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Is there a "step by step" guide to exporting my Aperture library to an EHD?

1060 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: Feb 25, 2013 6:27 PM by 1macprincess! RSS
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1macprincess! Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
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Feb 8, 2013 9:21 AM

Well, i bit off more than i can chew by investing in Aperture to start with, but that's another subject for another day! Anyway, my hard drive is maxed out and i need to "move" my photos-they take up the most space, and perhaps my itunes to an EHD. Is there some type of guide, or another post someone would be willing to point me to that would help?

I would consider myself a novice in this arena, so simple, straight-forward instructions would be helpful.

Thanks in advance!

MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.1)
  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)


    that depends on how you want to use your photos.

    Do you need to browse them, if your external drive is not available, or will you always have the external drive connected, when you are working with your photos?

    • If you always will be working with the external drive connected, then simply select your Aperture library in the Finder and drag your Aperture library to the external drive. Then double click the library in the new location to open it in Aperture. Test it thoroughly if it is working. Back up your original library, then delete it from your internal drive.
      If you have referenced original images, select the images in the Browser and use the command "File > Consolidate" to move the original images into the new library on the external drive. That's it.
    • Bu if you do not always want to carry the external drive around with your MBP, and still be able to browse your photos and to use them in the Media Browser or as a Screensaver, you may want to turn your Aperture library into a referenced library. WIth this setup, you only move the original files to an external drive, but keep the Aperture library and preview images on your internal drive. Then you can still see the photos in the Media browser, can browse them in Aperture, tag them, only you will not be able to edit them or to export them, see the manual:
      Aperture 3 User Manual: Working with Referenced Images


    For moving the iTunes Libraryto an EHD, see:

    iTunes for Mac: Moving your iTunes Media folder



  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,820 points)

    Read this whole message before starting anything.


    Well the iTunes part is easy see iTunes for Mac: Moving your iTunes Media folder


    The Aperture is a bit trickier, as there are a few different ways to do it depending on your exact circumstances.


    Before you start to move either program you have to make sure the external disk is formatted for Mac. It needs to be OS X Extended Journaled. You can check this by selecting the disk in Finder and doing a File->Get Info


    Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 13.03.02.png

    If its not formatted like that you need to format it. Note formatting a drive will erase all data  on the drive so if you have anyting on it you want to keep you need to copy it off of the external drive before continuing.


    If your internal drive is truly 'maxed' out the best way to proceed is to copy the Aperture library off of the internal drive onto the external drive. This is done just as you would copy any file or folder. Open the Finder and locate the Aperture library, most likely in your Pictures folder. Once you've located it you can drag it to the external drive. The copy could take some time depending on the size of the library.


    Once the copy is finished locate the copy of the library on the EXTERNAL drive and double click it. This will cause Aperture to open it. Make sure the library works and all your images are there. When you are sure the library is correct you can delete the original library on the INTERNAL drive.


    Note you really should have a backup of the library both for safety while doing this and for normal day to day operations. If something goes wrong and you have no backup you'll lose all your images.


    If you have any other questions post back before starting.


    good luck



    iMac, OS X Mountain Lion, 10.8.2, Safari 6.0.2,Aperture 3.4.3
  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)

    i should have mentioned that i am referring to my 2007 iMac, not my MBP.

    In that case, do exactly as Frank Caggiano said


    To my knowledge all the images are original,not referenced-however, if i use iphoto to view/edit images, am i using a referenced image from Aperture?

    Refrenced refers to, if the original images are stored inside the Aperture library or outside. If they are inside the library, your libray is managed, if they are outside, Aperture references the library in a different location. Browsing your Aperture library with iPhoto does not matter in this case.




  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)

    if my images will now be stored on my EHD, will i be working with the originals, or referenced.

    After you checked the formatting of your EHD, as Frank described, you drag the whole Aperture library to the EHD. So your Aperture library will still be a managed library - it will contain all original images inside the library.  This is the safest setup for Aperture beginners.

  • MarkPek Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)

    I hope this isn't considered hi-jacking, but I'm considering doing this too.  I have a few thousand referenced images and 10000 or so managed images.   Would it make sense to "consolidate" all the images as managed first and then move them all together -- or doesn't that matter?

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

    Better to start a new thread  .


    It doesn't matter.  Every Image has an Original.  Every Original is stored somewhere.  Aperture keeps track of where the Original is stored.  Where you store each one is up to you.  It is often wise to store your Originals consistently.  If you are changing your storage scheme, it makes sense to consolidate all Referenced Originals, check that there are none missing, and then Relocate.  But it also makes sense to just Relocate from referenced storage location to another referenced storage location without going through the step of consolidating.

  • MarkPek Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)

    Thank you!  We now return you to our regularly-scheduled thread.  Thank you!

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,820 points)

    To delete the library you just select it in the Finder and drag it to the trash as you would any file of folder.]


    If you have nay doubts once you drag it to the trash run Aperture before you empty the trash. If anything seems wrong you can always recover the library from the trash but from the sounds of it you look like you have all your bases covered.


    Once you are sure all is OK empty the trash.



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