Photos

What Happened to My Original Photo Files?

Apple Photos

Episode 1719

Charles from Virginia

Charles is noticing several of his recent photo files aren't as large as they should be on his Mac Mini. Leo says that if Charles is using Apple Photos for an App to store his photos, to r/c on the photos library, and then select Show Package Contents, he'll see photo folders, including the "originals" photo folder. That'll verify his originals are there.

"Scan" Your Physical Photos With an Easel + Tripod + Digital Camera

If you have a bunch of photos you want to scan, Leo actually recommends getting an easel, tripod, digital camera, and good lighting. Put your picture on the easel, snap a digital photo, rinse and repeat. Modern cameras are so high-resolution that they can take pretty good photos of pictures when angled right. An alternative is to ask a service like ScanCafe, which takes mailed photos and scans them for you. Costco also has a scanning service of their own, where you can bring your pictures to them before they convert them.

Windows Disk Clean-Up Tool for Thumbnail Restoration

If you are using Windows 10 and can not see the thumbnails for your photo files (or otherwise), try rebuilding the thumbnail cache. There's a little-known program called the Windows Disk Clean-up Tool that can do the job. Select "This PC" > [Your Drive] > "Properties" and finally check the "thumbnails" option (while unchecking the other options) to rebuild the icons next to your files' names. It may take a while, but just wait it out and you should be good to go. Not everyone names all their files descriptively, so it's really handy to keep thumbnails visible!

Try Amazon Photos for Additional Cloud Backup of Your Pics

You should always back up your photos to the cloud, and many people use Google Photos. However, it is highly recommended to be prepared with a 2nd or 3rd backup in case something happens to your Google account. If you have Amazon Prime, use their unlimited uploading feature to back up your phone's pictures using Amazon's Photos app. As a Prime user, you also get to store full resolution versions of your photos, unlike Google (though limited to 5 gigabytes of video storage).

Try Google One for More Cloud Storage

If you need more storage for your Google account, such as archiving your emails, try "Google One" for peace of mind. It's a subscription plan with more benefits than Google Drive. The storage includes Drive, Gmail, and uncompressed images in Photos. Plus, it backs up important data from your Android Phone. You can share the plan with up to five family members, while also being able to hide personal files from them.

How Can I Scan Slides?

SlideSnap

Episode 1673

Bill from Seattle, WA

Bill has over 30,000 slides he needs to digitize. Leo says that 30,000 slides are untenable to digitize. So Leo recommends triaging and culling that number to a more manageable collection of those he absolutely must archive. Then go to a company like ScanCafe.com. They will not only digitize them, but they will clean them and then save them to a DVD or thumb drive for him to have. He also wants to tag the photos with metadata like when, where, and who. Leo says Camera Bits PhotoMechanic is great for that.

How can I get rid of duplicate photos?

Duplicate File Fixer

Episode 1668

Charlie from Potomac, Michigan

Charlie bought a device from Facebook ads that backs up his pictures, but he ended up with a ton of duplicates. Is there a better option out there? Leo says that some of these de-dupers are too aggressive and deletes all copies. So before you run a de-duper, make a backup copy of your photos one more time. That way, if it does end up deleting all copies, you'll have a backup on the Mac, there's Gemini 2, which is a de-duper that eliminates multiple copies of the same photo. But there are plenty of Windows versions as well.