8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 2, 2013 10:57 AM by Old Toad
J & F Level 1 (5 points)

I finally gave in and upgraded from iPhoto 6 to iPhoto '11

- except for the infamous spilling beach ball while browsing every once in a while, the upgrade move seems to work fine.


I just realized though that the file size of my iPhoto Library exploded with the upgrade:

from 24GB to 37GB - without really adding photos since the upgrade.


How did this happen - and is there a way to compress the library?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 2 GHz Intel Core Duo
  • Allan Eckert Level 9 (50,731 points)

    You might try rebuilding your iPhoto database by starting iPhoto with the Command + Option keys depressed.



  • LarryHN Level 9 (77,104 points)

    Exactly how did you "upgrade" your library?


    Did you by any chance IMPORT the old library into the new library? If so that is the problem - NEVER import an iPhoto library into another iPhoto library - it does not work and causes massive duplication


    If you did that then drag the new bad iphoto library to the desktop and reload the old iPhoto library into the pictures folder and launch iPhoto - it will open and upgrade the old library - there in NO importing involved



  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,945 points)

    Have you synced with an iPod, iPad or iPhone?


    No there is no way to compress the Library. If space is an issue then you can run a library from an external disk.






  • J & F Level 1 (5 points)

    Larry, I do not recall upgrading and then importing the old database.

    Is there a way to check if that could have caused the size explosion?

    The new iPhoto Library folder doesn't show individual contents anymore,

    but no duplicate images in iPhoto as far as I can see ...

  • J & F Level 1 (5 points)

    Terence, yes, I just synched with my iPod touch.


    Strange phenonomon there: upon plugging in, iTunes will display iPod's capacity (Photos 5.6GB & Free 2.9GB),

    but once I hit Sync the numbers will jump (Photos 7.6GB & Free 0.42GB)


    This scenario will play out each time I plug in the iPod - but after each Sync iPod still has 2.8GB available under General > About ...

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,945 points)

    Syncing with iOS devices means that a cache of images resized for these devices is created. That could easily account for the increase in the Library size.


    As said above, if space is an issue you can run a Library from an external disk:


    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.






  • Keith Tomlinson1 Level 1 (110 points)

    I've tried this but using my networked time capsule as the home of the library but this does not seem to work.  Does iPhoto not work with the library on a network drive?

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,522 points)

    It only works on drives that are formatted OS X Extended (journaled) with Ownership set to be ignored:



    If the drive if formatted differently you will have problems.