Can the Mylio Catalog be stored in vault on external drive?

The default location for the Mylio Catalog is UserName/AppData/Mylio (I’m on Windows 10).
I will not have a vault on my PC, it will be on an external drive only.
Can I make the Catalog instead be stored on the external drive?

On Windows Mylio stores its catalog (database) files in your user/AppData folder. I don’t believe you can change this location. Not sure why you’d want to.

For your external drive - will this be a second Mylio device? (Devices → Add → External Drive). If so, then Mylio will automatically store a copy of the catalog (database) on that drive. That way, the drive is “portable” - you can move it between any computers that are logged into your Mylio account.

The alternative is to have a single Mylio device (your Windows computer) and simply tell Mylio to re-locate its library (image files) to the external drive, rather than the internal computer drive. With this method, the external drive will be tied to that specific Windows computer only.

This is interesting information. Thank you for explaining.

In the end I think what I want is to have the external drive be the main vault (and Google Drive will be my second vault, for backup, although I am saving all my questions about that for later…); but for the PC, I need to configure it NOT to be a vault because it does not have enough storage space on it. (The external drive is plugged in to the PC almost all the time.)

Is this possible? I guess it almost seems like I don’t want to install Mylio on the PC at all… is that possible, to install it wholly on the external drive and not on the PC somehow? (I think that is why I was wondering if I could put the catalog on the external drive, instead of under User/AppData, in addition to all the image files… so that everything is self-contained on the external drive.)

If not … then I guess I would probably keep the PC as a device but move its library to the external drive, because, as mentioned, it doesn’t have enough room for all the images. Right? Is that the only option, in order to not have the whole library on the PC? If so that seems maybe too bad, because if I understand correctly, then the external drive is not stand-alone (i.e. not a device).

I must admit I am a little confused about whether what you are calling “its library (image files)” is different from a vault.

I guess a basic question is - where are all your photos stored currently? That will help determine the best way to get them “into” Mylio.

The photos are on the external drive. They are organized in folders, maybe 2-3 levels deep, named by dates and/or events.

If you’re happy with the current folder/organization of your photos - then I’d suggest you leave them where they are on the external drive, and tell Mylio to use those as your “master” copy (Vault):

  1. Install Mylio on your PC, don’t import any photos during setup.
  2. After installation, choose File -> Import -> External Drive
  3. Select Add Without Moving, choose which folder(s)

Full instructions can be found here: Importing from an External Drive - Mylio

The Mylio app has to be running on a computer somewhere (either Windows or Mac). External USB drives are just storage devices, they can’t “run” software. You may be thinking of a NAS (Network-Attached Storage), which is a self-contained computer that acts as a file server. Mylio doesn’t yet have a version that runs on a NAS but there are plenty of feature requests here for that - for example: Headless version of Mylio for linux - Feature Requests - Mylio Community

So you’d install & run Mylio on your Windows computer, but tell it to reference your existing photos on the external drive as your main “vault”, rather than storing any photos on its internal drive. See post above.

I think I am following you so far.

Here is another question. When setting up Mylio, at first I will want to leave the files I currently have organized in folders with all my originals alone, not affected by Mylio. So I want to have Mylio make its own copies of them (I am ok with this inefficient double-storage, temporarily).

After I have successfully installed Mylio and am sure that I understand how it works and where it stores images etc-- probably this will take me a couple/few weeks or longer-- then assuming that I am happy with the way things are going, at that point I will want to trust Mylio to be where all my originals reside. So I will want to be able to delete my original folders (which are now, and will have remained, outside of Mylio) in oder to not use so much redundant disk storage. (I will be using the files inside my Mylio vault on my external drive as my primary copies of all images, and will be using Google Drive as a backup vault.)

To accomplish this goal could you spell out the steps I should follow:

  1. Right now, as I install Mylio fresh, and want to keep my original outside-Mylio folders as is in addition to having all the full-size image files inside Mylio
  2. A couple/few weeks from now, after I am comfortable trusting Mylio to be where I keep my originals, and want to free up space by deleting my outside-Mylio folders.

p.s. As a reminder, from our exchanges earlier in this thread, for #1 I want no images to be stored on my PC’s local hard drive-- only on the external drive. And I am still slighly confused about whether my external drive will be its own device or not-- at first I want it to hold both my originals and the ones inside Mylio (as a vault if I understand that term correctly).

I’m learning a lot. The online tutorials and documentation are useful, and this forum is really helpful. I have a better understanding now, I think. But still more questions:

A. I read about the new subscription plans and decided the new middle tier (Create) is for me. I find that currently it is not yet offered to me under the “upgrade” button. When should I expect it to become available?

B. I have reviewed the advice about about whether my external drive should be its own device or not,and decided that I will NOT make it a device. It will be fine for it to be “tethered” to my laptop, i.e. not operable when plugged in to other devices. This will not be problematic in terms of reaching the goals I have described in #1 and #2 above will it?

C. A point of continuing confusion for me seems to be how to understand the relationship between a vault and the Mylio Library. Is each vault just a copy of the Library? Or is it more subtle/complex than that, with vaults being individually configurable ‘versions’ of the Mylio Library?

D. Above you recommended “Add Without Moving”. Does this mean copies are made internal to Mylio? In which case it would accomplish my #1? And then later for my #2 I could delete the originals but the copies within Mylio would remain, and could then become my originals?

E. Just to confirm but the steps you listed above, to “Add Without Moving”, can work fine if the external drive is not its own device. Correct?

Thank you for the help!

Depends. How out of space are you on the laptop? Mylio will in addition to the catalog also store thumbnails and previews for your images on your laptop. It takes about 1GB per 1000 images, so if you have 25000 images you’d need 25GB of space. It will store this on your laptop drive even if you put the Originals on a USB drive.

Would that be ok?

Otherwise if you keep the Previews on the USB drive (which means you have to make the USB drive a device), you only need the Thumbnails on the laptop, in which case that will take approximately 30mb of space per 1000 pictures, or 750mb for 25000.

I have about 15000-20000 photos and I can afford to fit up to 25G on to the laptop hard drive. Thanks for the explanation.

“Vault” seems to be an evolving term for Mylio - it’s part technical and part marketing.

My explanation - VAULT is simply one of the possible DEVICE QUALITY settings for each Mylio DEVICE on your network. A device configured as a VAULT will contain ALL Originals, Previews, and Thumbnails - basically a full copy of your entire Mylio photo library.

Other possible DEVICE QUALITY settings include “Thumbnails Only”, “Auto-Optimized”, or “Custom”. These contain less than a full copy due to storage limitations, for example a phone might contain Thumbnails only. A laptop might be “Auto-Optimized” - all Thumbnails plus as many Previews as will fit.

Thank you @Mylio_Deon, that part is clear now. And great to have your explanation on “vault”, @jimre, that makes sense to me. I think I have been mis-using the term (see my above posts).

So to summarize, the way I think about my long-term goal is the following:

  • Get the Create subscription, so 4 devices

  • Laptop PC – a device, but not a vault, in fact ideally no storage at all (other than the Mylio Catalog, as required, under UserName/AppData/Mylio; that’s what the question that started this thread is about)

  • External hard drive – not its own device, considered part of the laptop, but a true vault i.e. want full copies of everything in the Library

  • Android phone, iPhone, iPad – these will be the other 3 devices on the account, none will be a full/complete vault, their main roles will be to originate photos

  • My backup will be Google Drive – a second complete vault

At this point I’m ready to try it all out, except for a couple last questions:

i. Still hoping for confirmation about my understanding in D & E above

ii. Also hoping someone can recommend steps (or point me to where they are, in the online documentation and tutorials) for my #1 and #2 above

iii. Would like to confirm that using Google Drive as a vault will not be considered an additional device… if it will be, then I guess to stay at only 4 devices I will not put Mylio on to the iPad (we use it for photos much less frequently so this should be fine)

Thank you again.

Just a clarification here. In the configuration you are proposing above, the laptop will be a vault. Or to be 100% accurate, the laptop will have a vault role. You will just have source folders configured to be on a drive other than the primary drive, which is allowed, but the laptop itself will still be set to “Vault”.

The external drive above is NOT a vault (in your configuration). It’s just a drive that is part of another device that has a Vault role.

Unless I’ve missed it, I don’t think I’ve seen above the specific reason why you want to use an external drive as-if it was a permanent part of the laptop, vs. a standalone device with a vault role? It’s not necessarily invalid, I just don’t know specifically if that is the most appropriate configuration for you or not.

That is clear thank you @Mylio_Deon for correcting me.

The main reason I think I want to do it that way is that it would be one device not two. With a Create subscription having 4 total devices, it means I can have 3 devices (other than the laptop+external drive) to serve as cameras (2 smartphones and an ipad) instead of 2.

The reason to put all the source folders and/or Library files on the external drive is that the laptop’s local drive doesn’t have enough space on it.

p.s. I would put Mylio only on the external drive (not the laptop) but see above I was told this is not possible.

Only devices with CPU’s that actually run Mylio count against your plan limits. NAS, USB and Cloud devices don’t count.


Devices counting toward plan limits include computers, phones, and tablets that run the Mylio app and have been added to your account. External storage including USB hard drives, Network Attached Storage (NAS), and cloud services do NOT count toward your device limit.

Thanks. That answers my iii above.
Good news, I can use the iPad as a fourth device and get its photos in to Mylio as they are taken.

Ok to wrap this up with a sort of “solution” (hopefully it won’t introduce new errors or confusion!):

The answer to the question I posed in the post title “Can the Mylio Catalog be stored in vault on external drive?” is yes. In fact, if the external drive is a device, which is the most common default situation and seems like it would almost always make the most sense, then the Mylio Catalog will by default be included on an external drive (whether it is configured as a vault or not).

More wrapup:

Beware, in a lot of my posts below, I’m pretty sure I used certain key Mylio terms (like vault and library etc) in flatly incorrect ways. The replies I got from @jimre and @Mylio_Deon were helpful in getting me to understand better that in Mylio a “vault” is not a thing (device, etc)-- it is one option for how to configure a device.

Yet more:
To answer my questions #1 and #2-- the way to do this is to use “Import from External Drive” then “Copy external drive”. See Import from ext drive - "add w/o moving" vs "copy ext drive" Doing it as “Add Without Moving” was not the way I chose to go.

In the end I changed my mind and contrary to what I wrote in “B”, I kept my external drive as a device, configured as a vault, and my laptop is of course a separate device (configured as auto-optimized). It was helpful to learn that only certain devices count towards the limit set by your subscription (external drive, and Google Drive, do not count).