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Where can I find my photos I've imported into iPhoto in Finder

9977 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Dec 24, 2012 1:51 PM by reesejv10 RSS
rwgleaves Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 20, 2012 9:37 PM

Can anyone tell me where to find the physical location of my pictures that I've imported into iPhoto?

MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.6.5), 13.3, 2 GB, 1.86 GHz
  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,905 points)

    That is not supported


    iPhoto is a SQL database and you must access the photo via iPhoto or the App;e supplied APIs - exactly what do you want to do?



  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,905 points)

    the best solution to manageing multiple libraries and moving photos between them is iPhoto Library Manager -



  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,755 points)

    I've backed up my MacBook with Time Machine because I've just purchased a new MacBook Air. Since I have less hard drive space I wanted to transfer only some of the pictures.


    Be very careful now.


    Time Machine is a rolling back up. It's not an archive. If you restore only part of the Library then eventually the remainder of the Library will be deleted.


    To do what you want you'll need an external Hard Drive not used for Time Machine.


    Here's one way to do what you want:


    Make sure the drive is formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled)


    1. Quit iPhoto


    2. Copy the iPhoto Library from your Pictures Folder to the External Disk.


    Now you have two full versions of the Library.


    3. On the Internal library, trash the Events you don't want there


    Now you have a full copy of the Library on the External and a smaller subset on the Internal


    Some Notes:


    As a general rule: when deleting photos do them in batches of about 100 at a time. iPhoto can baulk at trashing large numbers at one go.


    You can choose which Library to open: Hold down the option (or alt) key key and launch iPhoto. From the resulting menu select 'Choose Library'


    You can keep the Library on the external updated with new imports using  iPhoto Library Manager


    As to the location of the Photos:


    By default, your photos are stored in the  iPhoto Library in your Pictures Folder.


    Since iPhoto 7 (iLife 08) the old iPhoto Library Folder is a Package File. This is simply a folder that +looks+ like a file in the Finder. The change was made to the format of the iPhoto library because many users were inadvertently corrupting their library by browsing through it with other software or making changes in it themselves.


    Want to look inside?  Go to your Pictures Folder and find the iPhoto Library there. Right (or Control-) Click on the icon and select 'Show Package Contents'. A finder window will open with the Library exposed.


    Standard Warning:  Don't change anything in the iPhoto Library Folder via the Finder or any other application. iPhoto depends on the structure as well as the contents of this folder. Moving things, renaming things,, deleting them or otherwise making changes will prevent iPhoto from working and could even cause you to damage or lose your photos.





    There are many, many ways to access your files in iPhoto:   You can use any Open / Attach / Browse dialogue. On the left there's a Media heading, your pics can be accessed there. Command-Click for selecting multiple pics.


    Open dialogue



    (Note the above illustration is not a Finder Window. It's the dialogue you get when you go File -> Open)


    You can access the Library from the New Message Window in Mail:


    New Message Window


    There's a similar option in Outlook and many, many other apps.  If you use Apple's Mail, Entourage, AOL or Eudora you can email from within iPhoto.


    If you use a Cocoa-based Browser such as Safari, you can drag the pics from the iPhoto Window to the Attach window in the browser.


    If you want to access the files with iPhoto not running:


    For users of 10.6 and later:  You can download a free Services component from MacOSXAutomation  which will give you access to the iPhoto Library from your Services Menu.


    Using the Services Preference Pane you can even create a keyboard shortcut for it.

    For Users of 10.4 and 10.5 Create a Media Browser using Automator (takes about 10 seconds) or use this free utility Karelia iMedia Browser


    Other options include:



    Drag and Drop: Drag a photo from the iPhoto Window to the desktop, there iPhoto will make a full-sized copy of the pic.


    File -> Export: Select the files in the iPhoto Window and go File -> Export. The dialogue will give you various options, including altering the format, naming the files and changing the size. Again, producing a copy.


    Show File:  a. On iPhoto 09 and earlier:  Right- (or Control-) Click on a pic and in the resulting dialogue choose 'Show File'. A Finder window will pop open with the file already selected.    3.b.


    b: On iPhoto 11 and later: Select one of the affected photos in the iPhoto Window and go File -> Reveal in Finder -> Original. A Finder window will pop open with the file already selected.

  • Texas Cats Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you.  I didn't ask question, but had it.  Excellent, clear response.

  • darshilfromrajkot Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I just discovered this; in order to simply find these pictures in Finder, delete it from your iPhoto library and then empty the iPhoto trash. These pictures should now be in your general trash bin. They are sorted into album by default and you can transfer them to whatever folder you wish to.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,755 points)

    That's a bit half-witted. Never noticed the Export option under the File menu?

  • reesejv10 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    thanks Terence, sometimes the most obvious solution is overlooked


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