and see what I can do  ....touble is I don't actually know much about Marilyns life! I will make something up .....!!  wow Wonderful to what you have created...


  • Hi Dan,What a difference!  My MacBook is working much faster now, and not getting hung up.  The newer OS and more memory really helped.Thank you.


  • Hi Dan:

    Thank you so much for helping out with my urgent problem the other day, so promptly – and from the arena! I really did appreciate it (and was so impressed!).


  • Hi Dan,

    I picked up quite a few useful things in class even without a laptop, and enjoyed the course. Do please let me know if you decide to offer an intermediate level follow up. Thanks,


  • Hi Dan, thanks for the January newsletter. I added my vote to you for "outstanding customer service".


  • Just got home. plugged the router and computer in and its working!!!  Go figuure. You must have done something right.


    Al Z

  • Dan retrieved the iPhoto library I had deleted from my boyfriend's computer from a Time Machine backup I didn't even know we had. Thank you Dan, you saved my bacon!

  • Your expeditious replacement of my hard drive is very much appreciated. I had a little trouble restoring the system, but it's now working perfectly (and it seems to be a little faster).In my excitement I forgot to ask about warranty. What do I do?Thank You again

     Trevor W Jackson

  • Hi Dan,

    It was great to meet you and thanks for your help, I love the dual screen and upgrades. I seem to have forgotten how to access the iphoto shots from the original iphoto and can only find the few new ones, can you re direct me.


  • Just a quick note to thank you again for coming by……this is working ever so much better. See you next month.