to commonly asked questions.

How can I sort out my Photos libraries?

Following up on the previous inquiry about missing Photos projects. I have 3 photo libraries in my Pictures folder. I pulled the last 2 over from TM backup files.

Photos Library (my main one that has everything backed up to the cloud and is up to date, but is missing all old projects) 111GB
Photos Library (original) I didn’t do this, but the system named it this. Not sure why it’s there, but it is. I opened it and all my projects are there but pics only go back to July ’19. 108GB
iPhoto Library 75GB

How should I proceed? Is there any way to get all my projects from Photos Library Original into Photos Library (main)? Do I still need iPhoto Library? Seems like maybe a lot of duplication.

Pretty involved question to answer without seeing the libraries first hand to get a better understanding of the issue but I'll give a rough response.

Main Photos library is also referred to as the system library. Only one library can sync to an iCloud account. Some people have more than one photo library for various reasons but the second library will not sync to the cloud. Nor will it receive pics from the cloud (or a phone) without manually adding them.

If you only pulled content (by showing package contents and moving/importing masters) then that would only include the photos themselves and not the projects. To my knowledge there is no way to import projects from one library to another. There may be third party software out there that syncs multiple photo libraries but the last several times I've tested them out, I've been met with disastrous results so I do not recommend third party photo library syncing tools.

You could bless the original library as your system library, therefore recovering your projects but sacrificing July to present pics. However, they would be in the old (main) library and you could move over the 2019 July through present pictures manually.

The old iPhoto library is no longer necessary and can be deleted. As always, have a good time machine backup before you proceed with any deletions.
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