Adjust the size of your Photos library to store it in iCloud Photos

If your Photos library is larger than the available storage you have in iCloud, you can increase your iCloud storage or make some adjustments on your Mac.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

When you sign up for iCloud, you automatically get 5GB of free storage for your iOS backups, photos, videos, documents, and apps. When you turn on iCloud Photos, the Photos app lets you know if you need more space to upload your library.

You can increase your iCloud storage by choosing a new monthly plan or by trying one of the options below. Plans start at 50GB for $0.99 (USD) a month and go up to 2TB for $9.99 a month.

Reduce the size of your Photos library

You can reduce the size of your Photos library by exporting photos and videos you don't want or need. 

  1. Select the items in Photos. Choose File > Export, and follow the instructions.
  2. Delete the exported items. In the Photos sidebar, click Recently Deleted. Then click Delete All to permanently delete the items from your library and reduce its size.

Start a new photo library

You can create a new Photos library to use with iCloud Photos. Remember to designate this library as the System Photo Library

  1. Hold down the Option key while opening Photos.
  2. Choose Create New.
  3. Import content from your previous library to create a new, smaller library.

Split your library with Aperture

If you use Aperture, you can split your library to create a smaller library to open in the Photos app and use with iCloud Photos. 

  1. Open your photo library in Aperture.
  2. Select the content you'd like to export as a new library. 
  3. Choose File > Export > Items as New Library. 

After the export is complete, you can migrate this new Aperture library to Photos and turn on iCloud Photos.

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