How Does the Photos App Manage My Storage?

In Dumb Question Corner this week we hear from Rick. He writes:

photos_mbp 370GBHi Allison,
I have a dumb question about Photos.app. I have all my photos in Photos.app and use iCloud Photo Library. My iMac is set to store all the originals, and my Macbook Pro, iPad and iPhone all are set to Optimize Storage. This is working well for me.

Here’s my question: When I view a photo on my iPad for example, it immediately shows me a low resolution thumbnail while it downloads the full resolution file to my device. That’s good so far. So let’s say I view 2 dozen raw images on my iPad (or any of my other devices set to Optimize Storage) and Photos.app downloads the full resolution copies for me. How long do these stay on my device? I really don’t want them to stay on my device hogging space once I have viewed them. Will they revert to an optimized thumb nail version, or will they stay on my iPad, iPhone or Macbook as full resolution files? Is there a way to make sure they return to an optimized storage state?

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