4 Replies Latest reply: Sep 12, 2007 5:31 AM by Smtr
Johin Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
What is the best way to save my iPhoto libraries to my USB Flash drive. At the moment I just export the library to a folder then I transfer it to my USB drive. Is this the best way, or is there a better way to have a backup library?

MacBook Core 2 Duo 2 Ghz, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Smtr Level 5 Level 5 (5,450 points)

    When you export and then burn you are backing up only your photo files. For photos that have been edited, you lose the original version. To restore from this backup you will have to create a new library, import the files, and basically reconstruct your library from scratch. If you wanted to use your photos with a different computer or not in iPhoto, it will do.

    If you have the space, a better way to create a backup is to copy the entire iPhoto Library folder. Use the Finder to copy it as a whole unit, and not piece by piece. This will retain the iPhoto structure and database, metadata and all. To restore from this backup, you copy it back to your Mac, point iPhoto to it, and it opens to its previous state.

  • Johin Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks that seems logical. I hear you saying that if I save to my USB drive this way I will have the same information as if I had done a burn to a CD or DVD. Am I correct?
  • sapam Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I have been reading through the forum regarding this iPhoto Library backup and from all i have learned i think of the following.

    There are 2 types of backup:
    1) "Export" from iPhoto
    2) "Copying" the entire Library

    The differences between the two are:
    1) "Export"
    - In this mode you will have a Folder/Media contain all the Photos in your library with this criteria: The Original Photos if not Modified and the Modified ones if there is One. So, you wouldn't have the Original if it have been modified.
    - This will take the least space for the backup

    2) "Copying" the Library
    - In this mode you preserve everything. Including the Original, Modified, Data and the Database. This is useful if you want to restore your Library along with the settings in iPhoto again.
    - This will take more space then "Export" option.

    Message was edited by: sapam
  • Smtr Level 5 Level 5 (5,450 points)
    Yes, backing up the whole iPhoto Library folder gets everything you need to restore that library in the future.

    iPhoto's Burn to CD or DVD gives the added ability to burn smaller parts of your library, since most libraries are too large for one DVD. You select the rolls, and iPhoto burns all the files needed to restore those rolls to an iPhoto Library. When you use the Finder to copy the Library folder, you have to get the entire thing at once in order for it to work. It's two different methods for accomplishing the type of backup described in #2 by sapam.