to commonly asked questions.

Pointing Photos to your external drive

I opened photos and it appears to be importing the pictures from my phone. It never gave me the option to choose “Media.” Where's my pictures on my external drive?

Sounds like you may not have held down the option key at photos launch maybe. Restart Photos with the Option key held down then it will ask you to pick a library. With the new drive plugged int of course, choose the photos library that lives on McPhail media.

There are two types of photos libraries. The one that is considered the “system library” and any others. The system library is the ONLY library in your user that will sync to the cloud via iCloud. You may have inadvertently created a library that the computer thinks is the system library and is therefore pulling down pics from the cloud that were on your phone. It’s not a major issue at all.

Quit Photos
Restart Photos holding down Option
Select the photos library on the external drive.
After it’s open, go to preferences in Photos and under “General” select “system library”.

Finally, go into your Pictures folder that lives locally on your Mac and remove the automatically created photos library. It may be several gigs by now as some pics will have downloaded from the cloud. Don’t worry about that. The same pics will sync down to the massive library once it’s been blessed as the system library.

Hope everything is looking the way you want. I’m happy to work through any issues if not.
This image is a theme.plist hack