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iPhoto onto External Hard drive

93484 Views 77 Replies Latest reply: Feb 20, 2014 9:58 AM by LarryHN RSS
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chewsa Calculating status...
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Oct 10, 2010 8:50 PM
I am trying to be able to completely remove iPhoto from my internal hard drive and move it to my external hard drive. I have over 8000 and have no plan on stopping soon

I want to be able to open iPhoto from my external hard drive and see my sorted folders I have already created while it was in my internal hard drive.

I have backed up my iPhotos by copying my iPhoto library to the hard drive, but this does not allow me to actually use iPhoto once it is on the hard drive and/or see the photos as they are saved as a mass amount of unnamed .jpg files and I can never find what I need.

I have read that you copy pictures file to external hard drive then hold options key to select iPhoto to use, but I do not have the iPhoto logo anywhere but in my applicatons folder and not in my pictures file. Am I doing this wrong?

Please help, computer is really starting to run slow!
MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.8)
  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,900 points)
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    Oct 10, 2010 10:06 PM (in response to chewsa)
    You simply quit iPhoto and drag the iPhoto library intact as a single entity to the external drive (I think you have done this) and then depress the option key and launch iPhoto use the select library option to select the new location - fully test your library and then delete the old one from the internal drive (i suggest testing one more time before emptying the trash)

    LN
    3.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 27" iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.2), iPhoto 8.0.2, 750 GB OWC EHD, Sony DSC-W150 camera, ATP PhotoFinder Mini GPS
  • christopher rigby1 Level 4 Level 4 (2,070 points)
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    Oct 18, 2010 6:11 AM (in response to LarryHN)
    I've just done this myself and it works a treat. (I had a question about deleting the Originals from my computer after editing most of my photos, but no-one suggested this very easy solution!)

    Just one question - if I select my eHD Library this way in future, will iPhoto upload new photos from my camera directly to my external? I.e., assuming everything is working fine, can I delete the iPhoto Library from my computer?
    iMac G5 17" 1.5Gb RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,900 points)
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    Oct 18, 2010 8:50 AM (in response to christopher rigby1)
    I've just done this myself and it works a treat. (I had a question about deleting the Originals from my computer after editing most of my photos, but no-one suggested this very easy solution!)


    Deleting the originals (or anything else in the iPhoto library) will corrupt your library and cause you to lose data - NEVER make ANY change of any sort to the structure or content of the iPhoto library using the finder or other programs - the iPhoto library must be totally managed by iPhoto

    Just one question - if I select my eHD Library this way in future, will iPhoto upload new photos from my camera directly to my external? I.e., assuming everything is working fine, can I delete the iPhoto Library from my computer?


    fully test your library and then delete the old one from the internal drive (i suggest testing one more time before emptying the trash


    and yes - assuming that you are running the default "managed" library (the iPhoto preference to "copy imported items to the iPhoto library is in its checked state) all imported photos are copied to the iPhoto library and their source photos can be safely deleted (do not have iPhoto delete photos form your camera - complete the import, properly un-mount the camera and verify that everything is good in iPhoto - I wait for at least one backup cycle - and then use your camera's format command to delete the photos

    LN
    3.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 27" iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.2), iPhoto 8.0.2, 750 GB OWC EHD, Sony DSC-W150 camera, ATP PhotoFinder Mini GPS
  • christopher rigby1 Level 4 Level 4 (2,070 points)
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    Oct 18, 2010 9:03 AM (in response to LarryHN)
    Thanks

    I think I've got it now:

    1. I hold down the option key to launch iPhoto and point it to my external drive
    2. I link my camera, and iPhoto uploads from my camera to the external drive iPhoto Library

    (I never delete anything good from my camera's SD card - it's 4GB, only cost £15, and to me is the best back-up option. When it's full I will just buy another one. 6 or 7 of them = the size of one roll of film!)
    iMac G5 17" 1.5Gb RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,900 points)
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    Oct 18, 2010 9:26 AM (in response to christopher rigby1)
    You missed the coy the iPhoto library step - you can not select a library that does not exist

    You simply quit iPhoto and drag the iPhoto library intact as a single entity to the external drive (I think you have done this) and then depress the option key and launch iPhoto use the select library option to select the new location - fully test your library and then delete the old one from the internal drive (i suggest testing one more time before emptying the trash)


    LN
    3.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 27" iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.2), iPhoto 8.0.2, 750 GB OWC EHD, Sony DSC-W150 camera, ATP PhotoFinder Mini GPS
  • Frank Miller2 Calculating status...
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    Oct 18, 2010 9:26 AM (in response to christopher rigby1)
    Mr. Rigby,

    I read your (rude) thread in which you asked about deleting your 'Original' pictures. At no time did you indicate that more storage room would dissuade you from accomplishing that goal- only wanting to retain your 'Modified' photos. As iPhoto doesn't work that way, the responses your received advised your against pursuing that path. I am glad that you have found a 'very easy' solution to your problem, but it's not the problem you were ranting about in that other post.

    As to your new question, assuming your Mac formatted EHD is connected and on, and that you have pointed iPhoto to that external library, you should have no problem importing new photos to that library, and yes, you can delete the one on your main drive. Remember however, if you start iPhoto without your EHD available, iPhoto will create a new (empty) library on your computer, and you will have to re-point IPhoto to your external library (start iPhoto with the 'option' key held down).

    And remember, having a backup of all your important files -photos included- is more than a good idea. Good Luck.

    Frank
    iMac i7 (10.6.4), iMac Intel 20" 2.16GHz (10.6.4), iMac G5 20" 2GHz (10.5.8), MacBook Pro 15" 2.4GHz (10.6.4), iMac G4 17" 1GHz (10.4.11)
  • christopher rigby1 Level 4 Level 4 (2,070 points)
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    Oct 18, 2010 10:10 AM (in response to LarryHN)
    Yes - I had already done this part (see above). I should have restated it though in the steps I was outlining. Thanks for your help (you too, Frank).
    iMac G5 17" 1.5Gb RAM, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • speedys Calculating status...
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    Oct 19, 2010 11:47 AM (in response to chewsa)
    Hello,
    Thank you for all of this helpful information on how to move photos from iphoto onto an EHD. I am also trying to do this in order to create more space on my HD. I am upgrading from OS 10.4.11 to OS 10.6, and do not currently have enough space on my MacBook to do this.
    Could you clarify something for me? Once I move the whole Library over to the EHD, how do I permanently delete photos to create more space? Do I delete exactly what I moved over, ie, the Library, or do I delete photos through iPhoto? I apologize if this question has already been addressed in previous posts, I'm a bit confused. What if I only want to move my oldest images, and keep say, all 2010 photos on my computer? Is there a way to move only part of the library to the EHD?
    Finally, once I have move photos over and deleted originals from my computer, is there a way to continue to "see" them, perhaps in the form of thumbnails, or will they only been available via my EHD now?

    thanks for your help everyone!
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,745 points)
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    Oct 19, 2010 12:03 PM (in response to speedys)
    Once I move the whole Library over to the EHD, how do I permanently delete photos to create more space?


    Go to your Pictures Folder and find the iPhoto Library Folder there. Drag it to the trash and empty it.

    What if I only want to move my oldest images, and keep say, all 2010 photos on my computer? Is there a way to move only part of the library to the EHD?


    Here's one way to do that:

    1. Quit iPhoto.

    2. Copy the iPhoto Library from your Pictures Folder to the external drive.

    Now you have two full copies of the Library. To choose between them: Hold down the option (or alt) key key and launch iPhoto. From the resulting menu select 'Choose Library'

    3. On the Internal Library, remove the pics you don't want with you all the time.

    Now you have one full library on the external and another smaller sub-set on the Internal.

    A couple of comments:

    a. The external disk needs to be formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

    b: When you're removing the unwanted pics from the Internal Library you need to delete them in batches of about 100 or so. Trashing more at one time can cause problems with the database.

    Managing Multiple Libraries - including moving pics/albums/rolls and metadata between them - is greatly facilitated by using iPhoto Library Manager

    nce I have move photos over and deleted originals from my computer, is there a way to continue to "see" them, perhaps in the form of thumbnails, or will they only been available via my EHD now?


    Your external will need to be connected.

    Regards

    TD
    MacBook Pro 15 2.4 C2D / iMac 20" 2.66 C2D, Mac OS X (10.6), 4 gig RAM/ 4 gig RAM
  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,900 points)
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    Oct 19, 2010 12:06 PM (in response to speedys)
    Moving the iPhoto library is safe and simple - quit iPhoto and drag it intact as a single entity to the external drive - depress the option key and launch iPhoto using the "select library" option to point to the new location on the external drive - _*fully test it and then trash the old library on the internal drive (test one more time prior to emptying the trash)*_


    Deleting the iPhoto library from the internal drive, of course, deletes it and frees up the space. And note that you need a minimum of 10GB of free space on your boot drive for OS 10 to work properly.

    And be sure that the External drive is formatted Mac OS extended (journaled) (iPhoto does not work with drives with other formats) and that it is always available prior to launching iPhoto

    And backup soon and often - having your iPhoto library on an external drive is not a backup and if you are using Time Machine you need to check and be sure that TM is backing up your external drive


    What if I only want to move my oldest images, and keep say, all 2010 photos on my computer? Is there a way to move only part of the library to the EHD?


    Then you must use iPhoto Library Manager - http://www.fatcatsoftware.com/iplm/ - it is the only current way to move portions of a library intact.

    Finally, once I have move photos over and deleted originals from my computer, is there a way to continue to "see" them, perhaps in the form of thumbnails, or will they only been available via my EHD now?


    No - iPhoto can see one and only one library at one time - you select a library and iPhoto uses it until you select a different library

    You can make suggestions to Apple - iPhoto menu ==> provide iPhoto feedback


    LN
    3.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 27" iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.2), iPhoto 8.0.2, 750 GB OWC EHD, Sony DSC-W150 camera, ATP PhotoFinder Mini GPS
  • speedys Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 19, 2010 3:00 PM (in response to Terence Devlin)
    Thanks Terence!

    3. On the Internal Library, remove the pics you don't want with you all the time.

    Now you have one full library on the external and another smaller sub-set on the Internal.

    What exactly do I delete in this case? "originals"? "data", "modified"?
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,900 points)
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    Oct 19, 2010 6:00 PM (in response to speedys)
    3. On the Internal Library, remove the pics you don't want with you all the time.

    Now you have one full library on the external and another smaller sub-set on the Internal.

    What exactly do I delete in this case? "originals"? "data", "modified"?


    using iPhoto - never delete photos any other way - delete the photos you do not want and empty the iPhoto trash - the photos (all versions) will be gone

    LN
    3.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 27" iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.2), iPhoto 8.0.2, 750 GB OWC EHD, Sony DSC-W150 camera, ATP PhotoFinder Mini GPS
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,745 points)
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    Oct 19, 2010 10:54 PM (in response to speedys)
    What exactly do I delete in this case? "originals"? "data", "modified"?


    Use the iPhoto Window. Drag a pic to the trash in iPhoto and empty that trash.

    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.

    Regards

    TD
    MacBook Pro 15 2.4 C2D / iMac 20" 2.66 C2D, Mac OS X (10.6), 4 gig RAM/ 4 gig RAM
  • speedys Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 21, 2010 4:24 PM (in response to Terence Devlin)
    Terence Devlin wrote:



    Now you have two full copies of the Library. To choose between them: Hold down the option (or alt) key key and launch iPhoto. From the resulting menu select 'Choose Library'

    3. On the Internal Library, remove the pics you don't want with you all the time.

    Now you have one full library on the external and another smaller sub-set on the Internal.


    Doing this does not allow me to select any photos -- in my Internal library or via the EHD. So, I don't understand how I go about deleting the photos? Should iphoto not be launching at this point? In fact, when I want to review my older photos that I will have solely on the EHD, I thought I could relaunch them in iphoto, but this makes me think I have misunderstood something?
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
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