How do I delete photos from my iPhone without also deleting them from my Mac (both are connected to iCloud)

Alright, my story is a bit complicated. Here goes.

Over several years (since maybe 2012 or 2013) I’ve only had 5 GB of space on my iPhone. I would upload all my photos and videos to my Mac, so that I could delete them from my iPhone to regain space. I currently have about 7k-8k photos and videos.

Yet, I’ve decided recently that I want my photos and videos on my iPhone. So I purchased 200 GB, and dragged my Photos library on my Mac onto iCloud.

I only have access to my Mac on the weekends as it is in Long Island while I live in NYC for school (today is Spring Break, which is how I’ve accessed it, but I’m leaving tonight).

I realized that it needs to be awake for the process to continue. I only just realized yesterday, that I can just keep my Mac awake 24/7. Before that, the photos were taking a while (I think that it’s been at least a month, and the process is not done). At least now, the photos are uploading much faster (I hope that it’ll finish soon as I’m leaving tonight).

So here lies my dilemma. I uploaded thousands of photos and videos onto iCloud, so I can access them on my iPhone. However, I do not want all of them, and want to delete some. I just don’t know how to delete several photos and videos from my iPhone without them also being deleted from my Mac. I thought about disconnecting my Mac from iCloud, but then began wondering as to whether or not it would take all the photos back as well. So what should I do?

How do I delete photos and videos from my iPhone without them also being deleted from my Mac?

Deleting photo from a desktop folder synced with Drive Backup and Sync deletes from Google Photos?

I have found what I believe is a bug in Google Photos and Google Backup and Sync.

UPDATE: I got this tweet from Google which basically answers the question, though I think it’s still unintuitive at best. If I download a photo from Google Photos to a random synced folder, not explicitly to a folder synced to Google Photos, I would not expect the activity of that new child image file to supersede and control what happens to the original back in Google Photos. I still think people should at least know. I can’t be the only dumb-dumb doing this.

In short, I backup just about my whole computer with Backup and Sync. When I download photos from Google Photos to my computer (which will be a synced folder under Backup and Sync because I backup my whole computer), and then delete them when I’m done, they get deleted from Google Photos. This is bad from at least a UI/UX perspective, and is really bad for my workflow where I have to attach images from my phone to emails written in Outlook.

Note that I was only able to produce it when deleting multiple photos. One seemed to be OK somehow (unless that was an error as well).

Has anyone found this problem? Do you have solutions or intuitive workarounds? Can some of you try this out to prove it to yourselves and see that I’m not crazy? I really think this could be a really big deal for a lot of people and we just don’t know because the photo disappears after we’ve used it.

There are a few typical responses when I bring this up, so here are the standard answers:

  • Tell Backup and Sync to not delete everywhere.
    • When Backup and Sync asks if it should delete a file after you’ve deleted it on your machine, it only asks if it should delete it from Google Drive and not “everywhere.” And certainly not explicitly in Google Photos.
    • I want my backup to reflect the state of my computer. So when I delete a file from my desktop, I want it deleted from the backup of my desktop. If I need an old version, I can dig that up separately in the Trash folder on Google Drive.
  • You said you wanted to email the photo. Share the photo directly from Google Photos, then.
    • I may need to send the photo through Outlook on my work account.
    • Emailing the photo was one example. Perhaps I downloaded the file to crop it for a profile picture.
  • Why do you want to delete the file if you are saving it on Google Photos.
    • Perhaps I downloaded the file simply to crop it for a profile picture. I don’t need to keep the file on my computer forever, especially if I think it’s on Google Photos.
  • Create a special un-synced folder for downloading photos.
    • OK, this is becoming too much. Shouldn’t deleting a photo on your own computer simply not cause you to lose the photo forever everywhere (especially on a service that does not share the same evident folder hierarchy)?

This can’t be just me. Here are a few use cases I’ve thought up or have impacted me directly. These all assume that we backup all or most of our computer through Backup and Sync.

  • Insurance photos: You take photos or your smashed-up car with your phone after an accident. When you get home, you download the album through Google Photos to email them to your insurance agent. When you’re done, you delete the files off your computer. When you follow up in a month and the agent asks you to re-send the pictures, they turn out to be gone.
  • Profile Pic: You have a photo, originally taken with your phone, that you want to crop and use as a profile pic. You download a couple files to test, crop them with desktop photo editing software, and delete the source files since you don’t need them now. It turns out that they all disappear at that delete step.
  • Inspection Reports: If you use your phone from time to time to take work photos, you should be able to download some photos, put them in a report, and delete them so they don’t clutter your computer (or your backup for that matter).
    • I know I had more but I can’t think of them at the moment.

For your information, here is a Google Photos Community thread on it. There is a lot of discussion there.

Google Drive and Google photos (delete from Drive without losing them on Photos)

All of my photos are on Google photos. They are stored using the free space with Google’s quality rather than the original quality. There is a folder on my Google Drive that is called “Google Photos”. Some photos but not all are in this Google Drive folder. I believe this folder was created automatically.

If I delete this entire folder, these photos disappear from Google Photos. At the same time, I don’t want to keep a photos folder on Drive (after all, that is what Google Photos is for!). How do I have a clean Google Drive but still keep all my photos?

I’ve tried playing with the settings on Google Drive (“Create a Google Photos folder”) and Google Photos (“Sync photos & videos from Google Drive”) but no combination seems to achieve the desired result.

The accepted answer in Can I delete my Google Photos folder from my Google Drive? is incorrect by the way. I tried exactly that and it still deleted them on Google Photos (I had to restore the folder on Google Drive from the bin)

How can I access the photos in the iPhoto library from a different computer time capsule?

I have with me the time machine from my previous computer. I would like to browse the iPhoto library which is in this backup, ideally without restoring the entire library on my new computer, and ideally within iPhoto (in order to find the face recognition feature). Is there a way for me to do that?

Videos no longer syncing to iCloud from MacBook Pro after import via Photos

Unable to upload videos to iCloud via Photos on my mac.

There are existing videos in iCloud that still play and videos made on my phone upload with no problem.

This seems to have tied in with a recent software release/patch as the same videos were uploaded previously.

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011) High Sierra 10.13.6

Presumably either an update to iCloud, Photos or Photos agent – see extract below from Sys info:

*iCloud: Version: 1.0 Obtained from: Apple Last Modified: 06/03/2019, 23:42 Kind: Intel 64-Bit (Intel): Yes Signed by: Software Signing, Apple Code Signing Certification Authority, Apple Root CA Location: /System/Library/CoreServices/

Photos: Version: 3.0 Obtained from: Apple Last Modified: 06/03/2019, 23:42 Kind: Intel 64-Bit (Intel): Yes Signed by: Software Signing, Apple Code Signing Certification Authority, Apple Root CA Location: /Applications/

Photos Agent: Version: 3.0 Obtained from: Apple Last Modified: 06/03/2019, 23:42 Kind: Intel 64-Bit (Intel): Yes Signed by: Software Signing, Apple Code Signing Certification Authority, Apple Root CA Location: /System/Library/CoreServices/*

What’s causing this white smudge in the middle of photos?

I’m using a Canon 1000D, with a 1985-ish Admiral/Panagor 55-225mm manual telephoto/macro that I picked up for cheap at a charity shop. It has a Minolta mount, so it’s connected through a lens-mount adapter that behaves like a teleconverter because it has a refocusing lens to correct the incompatible focal length distances between the Minolta lens and the Canon EOS camera.

In macro mode the lens works fine, but in telephoto mode there’s a smudge. It comes and goes depending what you’re looking at, but it’s always there.

I don’t think it’s a lens flare because it happens when the entire camera is in shadow. I have another couple of similar manual lenses, and it shows up there, too, but those lenses are fouled with fungus so I just assumed that was the problem, but this lens looks pristinely clean to my ability to inspect it (I’m certainly not going to attempt to dismantle it!). Needless to say, my usual Canon electronic lens doesn’t show anything like this.

Does anyone recognize this artifact? Is it a problem with the lenses? The adapter/teleconverter? My technique?


Choose which photos in Google Photos to change from Original to High quality

I want to save some space in my Google storage. For Google Photos, I am using Original quality, which counts against my 15Gb quota.

I know I can Recover storage, which changes all photos from Original to High quality (except for a few cases, including photos uploaded to Google Drive).

Is it possible to change only selected photos/albums from Original to High quality?

I guess I could re-upload the photos I want to keep with Original quality to Google Drive, so they would be “immune” to Recover storage, but that is extremely cumbersome.

Related questions:

Google Photos is using all of my quota even though I'm uploading as "High quality"

Google Photos vs Google Drive: How do I find out which copy of my photos in my Google Account is the original?