Iphoto and photo libraries..duplicates or not? Can I delete?

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by Kristina85, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. Kristina85 macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I am trying to fix a Mac airbook of a friend. It's running low on harddrive space..out of 120GB, only 5GB remaining which is causing a lot of trouble.
    Now at one point she upgraded from iphoto to photos! On her computer, there are now two files..and there size differs based on what software I use:

    iPhoto Library 30.2GB
    Photo Library: 15.2

    iPhoto library: 18,7GB
    Photo 15.2GB
    in total:33.9

    iPhoto: 27.9
    Photo ibrary: 3.46
    in total:31.36GB

    Finder (information)
    Iphoto library:30GB
    Photo library:15.7GB

    1.So how large is the iPhoto library? 30.2GB, 30GB, 27.9GB or 18.7GB? And how large it the Photo library? which if the information can I trust?
    2. Can I delete one of the libraries?

    I really need to make space for her and have tried already everything else...the real solution seems to take care of this photo libraries issue.
    Please help!

    P.S.I don't know exactly how she migrated the data. In any case I've read much online and some people say I can delete the older library, some people say I can't..or even if I do, the size saved on the harddrive won't matter.
    beawre: this lady has no back-up anywhere! (I know, totally crazy..but that's how she does things..I cannot now buy one for her, so I need to be careful before deleting anything)
  2. craig1024 macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2016
    You could go into the pictures folder and right click the photo libraries and click get info it will show you the actual size
  3. Kristina85 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2012
    yes, but that's one of the things I've done.
    Finder (information)
    Iphoto library:30GB
    Photo library:15.7GB
  4. craig1024 macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2016
    Sorry I missed the finder information,
    Since the iPhoto library is twice the size of the photos library is there duplicates
  5. vexorg macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2009
    What's iPhotos? I never knew it was there before I looked today. Always just use Photos for everything from the iPhone.
  6. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I would go by what Finder is telling you. It is odd that the older iPhoto library is so much larger than the Photos library though. If Photos imported all the iPhoto images, you would expect them to be fairly close in size. When that is the case, you will not free up any space by deleting the iPhoto library since both libraries actually point to the same images on the drive using what are called "hard links". Article on it here.

    But in your case, deleting the 30GB iPhoto library I would expect would free up about 15GB. The issue for me here is why is the iPhoto library so much larger. Have you opened each library in there respective apps to see how many photos each shows?
    --- Post Merged, Apr 7, 2016 ---
    Photos replaced iPhoto on OS X.
  7. Kristina85 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2012
    actually this is confusing too to me.But I speculate that the following happened: first she used the iPhoto app....then she migrated her stuff to Photos. Because she had issues with the size already back then, she went on and deleted a lot of the stuff she migrated from iPhotos into Photos. Now when I open iPhotos, she's got over 8000 pictures in there. In Photos, only 3000. So my guess is the Photo library is just what it became after a major edit. So
    if I could, I would delete the iPhoto library as this would solve a lot of problems with the size on the disk. 15gb would at this point be huge.
    Now how do I go about it? Just imply delete all the pictures in the iPhoto app that i have restored? Sorry, these are probably stupid questions but i have truly never used this app myself and don't want to even start learing it...
    while I love Macs and the whole OS X, I've had always a very strong aversion to iPhotos and iTunes....
  8. Oleg K. macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2013
    Here's Oleg from DaisyDisk team. The iPhoto and Photos libraries make heavy use of the so called "hard links" (already mentioned in this thread) in order to save space, and not create duplicates of the same files. In other words, many files inside these libraries appear to be different copies but in fact are the same files on disk and should not be counted twice. Unfortunately, not all disk tools (including Finder) may take this fact into account, and this is why you get the discrepancy.

    DaisyDisk, on the other hand, can recognize and calculate such hard links correctly. It uses the following principle: count size of only the first occurrence of each hard link (by alphabet). Depending on which library comes first by alphabet, it may appear larger or smaller compared to its evaluation in isolation (via Scan Folder button)

    Another source of discrepancy could be that some tools are using base-8 math when converting B into KB, MB, GB while Finder (and DaisyDisk) use base-10 math.

    As for your question, I would not recommend to delete your photos in order to free up space. If there is really nothing else you can delete, you can *move* the photo libraries to an external drive, like described here:


    I hope that helps!

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