3 Replies Latest reply: Oct 1, 2013 11:13 AM by léonie
nisava Level 1 (0 points)

While importing a large set of photos from a camera, the Import informs me that I do not have enough space on the built in drive.

Being new to the Mac as well as Aperture and iPhoto it is not clear to me how to export all current Projects and/or Albums onto an

external drive while maintaining efficient access from the stored place for sharing the .jpg stored photos (individually, or in Albums or

Projects) independently from the Apperture/iPhone. Thank you. I only new how to do that in Picasa. Looking forward to your help.

MacBook Pro with Retina display, iOS 7.0.2, Have external drive and DVD options
  • léonie Level 10 (85,435 points)

    Do you need access to your images in the Aperture library, when your external drive is not connected, or will you always have the (small) external drive with you?


    As you are (by your own words ) a new bee, I'd recommend to simply move the complete Aperture library to your external drive. You can copy it using the Finder. That is the safest solution, but you will need your drive with you to access your images.


    Alternately, use a referenced library - this will let you browse your image previews - but that is only recommended for experienced Aperture users, since it is easy to make mistakes and to accidentally delete originals.


    To move your Aperture library to the external drive:


    • Repair your Aperture library first using the Aperture Library First Aid Tools: Hold down both keys ⌥⌘ together firmly, and continue to hold them down, while you are double clicking the library icon, until you are seeing the First Aid panel.  Select "Repair Database".  This may take a while for a large library.
    • Backup your Aperture library, before you proceed.
    • Check, if your external drive is formatted correctly as MacOS X Extended (Journaled). Aperture will not work with Windows volumes. If you select your drive in the Finder and use the command ⌘I for "File > Get Info", you should see something like this in the General brick of the Info panel:

    Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 08.06.22.png

    If your drive is still formatted MS-DOS (FAT) or similar, use Disk Utility to reformat it. This will erase the drive completely, so backup the data somewhere before you do that, see:

    Format external drives to Mac OS Extended before using with Aperture


    Now select the Aperture library (by default it will be called "Aperture Library.aplibrary" and be located in the "Pictures" folder.

    Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 08.14.22.png

    Drag the icon to a folder on your external drive.


    Then double click the Aperture LIbrary icon in the new location to direct Aperture to the new location. Test it thoroughly, to see if all is working, before you delete it from the internal drive.


    Good Luck!



  • nisava Level 1 (0 points)


    Thanks for the quick answer.
    I plan to follow your suggestions, but first I need to clarify the following;
    1) If I externalize by moving the complete Aperture library, can I start and maintain the new internal Aperture library?
    2) If yes, I have an ideal situation for me whereby I maintain the speed of processing for downloading photos from
    my cameras and quick storage for the most recent photos until it grows like the first one and I have to externalize it
    (hopefully by adding versions to the first externalized ApLibrary until it is full, too).
    3) I am O.K. with slower access for versions from the externalized ApLibrary -- it will only be used as a source for sharing/publishing photos.
    4) As for the external storage, I already use a 2TB My Passport for Time Machine backups with a lot of free space
    5) If not recommended to also contain the external ApLibrary, I can dedicate a 1TB Toshiba's Canvio for the external ApLibrary
    6) I cherished the speed and capabilities of the internal ApLibrary and hope that I will be able to use it in parallel with the external one
    (i.e., if the external drive is not connected, the Aperture would use the internal ApLibrary, and if the external drive is connected,
    the Aperture would use the external ApLibrary).
    7) I see no clear how to then force the system to externalize the existing ApLibary when one is already connected, unless it is a new ext.drive
    Thank you for your patience.

  • léonie Level 10 (85,435 points)


    you can have as many Aperture libraries as you wish.


    If you want to keep the library on the external drive as an archive and want a smaller library on your internal drive for editing and working on your current projects, export a new, smaller library with a working set of your current projects from archive library. Occasionally merge this working set into your archive by importing it as library.


    Do the following:


    • After checking carefully, if the library that you moved to your external drive is o.k., delete the original library from your internal drive.
    • Open the new library on your external drive in Aperture.
    • Select all projects that you want to keep on the internal drive at once in the libraray inspector panel.
    • With these current projects selected, use the command "File > Export > Projects as new library" and select your external drive as the location of the new library.
    • Double click the exported new library to open it in Aperture as your new, current library.
    • When this library grows to big, merge it into your Archive library by openeing the Archive in Aperture and using the command "File > Import > Library".  Select to merge the libraries, and select to keep the changes in your internal libraries, in the case of duplicate items.