Photo application on Mac has a fairly large number of subtleties associated with the storage and editing of data. In this article we will tell you where the Media Library Photo is stored, how the files are located and sorted there, why you cannot see the changes in the files created in the application and what nuances you need to know when working with it.
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How and where Photos on Mac app stores photos and videos
Any images or videos imported into the Photo program are stored in the application’s own Media Library. In fact, data is being copied, which is why after dragging and dropping media files into the Photo window and completing the import process, you can safely delete the folder with the originals in Finder.
By default, the library is stored in a folder Imageslocated in your macOS account and it is called Media Library Photo.photoslibrary (Photos Library.photoslibrary). The library is presented as one single file in Finder, but in reality it is just a specific element containing a set of physical folders.
To open the library Photo and see its contents, right-click on the file and select the pop-up menu item “Show package contents“. Explorer will show hidden directories and library files.
When you get to the library through Finder and open the folder “Originals” (in older versions of macOS, this folder was called “Masters»), You can see subfolders with photos and videos. Keep in mind that the Finder will only display the original images and videos, regardless of whether you applied editing tools to them (cropping, filters and other settings). This moment we will write in a separate chapter of this manual.
If there are no files in the folder “Originals” (“Masters”) it didn’t turn out, so you turned off the automatic copying of files to the Media Library of the Photo program when importing. It is necessary to clean the library and re-drag the files into the program window.
ATTENTION! In no case do not edit the files inside the library through the Finder! Otherwise, the Photo application may lose some changes or settings, as well as ruin or completely delete the data library.
The Photo Library can be moved either to another place on the disk, or to another disk or Mac, copied using Time Machine, or backed up to any reliable place. When moving to another drive, make sure that it is formatted in the correct file system format, otherwise you will not be able to use ICloud Music Library (iCloud Photo Library).
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The principle of non-destructive editing in Photos
The previous iPhoto photo manager, before editing the images, created a copy of the original file and already performed all the manipulations on it. Moreover, each new action, whether cropping or applying a filter, created a new copy of the file. Because of this, disk space was used irrationally. This was done for the sake of security – you could always roll back to any stage of editing or even get the original file.
In the Photo application, a more advanced mechanism for saving disk space was integrated without violating the principle of non-destructive image editing. Instead of creating a new copy of the file each time with the next change, the application saves all the commands in a special script in AAE format. Such a file takes up a minimal amount of space.