Skip navigation

How to move Aperture Application back to computer, but keep Library on External HD?

2437 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Aug 10, 2013 1:04 PM by rtkane RSS
1 2 Previous Next
moonlightcaravan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 20, 2012 8:56 AM

Many thanks in advance for your attention.



1. As my Aperture Library started out of the gate large, I began by putting both the Aperture Application and all of the Library on an External Hard Drive.


2. How do I move the Aperture Application back to my computer, but leave all the Library (and its photos, contents, etc.) on the External Hard Drive?


3. I tried opening a new Aperture Library on my computer and then attached my External Hard Drive.  I tried clicking that I wanted to keep all the data on the Eternal Hard Drive (presumably this would just transfer the Reference files to my computer - but leave the 100s of GB of photos and data on the External Hard Drive). But the Import button remains greyed out. It is like the Aperture Application on my computer sees another Aperture Application and Library on the External Hard Drive. One Library is open (on computer), so it can't access photos in 2nd Library - (External Drive). But if I open up External Drive Library, then I can't import in the direction I want.


4. I don't want to import One Project. I am trying to now have my Aperture App and Reference files on computer, while keeping all my photos, etc. on External drive.


5. One more question as I have read and heard it both ways. Some people say - One Aperture Library for all photos is the best way. That is the point of it. To organize all your photos.


6. Others say - One library is absurd. As it grows and grows, it slows down and gets sluggish. Better to have multiple (smaller) libraries.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2), iPod Touch
  • William Lloyd Level 6 Level 6 (19,220 points)

    2.  Just move the application itself.  There is no relation between the application and the libraries it uses.  The Aperture application should ALWAYS be in your /Applications folder.  Always.  A-L-W-A-Y-S.


    OK, now that that's clarified, note that Aperture's library and the master RAW files don't have to be in the same location.  You can have them all in one place (called a managed library), or put the RAW files elsewhere (called referenced masters).  Have a read of the Aperture documentation to clarify this - it is important to understand the differences first, as a matter of course.


    6.  One library is not absurd.  It's typically the best option, as Aperture can only have library open at a time and can't search across libraries.  Having more than a couple libraries is madness IMO.  Unless you are thinking you're really going to archive stuff, it doesn't make much sense.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,570 points)

    Small clarification, just to avoid any confusion:  The file format of Originals (formerly "Masters") is wholly independent of the location of the file (Referenced or Managed).  Whether you import on of the various proprietary RAW format files, or JPG, or TIFF, etc. -- all of them can be stored in the Library (Managed) or outside the Library in a location of the user's choosing (Referenced).


    OP:  can you point to where people claim that large Libraries slow Aperture to the point of sluggishness?  That has simply not been the case for at least a couple of years, if ever.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,540 points)

    OP:  can you point to where people claim that large Libraries slow Aperture to the point of sluggishness?  That has simply not been the case for at least a couple of years, if ever.

    No, I don't believe that either. It may seem like a huge library may slow Aperture down, but that usually is a side effect of filling up the disk. With only 10 GB or so left on the hard drive any system will run at a crawl.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,570 points)

    How are you backing up?


    If you use SuperDuper (or, afaik, Carbon Copy, and others) to create and then backup to a sparse bundle, you can set it to bring the back-up up to date by refreshing only changed files and by adding all new files.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,570 points)

    Thanks for the links.


    I would not say this person advocates for using multiple Libraries, nor makes a compelling case for their use.


    The only claim this person makes -- and makes in passing -- is that smaller Libraries load faster.  This is true.  The load time is a _trivial_ concern.  You don't load Aperture often.  You load it, you use it, you close it (many minutes, regularly hours, later).


    Segmenting a Library in order to increase load time is stupid, imho.  The advantages of having a unified index of your Images are a million times more important.


    Message was edited by: Kirby Krieger -- typos, a bit of re-wording.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,570 points)

    Thanks for this link as well.


    This person seems to want to illustrate that you can have multiple Libraries, which you can.  The first example given is a good one: one Library for professional work (I was paid to make these, and I sell them), and one Library for, as the author states, "snapshots of family and friends".  The second example is suspect.  That is the author's Library for his Aikido club.  This seems set up simply so that he can show a third Library.  The Library does no appear to be used much, and is very small.  There is no reason such a Library shouldn't be either in his Professional Library (I get paid to take shots of my Aikido club) or in his personal Library (my Aikido friends).


    I put both this person and the other person to whose video you linked in the category of helpful people who have knowledge but not much experience.  (And let me here acknowledge that I tend to overstate my case: I'm happy to have my experience improved -- but I didn't see anything in either citation that did that.)


    A year ago I stated my general rules for creating Libraries.  I stick by them today:


    My rules-of-thumb are:

    • •  One Library for each photographer or group of functionally identical photographers (a company that shoots weddings, for example) when the author/copyright-holder of the image is important.
    • •  Separate Libraries for "authorless" images of a specific category (I keep a Library of paintings and drawings; who made the photographs is of no interest).
    • •  Separate Libraries for items which need to be handled securely (medical documentation, for example)


  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,570 points)

    Time Machine is generally good.  I recommend at least one other back-up, and that that one be a complete slice-of-time back-up (which is easier to move, duplicate, and restore than a TM back-up).

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,570 points)

    You can put the Library anywhere on your system.  It shows in Finder as a file (it is a Finder Package, which is container of folders and files that appears as a single file).


    You can put your Originals (formerly "Masters") anywhere on your system.  You must use Aperture to move your Originals.


    Aperture keeps track of where to find your Referenced Originals regardless of where on your system you put your Library.


    Your Managed Originals are always in the Aperture Library.


    Are your Originals Managed or Referenced?


    How big is your Library (in GB)?


    How much free space to you have on your system drive?

1 2 Previous Next


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.