I'm having storage and uploading issues


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Apr 30, 2020
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Hey! Help!! I'm about to write you a book. My wife should wear a sweatshirt with 'SMH' printed all over it when she's in my company. She says laypeople should not be allowed to do their own IT work. (I believe she's referring to me.) She's an IT person from mainframe days - still deals with those in her work.

Anyway, she encouraged me to get a Mac when the home PC needed replacement. Secretly she wanted nothing to do with spending time resolving my technical deficiencies. She's a PC. I'm a MAC. Now I understand. I'm using iPhone 7+ with ios13.4.1. Whether or not that's significant I don't know. Just putting it out there in case it is. My Mac hard drive is almost full. It's a 1TB. 191.63 GB are available. I have a lot of music files and another overload of photos and videos. My iPhone is overloaded with the same - 5,904 pics; 1,440 vids; 6,069 songs. The phone drive is 256 GB with 2.92 GB available. I've imported all of the photos/videos from the phone to the mac, to the max. Some files aren't recognized and won't import. (No big deal. Maybe because I've edited many on the phone before importing.).

I've upgraded to 2TB of iCloud storage space. This is a temporary condition until I get my space issues resolved, without losing my files - songs, pics, videos, etc. This is where I am on the precipice of damage beyond the point of no return.

I've been moving files and folders from my mac to iCloud Drive which I used to think was iCloud. It shows in the sidebar of my Finder window that it's under iCloud. But it appears after reading above and elsewhere that iCloud Drive is physically on my Mac. If it's taking up space on my hard drive how is that helping my storage concerns? It's not...? I'm physically moving files and folders to an external drive with 500 GB. Since I can't back up my entire Mac to this drive I'm selectively just moving files and folders off of the Mac and onto the Passport. I'm desperate. Then I'm deleting those from the Mac. I figure I can access those from the Passport as needed. I just don't need them taking up space on the Mac. Why am I going through all of this work if there's a better solution? That's where you fly in and save the day! Please stop SMH-ing me :-(

Just to add to my confusion/frustration (you thought you were done with me, didn't you?) when I opened my Photos app on the Mac it shows it's in the process of uploading all of the photos and videos, and it's taking forever! And I don't understand where it's uploading them to. The same is going on with the phone. I'm hoping they're all going to the new iCloud space I'm paying for but the total used space is only 194+/- GB of the 2 TB available. Am I just paying for more space than I need, even temporarily?

I'm looking for a clear path to resolving these issues before I decide on just going back in time to beating a drum, sending smoke signals, and using an abacus. No Facebook, no FaceTime, just space-time. Thanks for your patience and tears.


Ambassador Team Leader, Senior Moderator
Jan 8, 2012
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The photos and videos are being uploaded to iCloud. Check the iCloud settings on both your Mac and your iPhone. If you do not want photos and videos to automatically sync with iCloud, disable the toggle next to Photos in the iCloud settings.


Trusted Member
Mar 8, 2014
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Flip the switch on your iPhone to turn on iCloud Photos so you don't have to do this extra step and save your Mac's hard drive space. Go to Settings > Photos > iCloud Photo Library and flip the toggle on.

This will automatically upload your device photos to iCloud without you having to do it manually. Then on your Mac in Photos go to Preferences > Library > Optimize Mac storage so your photos don't download in full resolution and take up space. BOOM. Bob's your uncle.

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