Apple has updated their iPhoto app to ‘Photos’ and included some pretty cool iCloud syncing. Â All your photos are available everywhere all the time. Â It keeps smaller copies of the photos on your iOS device while allowing the larger original ones to stay in the Cloud and it can download the larger files to your computer if you want. It’s easy to email a photo to someone from iCloud, even big movies. All in all, it’s very nice. Â There are some major drawbacks with this approach though, andÂ you need to be aware of them.Â Â All yourÂ photos are now going to the internet, not just to your computer, and this can use a lot of bandwidth. Â So here areÂ 3 reasons why iCloud syncing of your photos might beÂ a bad idea, andÂ how to disable it and go back to manual syncing if you’d like to.
3 reasons to turn off iCould syncing.
ReasonÂ #1: You may need to pay for more iCloud storage.
Unless you pay for iCloud storage, you probably won’t have enough space to enable iCloud Library because it uploadsÂ all of your photos, not just the ones it is copyingÂ from your phone.
Check out this screenshot fromÂ the Photos preferences:
If you tick just ‘My Photo Stream’ as in the above photo, all your newÂ photo’s are sentÂ to the cloud. Â I enabledÂ Â ‘iCloud Photo Library’.Â I got the following message:
AppleÂ want me to pay $4.99 a month to do this, because it want’s to sync my entire library. For this reason you might like to revert back to manual syncing of your photos.
Reason #2: It will use up more of your internet data.
If you are on a very small internet plan iCloudÂ Photo LibraryÂ will chew up a lot of your data. Look at the screenshotÂ above – I have 100.93 GB of photos on my mac. This means that if I enable iCloud photo Library it’s going to upload that entire 100GB library to the internet. I’m going to go way over my monthly quota of 60GB ifÂ I enable that.
Reason #3: It isÂ much slower to sync videos via the cloud.
If you enable iCloud Photos, your videos are synced via the cloud as well. Videos can be hundreds of megabytes, soÂ the sync process can be very slow.
Reason #4: Your videos may not be copied to your computer.
A problem: where are my videos?
If you did not enable iCloud on your mac because of the cost involved, Â the videos from your iPhone are synced to the cloud, but they are not synced across toÂ your Photos app. Worse still, ifÂ you now turn off iCloud syncing on your iPhone, all your videos and photos are deletedÂ from your iPhone, there is no way to avoid this.Â This means your videos are gone from your phone and your computer.
Q: So where are they?
A: They are in the cloud.
To access them you will need to open a web browser, go to iCloud.com, sign in, and your video’s will be there. Then you can click on a video and click on the download button (the cloud with the down arrow) and they will download to your computer.
You can see how much data they are using and how long it will take for them to download…
I hasÂ toÂ wait 10 minutes for just 2 shortÂ movies to download. Yet another reason to go back to manual syncing.
If you go back to manual syncing, all the photos and videos are copied across to your computer via the lightning cable, and it doesn’t use up any of your internet usage.
How to go back to manual syncing.
To go back to manual syncing of photos and videos you need to change a setting on your iPhone.
Go to my iPhone ‘Settings’, then ‘iCloud’, then ‘Photos’, then disable the ‘iCloud Photo Library’ button.
Now yourÂ photos will only beÂ synced manually when you plug into yourÂ computer.
You can find out more about iCloud Photo LibraryÂ here.