Ghost Photos - OS X Photos

Jan 19, 2016
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I have recently purchased a MacBook Air 13" as an upgrade from my 'prehistoric' 2012 MacBook Pro. As it is a downgrade in terms of storage (from 500gb HDD, to an SSD of half the size), I need to delete my photos so I can use Migration Assistant to move to my new Mac. I had 18,000 photos or so, adding up to roughly 60gb. When combined with apps, files, music etc. the total storage required is much higher than my MPA's storage capabilities. I backed up the photos to my 3.2tb iMac, and have deleted 11,000 of them from my MBP. The only problem, is that when I attempt to set up iCloud Photo Library, it still states I have over 60gb of photos! This is impossible! I have already deleted the photos, and from 'Recently Deleted', however iCloud still asks me to upgrade. I have already upgraded once to store all of my documents, and I need these documents and photos, as I am a school teacher. I currently have 50gb iCloud, and I think that 200gb is overkill, and I have already deleted the photos.

Why is this happening? Have I missed a third folder I have to delete from?


MacBook Pro, OS X El Capitan (10.11.0)


Cory Cooper

May 19, 2004
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Hello and welcome.

There are options in the settings for using iCloud Photo Library on your Mac: iCloud Photo Library FAQ. Try changing Photos > Preferences > iCloud to Optimize Mac Storage so that it downloads smaller versions of your photos.

You could also purchase an external hard drive and store the Photos Library on it, to overcome the space limitation of the smaller flash storage in your MBA.


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