Can I delete the things on my Desktop after putting them on my external hard drive?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by mtallits, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. mtallits macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2009
    Good morning!
    I know this is an elementary question, but I do not want to delete all of my pictures, music, etc after I put them on my external hard drive and come to find out that I can never get them back.

    Will someone please reassure me that once they are transferred, they are still accessible if needed?

    Thank you all for your time!
  2. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    As long as you are copying them (not moving them) they will remain.
  3. andalusia macrumors 68030


    Apr 10, 2009
    Manchester, UK
    If you put something on an external hard drive, they will copy to the drive, therefore being something of their own rather than an alias or a link. If you delete from your computer after you've copied to the drive, they will still be on your drive.
  4. mtallits thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2009
    thank you! um... I don't think I'm moving them? I just plugged it into my USB drive and it started to transfer...

    Sorry to be so clueless about this and thank you for your help...
  5. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    Do the files exist in both locations? If so, it copied them. You can then safely delete them. However, if the external hard drive fails, you're toast.
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Remember some of the folders may include file aliases, so when you run across a copy of the picture again ... make sure you actually have the file on the external.

    That and make sure you actually copy the files and don't accidentally create an alias.
  7. mtallits thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2009
    okay, perfect! thank you all so much for your help!
  8. cfitz7111 macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2008
    Are you doing it as a backup to what you have on your desktop?

    I thought I had lost 20,000 pictures and videos of my kids, taught me a lesson, backup back up and backup somewhere else.

    Burn DVD's of your pics and give them to a family member who does not live with you. Upload them to a cloud back up system. But back them up.

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