1 Reply Latest reply: Sep 10, 2009 2:36 AM by Terence Devlin
paym01 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I am a new apple user and love using iphoto. Couple of questions though? Does anyone know where does iphoto store the files? It does not seem to be in my photos folder. Also does iphoto reformat the photos? I usually transfer my pictures to iphoto and then delete them on my SD card, but if iphoto is somehow reformatting them where I cannot view then lets say in Windows, then I should probably keep the originals. Any thought?

MB990LL/A, Mac OS X (10.6)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (135,530 points)
    Welcome to the Apple Discussions.

    Your photos are stored in the iPhoto Library which is in your Pictures Folder.

    SInce iPhoto 7 (iLife 08) the old iPhoto Library Folder is now 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 or otherwise making changes will prevent iPhoto from working and could even cause you to damage or lose your photos.

    How to access the Files for use:

    *In another Editor*

    You can set Photoshop (or any image editor) as an external editor in iPhoto. (Preferences -> General -> Edit Photo: Choose from the Drop Down Menu.) This way, when you double click a pic to edit in iPhoto it will open automatically in Photoshop or your Image Editor, and when you save it it's sent back to iPhoto automatically. This is the only way that edits made in another application will be displayed in iPhoto.

    *For other uses:*

    There are many, many ways to access your files in iPhoto:

    *For Users of 10.5 and later*

    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
    Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

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

    New Message Window
    Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

    *For users of 10.4 and later* ...

    Many internet sites such as Flickr and SmugMug have plug-ins for accessing the iPhoto Library. If the site you want to use doesn’t then some, one or any of these will also work:

    To upload to a site that does not have an iPhoto Export Plug-in the recommended way is to Select the Pic in the iPhoto Window and go File -> Export and export the pic to the desktop, then upload from there. After the upload you can trash the pic on the desktop. It's only a copy and your original is safe in iPhoto.

    This is also true for emailing with Web-based services. However, if you're using Gmail you can use iPhoto2GMail

    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 later:
    Create a Media Browser using Automator (takes about 10 seconds) or use this free utility Karelia iMedia Browser

    Other options include:

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

    2. *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.

    3. *Show File*: 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.

    Also does iphoto reformat the photos?

    No. iPhoto makes a byte by byte copy of the files in the Library. There is no "reformatting". You can always access the original file simply by going

    File -> Export: Kind: Original.