3 Replies Latest reply: Dec 29, 2012 8:30 AM by léonie
tscacro Level 1 (0 points)

Through misuse and ignorance I now have a mulitiplicity of Aperture libraries(other/new) I would like very much to combine them so that they would all be on one drive. My external G-Drive where I have plenty of room.(for now) I have no idea how to accomplish this, and I fear that I will have a lot of duplicates. If anyone has any working knowledge of this procedure, I would appreciate some help. Thank you.

  • léonie Level 10 (91,019 points)

    What version of Aperture 3 do you have?


    And are your libraries managed or referenced?



    I would like very much to combine them so that they would all be on one drive.


    I take it, you want to merge them into one big library, and not only move them all to the same drive?

    Why are you afraid of creating duplicates? Did you import the same images into several different Aperture Libraries?


    The first thing to check, is if your external drive is formatted Mac OS X extended (Journaled). Otherwise you cannot put Aperture libraries there. If the format is still the default MS-DOS (FAT), reformat the drive using Disk Utility.

    Just in case you want to use the drive from a different computer as well, set the "Ignore ownership" flag, as decribed in this support article for iPhoto Libraries: iPhoto: Sharing libraries among multiple users


    Make sure, you have a current, working backup of your system, before you start reorganizing.


    • Connect the drive to your mac;
    • Select your most current, main Aperture library and use the Aperture Library First Aid Tools to repair permissions and the database - you will want all your libraries in perfect working condition before proceding. Repairing and Rebuilding Your Aperture Library: Aperture 3 User Manual
    • Then copy  the library to the external drive, by dragging it using the Finder.
    • Double-click the copied library to open it in Aperture and check if it is working.
    • Select your next library, that you want to merge into your current library. Also repair it before proceeding. Open it and empty the Aperture trash. If you know there are any duplicate projects, older than in your current Aperture library, you may want to delete them from the library before proceeding.
    • Then switch again to your main Aperture library (File > Switch to library).
    • In your main Aperture Library select "File > Import Library > Other/New" and select the recently opened and repaired library to import.
    • You may be prompted to "Merge" or to "Add", if the library contains duplicate items. Then select "Merge". This may prevent duplicate images from being imported, but no guarantee given.
    • Proceed with all other remaining libraries in the same way.


    if duplicates have been imported, there will be no easy way to automatically find them. You can sort your images by date or by name, to ensure that duplicates are displayed side by side and to delete the duplicate. It will be easier, if you weed out dulicate projects before merging the libraries, and merge your libraries in pairs of similar libraries, if you have many libraries containing similar events.




  • tscacro Level 1 (0 points)

    Leonie; Thank you for the instructions. I will begin reading the references and following your steps as soon as I see clearly what needs to take place. I do have the main body of my Library already on one of my two GDrives 6TB. The rest are scattered on one or more of the 3 partitions I created. I am satisfied by your experience that this will work and will go ahead and list this question as solved/answered. Thank you.

  • léonie Level 10 (91,019 points)

    You are welcome. Feel free to ask back, if I need to clarify something in more detail. Good luck!