How to locate an old and unused Photos Library file on MacHD?

Aug 3, 2022
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Hi all. I am trying to migrate from an old 27-in Mac to a new 24 inch/M1, both running Monterey 12.5.

A few years back, I moved my Photo Library file to an external drive. I have confirmed in the Photos app that this it is pointing to the file correctly. I also have the photos being uploaded to iCloud as a secondary measure.

The issue: The new Mac has less storage (500GB) and when I used the Migration Assistant it flags that there is too much data on the old drive, Using the 'Find My Mac' storage feature, it is showing a Photos data of ~300GB. I am assuming that this is an old copy of the library file that was created when I made the shift to the external drive. The size is less than the external file that I had validated. The Pictures folder on the MacHD does not include the old file, only a few rogue jpegs.

My question: How can I locate this huge and hidden file on the MacHD? I have been unsuccessful trying to filter in Finder

Thanks for all advice in advance
Last edited:


Cory Cooper

May 19, 2004
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Hello and welcome.

A few troubleshooting questions for you:
  • We you able to complete the migration, or are you stuck because of this issue?
  • If your Photos Library is on an external drive, have you looked in your user home folder > Pictures to see if there is a Photos Library there?
  • Is the external dirve connected when you are running the Migration Assistant?

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