"Mylio Pictures" folder vs top-level folder I create adjacent to it

I created a folder at the top level, adjacent to the “Mylio Pictures” folder (and the “Android Photos” folder). I put some photos in to this new folder. I noticed under “Source Folders” in settings that both of these folders are treated as Source Folders.

My question is whether there is any meaningful difference in functionality between the Mylio Pictures folder and the new folder I created adjacent to it, other than the fact that when I import photos they must go in to the Mylio Pictures folder?

And… if there is, what is it?

For reference, I read the following (shown below) at What are folders? - Mylio, but it does not seem to answer my questions–and left me pretty confused unfortunately. For example:

  • What does “if there is no other destination being utilized” mean? Does that mean there is no other device?
  • What does “Mylio is now referencing an original file exclusive to Mylio” mean? The word “referencing”, specifically?
  • My Mylio Pictures folder is not holding my Android media files, it is adjacent to them, so “The Mylio Pictures folder will also hold your … Android Media Library photos” seems not to be true.
  • “Mylio Pictures is where most photos will be stored if you are using Mylio as a standalone photo organization application”, well ok, I guess, but… I think I am using Mylio that way, but why should most photos be stored there if I instead want to store them in the new folder I create which is adjacent to the Mylio Pictures folder (see the main question for this post)?

Mylio Pictures Folder

Each Mylio Library comes with one folder: the Mylio Pictures folder. This folder is designed to hold all of the images that are copied into Mylio if there is no other destination being utilized. For instance, photos that you have imported using the Copy command will be copied into the Mylio Pictures folder. This is because Mylio is now referencing an original file exclusive to Mylio.

The Mylio Pictures folder will also hold your iOS Camera Roll(s) and Android Media Library photos.

Mylio Pictures is where most photos will be stored if you are using Mylio as a standalone photo organization application.

That’s what allows such folders to reside on different internal drives, without being separate devices.

No difference, as far as I know - but folders below that ‘source folder’ level cannot be placed on different drives from their parent. Also, imported images don’t have to go into ‘Mylio Pictures’ - that’s a fact because I have no such folder, and I can import things!

It means it’s the default if there is nowhere else to put them - as far as I know.

I think it means the image shown in Mylio is now an ‘internal’ copy made for Mylio’s use, separate from the original image that was imported. ‘Referencing’ is a confusing choice of wording here, given the specific ‘external’ meaning it carries in some other apps.

I agree.

They don’t have to be in a Mylio Pictures folder. I don’t have one at all. It’s just what happens if you don’t do anything else.

The page you are quoting from could certainly do with some revision!

Thanks @aearenda. This all makes sense and I agree and understand everything you’ve added. In my case I don’t necessarily have the two folders on separate drives, but that doesn’t seem centrally important to the question.

I will accept your reply as the solution BUT it would be great if any other others and/or the Mylio staff would jump in and comment on whether this is the whole story. There might be some other information about the Mylio Pictures folder that you and I are missing.

What is it you’re trying to accomplish by manually creating your own folders inside Mylio’s folder hierarchy?

I have 18-20,000 photos and will be creating nested folders within Mylio to keep them organized. Nothing out of the ordinary, unless I really misunderstanding…

But I want to be able to control the folder tree, so I can simplify it as much as possible-- or at least understand it well, particularly any aspects that are ‘hard-wired’ (such as Android Photos and Mylio Inbox) and shouldn’t be messed with by me.

So… if the “Mylio Pictures” folder isn’t necessary and doesn’t have any functionality different from folders I create, then to simplify my folder tree I will not use it and would like to just delete it.

The “Mylio Pictures” folder is where Mylio puts all new files imported from cameras & other devices - also where it puts all photos synced from iPhones & iPads. Not sure why you think it “doesn’t have any functionality”, or why you would want to delete it.

Ok @jimre that’s good to learn. Just to be clear I wasn’t saying that I think the Mylio Pictures folder doesn’t have any functionality, I was asking whether its functionality differs from a folder I myself created adjacent to it (and if so then how).

Also, I haven’t yet included any Apple devices on my account (but I soon will be adding an iPhone and probably an iPad; so it’s important for me to learn what folders they will use) and therefore didn’t know files from them must go in to the Mylio Pictures folder.

For my Android phone the photos don’t go in to Mylio Pictures, they go in to a folder called “Android Photos” at the top level adjacent to the Mylio Pictures folder. Based on that, I was thinking a similar thing would happen for an iPhone, they would go in a folder adjacent to (not inside) the Mylio Pictures folder. That’s different than what you have described here.

Would be interesting to know if @aearenda, who reports not using the Mylio Pictures folder at all, uses an iPhone device and imports without needing Mylio Pictures folder.

  1. In general it’s a bad idea to delete any folders that Mylio creates. Don’t do it.

  2. Depends on what you mean by create folders “yourself”. If you create a “top-level” folder (in the /Mylio folder adjacent to Mylio Pictures) from within Mylio, then that folder will be treated as a Source Folder and sync to all your Mylio devices. If you just do it from Finder or File Explorer, then Mylio knows nothing about it, and will ignore it.

Syncing from iOS devices is treated as a special case in Mylio, due to Apple restrictions on write/delete access to its photo folders. Those photos have to be copied to a space that Mylio can control (the /Mylio/Mylio Pictures folder).

It seems to me that the support documentation is confusing on this topic. If you look on the page Importing from the Photos app on iPhone and iPad - Mylio Support it says:

Mylio will automatically create a folder for your iOS device next to the “Mylio Pictures” folder called “Apple Photos”. Inside, another folder named “Your_Device’s_Name’s iOS Library” will be the import location for images from that device. If you have other iOS devices importing their photos to Mylio they will have their own folders inside “Apple Photos” with their imports.

Note ‘next to’ - so the Apple Photos folder is a new source folder at the top level. This makes the ‘Mylio Pictures’ name for the default folder make sense.

I don’t use the Apple importing mechanism any more, because I decided to export from Mylio to Apple Photos on all my devices, so that my finished images are synced to them in the background. Apple Photos is a distribution mechanism for me, not an import mechanism, and it arose because I constantly forget to sync Mylio on my mobile devices after making changes - there is no ‘Apple Photos’ folder in my system, and so the ‘Mylio Pictures’ folder name doesn’t have any real purpose.

Mylio lacks a sidebar giving rapid access to random favourite folders, so I wanted to keep the folder hierarchy as flat as possible to speed up navigation between folders, which can get a bit tedious at times. You can arrive at the top of the hierarchy by clicking twice on the ‘Folder’ tab. I didn’t need to have all my own folders another level down, so I moved them to the top level and deleted ‘Mylio Pictures’. That makes each of them a separate source folder, but there is nothing wrong in that as far as I know. At the top level, I see folders named Inbox, Intermediates, Masters, Projects and Testing on all my devices (Inbox receives shared images on iOS, Intermediates is where the images Mylio has inherited from previous apps go, Masters are the images where Mylio has been involved in the complete life-cycle, Projects is where I put stuff I do for other people, and Testing is obvious). Each has subfolders to suit its purpose.

Deleting ‘Mylio Pictures’ hasn’t prevented me from importing or doing any of the activities that folder is mentioned in connection with. I just choose somewhere else to put things. In my understanding and experience, it is just the default top-level folder, and there is nothing otherwise special about it.

Do you ever import from a camera or memory card using Mylio’s import? The “Mylio Pictures” folder is the top-level folder where those get imported to by default (not sure if you can even change that). Or do you import with some other app like LR or On1 into a “watched” Mylio source folder?

Settings → Advanced → Directories has an explicit entry to tell Mylio where the “Mylio Pictures” folder is, implying that there IS something special about it.

In any case, it’s good to know that deleting this folder didn’t do any apparent harm. My guess is that Mylio would likely just re-create this folder anyway, in the event you did something that required it.

Yes, I see that’s what the current docs say, thx. But Mylio has always placed my iPhone sync folder underneath the “Mylio Pictures” folder. Having used Mylio for over 6 years, it’s quite possible my configuration is a leftover from some earlier version.

I do import directly to Mylio when I am travelling with the iPad; and I just tried it on my Mac (normally I use my own import script there, to rename the images incorporating sub-seconds, which are inaccessible in any usable way for me in Mylio’s importer). It simply asks me where to put the images, which is exactly what I would want.

So it has. I never noticed that. It says it can’t find it - and it never has re-created it, yet. My guess is it just goes up a level to the ‘Mylio’ folder and carries on happily.

Could be - I just came across this from @Mylio_Matt in Custom Apple Photos folder locations? - #2 by Mylio_Matt :

You also had a question about the Mylio Pictures folder. This is a folder we use whenever you copy files into Mylio but don’t designate a specific location for them to go. We used to use this folder more heavily as this was where your Camera Roll went (not into an Apple Photos folder), but that recent change has made the Mylio Pictures folder a bit of an outdated concept. We’re discussing removing it internally for new users.

Ah, thanks - good find. I guess my understanding of the Mylio Pictures folder is also now an outdated concept. Back in my day, the Mylio Pictures folder was sacred! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I should have been clearer on this point. I am talking exclusively about folders WITHIN Mylio. Not talking about editing folders using Windows File Explorer; understand completely that doing so could cause problems.

This is one of my main motivations too.
Super helpful descriptions @aearenda.
I am just starting out and the reason I made this post originally was that I want to understand fully how the folder organization works before I import all my photos. So I’m doing tests with a subset of my collection, to get myself oriented.

From what I am learning by reading your replies here, and exchanges with @jimre, I envision ultimately a folder structure such as this:

Android Photos
Android Device 1
Android Device 2

Apple Photos
IOS Device 1
IOS Device 2

Inbox
(items shared from other apps)
Main
1Katie
2Dan
2001-0115-BdayParty
2010-0401-SpringBreak
2021-0905-LaborDayWknd

So there would be 4 folders at the top level (or maybe a 5th if I need to add a ‘Tests’ folder) and three of them are “special” folders (Android Photos, Apple Photos, Inbox) in the sense that they are part of the default or built-in configuration Mylio tries to establish for you. (That is, based on the description of how Mylio treats the Android and Apple devices in the most recent documentation, as opposed to your descriptions of how it used to work @jimre. It’s been super helpful to have both your replies, so I can get this straight because the documentation is not strong on these topics.) The last folder, Main, will have subfolder tree structure I build myself, and will serve as my main collection.

Maybe now it is a little easier to see why I originally posted this question-- a setup such as I have diagrammed here does not use a Mylio Pictures folder and therefore might be a bit more flat; although I realize now I could just use Mylio Pictures as is, instead of creating a different folder named “Main”, and the overall structure would be just as ‘flat’.

But if the “Main” folder I created is functionally equivalent to Mylio Pictures, and I can delete Mylio Pictures without causing trouble-- which both sound like they are the case-- this should all work out well.