7 Replies Latest reply: Feb 5, 2011 1:37 PM by jimcaleh
Bru_D Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
I am looking to change my Iphoto library to an external hard drive, as my 250GB internal drive is just not large enough, especially as I am now using itunes to watch movies and TV shows. Is this a simple operation? The help menu has instruction on changing location but I am worried this just refers to a different folder within the internal hard drive.

Anyone got any suggestions

Imac 21" 2.4Ghz, 4GB RAM, iPhone 3gs 16GB, ipad 16GB, Mac OS X (10.6.3), Intel core 2 Duo, 2x 1TB Lacie hard drives,, airport express, airport extreme, omega hard drive
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (134,925 points)
    It's very simple.

    Make sure the drive is formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

    1. Quit iPhoto

    2. Copy the iPhoto Library from your Pictures Folder to the External Disk.

    3. Hold down the option (or alt) key while launching iPhoto. From the resulting menu select 'Choose Library' and navigate to the new location. From that point on this will be the default location of your library.

    4. Test the library and when you're sure all is well, trash the one on your internal HD to free up space.


  • Bru_D Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    thanks, that was incredibly easy.
  • justinreading Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have tried this method however, nothing comes up when i open iphoto.
    All my photos are on an external HD and am unable to access it through iphoto.
    any help would be great as im sinking hours into dilly dallying around this problem.


  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (134,925 points)
    What exactly did you copy to the external? Did you choose to open the moved Library?


  • WLFiredog Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I too am trying to move my library to an external HDD. I followed the steps you laid out. The copying was instant so i figured it never moved the pics. Get Info tells me iphoto on ext HDD is 7.5 Mb not 70 GB as on my internal HDD. Tried to open and gave me no pictures in library. Held down option key and clicked on iPhoto and selected old location and it now too gives me no photos. I know they are not gone but I don't know how to access them now.
    Please help.
  • WLFiredog Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I can ask and answer my own questions.
    Turns out I only copied the iPhoto library shortcut to the ext HDD.
    Odd though, the shortcut does not have the arrow as other aliases do.
    When I went back and tried to open old location it was no longer linked.
    I have since found actual location of iPhoto library and am in the process of copying to ext HDD.
    Live and learn ............
  • jimcaleh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have put all my photos on an external hard drive, and upgraded iphoto to 08. Upon opening the new iphoto, I have pushed the alt key to choose a library but when I find it in the menu, and press open nothing happens. No warning, no message, nothing. it just doesn't open. Any ideas?