Migrate/Transfer Photos Library from Mac to Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Blazer5913, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. Blazer5913 macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2004
    Hey guys, quick question. Transferring my Photos library from my older iMac to my brand new MBP 13". I realize that there were quite a few questions upon Photos release of it having both a Photos library file and an iPhoto photos library. From my understanding, although each may be just say 80gb each, technically your library isn't 160gb and still stays at 80gb; although you still need to keep both of them and can't delete the old iPhoto one? The reason I am concerned and ask is that for my new MBP, I only have 512gb and I don't want to be wasting space on there. What is the best way you guys would recommend transferring over my library? As I have it now, I have both of the library files (iPhoto and Photos) copied onto my external HDD, but each says its roughly 80gb. I'm still confused if they are each actually that size or they just say that (referring to what I mentioned earlier in the post) but they definitely both took about an hour to copy onto the external HDD so I am thinking they are both big in size. I don't want to copy both onto my MBP now!? What to do? Thanks
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Migration Assistant allows you to copy the files and settings from your old computer over to your new one. Did you use Migration Assistant?
  3. CoastalOR macrumors 68000


    Jan 19, 2015
    Oregon, USA
  4. Blazer5913 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2004
    I don't use Migration Assistant because I like to keep things as "fresh as possible" and don't want a lot of the garbage that piled up on my old computer to come with this new one. I have used this method for years now, mostly with iPhoto and iTunes. I don't know why now it's giving me such a hard time though. And I already have my MBP up and running, is it even possible to use the Migration Assistant now that the initial setup process is over?
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Fresh? It's not a tomato, it's an Apple. :rolleyes:

    Not to be snarky, but if you understand what needs to be copied from your old Mac to your new one you wouldn't have had to ask this question. So the correct answer to which is the "best" way is: to migrate. Let Apple's engineers do the heavy lifting. If you have stuff you don't want after migrating, just delete it. Way faster.

    The method Apple uses to convert iPhotos libraries to Photos libraries is non-trivial, involving use of hard links, which are somewhat like aliases, but only generally. Unless you know how they operate you could bork something badly by tried to reconstruct a library manually. They are NOT the same size; they only appear that way. In a normal setup you can delete the iPhoto library, although since you don't have doubles of your master images, it may not save that much space.

    You can use Migration Assistant now, but you run the risk of permissions issues. See pondini.org for an explanation. You might be better off seeing if you can delete the iPhotos library. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204476

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