Photos /iCloud/Confused

DonnaH

Active Member
Hi everyone: Need some clarification about photos app-iphone photos and iCloud. I plugged in the iphone to the mac photos to download pics, it's been awhile, came up with recently downloaded and the new items groups. The new items group was over 200 but when I looked at them I noticed that most of them w
ere already in photos. Why would they be imported again and does that mean that they will be in twice? Will they import as todays date or the date taken? With the icloud thing, the phone goes to iCloud but I don't have the photos on the mac going there as there are 20,000 plus pics on this machine. Also the mac is where I store them so if it was on iCloud then when I delete from the phone it would delete from the mac as well? Omg the more I tried to think about it the more confused I got. I really don't want to chase down 200 duplicates lol. Thanks Donna
 

chas_m

Well-Known Member
Typically, if you plug your iPhone into the Mac, Photos will self-launch and let you know which ones have already been imported (if any), as seen in the top row of the image below. The ones under the heading "new photos" are ones that have not yet been imported into Photos. If you don't see a "Already Imported" row at the top, this means that none of the photos on your iPhone have been imported yet. Likewise, if you don't see a "New Photos" row below it, that means all the photos on the iPhone have already been imported (or synced via iCloud Photo Library).

macos-mojave-photos-transfer-from-iphone.jpg
 

DonnaH

Active Member
Hi Chas: Yup, thats what I thought, it's been that way for a long time, and it always worked. But the pics on my phone had already been imported to the mac (except for the last few) and are in photos, though they showed up as new items when I plug in. I keep a selection of pics on the phone as I think everyone does but surely they don't get imported every time I plug in? I imported the "new" ones and now I have duplicates of them all. I must be doing something wrong or not undertanding something about it.
 

chas_m

Well-Known Member
Could it be that you selected them all and chose "Import Selected" instead of just "import new"?
 
Typically, if you plug your iPhone into the Mac, Photos will self-launch and let you know which ones have already been imported (if any), as seen in the top row of the image below. The ones under the heading "new photos" are ones that have not yet been imported into Photos. If you don't see a "Already Imported" row at the top, this means that none of the photos on your iPhone have been imported yet. Likewise, if you don't see a "New Photos" row below it, that means all the photos on the iPhone have already been imported (or synced via iCloud Photo Library).

View attachment 520
Hi everyone: Need some clarification about photos app-iphone photos and iCloud. I plugged in the iphone to the mac photos to download pics, it's been awhile, came up with recently downloaded and the new items groups. The new items group was over 200 but when I looked at them I noticed that most of them w
ere already in photos. Why would they be imported again and does that mean that they will be in twice? Will they import as todays date or the date taken? With the icloud thing, the phone goes to iCloud but I don't have the photos on the mac going there as there are 20,000 plus pics on this machine. Also the mac is where I store them so if it was on iCloud then when I delete from the phone it would delete from the mac as well? Omg the more I tried to think about it the more confused I got. I really don't want to chase down 200 duplicates lol. Thanks Donna
Hi Donna;
I have an iPod and this recently happened to me. I had taken a bunch of new photos with it when I didn't have my camera along; I don't usually ever use the iPod for photos but this was an unusual chance to get photos of something interesting and I was without my usual camera. So I plugged the iPod into my laptop and had the same results as you. I was a bit bewildered, as I was sure I had already downloaded all except the last days' photos. However all the images showed as "New Items". Being impatient to get those latest images onto the computer, and unsure exactly was going on at that moment, I just clicked the "Import all New Items" highlighted button to be on the safe side, and everything was downloaded into Photos, as in your case. What you should do when this happens is to select the new ones (by clicking the first in the series to highlight it, then hold down the 'Shift' button and click the last image and all should be highlighted). Then you have the option to click "Import Selected" as that button should become highlighted and active.
The older, previously imported images all reside before the beginning of this year in my Photos 2020, and are identified by the date they were taken, eg. April 5, 2018; Oct 31, 2019. If you have multiple years of images in the one Photos library then you will have to search for them scattered among the other ones you may have, but they will be in order of the date taken regardless of when they were imported.
Why they all came up as "New" in my case was that every year I make a new photos library (otherwise they get too ginormous!); and the older images had indeed been imported, but into the previous 2 years' Photos libraries. When the current 2020 library is the selected library, the computer recognizes anything with a different date (eg. 2018; 2019; a 2020 image that hasn't been imported yet) as 'new'. It can only recognize the images in the currently selected library; so anything else is 'new'. So now I know what happened I have to delete those duplicates from the current 2020 library. Could this be what happened in your case? - you said its been a while...as it had been for me.
I don't deal with iCloud; thinking about how much confusion I could create for myself if I get involved with it makes my head hurt! ;-) Perhaps yours showed as all new because they were to the computer, if you had previously imported them to iCloud and not the computer; or if you set up a new Photos library every year and they had been imported to a previous years library like mine... I think if your computer were also connected to iCloud it would also have all those images in its Photos library, and could have recognized them if they were in the currently active library (If I understand how it works, which is questionable!). I hope this helps! Sharon
 

chas_m

Well-Known Member
Welcome Sharon! I definitely think you're on to something there wrt to whether a given machine thinks your about-to-be-imported photos are "new" or not.
 

DonnaH

Active Member
Hi Sharon: Sorry for the late reply just now got back to a few minutes of me time (child is with Gramma-yah!!) Though I know next to nothing about these things, your explanation makes sense I think. I don't think I have multiple libraries, have photos and a copy of iPhotos still on there as I read there was not much point in deleting it. The iCloud thing confuses me too, apparently deleting from a device also deletes from iCloud, not a storage place just mirrors whats on the devices. Thats why I try to keep pics permanently on the mac. I don't trust myself to not delete things without thinking about it! This was actually the first time that it has done this particular thing, I know that it worked before when I plugged in, so I wonder if there has been a change in the settings somewhere, or could I be logged into iCloud, or who knows? I will search things out and maybe come up with a clue or two. But it is really a pain going through the whole thing to find the duplicates for sure. Thanks again Donna
 

chas_m

Well-Known Member
IF you are using iCloud Photo Library, then it might help to think about it this way: under that system, the iCloud storage is the main library, not your Mac. Your Mac and all your devices are showing you the iCloud Photo Library, so everything is in sync to that.

If you are NOT using iCloud Photo Library, then the Mac is likely to be the “master” library, with you adding any new photos taken on your iPhone or a regular camera (if you have one) by syncing the iPhone and/or inserting the camera card into the Mac to add those photos to the Macs Photos library. Photo Stream on the Mac version of Photos will put copies of the last 1,000 or 30 days of photos (whichever is less) on your iPhone, but this is not the same as iCloud Photo Library; it’s just a way to have easy access to recent photos on your mobile devices without taking up all the space that storing the entire collection would.

So, long story short, the best solution depends on how much access you want to your photos on your mobile devices. For people who want all their photos everywhere, iCloud Photo Library is the best answer — but that’s not everyone.
 
Top