Merging two Photo libraries

Hello community! So probably about a year ago I got locked out of my iCloud account (Stupid I know) So I created a new one and life went on. I have since managed to regain access to the original account and am looking for an easy way to migrate my original iPhoto library to my current one.

Ive tried exporting within Photos but it appears to eat up half the meta data.

Any other suggestions or am I looking at a painful process?


g’day suchshea, I would be happy to have a go at helping until someone much smarter chimes in. I think your situation requires a bit of clarification.
Do you now have 2 Apple IDs and 2 Photos library’s living on iCloud?
Do you keep you Photos libraries only iCloud, only on your computer/device, on on both?
Are you a serious photographer very concerned about keeping originals of your photos?
Does the second Photos library only have photos you took since being locked out of the other?
What device do you use for Photos, and what version OS?

Thanks @Bgeeoz and nice to meet a fellow Aussie.

So yeah, it is two seperate iCloud librarys. The original library was offline however I managed to move it to my current machine somewhere ago and it got transitioned to a iCloud Library so to answer your first question I do have the original living locally on my computer and a copy in the cloud.

Not so much serious, so don’t really mind if I lose the original I guess but what hurts is the meta data (location info ect) this is what stumped me when I just exported it I had photos that I had taken 13years ago (at the night clubs) pop in with photos I had taken last week at work.

Yes my current library has everything since the date I lost access. Apple were no help as it was an old .me account I stupidly (won’t make this mistake again) had no secondary recovery email or 2fa so without at least being able to provide a serial number for a device that was logged in they were unwilling to help (managed to track down an old iPad box)

As for what devices I use, I have my MacBookPro (running Catalina) and iPhone X (iOS 13)

Thanks for getting back to me!!

Re-read your original post, and realised my suggestion would not help.

That’s okay, didn’t even catch your reply haha.

But thanks for the attempt!

When exporting from the photos app, the exif doesn’t export with the photo? If memory serves there are two options presented when exporting…perhaps one option exports exif and the other doesn’t? I’m almost certain I’ve exported photos with exif intact.

To add, I couldn’t find a way in Mac OS finder to read/write exif without external software…had to use Windows explorer to view/read/write.

Still contemplating your issue. Hard to take in Apple modifying what metadata it passes on via export.

Now, don’t take offence, but have you enabled all the choices on Photos/View/Metadata?

Also, if you select to export unmodified originals under Export, you get the option to also export the metadata as .exf. You can read it with Text Editor.

Thanks for both your suggestions. I’m not home at the moment but when I get home I’ll have a look and get back to you both!

I needed something to do.
Selected a photo direct from a camera and one from an iPhone. Created a test Photos library and imported both originals.

Exported using the standard Export command (with both “Title,Keywords, and Description” and “Location” checked, exported with Export Original command, and located the “original” from the Photos package via the Finder (file called Masters in older versions of MacOS, now called Originals).

Used an online EXIF display tool at to display the information from each of these photos. What I found was the original photo data agreed with the data from the Master/Original file from Photos, and the files exported using the Export Original command. The data from the normal Export command was not exactly the same, and in some cases had more data, and some cases. less data.

Suggest you try a similar test and see if you come up with a solution to your problem.

From an easiest solution point of view, using the Master/Original files as a source to import your older library to the new seems the best route to me if you are happy with the results of the exif testing.