Importing Apple Photos Library on a Mac

Importing Full Photos Library

Mylio makes importing your entire Apple Photos library into Mylio easy. With macOS Catalina (10.15) and newer, Mylio’s Photos import tool will watch over your original images to keep the two libraries in sync with one another.

  Note:  If you are running macOS Mojave or older, you may need to see the “Importing a Selection of Photos” tab. If you are also using iCloud Photo Library, please see this article to make sure it is configured to work alongside Mylio.

This process will not copy your photos from Apple Photos to Mylio. For this reason, Mylio has a unique relationship with your Apple Photos library in order to ensure your photos are safe inside and outside of your Mylio Library. In general, Mylio has read-only access to your Apple Photos library. Here are the guidelines for how Mylio and Apple Photos communicate:

  • When importing your photos, Mylio references the original images. It does not duplicate the image.
  • When importing, Mylio will make a Mylio-specific Thumbnail or Preview, depending on your setup.
  • If a photo is deleted from Apple Photos before Mylio is opened, the photo will not be imported.
  • If a photo imported from Apple Photos is deleted in Mylio, it will not be deleted in the Apple Photos library but will be deleted from within Mylio on all devices on the account.
  • If a photo is deleted from Apple Photos after being imported to Mylio but before the Original has synced to another device, only the Mylio-specific Thumbnail or Preview will remain and creates what Mylio calls a Lost Original.
  • Photo and Video Metadata brought into Mylio:
    • Title
    • Description
    • Image Date / Time Zone
    • Favorite or Rating (Favorite = 4 stars in Mylio)
    • Flag
    • Color Label
    • Orientation
    • Latitude/Longitude
    • Keywords
  • Live Photos are properly synced and displayed
  • Portrait mode photos are properly synced and displayed
  • Video effects like Timelapse and Slow-mo are synced and playable in Mylio as long as the videos are stored locally (either in the Photos app or the local Mylio folder).
  • Changes made within Photos post-import will be reflected in Mylio automatically. This includes edits.

Import Your Photos Library

  1. Be sure the Photos application is closed.
  2. Open Mylio and select the Import icon from the top right corner of Mylio.
  3. Within the Import menu select Aperture / Photos.

  4. Mylio will search for your Photos library automatically. If Your Photos library is not found, select Other Library… and show Mylio where it is.
      Note:  Mylio can only import the System Photo Library on your Mac. If you do not see your Apple Photos library here or have multiple Photos libraries to import, see the  “Granting Mylio access to Apple Photos” tab on this page
  5. Select your Photos Library and click Continue in the bottom right.
  6. Once the information has been confirmed, select Start Import to begin the Photos import.

  7. Mylio will automatically begin to import your Photos library inside a top-level folder named “Apple Photos”. Inside “Apple Photos” will be a folder named after your Photos library.
  8. Once completed, Mylio will display a blue information bar that says “Library Import Completed” and you can close the information window by clicking the “x” in the corner.

 

Importing a Selection of Photos

This guide will walk you through importing a selection of photos or albums from Apple’s Photos. Additionally, you may want to export images using this method if your Mac is not running macOS Catalina or later or if you have more than one Apple Photos library to import.

  Note:   exporting from Photos will create new images with the edits “baked in”. The edits will not be reversible in Mylio.

The first step of moving from Photos to Mylio is to copy your files out of Photos. Note that you are copying photos, so you must have storage space on your machine for these photos.

  1. Open Photos on your Mac.
  2. Select All Photos in the top navigation bar of Photos.
  3. In this view, you should be able to select an individual photo by clicking on it one time. The photo should outline it blue.
  4. Navigate to Edit > Select All to select all images in your Photos library.
  5. With all images outlined in blue, navigate to File > Export.

    You will be given two options…

Exporting all Photos
Exporting all photos allows you to export your photos and it will include your edits directly in the photo. You will not be able to remove your edits.

When exporting all photos if you are unsure of settings, these offer high-quality versions of your photos.

  • Photo Kind: JPEG
  • JPEG Quality: Maximum
  • Color Profile: Original
  • Size: Full Size
  • Include: Both
  • File Name: Use File Name
  • Subfolder Format: Moment Name


Exporting Unmodified Originals
Exporting unmodified originals exports all of your photos without any edits that you have made applied to them.

When exporting unmodified originals, use these settings:

  • Export Original: Export IPTC as XMP
  • File Naming: Use File Name
  • Subfolder Format: Moment Name
  1. Once completed, select Export. You will be asked where you would like to save your photos.
  1. Locate the Mylio Library (in your home folder by default) and select to export your photos into the Mylio Pictures folder.
  1. Open Mylio, the photos will be imported automatically.

Importing Specific Albums

The first step of moving your albums from Photos to Mylio is to copy your files out of Photos. Note that you are copying photos, so you must have storage on your machine for these photos. If you have already exported all photos to Mylio this will create additional copies of your already exported images.

  1. Open Photos on your Mac.
  2. Select the album(s) that you wish to import into Mylio from the left side of Photos.
  3. With the album open, navigate to the Edit > Select All.
  4. Navigate to File > Export. You will be given two options:

Exporting all Photos
Exporting all photos allows you to export your photos and it will include your edits directly in the photo. You will not be able to remove your edits.

When exporting all photos if you are unsure of settings, these offer high-quality versions of your photos.

  • Photo Kind: JPEG
  • JPEG Quality: Maximum
  • Color Profile: Original
  • Size: Full Size
  • Include: Both
  • File Name: Use File Name
  • Subfolder Format: Moment Name

Exporting Unmodified Originals
Exporting unmodified originals exports all of your photos without any edits that you have made applied to them.

When exporting unmodified originals, use these settings:

  • Export Original: Export IPTC as XMP
  • File Naming: Use File Name
  • Subfolder Format: Moment Name
  1. Once completed, select Export. You will be asked where you would like to save your photos.
  1. Locate the Mylio Library (in your home folder by default) and select to export your photos into the Mylio Pictures folder.
  1. Open Mylio, the photos will be imported automatically.

Granting Mylio access to Apple Photos

If you are having issues importing your Apple Photos library, the Photos Library currently in use by the Photos app may not be set as the “System Photo Library”. Mylio can only access one “System Photo Library” so make sure that the library you want to use in Mylio is set as the “System Photo Library”.

This can be set in the preferences for Photos. In the top Menu bar of macOS, select Photos->Preferences. In the General tab you will see the “Use as System Photo Library” button.


If the Use as System Photo Library button is not greyed out, then you will need to click that button to make that library the System Photo Library.

  Note:   Switching this setting to try and have Mylio import more than one library is not currently supported. If you need to import additional libraries please see the other tabs on this page explaining how to export the media from Photos to Mylio manually.

Another possible cause that can prevent you from importing to Mylio is that Mylio has not been given permission to access the Photos Library. This needs to be resolved via the macOS System Preferences App. Once System Preferences is opened, select Security & Privacy->Photos and make sure there is a checkmark next to Mylio.

 

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