Photos database on external drive

So I have a storage drive that I keep offsite for essential files that I may want to archive. I opened the drive recently to copy my Photos database file and noticed that the file on the external drive was the same date as the one on my main drive that is updated from iCloud etc. I know the database has a weird way of handling links to files in the OS, but is it looking at my original database? Why was the date Aug of 2019 when I have not copied it or opened it?

Also, When I open the external database and look at a image, is it looking internally, or looking at some original file somewhere?

A post was split to a new topic: Photos on Mac not syncing

I’m not sure what you’re seeing here, but assuming that the drive hasn’t been mounted while offsite, it does seem very odd that it would have a current date when you hadn’t touched it for some time.

Remember that a Photos library file is actually a “package” and you can Control-click it and choose Show Package Contents to see everything inside as normal folders and files. I’d do that and see if you can tell what actual file was updated to cause the overall date to change.

The modified date is Aug 27 on the main file and inside the database file was modified on that day, but everything else is OK. Just trying to figure out how it changed.

It could have just been the equivalent of the Unix touch command. Are the sizes of the files identical?

No they are different sizes. The Touch thing must be it, though I do not understand Unix, I will take your expertise

Thanks for the edification

If they’re different sizes, there must be some difference, but unless the sizes are significant, it’s probably just some internal housekeeping.

You can drive yourself nuts trying to find explanations for every little thing that doesn’t quite make sense, and if you were a programmer in charge of the product in question, it might be worth tracking down exactly what’s happening. But if all the data is there and everything works fine, it’s easiest to just chalk it up to “reasons” and move on.