What's the best way to setup Mylio to make media always accessible

Current Setup: Source folders are located on an external Seagate hard drive, which is connected to my MacBook.


  1. What if my MacBook is offline (not connected to internet or power off or in sleep mode), will I still be able to view photos from Mylio app on my iPhone/iPad devices?

  2. What if I disconnected the external hard drive from my MacBook, will I still be able to view photos from Mylio app on my iPhone/iPad devices?

  3. What if I connect the external hard drive to another computer, let’s say a Windows PC, will I still be able to view photos from Mylio app on my iPhone/iPad devices?

Bottom line is I want to be able to view my photo/video media all the time, regardless if MacBook is offline or if the external hard drive is disconnected. Is that possible? I want to be able to move the external hard drive around too, sometimes I might connect it to my Mac or sometimes to my PC.

If not possible, what’s the best way to set up Mylio so that my library will always be accessible? By the way, I have a Synology NAS, I am not using it currently for Mylio because Mylio will treat it as a vault and copy another set of “original” files there since there is no “add without moving” import option for NAS. I already have my “original” photos/videos backup there already.


Only way I have found to do what you ask is to locate a vault copy on a cloud drive. I use Google and it seems to work well - but of course you have to pay.

Anything you have on your Mac will only be available if the Mac is running mylio. Even a NAS vault is dedicated to the host computer.


I think what you may want to focus on is having your Preview size images (not just Thumbails) always available on your laptop - even if the Originals go missing from time to time. Previews are fine for viewing on a screen, sharing on social media, and even for doing basic editing. Previews are approx 1 MB compressed RAW versions of your Oiginals, with at least the resolution of a modern iPad screen.

If that laptop is actually a “vault” with Originals stored in a (usually) plugged-in external drive - by default you should already have all the Previews stored in the internal hard drive in the /Mylio/generated images folder. When you disconnect the external drive, Mylio will likely complain about missing images or folders, but you should still be able to view & edit the Preview images.

I have 300K images in my Mylio library. All of the Preview images together take up about 300 GB storage which fits on my laptop’s internal SSD. For smaller devices like iPhones and iPads - those contain all 300K Thumbnails for quick searching & low-res viewing. I also configure them to selectively store Previews for just my “good” images (3-star and above), as those are the ones I’m likely to want to show people. Having recently-viewed Previews cached via “Sync on Demand” also helps.

Thanks, Simon & Jim. So if my computers and/or any sources are unavailable or offline, my iPhone/iPad can still view the pictures, but only as thumbnails & previews, unless I set the device quality to Originals.

I like the suggestion of setting Previews for just “good” images (3-star and above), that will save a lot of space on my mobile devices. However it will take a while for me to review & rate all the pictures.

You can also just use the “Auto-Optimize” setting for Device Quality on your mobile devices. That’s actually the default, I believe. It syncs all Thumbnails, plus as many Previews as will fit into the specified storage space. I’m not sure of the exact algorithm Mylios uses to chose which Previews to sync (if it can’t fit them all) which is why I use my existing star ratings instead.

Yes, that’s actually one of the primary goals of Mylio. I believe their tag line is something like “All your photos, on all your devices, all the time”. Implied is “… even when offline”.

Obviously we can’t fit all our originals into small storage spaces, so Mylio has these clever ways of syncing reduced-size versions (Thumbnails & Previews) as space allows.

Agreed, it’s very clever indeed. So far I haven’t come across other photo manager apps that offer that feature.

I wish they also have smart album feature (eg. create an album with person 1 and/or person 2 in location x). I haven’t explore their keyword/tag features yet, perhaps that might work for me.

Mylio has said some type of smart album feature is on their future radar. In the meantime, one alternative is the ability to “pin” frequently-used searches to the recent-search list.

Hi mlim,

Yesterday we had a webinar session were we discussed sync and the various ways of doing Thumbnails, Previews and Originals in great detail. The recording of that session should be available in our YouTube channel in the next day or two https://www.youtube.com/mylioapp

Also look for a webinar called “How does it all work” there we also explain some of the concepts you were asking about.