Need help moving photos to either mac or spare HDD


New Member
Jul 18, 2019
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Hi everybody. I need some assistance and I'm not as fluent in Macs as I am in Windows.

My friend's computer is crawling slow because her HDD is full. She asked me to copy and paste all her family photos to an external hard drive. So I did that, and now when she wants to view her photos on her computer from her mac's hdd, it says the photos library is on her external hdd and not on her internal hdd.

I told her to check iCloud to see if the photos are there too which they should be and if that's the case no big deal. But neither of us know how to check iCloud. Is there a way to check the site from my Windows laptop if I log in using her credentials?

My concern is that the external hdd is going to break or something and all her photos will be gone. So I was thinking, instead of replacing the photos library back onto the mac, I was wondering if I could use one of my spare external hdds and duplicate it so she will have 2 hdds.

Also, I have a Windows PC and if I brought her hard drive home to put on my PC as a backup, would my PC recognize the hdd?

So I have a lot of concerns here (sorry) so could someone please help me figure out my best course of action? I don't trust her mac with the photos because it's too slow to even use. I was lucky to get the photos off there.


Cory Cooper

May 19, 2004
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Hello and welcome.

iCloud - Photos:
-Sign in to iCloud
-Then click the Photos icon to see what photos are in iCloud Photo Library.

iCloud Photo Library
-Set up and use iCloud Photos

Yes, you can duplicate the external hard drive. The easiest way is with Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper!. Or, use the second external drive with the Mac and setup Time Machine to backup the internal and externnl drive to it:
-Back up your Mac with Time Machine

Your PC may recognize the hard drive, unless it was formatted for use with Macs only, in which it would then prompt you to erase it - DON'T! You would need to buy and install software to read Mac formatted disks:
-How to Read a Mac-Formatted Drive on a Windows PC

Hope that helps,


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