How to speed up your library imports on macOS

PhotoStructure does heavy file I/O during library imports, copying original assets, building web-sized previews, and transcoding non-browser-friendly videos.

The macOS Spotlight feature actually slows this all down, and on some systems, this slowdown can be dramatic.

If you open up Activity Monitor, you will probably see “Spotlight” taking a large chunk of your CPU:

Most of this work by Spotlight is wasted: it’s indexing PhotoStructure’s database, previews, and transcoded videos, which, most likely, is not something you want to search for.

It’s easy to omit your PhotoStructure previews from your spotlight database, and make your library imports much faster, too:

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Select Spotlight
  3. Click the “Privacy” tab
  4. Click [ + ]
  5. Navigate to your PhotoStructure library. Tap shift-command-period to show hidden files, and select the .photostructure folder.
  6. Click Choose.

Final result:

If you’re in the middle of an import, you may see mdworker processes stick around for a bit, but after several minutes it seems like they get the memo, and those processes go to sleep.

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