Resolved Can I delete my old iPhoto Library?

Hustler1337

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Original poster
Dec 23, 2010
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Hi Guys,

So I transferred my iPhoto Library to the new Photos library about a month ago. Today, I've noticed that I have two separate libraries on my system - one is the old iPhoto library and the other is the new Photos library:



When trying to open the old iPhoto library, I am alerted that the library has already been migrated:



So, what I wanted to find out is whether I can safely delete the old "iPhoto Library"?

The reason I'm asking is because my Mac is running low on disk space and by deleting the iPhoto library I can free up 64GB of space on my hard drive seeing as it's an unused duplicate? I'm guessing that this iPhoto library is now redundant?

Would appreciate some help.

Thank you! ;)


Edit: I'm not sure but was there an option in the new Photos app to keep the old iPhotos library? I think I may have selected this option but cannot remember at all. :|
 
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jbarley

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Jul 1, 2006
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So, what I wanted to find out is whether I can safely delete the old "iPhoto Library"?

The reason I'm asking is because my Mac is running low on disk space and by deleting the iPhoto library I can free up 64GB of space on my hard drive seeing as it's an unused duplicate? I'm guessing that this iPhoto library is now redundant?

Would appreciate some help.

Thank you! ;)
Photos does not create a second library, it uses the existing iPhotos Library and creates links to it.
In other words your photos are not duplicated on your HD.
Read this link for more info.
 
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w0lf

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Feb 16, 2013
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IIRC the Library is linked not copied so deleting it won't actually free up 64GB. With that being said yes it is safe to delete your iPhoto Library if you don't plan on using it anymore.
 
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Hustler1337

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Dec 23, 2010
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Thank you jbarley and w0lf and for the quick responses. The link you've posted explains it all and was exactly what I needed.

Unfortunately, it doesn't mean that I'll be freeing up any space :( Here's the official Apple support doc for anyone who needs it in the future: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204476

Thanks once again for your help, much appreciated ;)
 
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Hustler1337

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Should add that after deleting the old iPhoto library, I've gained about 2GB of hard drive space so I'm guessing that these were ancillary files in the library.
 
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mgroot

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Jul 25, 2014
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Should add that after deleting the old iPhoto library, I've gained about 2GB of hard drive space so I'm guessing that these were ancillary files in the library.
Most likely some cache files, thumbnails and similar types of files
 
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simon lefisch

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Sep 29, 2014
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Photos does not create a second library, it uses the existing iPhotos Library and creates links to it.
In other words your photos are not duplicated on your HD.
Read this link for more info.
Incorrect. Photos creates its own photo library.

When I migrated to Photos, duplicates were made. I then moved the Photos library to its own thumb drive. Every time I open Photos, it uses the library on the thumb drive (as I told Photos to use that as the system library in preferences). iPhoto library is completely separate.
 
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jbarley

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Jul 1, 2006
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Incorrect. Photos creates its own photo library.
Care to try to explain then why the HD space used by an iPhoto library isn't doubled after migrating to Photos?
Such as this statement from Apple, (taken from the link I posted earlier.

What if my iPhoto library is 500GB and I only have 10GB free on my Mac?
Thanks to some under-the-hood wizardry from Apple, your photos won't duplicate when you import your library from iPhoto/Aperture to Photos. As such, you won't need to have 500GB of extra space.
 
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simon lefisch

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Sep 29, 2014
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Care to try to explain then why the HD space used by an iPhoto library isn't doubled after migrating to Photos?
Can't explain why. I do know that I have my iPhoto library on an external drive and my Photos library on a thumb drive. I CAN open Photos while the thumb drive is attached and without having my external drive attached. As soon as I migrated my iPhoto library, I checked the contents of the Photos library and saw duplicates of all my photos in there. My Photos library was the exact same size as my iPhoto library.
 
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simon lefisch

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Sep 29, 2014
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What if my iPhoto library is 500GB and I only have 10GB free on my Mac?
Thanks to some under-the-hood wizardry from Apple, your photos won't duplicate when you import your library from iPhoto/Aperture to Photos. As such, you won't need to have 500GB of extra space.
This statement is not from the apple site. The link you posted was to a different site.

Maybe during migration there wAs a choice to link to your iPhoto library instead of duplicating it? I can't remember what it said when I moved all my photos over. All I know is that it created a separate Photos library which I compared to my iPhoto library (both photos and size) and they were exactly the same.
 
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smartalic34

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May 16, 2006
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Can't explain why. I do know that I have my iPhoto library on an external drive and my Photos library on a thumb drive. I CAN open Photos while the thumb drive is attached and without having my external drive attached. As soon as I migrated my iPhoto library, I checked the contents of the Photos library and saw duplicates of all my photos in there. My Photos library was the exact same size as my iPhoto library.
When people simply upgrade their iPhoto library to a Photos library, there is no duplication, hence why no increase in disk space usage. See this link for more details: http://sixcolors.com/post/2015/02/the-hard-link-between-photos-and-iphoto/
 
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simon lefisch

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Sep 29, 2014
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smartalic34

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May 16, 2006
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USA
Yes I understand that, however if you look at my last post, the link shows a different way to migrate your photos to a new library, therefore duplicating them.
Yes I saw that, hence why I said "when people simply upgrade" to differentiate from what you did... I did indeed see your second post, but quoted the first since it was more relevant to the additional technical information I posted that I thought might add a bit more to the discussion :) Though I suppose I could have quoted an earlier reply instead of yours!
 
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mgroot

macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2014
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Incorrect. Photos creates its own photo library.

When I migrated to Photos, duplicates were made. I then moved the Photos library to its own thumb drive. Every time I open Photos, it uses the library on the thumb drive (as I told Photos to use that as the system library in preferences). iPhoto library is completely separate.
Care to try to explain then why the HD space used by an iPhoto library isn't doubled after migrating to Photos?
Such as this statement from Apple, (taken from the link I posted earlier.

What if my iPhoto library is 500GB and I only have 10GB free on my Mac?
Thanks to some under-the-hood wizardry from Apple, your photos won't duplicate when you import your library from iPhoto/Aperture to Photos. As such, you won't need to have 500GB of extra space.
What should have been said was that the actual photos aren't duplicated, so whilst it looks that they are doubled and take up twice as much space they aren't doing that in reality.
It looks like there are two huge libraries (iPhoto and Photos) but both of these are mostly just links to the original images (some caching, thumbnails may be different in both libraries and take up some extra space)
 
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simon lefisch

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2014
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What should have been said was that the actual photos aren't duplicated, so whilst it looks that they are doubled and take up twice as much space they aren't doing that in reality.
It looks like there are two huge libraries (iPhoto and Photos) but both of these are mostly just links to the original images (some caching, thumbnails may be different in both libraries and take up some extra space)
Actually what should've been said is that there are 2 ways to "migrate" your photos....

1) is to update your library, which simply creates links to your iPhoto library

or

2) is you actually migrate your photos to a Photos library that is created by holding down the option key and opening the Photos app, then choosing your iPhoto library.
 
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5cc

macrumors newbie
Feb 9, 2017
1
0
So after all that.... Can the old file be deleted or not?!
 
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