iPhoto import question.....


macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 27, 2010
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Hello! I need some advice here....

OK so I just ordered my brand new iMac this morning (first Mac ever-SO excited!!). Anyways, I currently have an external HD connected to my PC that I am using to back up some files and images. When I get my iMac, I plan to transfer everything over to the iMac and then format the Lacie and use it for Time Machine. If I import my photos into iPhoto from my external HD and then wipe the external, will I lose my images? Can I bring the files of images over onto the Mac, import to iPhoto, then delete the files I brought over without the images leaving iPhoto? I guess I'm just wondering if importing into iPhoto essentially makes a copy of the image, or are they required to be stored elsewhere on the computer?

I hope this makes sense!


Sep 7, 2008
forlod bygningen
iPhoto will copy those image you import and store them in its own iPhoto Library file, so you can delete your external HDD and format it for TM without losing your photos, as they are now safely stored inside iPhoto.

Also have a look at the following links, as the information presented there might be helpful in your future endeavours into Mac OS X and could clear up initial confusion and may even prevent harm to your system or your files.

Mac OS X Basics

Switch 101 - guide with articles made by Apple on how to accustom yourself, after you switched to Mac OS X from Windows​

Mac 101 - How to get started with Mac OS X​

Find out how - tutorial videos made by Apple on how to do certain thing in Mac OS X​

Pro tips - tips made available by Apple for easier ways of doing certain tasks​

Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts - Learn about common Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts.​

Mac OS X Beginner's Guide by MacRumors - learn about software, media players, shortcuts and some useful tips, tricks and hints​

Mac Guides - tutorials, product guides and more​

MRoogle - a very effective tool to search these fora using Google and made available by edesignuk, introductory threads: 1, 2 and 3



macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2010
iPhoto has the option to copy or leave in place. I think copy is the default but you ought to check the setting before doing any imports. Once you've imported all your photos dismount the external disk and view a bunch of photos in iPhoto to convince yourself that all's well.
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