Copying (not moving) pictures to external hard drive


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 19, 2009
I am trying to back up all my pictures that are in iphoto to an external hard drive. I just want to copy everything that I have, put them on the external hard drive and move on. How can I do this where I can use these pictures on another computer though if needed? I know that I can move the entire iPhoto library but that wouldn't be compatible on a non-Mac correct? Thanks for any info!



macrumors 603
Jul 26, 2004
Montreal, QC
Just select them in iPhoto and export all of them to the drive. You may even be able to click and drag the photos out of the iPhoto window to copy. I use Aperture, so unfortunately I can't provide much in the way of specifics.


macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2009
just drag your Pictures folder to an external drive.

thats just a straight backup, doesnt save all your prefs...


macrumors 601
Aug 14, 2008
Dallas, Texas
Have you done any editing that you want to preserve or do you just want the original pictures to be available? You can drag and drop the picture directly to the other drive, but I'm not sure if this method preserves any editing you have done. Exporting them as mentioned above will preserve the editing.

spice weasel

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2003
As others have said, use the Export function in iPhoto, choose which version of the photos you want to export (current, original, etc.) and size (use full), save them to a folder, and then copy them to another drive. Keep in mind, however, that anything you typed in the "Comments" field for your photos will not be kept when exporting, nor will any changes or corrections you made to the date or time.

For this reason, I use an Automator droplet and tag all the IPTC fields before importing images into iPhoto. That way, they are all part of the file and not held in some iPhoto sidecar.
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