Check the status of your library in Photos for macOS

The Photos app includes a status overview of your photo library, showing how many items it contains, when it was last updated with iCloud Photos and more.

Find library status information in Photos

  1. Select Library in the Photos sidebar.
  2. Click All Photos in the toolbar at the top of the window.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the window to see status information:
    • The number of photos and videos that are in your library.
    • When your library was last updated with iCloud Photos and the option to click Pause or Resume if updates are in progress.
    • The number of items that couldn't be synced to iCloud. Click View for more details.
    • The number of items – if any – that are on this Mac only and are not available to your other devices.

Photos library displaying the All Photos tab

If items couldn't be synced to iCloud

To see which items couldn't be synced to iCloud, click the View button next to the message at the bottom of the Library window or click Unable to Upload in the sidebar. You can try to reimport the items from the Unable to Upload album into your Photos library to sync the items with iCloud Photos. 

  1. Press Command-A to select all of the items in the Unable to Upload album, choose File > Export, then choose Export Unmodified Original For [number] Photos.
    Unable to Upload album displaying an item that couldn't be synced
  2. In the dialogues that follow, click Export, choose a save location, then click Export Originals.
  3. After the items have been exported, make sure they're all still selected in the album, then choose Image > Delete [number] Photos or Videos.
  4. Click Delete, then click OK.
  5. Choose the Recently Deleted album in the sidebar, then choose Delete All. Or only delete the items you've just deleted. 
  6. Choose File > Import, then choose the images you exported previously. For any items synced to iCloud Photos successfully, edits or keywords you've added to the affected items may be lost.

If you see "Items on This Mac Only"

If you’ve set up Photos to allow referenced files, which are photos and videos stored outside your library, Photos will count those as "Items on This Mac Only". If you want to consolidate those items into your library so they can be uploaded to iCloud Photos and available to your other devices, follow these steps:

  1. From the menu bar in Photos, choose File > New Smart Album.
  2. Name the Smart Album "Referenced" and set the conditions to "Photo is referenced". Click OK.
    New Smart Album dialogue showing a Smart Album being named
  3. Select the Referenced album in the sidebar.
  4. Press Command-A to select all items in the album, then choose File > Consolidate.
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