Adam Meltzer 11:59pm, 3 April 2010
I have discovered unwittingly that turning off flickr syncing for a photo album, it will also delete all the pictures from flickr. That means all the descriptions, comments, views, and so on will be gone and I will have to re-upload everything anew. Obviously that sucks.

Is there a way I can disable the iPhoto to flickr syncing so that it doesn't do this? I would like to switch to the flickr uploadr, or a similar application but not if it means having to re-upload everything.

Add me to the pool of people who are frustrated with how tightly coupled this is at this time.

Thanks for any help!
Justen Eason 7 years ago
There is a way to do it manually. So, it doesn't automatically sync and use that computing power if you don't need/want it to.

Open iPhoto then press "Command" and "," then the "Web" tab then change "Check for new published photos" to "Manually"
Adam Meltzer 7 years ago
Thanks for the idea, that's certainly one way to do it, but it doesn't solve the overall issue. Plus, I don't really trust it to not sync (either by accident or through negligence) at a later time, and then end up removing everything anyway.

It's not looking very positive. I read some other posts where folks removed the flickr API link to iPhoto, but hit an issue where there were errors from iPhoto whenever it started or never being able to re-do the association at a later time. Neither of those outcomes are particularly desirable as well.

Any other thoughts, or am I just stuck until Apple (hopefully) updates iPhoto to give more control over how the iPhoto to flickr sync works.
Justen Eason 7 years ago
I've never heard any complaints with the sync. What is it specifically that you don't like, just out of curiosity?
Adam Meltzer 7 years ago
The big complaint is it's too tightly integrated. If I delete a picture from iPhoto, it automatically deletes it from flickr. If I turn off syncing, it deletes everything from flickr. It's way too hand's off and way too deeply integrated for me. While this may be great for some people, I much prefer having tighter control over what it does.

My mistake for turning it on to begin with, but now unless I want to reupload everything, recaption everything, and lose all of the previous image history (comments, views, favorites, etc), I'm kind of stuck.
Justen Eason 7 years ago
I'd contact apple through their support site and see what they have to say. Every time I have a problem they usually are pretty good about responding solve the issue.
eidlog42 7 years ago

I think i may have solved your problem after having the same problem myself.

If you go into the flickr permissions bit - click edit and remove the permissions for iPhoto to contact flickr. It means you won't be able to use it in the future, but it does solve the deleting problem.
elgreg 7 years ago
Thanks for the tip @eidlog42. I agree with @Adam. The sync is so tightly coupled that I find it kind of useless. What if my hard drive crashes and i don't have sets anymore, wold they then get deleted off of flickr the next time I try to do syncing with iPhoto? Permissions removed for now.
michaelcalleia 7 years ago
J Eason, I posted about a problem with sync, see my post "iphoto+flickr = tags disappearing"
michaelcalleia 7 years ago
My problem with iPhoto+Flickr syncing is not so much both how tightly integrated it is and the random oddness:

+ I've had photos on Flickr show up as missing and since it is sync'd replacing does not seem to work
+ tags missing (I tag a lot and there seems to be a limit to the number of tags that sync, that or just random truncation)
+ sync seems to create duplicates on iPhoto, which is messy
+ I don't want some tags on flickr (like people's full names or addresses of some locations, but I do want to tag photos with this information locally on iPhoto)

I'm going to cross my fingers and try @eidlog42's trick and then move to Flickr Uploader (I've been testing it and love it.).
Can I clarify:

Q1 - How can I do a one-way / once-off upload from iPhoto 11 to Flickr, such that there will never be any subsequent sync? Is this possible? I did look at JEason's suggestion above but couldn't see how to actually do this, i.e. "Open iPhoto then press "Command" and "," then the "Web" tab then change "Check for new published photos" to "Manually"

Q2 - I haven't actually observed yet a reverse sync whereby I modify the photo in Flickr in it's editor (e.g. colors) and see this change back in iPhoto? Does this reverse sync really work? I have noticed the delete's trickling back, but how about the touchups etc?

pagegreg55 PRO 6 years ago
I have had issues after deleteing pics from iphoto to make room on my computer and found out that the pics were also deleted from flickr and facebook. So when I want to delete pics off of iphoto now I turn off the airport, (internet connection) before I delete any pics. This has solved my dilemma.
AdamAtom 6 years ago
Ugh... seeing everyone's complaints, as well as others as I was searching for a solution (see below), this is really troublesome. C'mon, apple.

After syncing a couple of albums from iphoto '11 as flickr sets, I have seen that it can usually handle the photos and descriptions and tags, but can't seem to manage transferring the titles over from iphoto. So instead of "img04495" I get a blank title field in my uploaded photo. Also, yes it's quite slow. Which is why I am going back to Connected Flow's Flickr Uploader. These are the same photos in 2 sets uploaded each way:

using iPhoto built-in sync upload:

using Flickr Uploader Plugin:

Not really syncing, more like exporting, but I see flickr as more of a publishing platform anyway ... well somewhere in the middle
Laura Grace 6 years ago
OH how I wish I'd read this before. OH how I wish I hadn't deleted dozens and dozens of flickr sync'd sets. I don't even know what I've lost from flickr, just discovered this... but I feel quite, quite sad.
dhanakane 6 years ago
Is there a solution to this? I have a Macbook with a 128Gb SSD. I use the Mac to edit photos in iPhoto and then upload them. I then move the photos off my Macbook's SSD to an external storage drive to save space.

This is the first time I've ever used iPhoto. I'm not happy that iPhoto takes these liberties with my flickr. I can't imagine anyone else is happy about this either.
Liquid Soap Dispenser PRO Posted 6 years ago. Edited by Liquid Soap Dispenser (member) 6 years ago
I have two computers. I just used my laptop (not where I keep most of my photos) to upload a set to Flickr for the first time using iPhoto 11. Seemed simple enough.

Much to my dismay, ALL the sets I had uploaded to Flickr manually over the past 7 years vanished! I know this isn't the exact topic, but I was horrified.

What the heck? There was no warning, and I surely don't think this was a reasonable expectation. I had previously used an earlier version of iPhoto to upload one other set of images, and didn't have this happen.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED: As it turns out, I hadn't used Flickr in awhile, and didn't realize only my 200 most recent photos were visible. So I paid for a Pro account, and now everything is as it should be. So I was wrong for assuming iPhoto and/or sync issues were responsible.
ed.calgary 5 years ago
What really sucks is that if Iphoto crashes while you are syncing it yo flickr and then restart Iphot , it will delete all the stuff you had on there a third party app or tool that will take all the GEotag info that allows you to see your photo on the Flickr map and is not so tightly integrated with iphoto????
Jose M. Camacho PRO 5 years ago
Check this out if you don't want to manually upload your albums. With this workaround you can make Flickr backups without plug-ins.

minksfamily 5 years ago
Hi All - You might try Flickery. This program integrates with iPhoto. So here's the scoop: 1) You can do everything you normally do in iPhoto: organize, edit, etc. then 2) Open Flickery and send your pictures (iPhoto or otherwise) up to Flickr. Flickery does a lot more too, but to solve the iPhoto sync issues a lot of you are having this might be an option for you. Also, this app allows you to not only upload your pics but also organize and manage what you already have on Flickr all without going to Flickr in your web browser. Basically a desktop app to do your flickr stuff on your Mac without going to Flickr's site. Flickr's Uploadr app does just that, upload...this app does a lot more. Give it a look:

So this way if you delete or lose your photos in iPhoto it won't take your photos off Flickr.
pepsiplease69 PRO 4 years ago
Hello All,
What I'm finding useful for my needs is the following:

- Select an event from iPhoto and upload it to Flickr
- It will create a Flickr Album and this album is what will control the syncing with flickr.

Every time I open the flickr album it will automatically trigger a sync. And if the photos contained within this album have been deleted from iPhoto library, then the sync will remove them from flickr as well.

After the upload completes. I take my mac off the network (unplug network cable or turn Airport off), and then I delete the Flickr Album from iPhoto. It will complain that it cannot communicate to flickr, but after all the popups, it will eventually remove the Flickr Album.

Once this is done, the Flickr set is de-coupled from the iPhoto event, and a change on one will not have any bearing on the other.

ToddJ PRO 4 years ago
I'm also looking for a solution to this problem..... i have a 'referenced' library in iPhoto and when i changed the folders my photos were in, it then deleted all those photos from Flickr. I like the convenience of adding tags, geotags, and comments to Flickr from iPhoto, but don't want to worry about having it be deleted from Flick if something happens to iPhoto.
I gave up on syncing with iphoto because of deletion problems.
I now drag and drop photos edited from iphoto on to my desktop and export to flickr from there. I then do titles, descriptions, tags, groups, sets on Flickr only.
After upload, I move the photo on my desktop in to a Folder I call "Uploaded to Flickr" so desktop is tidy and I have copy I can further edit on iphoto and replace to Flickr if required.
certaindamage PRO 3 years ago
I was happy with the Flickr integration in iPhoto until it came time to deal with vanishing disk space on my Mac, and found out the hard way that deleting an iPhoto Event would delete the corresponding Flickr set without warning. Wh-whaa? I liked being able to update meta data in one place (like tags, titles, descriptions) after the initial publish, and have it automatically mirrored in the other place, even when another Flickr member adds tags to my photos. But mass-deleting in iPhoto also mass-deleting in Flickr? Nuh-uh please! Researching a solution brought me to this discussion, and I’ve devised a couple of methods based on previous suggestions here, that I think will work for me and hopefully others. You won’t have to change any passwords or take your computer off the Internet.

For breaking the 'delete here, delete there' stranglehold on existing Events/Albums that were previously published to Flickr using the built-in Flickr widget, use a proxy server like Charles ( to block outbound calls to the Flickr API-

1. Launch Charles. It should start 'recording' by default
2. Launch iPhoto, find an Event that you’ve previously uploaded using the built-in Flickr tool, that contains one or more photos you don’t mind deleting. If you don’t have any throwaway photos meeting this criteria, make some with test photos.
3. Delete one or more photos from the iPhoto Event, and confirm that they’ve disappeared from your Flickr photostream.
4. In the Charles traffic pane, locate & expand the folder named ''. This is where Charles is tracking all the iPhoto Flickr communication.
5. Scan the entries until you find one with "" in its string, then ctrl-click it and choose 'Black List'.
6. Click the ’Tools’ menu and choose 'Black List'. Double-click the newly-added entry.
7. Edit the 'Query' value so that it just reads: **
8. Click OK until you’re out of the Black List dialogs.
9. Delete another photo from iPhoto, and confirm that it still exists in your Flickr photostream.

Now you’ve configured Charles to block iPhoto (and probably any other apps on your computer) from sending delete requests to Flickr. Once you delete a given photo from iPhoto and the corresponding Flickr deletion fails, it’s 'forever safe' on Flickr, since its counterpart is no longer in iPhoto, so no future delete requests will happen for that photo. As long as Charles is running (doesn’t have to be recording) with the Black List option enabled, it’ll effectively revoke iPhotos 'delete' privilege to your Flickr photostream, and you’ll still be able to upload and synchronize meta data changes as before. If you’re unfamiliar with what’s going on under the hood when iPhoto talks to Flickr, it’s worth staring at the '' entries in Charles for a while- it’ll take some of the mystery and frustration out of it.

If you’re confident about always running Charles before Flickr, then that approach may serve you well going forward with future Events & Flickr uploads. If you’d rather free yourself from the shackles of the too-tight Flickr integration in iPhoto for future uploads, try this instead-

1. Import your new photos to an iPhoto Event as usual
2. Delete, Hide, Edit, Tag, set Location as usual
3. Go to File —> Export, export Event as JPG to a new folder on your desktop (or wherever), specify size & quality that suits your needs, check boxes to include title/keyword/location info
4. Drag/drop the exported folder to the Flickr Uploadr (, confirm meta data (tags, etc) are intact. Perform the upload.
-Optional Steps-
5. If your original import was RAW format and you want to just keep JPG versions to save disk space, drag/drop the exported folder to the iPhoto 'Events' icon, review & confirm the new JPG Event is identical to the original RAW Event, but smaller kb-wise.
6. Add new JPG Event to Albums, Slideshows, etc as usual
7. Delete original RAW Event

This takes iPhoto’s Flickr widget out of the equation entirely. While looking for 3rd-party alternatives for Flickr uploading within iPhoto, I came across Flickruppa ( which was actually written by the same person who wrote Charles, which seemed promising but I found it to be a bit buggy, and seemed to produce an error dialog in iPhoto when I go to File —> Export, "Insecure update error! For security reasons, you need to sign your updates with a DSA key. See Sparkle’s documentation for more information." The Sparkle whatnow?

I’m using iPhoto ’09 v8.1.2 (424) and am still finding new ways to use it. If newer versions of iPhoto have solved for this overzealous Flickr sync issue, I’d be interested in hearing about it. I think it’d be great if you could selectively rescind iPhoto’s delete privilege on flickr, on a per-set or per-event basis, like when ctrl-clicking on a flickr set name in iPhoto, have a context-menu option for ’specify read-write-delete access’. Or let you choose whether iPhoto should have delete access at all, when you first authorize it in Flickr.
Anika Nui, Waikoloa PRO 3 years ago
Gosh, me too.
See my heartfelt essay at
On a similar topic of where did all my flickr photos go.
Hey Guys,

My problem with Flickr Syncing is, I didn't ask it to Sync.... and I dont no how to stop it.... I have 10 synced photos that I don't want on my flickr .....
How do I stop it from Syncing in the future?
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